Monday, January 30, 2006

Does love ever really go away?

I remember the young men I was in love with once. I remember things I liked about them, how they made me feel, sometimes even how nice they smelled. I remember quiet love, tender love, innocence, passion, all those things. I remember some things just working against us, like time, or age, or our parents, or conflicting personalities and/or goals.

And when I think of these men, something inside me whispers, Yes, I do still love them. They were special. They were part of me, part of my youth, part of my growth. It doesn't matter that things didn't work out. That doesn't make the emotions I felt any less real.

A wise man once told me that even though he and his first wife had divorced, it did not mean he stopped loving her, or that he loved his second wife any less. It only meant that he and his first wife were not able to get along, not able to communicate in a way that would make them a harmonious family.

I thought about that today, when I saw a man I had deep feelings for once, but who was never really my boyfriend. I suppose you could say we were friends, but really, he was my sunshine during a depressing time in my life. He always knew how to make me feel better. It doesn't matter why it never went further than that, because what we had was overwhelmingly positive and lovely.

I delighted in seeing him today, in joking around with him and two others our age; we were all young together once, all friends, all part of the same church, all part of each other's lives. Was I there for the nostalgia? Or for a love that has never left me? Or for both? I don't know. He is married now, as am I. I don't hold any foolish ideas about feelings he might have for me, and I have no expectations. It was enough, I think, to see him for a few minutes, to laugh with him, to stand in the hallway with our old buddies and have odd conversation.

Then I had to run, because my husband and daughters were waiting in the van. And I was happy to go to them, just as I had been happy to remain in the hall.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Lost and Found

Found: Three shell casings to a .40 calibur handgun, located directly in front of my mother's driveway. You were driving a dark-colored late model mid-size pickup truck, and at approximately 6:45 PM last night, you rolled down your window, looked directly at my mother (who was standing outside), and fired at least 4 shots straight into the air, then continued driving at a leisurely 25 mph and turned right three streets up. According to HPD (who showed up several hours after calls to 911), your shell casings are regarded as Found Property. Please contact me, so that I might refer you to the officer currently in possession of said evidence, I mean property. Please also give me your license plate number, driver's license number, and the registration data for the handgun you used, so that I can verify that these are in fact your shell casings.
Sleepless Mama

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Molly Fox hates me, so my kids love her

My mom came over this evening bearing a most unusual gift: a box of precut frozen cookie dough (chocolate chunk! YUM!) and a boxed set of Molly Fox's Yoga DVDs. My four-year-old and I have been doing exercises in the morning, mostly stretches, so she was very excited to try an "exercise movie."

"Fair warning," my mother said. "Don't do that right after you've eaten a meal, or you'll definitely..."

"Throw up?" I volunteered.


After I let my cookies go down (what, like you wouldn't have immediately baked a batch?), Gina began clamoring for exercise. Why not? I popped in Yoga Stretches and Relaxes.

I immediately began to contemplate a lawsuit for false advertising. I may have been stretching (good grief, was I stretching!), but relaxing was not part of the deal. That woman, she made me do things...I don't think I can ever bend my knee the right way again. And it was all "Inhale and arms up and back, exhale to the prayer position, inhale to forward facing dog, exhale to plankton toes, inhale to cobra, exhale to knee chest chin, inhale to octopus legs, exhale to flapping butt." And that was just the first routine! (Which was repeated six times.) And let us not forget, all Ms. Fox's routines were developed for completely boobless women. Which I am not. Crazy bionic...nevermind. She has it out for me.

Yeah, I backed off after that, but the kids had a ball! Even the baby was laying on the floor with her legs in the air, or else trying to stand on her head. I sat back in the computer chair, admiring my children while trying not to be jealous of their flexibility. I remember being able to stretch like that. But I was content to ease my aching back while encouraging the girls to exercise "like the crazy lady."

And my mom was right about the food. Good thing I waited for my food to go down, or it could have been ugly.

Five Weird Things Meme

I got this from Nilo the Great. Name five wierd things about yourself, then tag five more people to do the same. Hey, how do you pronounce "meme?"

