Tag Archives: childhood

Sweet face and an empty space

28 Jan

At 7.5 Alex finally lost his very first tooth lost naturally.  Does that make sense?  He had one pulled a long long time ago and has a spacer and now he lost one of his lower front teeth.  He was both elated and disgusted by the sensory aspects of the experience and as he was sleeping in my room he suggested that we leave the tooth in the kitchen for the Toothfairy as she is “THE” Toothfairy and would know where to look.   Love his logic!

Here’s my baby boy:

I was just thrilled he finally lost one as on the morning of the day that he announced his tooth was loose I was telling his Dad that we need to make another dentist appointment for him and I was worried that he hadn’t yet started losing his baby teeth.  I lost my first one at a restaurant in Provincetown, MA at age 5.  It fell out in a bowl of rice and my mom cut apart each piece of rice to try to find it.  Baby teeth really are tiny and somewhat rice like.

The second tooth, that I lost, happened in school.  I was in Miss Kelly’s class:

(I’m in the back row, third from the right…Blond with bangs)…

We were having show and tell and I brought in these nifty German handpuppets- I believe one was a fox and the other was a bunny.  I still have them- they are those stuffed creatures with the little button/earring -Steiff makes them…

Anyway, I did not like having attention paid to me by the whole class at once.  The idea scared the daylights out of me then and now.  It’s probably good that I veered away from teaching after a rocky start in my studies.

So my tooth came out right before I was supposed to go on.  I didn’t want to call attention to my predicament so I went on as scheduled and pretended to do voices for my puppets (which isn’t really something I ever had done as I wasn’t big on making them have conversations aloud). Mumbly voices- one high pitched and one lower.

I can’t remember what I made them say but I do remember feeling relieved when my time was up and we headed out of the building to the playground.  The playground had a jumpy bridge- planks of wood connected by chain that rattled and bounced when a kid would jump on it.  The jumpy bridge was always my first hurdle on the playground.  If I could stand in the middle and jump a couple of times then I could definitely stand at the top of the fire pole intending to slide down but never doing it because aside from the swings, I was not a fan of having nothing under my feet for even a brief moment.  I remember that I would smell my hands after grabbing the pole so hard that my palms were a shock of white and reddish pink.  The smell was metallic and to this day when I smell that watery metallic smell I’m right back there at the top of the pole, not feeling defeated because I knew I would try again the next day.

The little slide was wet so I turned around and went back over the bouncy bridge.  I stopped in the middle and jumped and gulp.

I swallowed and as I swallowed I remembered that I still was concealing that little tooth in my mouth and down it went.

I thought I was going to barf.  I worried that there would be a scene if I did and then the janitor would come and sprinkle that weird Pepto Bismol pinkish dust on my embarrassing puddle of barf and tooth.  I always thought that the Pepto Bismol would have helped more if they gave it to kids before they barfed but now I know it’s not really Pepto Bismol, but it was that weird pink.  That weird Pepto Bismol meets 1980’s ceramic bathroom fixture mauve-y pink.  It’s also the color of the upholstery on the exam tables in many OB/GYN offices. Not that I have been to enough to really extrapolate with any accuracy.  Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the offices I have been to, and pretty much everywhere I have been that medically deals with human vaginae, hospitals, offices, etc…, prefers that color.


Oh the tooth.

So I freaked a little.  I was very upset about the tooth and my face, normally a vibrant pink blush, had taken on such pallor that the teacher did send me to the nurse.

I didn’t confess anything to her.  I liked her. She was a good school nurse, very kind and a good listener. I was the weird kid so I spent some time in her office at least once a week. Not because I was sickly or anything, I was just strange and preferred talking to adults if I had the choice.

I did confess to my mother.  I was upset that because I had not swallowed by pride but I had swallowed my tooth.  I had this dreadful sense that The Toothfairy would not be making a stop at our home in the woods because there was no tooth under a pillow to beckon her.   I thought putting the tooth under my pillow was kind of like the Batman Signal being activated.  No tooth, no signal, no toothfairy money or little five piece pack of Trident.

So I wrote a letter, hoping it would help.  I even included my phone number in case she needed directions or had to send someone else for this particular unusual case.  I was hoping that she could accommodate me and the tooth that was somewhere in my guts, hopefully avoiding my appendix.  I had just reread the Madeline book where she gets her appendix out and I was a bit concerned.

