I'll give you a moment to compose yourself as you laugh and wipe away tears.
Yes. House Rabbits. Free Roam, litter trained, spayed and neutered House Rabbits. Kind of like Cats, with longer ears and a whole vegetarian vibe going for them.
I never planned on being a House Rabbit parent. No sir. I was fine with La Chatte, a neighborhood cat who adopted us upon our moving into HER home. I mean, it wasn't as if we were going anywhere, and she seemed nice enough. I was however, a little shocked. People just move away and LEAVE their pets? Really?
I later came to find that in Montreal, it is a huge problem - especially on the July 1 - Moving Day. Shelters around the city begin to be flooded with animals of all sorts whose owners decided that , Meh - just not worth the trouble to move the animal.
Now, there is a pet store in our local Mall, which shall remain nameless. Every time we are in the mall, Emily Begs to go and see the animals. Lizards, Birds, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Rats, Ferrets...all the way up through $1200 purebred dogs. And I hate it. I hate the whole thing. I watch children beg and plead for the cute animals...and sometimes they go home with them.
This isn't part of the original programming. You don't look at the end of the baby book to see the section where you and your partner fight about your child's schooling. As in REALLY fight. With the big relationship guns being brought out to play.
My mother-in-law said to me, "The two of you will never fight like you will fight over this baby." Of course, in my pre- and even post partum delusions it seemed a crazy thing to say. Fight? Listen lady, I am doing my level best not to burn the house down and run away. I can't even control my breasts, let alone think about fighting.
To be honest, it wasn't until we hit kindergarten that it became really obvious that Em - quirky little Em who just rolled on people and licked them and was a tornado of activity, never sleeping, never slowing down - was maybe a little "atypical". Sure, I had noticed that the child had zero interest in writing, or coloring, or slowing down long enough to even look at an alphabet, let alone sing a song about it but in my global world view of the individual differences in children, it was no big deal. Honestly. It will come. It always came - maybe not when the parent was expecting it, but it came.
I admit, I am a fearsome mother for a teacher to face.
As a Mama Bear alone, I am terrifying.
As an Educator myself, with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Child Development (and ever so slowly marching towards my PhD) I am a tsunami of research and knowledge and questions and answers. I AM that frighteningly intelligent college professor they had, the one who was always expecting MORE from them. The one who would send back papers with copious comments and exhort them to THINK, not just write down what they have read.
For those of you who may know me from my home Blog, I am Doing the Best I Can, you may know that I have been engaged in not-so-subtle guerrilla warfare with my daughters teacher. It has been rugged. And I have gotten Mean. Intentionally devastatingly mean. So mean that if I were in this teachers shoes, I would either write me off as a Loon, or be having panic attacks about having to face me.
Of course, like your typical crazy mother, I write letters. However, I write letters filled with educational theory and rationale. I write letters in which your personal and professional competence are seriously being Called OUT by someone with more than a passing knowledge of your profession. When the teacher in question does respond, she passive aggressively writes "cc: Cycle Three Teachers" on her response. Not to be outdone, I amp it up by providing a copy of my response to her response ( copied and included as an attachment for easy reference) in personalized addressed envelopes of each of the teachers in question.
I am not famous. I will not become famous unless the world of Early Childhood Researcher and social smart aleck becomes somehow sexy and profitable. Barring that, I remain an everyday citizen.
I am deeply intimate with border security and the lines in customs between Canada and the United States. As a US Citizen here in Montreal on her second Student Visa (Year 4, WHOO HOO), I can tell you stories of our waits to get into Vermont, or New York, or Back into Canada following even day trips to have lunch with family or friends of the other side of the border. It is undoubtedly a pain in the patootie. Furthermore, I am also familiar with the border guards of both countries lack of humor about the often thankless job they are being asked to perform. (Note to all of you. The answer "A Hangover" is NOT a funny response to the border guard when asked what you are bringing back into the country. BELIEVE me. It will go nothing like the little funny joke you had in your head.)
I am a Mom. I also know what it is like to sit in lines with child. Fussy Child. Hungry Child. Bored Child. Child who needs a Diaper change or Bathroom. With all the Stuff that the child needs. That YOU have to carry in addition to whatever actual human adult items you have thoughtlessly decided were important. Those were the moments when I used to joke if the airlines ( or Disney World) would just serve complimentary mixed drinks to the parents in line things might be a whole lot better.
This Spring, I stumbled on one of those quirky stories in the news. You know, one of those that make you stop and cock your head to the side and wait for what MUST be the punchline. Because, you know, it HAD to be coming at the end of the story. But it didn't.
In brief, a 12 year old girl was living with her father and step mother. She and step mother got into it about the girl posting inappropriate photos of herself and chatting on parental-banned websites in May, and father took away her end of elementary school trip as punishment.
I rarely poke around the blog world anymore. As the Mom of an 11 year old, I just don't easily relate to those parents who are dealing with bottles and diapers and first steps or words.