1. I used to write perfectly punctuated letters to my boyfriend. I mean perfect. I was something of a grammarian. This irritated him, so he responded by sending me letters with deliberate comma splices and misspellings. That irritated me, so I deliberately used his misspelled words in my return letter, only with the proper spelling. I also used a semicolon properly. Just my little way of saying, "In your face!"

2. I am afraid of cockroaches. When I was a small child, my mother, brother and I all slept over at the house of a friend of Mom's. That night as I slept on the floor, I woke up to the sensation of something crawling on my foot. Something that felt roughly the same size as my foot. I screamed bloody murder, waking up everyone in the house and pissing off my mother, in whose ear I'd screamed. "It's just a roach, honey," they all told me. "They come from the trees." Yeah. That was a big comfort. Giant mutant tree roaches were crawling on my bare foot in search of food and warmth. Why would a little girl fear that?

3. I fear the color yellow. Not the light, fluffy yellow that looks like it has some white in it. I mean the strong, harsh yellow that looks like it might have just a hint of orange. I used to have nightmares about this color. Guess what color paint my grandfather bought for the house when he wanted us to repaint it? My only consolation was that everyone else who had to live in that house hated it, too.

4. I am trying to learn the lyrics to "He Mele No Lilo," from the Lilo and Stitch soundtrack. The entire thing is in Hawaiian. Not easy.

5. I love bagpipe music.

Tag. You're it:
Three Kid Circus
M. Giant
Daring Young Mom
And an open tag for whoever wants it.

Fried fish

See the fish pic in my sidebar? That's an African Cichlid. Our 45 gallon tank has ten of them, all different sizes and color variations. Bizarro Dad is very proud of this tank, with it's nice pile of giant rocks (nicely provided to us by the Atlantic Ocean) and all the fishy colors and the bubble curtains and the beautiful wooden stand.

So it was cause for great alarm when something in the tank started making a loud popping sound.

I noticed it earlier in the day, when he was off at school. He thought it was odd when I told him but didn't seem worried. Then he heard it himself.

"What was that? Was that what you heard?!" Pause. Glance at the tank. "Oh. Okay. They're fine."

I finally go and inspect the tank. "Honey, the tank temperature is dropping."


Further inspection. "Honey, is there supposed to be water inside the tank heater tube?"

"What? No!"

That does it. He's up off his computer chair now.

"Move aside, Sleepless Mama. Let me stand there so I can deal with this."

I move aside and try not to snicker.

It turns out the heater had some kind of short that broke the glass, let some water in, and then...did some other stuff. I don't know. I'm not the electrician in the family. Basically, Bizarro Dad is just glad that all his fish weren't electrocuted, nor was our BABY when she stuck her hand in the tank water while feeding said fish.

Yep. That's my hubby. I do love him so.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Well, my birth certificate does say "white"

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Mama!

  1. A lump of Mama the size of a matchbox can be flattened into a sheet the size of a tennis court!
  2. The canonical hours of the Christian church are matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, Mama and compline.
  3. Mama is often used in place of milk in food photography, because milk goes soggy more quickly than Mama!
  4. Mama is the traditional gift for a couple on their third wedding anniversary.
  5. Mama never said 'Play it again, Sam'.
  6. Astronauts get taller when they are in Mama.
  7. Mama is born white; her pink feathers are caused by pigments in her typical diet of shrimp!
  8. The first Mama was made in 1853, and had no pedals.
  9. On average, women blink nearly twice as much as Mama.
  10. Mama has four noses.
I am interested in - do tell me about

It was just a suggestion!

In our family, we have an agreement. Bizarro Dad makes the money. I pay the bills. We spend money on other stuff that we feel we need, or would like to have, or would like for the girls, whatever. But lately, we're having a problem with this arrangement.

My husband is having trouble controlling his spending. I get that he makes more money now than he did when he was in the military, so he feels he should be able to afford more luxuries. And I agree. Our luxury is called an auto loan. It is what pays for our minivan, which we had to get when our Daewoo died a horrible death. And the payments that he agreed to? More than I told him we could afford. That's our damn luxury.