You can tell how truly upset I was because my spelling was abysmal.  I was reading at an adult level at age 5 and my spelling was pretty good thanks to the Stephen King that I was reading (that no child should ever read).

Here’s my letter:

and here is a self portrait.  Rainbow dress and high heels at 5 years old…  I think that style wise I was the opposite of me now.  Now I’m all about jeans, black v-neck, charcoal grey hooded sweater/cardigan/fleece… Don’t worry, I’m my own best customer and I almost always have some fantastic glowing piece of my art on me somewhere.  But here’s how I saw me in first grade:

Bright colors and all girly and smiling huge.  Clearly this was before the 2nd grade destruction of self-esteem.  But we’ll get to that another time.

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour of the tooth of my youth.

If you have a funny loose tooth memory please share in the comments or blog and post a link in the comments here!

Happy Weekend!

Oh and there are a couple of new pieces up in my shop just clickety click here!




Wii Fit.

21 May

Yes. I did it. I preordered the Wii Fit from Amazon a few weeks/months (who can remember?) ago and it arrived today.

While I do need to lose weight and get my overall health and fitness into much better order, I find it hard to stay motivated while dealing with all of the kid issues (a “normal” person would be exhausted after all of the therapy/activity stuff) and my bone, muscle, endocrine, pain, and general malaise and fatigue. I have a doctor who barely looks at me when I come in his office- it’s not just me, I’m 99% sure he does this with all of his patients. It’s like he’s a librarian of my medical stuff and can access it and then he can pull other information for suggestions- but he is very by the book. I had a horrible experience taking statin meds but he insisted I try them to lower my (then slightly elevated) cholesterol. Found out that Statins and NSAIDS have the same response with me: swelling of extremities (I’m not talking pre-period bloating, I’m talking totally deformed swollen…causing stretchmarks amount of swelling) and everything gets stiff and it feels like I am walking through molasses…Even like my jaw has cold molasses in it. And I couldn’t stay awake. I was scared to be home alone with my little guy (he wasn’t in school yet). But because statins seem to beget lower labs, damn the side effects full speed ahead I swear he probably has every patient in this city that has either numbers that are below (in the ones where they are supposed to be below) the ideal by less than 20 points and every patient who may or may not be at risk from other health issues and genetics on statins. So I have refused statins. We tried a couple, all had the same reaction and I cannot function like that. So I told him I was going to take 6 months to lower my cholesterol on my own and if that didn’t work I would try another cholesterol medication. Guess what? My overall number dropped 100 points…All of the other numbers are where they should be and I was so looking forward to that call from his nurse last month to just hear her say “ok, see you in three months”

But once again: “Dr. Xyz wants you to start on vytorin again. He said that you mentioned that the side effects were difficult to manage but he feels the benefits outweigh that.”

Benefits outweigh the side effects? My numbers are better than perfect. Another doc even said “wow, your labs are better than mine and I don’t have all of these issues”. I have been working my butt off.

For what, for just in case? Adding a med with the side effect of me not being able to process information, speak, walk, talk, and in general be an interactive human being at even a basic level? No freaking way.

Anyway. So this doc is also the king of spitting information out without considering the patient. Most of the docs down here in Florida seem to be of the “one size fits all” approach (not meaning physical size, just treatment of medical issues/disorders/diseases/etc in general) . So I have damage to my spine that is getting worse (long long long story that I will entertain you with next week if I remember)… I had a tumor that gave me osteoporosis, ulcers, and a whole slew of other things. I have muscle spasms (freakishly giant charlie horses that kick the shidoobie out of me multiple times a day). I tell the doc that I am trying to walk more, take extra steps, etc… when I can because being sedentary is not the answer (my body is old at 32. like really old. like so old that I watch tv where people are complaining about crows feet at 32 and I want to blow the TV set up, but I really don’t have the strength and energy to move it to a safer location and it is one of those light weight and small ones) and that I want to do something to feel better in this medical freak body. I feel like I’m on the right path… I’m seeing better glucose readings and clearly my cholesterol has dropped but then he drops his prerecorded message.

