Friday, April 27, 2012

The artful dodge

The Girl got home from school today and told me about a Brain Pop video she watched about drugs. 

Her: I learned that if you use illegal drugs you can sometimes see things that aren't there, things that are there like only in your imagination but you think they're real and you get all freaked out. 

Me: I think the word you're looking for is hallucination.  

Her: Yeah, that.  Hallucination.  Has that ever happened to you?  

Ummm... Only if you count that one time in college when I may or may not have smoked something questionable and didn't realize it until the walls started bubbling and peeling.  Does that count? 

Wait, I'm not sure that's an age appropriate answer.  I also can't lie.  It's a rule.  Ummm... 

Me: Me? Has that ever happened to me? So, you're saying you think I use illegal drugs? 

Her: Or anyone you know? 

Me: So now my friends do drugs? 

Her: Well, just anyone...have you seen that happen?  

Me:  No, can't say that I've seen it happen. 

Her.  Oh.  It sounds weird.  

Me: Yeah.  Totally.  Don't do drugs.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Porn: A Cautionary Tale

Pulling this one from the archives of Yeah, So That Happened...

Maybe you'll be more prepared than I was.

I don't really let my kids touch my stuff.  They're not allowed on my computers.  Not because I don't think they're ready or because I don't think computers are good for kids; just because, well, I don't like it when they touch my stuff.  It's my stuff, dammit.  We have to have boundaries, people!

Not my mom, though; she let's them play.  It's cool, they're monitored and all that.  So, the Boy learned around age 8 how to search the internet and that the internet was a cool place to shop for toys and play games.

Anyway, so one day, I'm in my bedroom on my laptop, and the Girl, then 5, comes in.

Girl: Mama, Cole is shopping for birthday and Christmas presents for me, isn't that so nice??
Me: Hmmm?  
Girl: Cole is on your computer in the office, [Wait, what? Now I'm listening.] and he asked me to go out because he was looking at birthday and Christmas gifts for me.  Isn't that so nice?
Me: Um, since it's June, and your birthday is in October and Christmas is in December... Yes, that sounds very... nice.

And not at all true.  He's not supposed to be in my office, much less on my computer.  Alone.

Rather than storm in there, I opt for stealth mode.  I use remote access to log in to my desktop.

I see a Google screen.  He begins typing in a search box.

Holy. Shitballs. 

I quickly backspace the words out of the search box.  He starts to type again, and again I backspace.  

I move the mouse around in circles to let him know he's not controlling things anymore.  

Then, I type in the search box: 

Nothing else happens.  The mouse is still, and the words don't get erased.  
Well fuck.  Now what??  I don't want to have this conversation with him.  I really don't want to.  
As I sit there trying to figure out my next move, he comes into the bedroom, a stunned look on his face.  I'm thinking he knows he's caught red-handed, and he's come to confess.

Boy: Mom? 
Me: Yeah...?
Boy: There's a ghost in the office.  
Me: What? 
Boy: I was in there, I just wanted to look something up on your computer real quick, and I started to type and the words just disappeared!  And then I tried to type again and they disappeared again!  And then the mouse arrow started going around in circles, and then someone typed that they were watching me... 
Me: Really.  Hmm.  Well, that's scary.  Better not go in there anymore.  Wow.  

As it turns out, he has no idea it was me.  He doesn't know about things like remote access. He's totally spooked now. 

Mom's geek skills, for the win, man...

Okay, that's where the funny ends, really.  The rest of the story sucks, especially if you have or have had an 8 year old and you know how sweet and innocent and naive they're supposed to be.

I searched the history later.  I was up until after 3 am, looking at everything he had been looking at.  The history started out looking for games to play, and he visited some games sites.  Then, I guess he was being brotherly, because he entered the search term "girl games."  He was trying to find something for his sister to play.  You can imagine what he found instead.  Then, he got to clicking through other links, and things went from bad to worse fast.  I was sick to my stomach.  We had to have the sex talk waaaaaaay too soon, and you can't unring that bell.  

The moral of the story: Install parental controls before you think you need them!  And then snoop on your kids unashamedly.  They'll thank you later.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In which I meet the Bloggess

Jenny Lawson had a local book signing. I went with some friends. It was awesome. That is all.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

She is Grace

We had to put down our 13 year old Golden Retriever today.  She was very old, she had some tumor issues, she was losing weight fast, she was in pain... It was just time.

The kids knew it might be coming; we've talked about it frankly for a few months now.  We let them know today that we were taking her to the vet, we took pictures of them with her, and we told them we'd come get them to say goodbye if we needed to.

My husband wondered why they didn't seem very upset or emotional about it, but I knew they were just in denial that it was happening.  They didn't want it to be real, so they assumed she would be fine.  Hell, I'd been doing the same thing for a while.

After the decision was made and we got them to the vet, we let them know what was going to happen.  Even after all the talk, they both broke down at the reality of it.  On one level, it didn't come as a surprise, but on another they were very unprepared for the grief.  It him them like a tidal wive.  They both started sobbing.

I started to feel that we had made the wrong decision, that we should have waited, taken her home, talked about it more, let them get used to the idea... But we had already started the process.  Belle was laying on a table with an IV inserted waiting for us to tell her goodbye.

We did, and it was gut wrenching.  They were so upset.  I was sad for the loss of Belle, but their pain was really what was hurting me the most.  Are we doing the right thing?  Should they see this?  They wanted to be there.  They asked to stay with her.

It happened so fast.  It felt like it was happening too fast.  I almost told him to stop, wait!  But I didn't want to waver; I didn't want them to be angry with me later.  If I showed doubt, maybe they would start to question our decision.  I held my tongue, and I stood with them and we held her while she passed.  And just like that, it was over.  She was at peace.

Later, we were taking our little dog for a walk and enjoying the incongruously beautiful weather, and Grace asked me which way I wanted to go, which route I wanted to take.  I told her she could decide, because I wasn't up for any more decisions today.

She said, Well, you made the right decision today. We did the right thing.  

I said, Really? You think so? I hope so.

She said, Yes, Belle is with God now, and God will take care of her.  

And there it was, the grace that is my Grace.  Dear Lord, I love this child.