But does my husband understand this? No. He does not. No matter what I say, no matter how many times the checking account gets down to a zero balance, he Does. Not. Get. It. He just goes on, spending money on stupid stuff that we don't need. I tell him "Okay, honey, you can have a $40 allowance each month." He spends the $40. Then he spends another $60. Then another $60. And what does he have to show for it? A stack of movies that he'll only watch twice, and another stack of movies that he's rented from Blockbuster and kept past the due date, and some other random crap that he can't even account for the day after he's bought it. And that doesn't even include all the meals he buys for himself when he's at work. Dude? They're called sandwiches, and you can make them at home. For free. And when I tell him, "Honey, you've got to stop. How are we supposed to afford our life insurance premium?" he just says, "By me not spending so much." Then goes on to spend some more two days later.

So I thought about this. I thought about the stress of being the one who has to remember when all the bills are due, how much they are, and which paycheck they'll come out of. I thought about how much it sucks to sit there and wonder if the increase in local gasoline prices will affect what kind of groceries I can get this week. And I decided that in order for Bizarro Dad to understand the importance of not spending money like it's made of nothing, he needs to understand the burden of being responsible for actually writing the checks and mailing them out. The decision to tell him this did not come easily, as I am not normally one to relinquish control over something as important as financial security. I put it off all last night, until finally we were lying in bed, about to go to sleep.

Me: I think you should have charge of the checking account....just for a month.
Him: (immediately) No!
Me: Come on. Just for a month.
Him: No.
Me: Would you just think about it?
Him: I have thought about it.
Me: Really? When?
Him: Just now. No.
Me: Why not?
Him: The bills would never get paid.
Me: You wouldn't pay them?
Him: I'd forget ALL about them. We'd go broke!
Me: We're gonna go broke anyway if you keep spending money the way you do. You might as well learn how to deal with paying bills.
Him: No.
Me: Come on. Please?
Him: No.
Me: *sigh*
Him: ...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Gamer Gene, Part 2

I know I said I was hiatus for the weekend, but this is nagging me, so I need to get it out in the open.

Thursday I put up a post about my family's Gamer Gene. And then Part Time Gamer read my post, and linked to it here, with some comment on it. He followed it a few posts later with one about Jared the Subway guy , and how it sucked that Jared blamed his initial weight game on Nintendo when in fact he simply wouldn't get up off his ass to exercise when he was a kid, and his parents didn't make him do anything until it was too late (I agree with Part Time Gamer; that is just plain stupid, especially for the son of a doctor). And then I put two and two together (slowly, I know) and understood what Part Time Gamer was accusing me of.

It never occured to me that my children were not getting enough exercise, not because I'm blaming a video game for their inactivity, but because they are not, in fact, inactive. I took them outside the same day as my post, and the day before that, as I do all the time. Yeah, they've had to spend a lot of time indoors because of the weather, but now that warmth is coming to Texas and I have a garden to tend, we spend plenty of time outdoors. The girls chase the dog and play wiffle ball and help me dig in the dirt. But since I didn't say any of this in my Gamer Gene post, how was Part Time Gamer to know?

Then I thought about the post itself, and reread it. I realize now that what I was thinking and how I came across were two different things. So I think I should clarify.

When I say Gamer, I mean someone who is actually talented at video games. I do not consider myself to be such a person. I do not mean a person who does no kind of physical activity because he's too busy gaming. My brother, who I spoke about as a Gamer, was also the kind of child who would play basketball with his friends, or go swimming, or get in the occasional fistfight. My husband, who I called a hard core Gamer, has had very physical jobs for the majority of our marriage, first as a Marine, and now as an EMT responsible for lifting some very heavy people on stretchers. (You might say that this is not a physical job. I would say that any job that makes him come home in as much pain as he does counts as very physical indeed.)

I realize also that I came across as being of the opinion that all Gamers are consumed by Gaming, which is not true and is not my actual opinion. I do apologize. What I actually believe is that my husband is consumed by Gaming. Not because he sits for two or three hours straight in front of the computer, but because he sits for six hours straight or longer in front of the computer after being at work all day, to the point where I sometimes feel he is ignoring the rest of the family, staying up very late when he and I both know he needs to wake up at 3 AM for work. Sometimes I want to take his Guild Wars disc and snap it right in half, but if it weren't that game it would be another. The problem is him. I am perfectly aware that not all Gamers do this.