“You need to exercise for 45 minutes, x number of days a week”

The prescription.

I refer to this as the last prescription.

Because I have heard this many times. Because I believe that starting parameters such as this are overwhelming to Joe and Jill Average who have a couple of kids, both work full time and they are caring for an elderly parent (general scenario)… I’m disabled- my body is freaking beaten by time and arthritis and being in the wrong place at the wrong time- I do get out of bed everyday but it takes 10 minutes to get to my feet and start walking. I have days where I can only shuffle to the microwave to heat a heatpack. 45 minutes of anything pretty much doesn’t happen.

45 minutes is too much for many people- it’s a giant chunk of time in an over-scheduled world. I’m not saying that there is anything bad about 30 or 45 minutes of exercise – I am hoping to get there some day.

But until I adopted the idea of taking baby steps and using quantitative measurement of my progress (I use a step counter daily and try to increase daily) and setting reasonable goals within a reasonable amount of time- goals that I knew I would have to work hard for but that weren’t crazy like “drop 100 lbs in 1 month” stuff; until that moment that I realized that something is better than nothing and I own this, then that was the starting point for me getting healthy.

Anyway, back to the Wii Fit. I really like that it takes different measurements of different skills and charts progress. It gives you the option of setting goals. It tracks your time. I just got lost in it (while I was setting it up before kid gets home so he can try it- I think it will be helpful on an OT/PT level with improving his and my balance) for 18 minutes. For 18 minutes I worked on my posture and balance and didn’t notice that the time had gone by. I have been sick for the past 2 weeks (on top of the regular physical stuff) so 18 minutes, in my book, is a huge step in the right direction from 0 minutes for the past couple of weeks (in total) ….

The activities are fun and look simple enough…Maybe for Average Joe they are… Not so much for me… But I could see little blips of improvement and especially with the balance games I found it had a nice blend of body vs. brain that most other games don’t offer… The balance controls, the way the wii fit platform interprets your movements is pretty cool and, at least for me, seamless. It’s fine control in some activities. I was a bit skeptical that the platform would wind up being like DDR -but the precision is crazy and unlike our DDR mat on the carpeting you don’t need to stomp- and actually I’m finding that there is a bit of a learning curve with the Wii Fit platform because I’m not used to not having to do anything with my hands and a controller to make the characters on the screen react. And my brain is saying “don’t stomp! you don’t need to stomp!”…

Anyway, the message is: something is better than nothing, set goals- set them in reasonable bits- attainable but will require work, and not so long term that it’s hard to see the reward…. Also if your doc really isn’t listening (I’m not talking about disagreeing, I mean doesn’t make eye contact…Suggests menopause treatments and you are a dude- that sort of thing…) Then get another one. Listen to your body. Figure out what motivates you or what is accessible to you. I have ADD- even if my body could, my brain can’t do anything for more than a few minutes at a time, so variety is the spice of life for me… Learn the tricks that move you and work with them.

And stay tuned for more updates on my Wii Fit experience…

Impressions right now:

easy to use and for all ages (although stepping on the platform to get his initial info is proving challenging to my little guy…placing him on it seems to work but just annoys him :-)

-all fitness levels, but may require modification – leaves this up to user…

-running game is pretty neat- you can really go at your own pace and if you go to fast the mii trips and falls over and it reminds you to not exceed your personal limits… Also tells you that a steady pace is best (so not for windsprints at this level, not that I am in any shape to do them)….

-Soccer balance game is neat- you head the soccer ball and try to avoid flying shoes and panda bear heads (that look like soccer balls from far away)…Really like the brain/body/reaction concept… Warning: people under 20 and anyone who likes the type of humor along the lines of The Stooges will probably enjoy heading flying cleats for a few rounds (until they realize they are losing points each time)…

-some exercises may not be possible for some folks due to health issues/injury and people really need to listen to their bodies… The tree pose wants the foot on the inner thigh- I have a busted hip so that is not going to happen any time soon… I wish they did have modifications especially for those with injuries or other health issues/precautions or just plain beginners….

The secret math of growing up….