Don't get me wrong. I don't dislike parents with young children. I know how hard that stage is - I have BEEN there. I know how cute and sweet, funny and frustrating the Kindergarten age and younger child can be.
Its just that when I look at most blogs aimed at parents, I see a plethora of Baby, Toddler and Preschool blogs or articles. Parents of kids older than 6 seem to have been tossed aside by both Media outlets and Magazine or online communities.
Now if you are a parent of a Tween - which is loosely defined as the 9 through 12 age group - the irony is that you need the shoulder and advice of other parents More than ever. Issues with teachers and school, the eternal quagmire of Friendship, Body changes, the onset of Puberty and the general transition from adorable young child to still cute but at-times-hard-to-love tween.
At the risk of losing all my street cred, I am a Rabbit Owner. As in a HOUSE RABBIT. As in a Free Roam House rabbit owner.
had you told me a year ago that I would have become the human slave to
a not-quite-four pound Dutch Rabbit named Coco, I would have laughed
you out of the room.
I will spare you the dramatic, made-for-tv movie that is our rescue
of Coco ( and it was grim) to simply tell you that she now lives in my
Yes, She has a litterbox. Yes, she uses it 99% of the time.
In many ways, she is just like a cat. Aloof. Bossy. Hopelessly soft looking.
if rabbits weren't so tasty to a majority of the worlds predators, they
would have taken over. They are some bad mamma-jammas. If you've been
growled at and charged by a rabbit, it is a truly terrifying moment.
Like "Monty Python Attack Rabbit" moment. I think, in fact, that the
person who wrote that scene WAS a house rabbit owner and had witnessed
There is a line from a Ben Folds Song that has been filtering in my brain: "Do you remember Before we could afford real nervous breakdowns?"
Rock on, rock on with my fashionable frown.
Only it isn't. Fashionable I mean. Maybe it is, I don't get out as much as I should into the world at large and in the blog world in particular. Maybe it is fashionable? Has being depressed become fashionable? If so, someone owes me some money.
I am standing on the edge of a very dark depression. Cripes, I may be well in the thick of it if past ones can stand in as evidence. Normally I am nearly the last one to figure it out until I blurt it out - my very own Captain obvious. For all I know, I am at the bottom right now. You can normally find me yelling "nothing to see here!" as I crumble before your eyes.
There is nothing fashionable about being depressed. Want to know the words I have said more than once over the past couple of days? Detached. Despondent. Hopeless. I eat or I don't eat - it doesn't really matter. I haven't showered in two days...although I suspect that my spouse will insist on my at least showering some time today. After he insists that I eat.
Emily touched my arm yesterday and said "You are so sad, Mom. Why?"
When you are a person who lives with depression you forget that others can see inside you. After I had a massive crying jag at work yesterday, I snapped at my friend, "Stop reading me so clearly." It isn't fair, I think. I can't see out of this pool of muddy water so therefore you shouldn't be able to see into it. I become enraged at the utter unfairness of this.
Last night Terrance sat by the edge of my bed. I must be bad if he is worried - I know this from our 18 years of togetherness. When he tunes in...it must be palpable. After his un-artful edging around the question, I finally said to him..."I'm not looking to kill myself." This is on his mind from my sisters last suicide attempt in May..when she drank the antifreeze and was in intensive care for a week, then in the locked psych ward for another week or so.
"It isn't fair", she told me on the phone from the ward. "I'm broken and I will never be fixed - I don't want to have to deal with this for the rest of my life." Because my brain chemistry was working at the time I soothed her with answers of management...of monitoring and being attuned to yourself. "No different than being a diabetic", I murmured.
But today? I know about the broken feeling. The being sick of feeling so dead and empty, of having to live with this temperamental and unforgiving beast of depression. Feeling resentful of this thing which creeps in on me and fills me up with foggy darkness, making me forget who I am or where I am. I - like my sister - would kill it if I could, but it isn't that kind of deal. An either or deal. I don't get to slay the giant AND run off with the golden harp.
Maybe I will just take a shower.
Original post to Canada Moms Blog. Dawn also blogs at "I am Doing the Best I can", and "True Wife Confessions"
Of course, anyone who starts a sentence with this statement will, in fact, BE a prude.
But I'm not. Truly.
I am a lover of the hip hop and rap music, from back in the dayz of when more people knew about Chuck D instead of Flavor Flav. I HAVE the original NWA CASSETTE. Come on. That's Hard core. OG Gangsta rap on CASSETTE!! And I lived in VERMONT at the time. Do you know how hard it was to get rap music in Vermont?
La Chatte was a cat that had been abandoned by the previous tenant of our duplex during the infamous July 1st Moving day in Montreal.
(Yep, I'm not kidding - July 1st IS moving day and when the leases in Montreal turn over)
She spotted us as soon as we drove up, and clearly made short work of us. I think it took her less than a week to nose her way in through the back door and start perching herself on our furniture. We were, after all, in HER house.