Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bald Faced Liar: the truth

1. Peter Buck, guitarist from REM, likes my thighs. TRUE. I was 18. Friends and I had gone to New Orleans for spring break (I am never letting Brody go to New Orleans for spring break or anything else). We attended an REM concert. After the concert, we returned to Bourbon Street, and we saw Mr. Buck strolling down the block. No one recognized him, even though he was wearing the same shirt as during the concert. I asked "Will you sign my thigh?" Or maybe Megan or Angie did. In any event, he smiled while he did so. I still love him.

2. I sat in Bill Clinton's seat, on his campaign plane. TRUE. I lived in a college town in Michigan (battleground state) during the 1992 campaign. Being a college student, and obsessed with politics and Democrats and all things liberal, I skipped all my classes and worked almost exclusively on Clinton Gore. Angie and I met the governor at the Lansing airport, and somehow we managed, after the motorcade had left the airport, to get ourselves on the airplane. Ok, we flirted with the cute pilots. We sat in his chair, and it was still warm. sigh. Naivete. Angie has pictures. We both have awful perms.

3. I shared breakfast with Harvey Keitel. TRUE. Ok, a bit of a stretch. I went to school near NYC, and my friends lived in NYC. They discovered this restaurant called Bubby's in the Tribeca area of Manhattan. Mr. Keitel lived down the block. One Sunday over eggs and pancakes, he was there. 12 feet away. But we both ate breakfast at the same time in the same room.

4. My grandfather was a Nazi. TRUE. My mother was born in Karlsruhe, Germany in October 1938 to Katia and Frederich Schuler, my Oma and Opa. Frederich was a police officer. When Hitler came to power, all police officers had to become Nazis. Frederich's job during the war was to evacuate people from bombed buildings in Karslruhe. He died as a result of injuries received during a bombing of Karlsruhe in 1942, when my mom was 4 years old. After the war, my mom tells stories of the extreme poverty that they endured. To make a little money, my Oma sold her services as a fortune teller, because there were always people who wanted to know what happened to their relatives during the war. My Oma made enough money to feed her two children, but she was no psychic. After my mom moved to the US, she would eventually meet and marry my dad, who, it turns out, served as a sergeant in the United States Army during World War II, in what was then-Czechoslovakia.

5. I shoplifted an entire summer wardrobe.  TRUE. Sort of. Not one of my proudest moments but yes, for some reason when I was a teenager, I became obsessed with stealing bathing suits. I lived in Michigan with no beaches, but there you go. This was in the days before those pesky theft deterrent devices on clothing. It was easy and stupid and a kick. My obsessions stopped as strangely as it started, with no warning or rational reason.

6. When I sat at the negotiating table at the DMZ (border between North & South Korea), the North Korean guards pulled their guns on me. TRUE. For four months, during the year after college and before law school, I "worked" in the American Pavilion at the Taejon Expo in South Korea. As part of this ridiculously over-funded and awesome experience, somehow we managed to get ourselves invited to the DMZ. It's a very tense place, the DMZ. Before then I had seen soldiers off-duty. Soldiers on-duty, with weapons, on both sides, are quite a different experience.

We were taken into these small buildings with conference tables that were in the middle of the actual DMZ. Our guides warned us that the North Korean soldiers would come up to the glass and peer in when we were there. They did.

Our guides also said that we were not to interact with them or look at them. Which worked as well as not wanting chocolate when I'm on a diet.  I looked.

The North Koreans had machine guns, and were peering in. Our guides said that you can tell if a country is rich or poor by the dental work. North Koreans have bad teeth. I couldn't help but look. I felt like an animal in a zoo though. It was very tense, frightening, and quiet.  So I did the only thing my 22 year old self could do in the situation: I started to laugh. That made the faces of soldiers on both sides very stern.

Looking back, I think the American and South Korean forces permitted our visit to harass the North Koreans because, really, why bring 30 American twenty-somethings with cameras to the DMZ? What other purpose could there have been except to mess with the North Koreans?

Still, the North Koreans held their guns up to the windows in the buildings.  But no one was injured.

7. My husband is related to Shaun White, the snowboarder. LIE. At least, I'm not aware of any connection between them.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bald Faced Liar

I have appropriated this meme and by that I mean, stole. So here we go.

1.  Thank the person who nominated you. Well, I got this from Patti, and I'm claiming I'm a woman of mystery. Thank you Patti.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who gave it to you. See above.
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and one outrageous truth. Or, switch it, and tell six outrageous truths, and one outrageous lie.
5. Nominate 7 creative writers who would have fun creating the outrageous lies.
6. Post links of the blogs.
7. Leave a comment in those blogs, letting them know you nominated them.

Truth or Lies?

1. Peter Buck, guitarist from REM, likes my thighs.

2. I sat in Bill Clinton's seat, on his campaign plane.

3. I shared breakfast with Harvey Keitel.

4. My grandfather was a Nazi.

5. I shoplifted an entire summer wardrobe.

6. When I sat at the negotiating table at the DMZ (border between North & South Korea), the North Korean guards pulled their guns on me.

7. My husband is related to Shaun White, the snowboarder.

Now, I nominate
and you.

I will post the truth (or lies) in a day or two.

Have fun!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Down and dirty

The good news is, I have a lot brimming in my wee head.

The bad news is, I don't have the time to write it.