13 Mar

Boy is wailing away on his kazoozaphone (little tikes had their way with a kazoo on this one… thankfully he doesn’t like the music it plays on it’s own…just the kazoo…)… A little while ago he wanted to watch his “year one” video… I think he has trouble connecting the baby in the movie to him as a big guy (relatively speaking)…. We talked about it for a bit and here’s the official word on age:  When you are O you are a baby….When you are 1 you are a baby…When you are 2 you are a big guy….When you are 3 you are a big guy…When you are 4 you are bigger…When you are 5 you are bigger….When you are 6 you are bigger….When you are 7 you are bigger…When you are 8 you are bigger….When you are 100 you are biggest  (fingers splayed and hands stretched up to the ceiling) and then you get very small again. No wonder he was cheering me on at my last doc’s appointment when the doc mentioned weight gain… Alex thinks I’m growing just like him…  Ahhh if only…  (by the way, the formatting screwiness is courtesy of safari it seems…. I’m switching over to firefox tonight….) 

The mind of a child….

11 Nov

Card for my dad

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

When I was 5 or 6… My mom told me to make him a card and I should draw something that he likes….

and this is what I gave my dad (who was a little mortified)…

(my parents were very casual about nudity in our house and until I gave my dad this card there was a stack of playboy and penthouse in their bathroom…)

The part that really gets me is that it didn’t occur to me that this was an inappropriate picture for a kid my age to draw, especially for their dad, but that it did cross my mind to put a headband to visually explain how the bunny ears were held on…

Ok- so this one is a little goofy. Wait until you see my very surreal “holiday” card from the same year (I covered a couple of holiday traditions with a surprise ending)… Oh yes, it is coming soon to a blog near you…

Magic Rain.

26 Jun

I’m busy this week trying to clean up the house. There are just so many things that are out of place these days that it’s driving me bananas. Part of it is me and my lack of attention span (ie. I take a small metalworking tool and then I wander off to get some component I need to use it and I remember something that had escaped my mind weeks ago and I’ll go tend to that) part of it is having an almost 4 year old that looks at everything as though it belongs in some strange but wonderful interactive museum. Typically I’m putting something away on one end of the large open area that comprises our kitchen, living room, and kitchen table (once an eating area, now my studio..) while he’s on the other end emptying an entire closed with ninja-like stealth.Anyways- I found this giftbag that has been sitting on one of the spare chairs stacked by the kitchen table. It wasn’t really lost so much as I though I’d emptied it and then it just started to blend. It had a giant unopened bag of chocolate coins in it (don’t fret, they are only around 2 months old)… And I wasn’t quite in the mood to just hand Alex a piece of chocolate and I also wasn’t in the mood to play “treasure hunt” with them. So I chuck two of them as hard as I could so they flew across the room and landed around 10 feet away from him. He turns, sees them, his eyes get gigantic and he looks at me all breathless and bewildered, “Chocolate coins fall from the sky. Chocolate coin rain.” He picks them up and says “One for Alex, one for mama”…It was just such a magical sweet moment…Of course tonight at the dinner table he tells Jeff all about it and it’s the greatest big fish story I swear I’ve ever heard.After dinner Jeff and Alex are in the den. Jeff is at the computer and Alex is somewhere in the room where I can’t spot him. So I figure I’ll sprinkle the magic once more.I chuck two chocolate coins in the vicinity of the glass doors that guard the den. They *whoosh* disappear into the room. I’m not the most athletic person in the world and I am known for my terrible aim. Basically if I aim for something I won’t hit it. If I close my eyes and randomly throw then EUREKA! I’ll make the basket, hit my target, etc… I can still hear my basketball coach yelling “open your damn eyes girl”…I thought I hit Jeff as the sound was that of a piece of something thin and hard slapping onto a fleshy part of the body (projection estimate looked like his right shoulder…) but he says that nothing hit him. So I go into the den and there is Alex holding a chocolate coin, eyes all big and dreamy, just vibrating with excitement.”Mama. Chocolate coins fall from the sky. Go boom on head!”Poor kid. Lambasted by magical chocolate coins falling from the sky… Of course then he needed kisses and didn’t even offer to share that chocolate coin – I guess he thinks that if he had to pay for it (by getting whacked on the head with it) then it’s rightfully his, and his alone.I’m telling you. All of us need to wear helmets.

%d bloggers like this: