September 7, 2007

People and All the Ways They Can Suck!

Warning: This little ranting session may go all over the place. I hope you can keep up.

My daughter had a cheer performance yesterday. Once again, I am disgusted by the human race. Now, I know that ‘cheer parents’ can be a bit…um….errr….overwhelming, to say the least. Do you know what’s worse than them? Trashy cheer parents.

Let me start by saying that I don’t think I’m ‘better’ than other people. I just get a little stressed out in an environment with tattoo-covered mothers and their Mohawk-donning toddlers running amuck and they’re all screaming horrible things and threatening and ….

Let’s just say that I might as well have been on the set of the Jerry Springer Show.

(Please note: I do not have anything against tattoos or the people who have them. I don’t have a tattoo because the one thing I truly know about myself is that I change my mind about things way too easily and would hate it in a week. I have seen some tattoos that I actually think are really cute. I think it’s all in how they are done.)

It might also be the fact that the woman with the most visible tattoos looked most likely to throw a chair at another woman who tried to take one she was ‘saving’ for someone. At that point, I was afraid to leave my seat.

Then, the program started late. That happens, being as I am late more often than not to things. I cannot hold tardiness against too many other people. However, the tension was mounting amongst the natives and it was about to get ugly by the time it all finally got going. By the time my own daughter’s squad was performing, I was able to get two pictures of them. Yes, just two. Why, you ask? Because that was the moment that a large group of people decided to stand up in front of me and block my entire view. I don’t know if they were coming or going, but I wasn’t about to be the one to say something to them. There were quite a few of them and they were bigger than me!

I chalked it up to the fact that people, in general, SUCK and that I’ve seen that particular dance numerous times already. Well, there was that…and the fact that I’m a big wimp!

Then, there are a couple of large fires in this great state of California. One in the North, one in the South. (More or less!) So, I live somewhere in the middle of all that, known as the valley. We always have more than our share of crap in the air due to the fact that we are lower and it all seems to roll down to us. Plus, we don’t have all those ‘coastal breezes’ that a lot of our state seems to get and so we just seem to get stuck with all this crap in our air.

Enter: The fires.

Now, the fires that are hundreds of miles away from us in either direction are causing smoke that we can actually see in the air in our own backyards. You can smell the fire too. Apparently, people all over the valley are reporting fires that are not there because it seriously smells like something is burning nearby. The local news anchors are actually telling people to make sure they see a fire before they report one. Yeah, it’s that bad.

To top it off, these last few days have been glorious as far as the weather goes. We have been able to open our windows and enjoy the cool air that comes in. That’s always amazing to me after a heat wave…almost feels like free air conditioning because cool breezes such as those simply cannot be found in nature. Not in August, not where we live. We now have our doors and windows shut tightly and are running the air conditioner to try to make the air we breathe as clean as possible, given the circumstances. So, they are now thinking about canceling children’s sporting events due to the bad air quality. 4YO is supposed to have her first soccer game tonight. If the air is this bad, we don’t want to be in it. 11YO is supposed to cheer at a football game tomorrow.

Am I a bad mother for wanting it all to be canceled so we can just stay home and do nothing instead? Actually, we don’t have to do nothing; I’m just burnt-out on all of this same stuff that has me running every day.

I swear, most days I don’t know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt!

I’m not sure that 4YO would exactly be heartbroken about no soccer game either. She loves soccer practice and the shin guards don’t even seem to bother her. However, any sense of actual competition and she is OUTTA THERE!!! She was knocked off her feet by another little boy at yesterday’s practice and wants nothing to do with that sort of activity now. It was an accident, of course. When you get 6 4and 5-year olds all running toward the same ball, someone is going to get knocked down. My mom had to take her to practice since I had to be at the cheer thing with 11YO. She told me that, from the look in 4YO’s eyes, if she ever gets really good at soccer she is going to take that little boy down.

Is it wrong for me to hope that she will be motivated about soccer, even if that motivation stems from revenge?

We will be on the lookout for ‘soccer movies’ that have kids and girls and boys and maybe even dogs playing soccer. Yes, there is a movie called ‘Soccer Dog’ and we need to own it. I just know that 4YO hasn’t been really exposed to competitive sports too much and could use as much positive exposure as possible. I might even try to take her to the soccer games of some of our neighbors and maybe organize some scrimmages in the yard.