So, in uninteresting prose, the latest:

1. We are getting the surgery done again to re-straighten Brody's right hand. In addition to his earlier comments, he offered up the following gem:

Me: (driving out of the daycare parking lot) Ok, Brody, which way, right or left?

Brody: RIGHT! And I tell da doctor to huwee up and make my wight hand straight!  I say, "Huwee up docta!"

Except for what I've mentioned here, we have NOT talked with him about his hands or the surgery. In law, we call what Brody said a "spontaneous utterance." I'm concluding it's okay for him to have the surgery. Timing is after the trip to Europe, because I'd rather not travel with a chance of infection, a metal rod in his ulna that could poke out of his skin, or a metal rod that would make the metal detectors flip out.

2. The 40 before 40 list is coming this week. I swear. No one cares but me, I realize, but I say it anyway.

3. Brody had a playdate with my co-worker's daughter, who is his age. Ann loved Brody and it was so cute to see them play together. They raced horses on sticks. Then another girl's mom at Brody's school asked us to get together with them for playdates. She has two daughters, one older than Brody (she is 5 and is in B's class) and one younger (she is 2). The older girl invited Brody to her birthday party a few weeks ago. He is in demand.

4. Our house faces east. Since having a child, as we all know, I am awake before dawn many times. I never noticed until Brody though how beautiful the colors are in the sky. When Brody was learning his colors, and really because the sky was just ridiculously stunning, I would hold him and ask him to name all of the colors he saw in the sunrise: purple, orange, pink, red. . .

One morning this weekend, I was making coffee in the kitchen (facing west) and Brody was in the living room. He said, "Mommy! Come see all da pretty colors in da sky!" I walked into the living room, picked him up and listened as he told me all the colors he saw in the sky.

I thought, "My work here is done." He's 3 and appreciates sunrises.

5. We had a meeting with the occupational therapy team at Brody's preschool. I was, naturally, anxious about it. It's my go-to reaction for everything. In my defense, I thought we were only supposed to meet once a year, for the assessment. The OT team is two sisters, who look very much alike, and it was a bit unsettling.

Until they started telling us how sweet, and brave, and courageous, and smart Brody is.

Their job is to make sure he can get through the day in the classroom. Some days, they said, they wonder what they are doing there, because he can get through the day without assistance. He does everything the other kids do, just perhaps a bit differently.

We talked about how he holds a pen. It's not the classic tripod, how you and I hold a pen. We thought that was the way to do it - remind him to hold it how we hold it.

He doesn't. He holds it his own way.

The OT sisters said for us to not care how he holds it, but to care what he is drawing, the output. If the output is legible, then how he holds it is irrelevant.

The OT sisters also said, and I love this, we have to honor how Brody is creating connections between his brain and his hands, we have to honor how Brody figures things out.

Our brains go the path of least resistance, they explained. So it may take Brody a few attempts to figure out how to best perform certain tasks. Coupled with that, the sisters said, Brody is at an age when he learns at a furious pace, and his brain is acquiring thousands of pieces of information each day. I suppose the message was, relax. He'll figure it out. 

His goals for the 2009-2010 schoolyear: draw a sun, a cross, a circle, stand up without using his head for balance. Completed (three months early).

That's why we were meeting. We needed to create new goals because the darling boy is ahead of our timeline.

Other improvements: At the start of the school year, he refused to go on the slide at the school. Not because of the slide, but because to get to the top of it, you have to climb, using your hands. Brody just said he didn't want to do it and wouldn't try.

Now he does it regularly, without assistance. Just figured it out himself. He doesn't climb like the other kids, but he gets up the ladder, and slides down the slide.

With abandon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wrap up for the last week

I had strep throat for the last 5 days. No, Brody and J don't have it. Thankfully.

Things to post on this blog:

1. The OT assessment. Went well. (understatement)

2. My 40 things before 40 list. I have a few items left open.

3. One of the 40 things before 40 that I promised myself to do: Sugarplum Swank.

4. Brody's additional opinions on surgery.

5. Brody's playdates. With girls.

I've been off work and am slammed. Back to it.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Brody's thoughts on another surgery

My advice to anyone who is a parent of a child with radial hypoplasia (aka radial club hands) or anything that requires surgery: do it early, get it done before age 2. Why? Because now, at 3 1/2 years, Brody has opinions. Before you read the following exchange, you should know that Brody uses his left hand, on which he can bend all his fingers, to shoot webs at us, well, and everyone he sees, when we are playing, a la Spiderman.

Me: Brody, what do you think of having a surgery on this hand? (holding right hand). To make it a little straighter?

B: Yeah! I would like that!

Me (slightly horrified): Well, remember the Shriners hospital, when we fly and then we go to the hospital and Mike & Sully are there? We would go back there and the doctors could make your hand straighter in a surgery. What do you think?

B (holding his right hand up): So I could shoot webs?

Me: So you could shoot webs?

B: Yeah, because I can't shoot webs wis dis hand (indicating right) because its not vewee straight and I can't bend dis finger (touching his middle finger which does not bend) very well.

Jeremy was there. I asked him later if he told Brody that. He did not. I did not.

Neither of us had ever talked to Brody about his right hand before.

And Mr. David, Brody's preschool teacher, said none of the kids in the class had ever even asked Brody about his hand.

I do not believe he knows what a surgery is, but he knows that hospital, and he knows what happens there. Does this mean Brody wants the surgery?

Further discussions will be had.