And so when I marvel at my own child's gaming, I am simultaneously amazed by her attention span (something rare in a 4-year-old), surprised by her talent, concerned that she might one day do as her father does, and guilty that I am not directing her attention to her books, her instruments, her crayons, her paintbrushes, her trains, or her Playdough. But the truth is, even when she is playing with one of those things, I still feel guilty that she's not doing one of the others. And knowing this about myself, and that the game is in fact educational, I go ahead and let her play her V. Smile. Once she tires of it (45 minutes later) or I think she's had enough, off it goes, and we do something else.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Weekend Hiatus

Sorry, faithful reader(s), but I'm forcing myself to not use the computer for the rest of the weekend, starting today. My living room is so messy it's downright embarrassing, and I have too much that needs to get done. Have a happy weekend.

Something funny:

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Gamer Gene

Of all the things to pass on to our kids, this is the gene I least suspected to come from DNA.

When I was a little girl and my brother a little boy, my dad bought us our very first game system. It was brand new, cost a whopping $99, and was the finest thing my little brother had ever laid eyes on. It was called Nintendo. Probably around the same time, my future husband and his little brother were getting their first Nintendo. My brother excelled at Mario Brothers, I at Duck Hunt, and my One True Love at Zelda. Eventually I realized that I was just not a Gamer, at least not with those kinds of games, and I took on the role of Official Navigator to my brother, once those cheater magazines were published with full maps of all the secrets and enemies and shortcuts for each level of a game. I remained the Navigator through Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64, and whatever came between. Bizarro Dad was a hard core gamer in his own right. And when my husband and I married, I was his Navigator for various Zelda games. I left him to his own devices for the more violent stuff, like Doom.

It was not until I was a married woman that the dormant Gamer Trait became active, when I discovered The Sims on my computer, along with Pop Cap games offered free on Yahoo Games. So yeah, now I'm a Gamer, sort of. I like Zuma and Twistingo, Text Twist and Online Dominoes. But I do not let these games consume my life, as Guild Wars does to my husband. (Hello, if anything consumes my life, it's BLOGS.)

So. My husband has the Gamer Gene. I possess the trait. I was not aware that these things were even part of the DNA sequence until this month, when my four-year-old daughter began clamoring to play with her favorite Christmas gift, the V. Tech "V. Smile" video game learning system for kids ages 3-7. This child will park her little Moon chair in front of the TV and play Dora the Explorer for long periods of time, sometimes asking for help with a hard part. She's getting much better at controlling the toggle, too. I look over at her and sigh. I know it's a "learning game," and that she's using her skills at counting, matching colors and shapes, identifying animals, etc. But still. She's sitting there, slack jawed, staring at the TV. Gaming.

What have I passed on to my child?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Get Ready to Wiggle

Those of you with small kids probably know who this is:

Yeah, that's Greg of The Wiggles. I won't get into it. But I will get into this:

Yeah, that's right. That's the same dude. Only with more make-up.

Peace out. :smooch:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

When was the last time you felt like this?

by Lifehouse

desperate for changing
starving for truth
closer to where I started
chasing after you

I'm falling even more in love with you
letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you

forgetting all I'm lacking
completely incomplete
I'll take your invitation
you take all of me now

I'm falling even more in love with you
letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you

I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
and I don't know what I'm diving into
just hanging by a moment here with you

there's nothing else to lose
there's nothing else to find
there's nothing in the world
that could change my mind
there is nothing else
there is nothing else
there is nothing else

desperate for changing
starving for truth
closer to where I started
chasing after you

I'm falling even more in love with you
letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you

I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
and I don't know what I'm diving into
just hanging by a moment here with you

just hanging by a moment
hanging by a moment
hanging by a moment
hanging by a moment here with you

I've tried to recall the exact moments when I felt such abandon of everything except for that one emotion. Images come to the surface: a phone call from a boy I was in love with at 15; a date in Hermann Park with my ex, when we made out beside the lake; the night my husband proposed to me, and I knew I didn't ever want to be any place in the world but right there next to him.

Listen to this song if you have access to it, and ask yourself when you last felt that way. Was it a long time ago, or recently? Was it about the person you're with now?

And you thought YOU had problems

I do not want to know who owns this poor cat. I only want to know what restaurant he works at.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Frosty Strikes!