I woke up this morning to the news. They were talking about the woman who was not being prosecuted for leaving her two-year-old in the car all day to die. I have really mixed feelings about this. I can only speak for myself when I say I have taken chances with my kids. Nothing too extreme, but everything is a safety risk with kids. Who hasn’t been so distracted that they looked away too long or left their kids in the car in their driveway to run back into the house and get one more thing? Life is crazy and we get distracted. Fortunately, kids have a pretty big margin for error most of the time. I do think of being more attentive when I walk by and see the ballpoint pen marks on our leather couch. That’s just another example of getting distracted and looking away too long. We, as parents, cannot possibly monitor their every move.

I am a busy mom, like so many others. I am also easily distracted by bright, shiny things. (Okay, so it’s mostly my computer but you get the point, right?) Maybe my kids are different, but I cannot imagine the frame of mind I would have to be in to forget my child is in the car. My kids would never let me forget they were there. She left a little early, too early to drop her toddler off at daycare. She ran to a donut shop to get donuts for her coworkers. She left the child in the car while inside the donut shop. She was known for leaving her little one in the car for a few minutes here and there.

Was it really so common, though, that she could forget the child was in there? I could be standing next to my car with my little ones inside and the thought in the front of my mind is always, “My kids are in the car.” How many times would I have to do that very thing in order for it to be so commonplace that I forget the kids are even there? She went straight to work from the donut shop, parked her car and went inside. For the whole day.

I guess I agree that she has suffered enough by losing her daughter. Based on her reaction to it, I’m pretty sure she will never leave her other child in the car again. Ever. I’m really on the fence as to whether or not I agree with this. I guess I don’t know what I think. She will pay for this for the rest of her life. But a child died because her mother forgot about her.

Part of me wants to slap the crap out of her and part of me wants to hug her and tell her it could happen to anybody. Does that make sense?

I have lot to do today and there is, apparently, not enough oxygen in the air to move at any great speeds. (That’s what they said on the news, anyway.) I must mention a great blogger/writer/mommy/wife and expert on just about anything that catches her attention. Her name is Jessie and you can find her blog HERE. It's called "I Am David's Doll" and she is constantly blowing me away with her honesty and brilliance. She has even written a real book, like a grownup and everything! It's called 'Eat Your Colors' and the more I read about it the more I think I need to own a copy of it! birthday is coming up...could it justify a little online shopping adventure? We could all learn a lot from reading Jessie's blog and her book just may answer a lot the questions I have about feeding my own kids.
Wow, I really did go all over the place today. Anyhow, I feel better now. Thanks for reading!


Jessie said...

Oh thanks for the support! Like a grown up and everything. ;) Im looking out my window and toward the San Bernardino Valley I only see gray, so Im assuming thats from the smoke?

Anyway, about the kid in the car, someone who I know accidently did it the other day, and let me say something about this woman, she is hands down one of the best mothers out there, and it happened to her. She has two older kids, and a 4 year old, and the other day they had gone to a party and everyone was trying to juggle who was carrying what food inside, and because the little one was not in her regular seat but in another part of the van, it just somehow slipped everyones mind and she was out there for 10 minutes. It was one of those really hot days, too. Luckily the older kid thought he heard her, and he went out to find her screaming. A screaming kid is a good and healthy kid, so this was a good sign, but she was very ill. For a while she couldnt even talk, she was just very tired and lethargic, but they got her cooled down and she was playing with everyone else a while later.

but the guilt that this woman feels, I cannot tell you. Its terrifying and it can happen to anyone! Sure, i say that it wont happen to me, because after all, I only have two kids and I dont go anywhere without them ever, but seriously, the frame of mind to forget your kid, I dont know what its like, but I hope that I never experience it.

Lynne said...

Oh my! I'm glad you have a place to vent! It's for all of the reasons you mentioned that I was so thankful that my daughter didn't want to be in cheerleading. I was a cheerleader many eons ago and it was so different. Now it is very competitive and can be catty, mostly by the parents as you said. Anyway, glad you made it through it with no chairs being thrown.
If the air quality is that bad I wouldn't want to be out in it either and maybe you can play some indoor games?
Hope things are calmer, take care!

wildtomato said...

Yeah, the air quality is bad here, so I can only imagine how horrible it is where you live. I smell smoke, too!

Kari said...

Oh, honey, don't feel bad because you want the sporting events canceled. You're DUE to have some time off. I'm so sorry that you all are having to go through that though. Maybe you should move to our Virginia Valley. It's beautiful here!