My son’s school is a few miles from our house, on the outskirts of an undeveloped chunk of land.

When I drive away from there in the morning, I am frequently the only vehicle in the area.

Today, there was another car.  And it was black and white.

I know I put my foot on the brake when I turned right at the corner, but the cop said I never came to a full stop.

Probably true, but you know my car issues with the boy.  I’m conditioned to keep moving.

And on a basically deserted street, surrounded by open fields and unfinished roads?

Yeah, I’m probably going to take the corner, if no one protests.

When I was pulled over, I had my headset on and was talking to my friend’s husband on the phone.

Oddly enough, he was telling me about his own strange experience on the road today.

I had to cut him short.

Note to Joel:  I still need the end of that story.

The worst part about this was the embarrassment of trying to find my paperwork in the cavernous pit I call a purse.

I apologized for that about seven times.  I don’t think the cop was too impressed with me.

Note to self:  clean out the freaking purse.  And the car too, for that matter.  I felt those police eyes on the half eaten HoHos in my son’s drink holder.

He gave me the ticket and walked back to his cruiser.

I sat and contemplated whether or not I had my thoughts collected enough to drive off without further incident.

I did and I left.

I called my friend and gave her the details her husband didn’t have.

She was just as mortified as I when I told her about the fine, a whopping $450 dollars.  Right before Christmas.  Ugh.

Note to everyone: don’t roll through right turns in California unless you’re sure the light is green, because you can’t afford it.

After we hung up, I got a little teary and started down the self-loathing-I’m-such-a-loser spiral.

I haven’t been pulled over in maybe ten years.  (Not legitimately anyway, but that’s another annoying story.)

Husband wouldn’t answer his work number for a few more minutes, so I called another friend and tried to reach my brother too.

Neither were available to hear my woes.

Left with no vent, I pulled myself back from the whole thing a bit and tried to figure out what about it made me feel so stupid.

I concluded it was the state of my purse and car much more than my failure to stop at the light.

Maybe that’s a self-indulgent concern, but it’s the truth.

I was embarrassed by my portable chaos, in much the same way I am embarrassed for anyone to see the daily state of my home.

I’ll be tidying up for the holidays, of course, but now I’ve got $450 reasons to change my habits for good.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that one of my son’s vocabulary words this week is “slob?”

Don’t answer that.

Now, get a load of Jack.

Day Ten 2010 Pumpkin Demise

Happy Wednesday!


Couch Potato

My kid is parked on the couch.

He has split his time between there and my lap for the last four hours.

He has no fever, but he didn’t sleep well last night and now he’s out of energy.

He went to bed okay, but woke up at 2:00 a.m. with a tickling throat.

He was so frustrated by it that he shrieked until his upset overwhelmed him and he spit up on the carpet in his room.

Oh joy.

It reminded me of those horrendous midnight tantrums of the not-so-distant past.

Husband cleaned up the floor while I tried to calm down the boy.

Thank you, husband.  For that, and for going downstairs in that wee hour to get him some water and goldfish crackers.

I know my son. I think the dramatic weather changes in the last few weeks, leading up to Halloween excitement, chaos and candy overload just did him in.

His nose is on a different schedule.  He feels scratchy and uncomfortable.  I do too.  Can’t stand this fickle desert climate.  Either of us.  I spent the rest of the night in his uncomfortable bed.

Now he’s on the couch and uninterested in leaving the house.  Certainly there is nothing out in the world that can’t wait for us another day, but we stayed in yesterday too and I’m starting to get cabin fever.

Honestly, Mom, I don’t know how you kept your sanity when we three were young and you had no car all day.  I couldn’t do it.  Thank you for that, truly.

Back to the boy.

I have that bit of gnawing, ever-present guilt creeping into the sides of my brain.  He misses a lot of school.  A LOT.

But it can’t be helped.  I’m not going to make him go when he’s like this.  And what if he actually is a bit sick instead of just weather whipped?

Yesterday I had no creeping guilt.  It was a good day, all things considered.  It was a learning day, a doing day, a brain stretching day.

Because yesterday, he made himself a book.  Yep, a book.

Actually, he made two books.

He took stacks of white paper, stapled them together, drew pictures on the pages and then came to me for help in spelling the words he wanted to add.

The books are very primitive for a neurotypical kid of his age, but for him, they’re amazing.

Just the fact that he thought to do them at all is amazing.

And asking me for help with word choice and spelling?  Geez.  Triple whammy!  Writing words is his least preferred activity during homework hour.

So, I was impressed and I felt like a good mom because my kid was learning something on his own, outside of school.  Somehow, that made his staying home seem appropriate.

But today, he’s home because he doesn’t want to do anything.  Anything.  Except sit on the couch.  Or my lap.

So there’s that guilt for not facilitating a brain stretch of some sort and for leaving his aide to wonder why she couldn’t have had the day off.  Oy.  The guilt.

Okay, well, now you know my kid is sitting like a lump across the room from me.  I don’t suppose there’s much more to say about that.

Moving on.

My cousins April and Gary were in town on Halloween.

April made yummy lasagna and brought me this fabulous quilted Halloween table runner.

I love it!

Thank you, April!

I love it even more because you enjoyed making it on your new sewing machine.  Woohoo!  I need one of those too!

My sewing machine is still in the back of the van, waiting for a drop off at the repair shop.  My best friend’s sewing machine is the one on my table, getting used everyday.  I’d like to have both of them set up, you know?  Maybe with different colored threads in them.  And a new one too.  😀  Greed.

But seriously, April, your visit has me thinking I might take a sewing class!  What fun it would be to learn more about something I already love.  ♥  Thanks for the inspiration – you and your quilting sister!

Okay, the couch is swallowing up the child.  Gotta go, but wanted to leave you with the day two 2010 Pumpkin Demise photos.

It’s early in the game, they still look pretty good.  😀

Happy Tuesday!

P.S.  What did you do with your pumpkins?