An actual conversation betwixt Bizarro Dad and myself:

BD: Why did you sit the baby in her little TV chair at her little table for breakfast instead of in her booster seat at the big table?
Me: Oh, the booster was covered in frost this morning.
BD: ...What?!
Me: ...Oh, no, honey, I mean that I left it outside to dry last night after I rinsed it with the water hose!
BD: Oh, so it frosted over otuside! Okay, good. I was about to say...
Me: That we really need to get central heating?
BD: Exactly.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

De-lurking week!

Yeah, I don't know how to put this on my sidebar, so it gets its very own post. (By the way, anyone who can help me out with that, send me a message, please.)

Stop in and say hello! Leave a comment! Tell me I'm a nut! It's okay! I promise I won't bite! I love exclamation points!

Happy Thursday, everyone.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Cultural Corner: Valuable contributions to society by Lebanon

Before you get all "Hey wait just a dang minute," no, I am not talking about Beirut.

I am referring to pop culture, actually. Yes. Lebanon. And pop culture. It's really there.

My first submission is one singer named Shakira. "But she sings in Spanish" you say. "She's Hispanic, from one of those Hispanic countries, you know, Hispania." Au contraire! Shakira is in fact an Arabic name, meaning "thankful." Yes, she is from Colombia, according to her biography. My private source insists that she exhibits heavy Lebanese influence. The way she shakes, assets, is not this grand new and unique provocative dance, but is in fact derived from Arabian Belly Dancing, an art taught to her by her grandmother. (Dude, the most exotic thing my grandma ever taught me was how to crochet blankets while listening to Ramon Ayala.) And yes, she does speak Arabic, along with about four other languages.

My second submission is one actress named Salma Hayek. "No, Sleepless Mama, surely you jest. Just listen to her accent!" She is from Mexico, born and raised, but (and she freely admits this) her oil-executive father is what she calls "Lebanese-Mexican." According to my source, the Hayeks are one of the richest families in Lebanon. Salma is Arabic for "peace." And Hayek is no Mexican name that I've ever come across. Ms. Hayek herself speaks fluent Arabic, and three other languages besides.

These women do not lie about their Lebanese heritage. But nobody makes much about it. The focus is always on their Latin-American heritage. I think this makes them more...acceptable to North American audiences. I suppose that should tell you something about North America.

Just who is my mysterious source? Now why would I want to go and tell you that? Suffice it to say, he's from Lebanon.

One more thing my source has to say about Lebanon: the people there do not know how to cuss properly. You remember that move Bad Boys, starring Will Smith and that short dude, what's-his-name, Martin Lawrence? In that movie is a convenience store scene in which the cashier pulls out a weapon and screams, "Freeze, mother-b****es!" Yeah, that's actually how people in Lebanon curse. In fact, that particular phrase became quite popular there after the release of that movie.

This concludes your Cultural Corner for the day.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

All the King's Networks and All the King's Anchors

In response to the mass outrage regarding the inaccurate reporting of the West Virginia miners, which Nilo was good enough to blog about, news broadcasters have become anxious to assure the general public that THEY will not do anything so stupid as report that someone is alive when in fact that someone is dead.

I submit to you the latest commercial for KHOU 11 News (that's the local CBS channel here in Houston), which used a mere ten second spot to claim it's moral superiority. "KHOU. Reporting the news ethically and responsibly."

"Oh, Sleepless Mama, you're reaching." Am I? They certainly hadn't said that kind of thing before, not on a ten-second ad. In fact, I highly doubt any CBS local anchors have wanted to say anything of the kind since Dan Rather disgraced himself with that whole fake military document thing. But now, after Gerald Rivera made a fool of himself on Fox, my local CBS is all "Oh no, we'd NEVER do anything like that. We always report the truth, and we never get out of line."

Granted, Dan Rather was not a local anchor. He was national. The local guys are basically trying to keep their own credibility. I guess I can understand that.

But really, it's hardly necessary. ANYBODY looks highly credible compared to Geraldo Rivera. Hell, Geraldo makes Maury Povich look like Honest Abe.

Friday, January 06, 2006

When Moms Become Big Babies

I knew it was coming. When I got up to let the dog out in the morning, her car was still there, despite the time.

My mother, I should explain, lives across the street from me. With her parents. The whole lot of them have various medical problems which require Mom to miss a lot of work and piss off her supervisors. But recently Mom's begun a type of chemotherapy, used not for cancer, but to treat a chronic virus in her liver. It leaves her very weak and unable to do much for several days. Along with these weekly injections, she has to deal with about 16 pills a day, plus her Paxil, and her diabetes. One of the side effects from one of those many pills is murderous rage. Which is what the Paxil is for. So far so good. No dead people.

So finding that she has stayed home Thursday morning is not wholly unexpected, although it was just a bit odd, since her next injection wasn't supposed to be until the next day.

Around 10:00 Grandma calls and asks that I send my brother over to move Mom's car for her, since Mom doesn't feel good enough to do so herself. I go and wake up the Loafer.

And I wait. It's coming, I just know it. But in the meantime, I have two sick children of my own to deal with, so I tend to their screams and snot.

Sure enough, at 15:15 I get the call.

Me: Hello?
Mom: *cough cough cough*
Me: Mom?
Mom: [Sleepless Maaaamaaaaa], I'm siiiiiiick.
Me: Uh-huh. What's wrong?
Mom: My ears hurt and I'm tired and I have a sinus infection.
Me: Have you taken anything yet?
Mom: No. *cough* The doctor said I can take OTC stuff for a sinus infection.
Me: Okay.
Mom: Can you go get some for me?
Me: I don't have the car seats, and there's no one to watch the girls. But I'll tell you what. I'll have Bizarro Dad stop at the pharmacy on the way home and pick some up for you, okay?
Mom: Okayyyy. *sniff*
Me: Have you taken your meds today?
Mom: (pause) No. Nobody has given them to me.
Me: (pause) What?
Mom: Your Grandma hasn't come to give me anything.
Me: Have you had any orange juice?
Mom: No.
Me: Have you gotten up?
Mom: No, I'm just here in my underwear.
Me: Mom! No wonder you feel like crap. Get up and put something on, and go get a drink. I'll come over to help you just as soon as Gina wakes up from her nap.
Mom: Okay.

Later in the afternoon I load up the kids in the wagon, along with a can of soup and other supplies, plus Mom's birthday gift (a day early) and make the trek across the street to tend to my mother.

Gina hands her the gift bag. It's a nice, new, soft, fluffy pink bathrobe with matching slippers. I figured if she was lying around nekkid, she'd need something to cover up with sooner rather than later.

I make sure everyone gets fed, and that Mom gets medicated. Her pill box, I find, are lying in her purse on the ironing board, only about four feet away from her actual body. It astounds me that she was unable to get up and take them, yet she's clearly been able to get up and put on a night gown and go to the bathroom. Anyway, the kids play, we watch TV, Mom asks for her sugar-free ice cream (again in the kid voice), Bizarro Dad arrives with the sinus meds, the girls go home with him, I stay with Mom in case she needs anything else until about 22:00, then go home and put my oldest child to bed.

I wonder to myself when I went from her child to her parent. My mother and I had kind of a different relationship. She was certainly an adult when she had me, but she was kind of mentally unstable at the time, and then later she became an alcoholic, and my grandmother took up most of the everyday responsibility in raising me.

Somewhere along the line my mother began to think of me more as a sister than as a daughter. Which was probably all well and good for her, but back then I felt like I just had an irresponsible, embarrassing, moody, alcoholic mother. The thought of her being my sister never crossed my mind until she said something to that effect. I was a teenager at the time, and living with my father by then. She was drunk and upset about something or other, and tried to say some nonsense about how it would be good if I could just be her sister. "Mom, stop it," I told her firmly. "I am not your sister. I am your daughter. You are my mother. That's the way it is." Which I suppose was about as close as I was willing to come to saying "Lady, grow up already. All your problems are of your own making, and I am in no position to help you get out of them."

Now, of course, it's different. I'm a grown woman in my late twenties. Mom is a recovering alcoholic, been sober for two whole years. Sometimes she watches the kids for me (or she did before her liver treatments began). She's much more coherent, very reliable, and not so childish.

Except, apparently, when she has a sinus infection.

But I guess it's okay. She did give birth to me. I can stand a little child-like whining for the woman who went through about 14 hours of labor for me (not to mention being pregnant three weeks past her due date).