Monday, January 30, 2012

Ok, so...

I try not to blame what I feel or do on my pregnancy. You know, with the whole hormones and forgetfulness stuff.

I said try.

But if I were in the blaming mood, maybe this one would fit the bill:

You know how I asked if we should go back to gymnasstics?

I was truly, honestly thinking that we had one Wednesday left in January.

I didn't know that Wednesday is February first until FNPT reminded me of that fact.


Since we got the boot effective the end of January, tomorrow, I guess that's a pretty easy decision, huh?

Plus, I have to go to a class at the Pediatrician's office that night anyway.


It feels almost too easy.

I didn't realize that that last "Say thank you and goodnight to Ms. M," was truly the last time.

It's kinda bittersweet.

But don't think I won't be alerting our local group and writing reviews.

Because I so am.

Like I said the other day - NOT COOL.

Thank you all so much for your feedback on this issue!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


What? That's not how you spell it?

So this whole gymnastics thing started out on a high note. The lady who taught the class used to offer one, gratis, to children with special needs via Special Olympics. For some reason, that stopped. I heard it low participation. I called her early in the summer after seeing a sign and asked if the class might start up again. She said she'd call me once school started and let me know. And she actually did. She told me the available time slot and offered a free trial throughout the month of September.

The following month, we began as full, paying customers. The number of children in the class fluctuated between two and three. I worked on helping the teacher reach more students, but, really, it was fine by us the way it was and the teacher never mentioned anything so we rode it out. The girls seemed to need more one-on-one interaction as they were easily distracted and seemed to work as a team to conspire against what they were supposed to be doing sometimes. It was all in good, four-year-old fun though.

They were super cute, and sometimes comical in their endeavors. Remember how I told you that Playette rolled like a triangle? That got better. In fact, everything was getting better for a while. She began to do amazingly well on the trampoline, started rocking the balance beam, followed instructions, and just seemed less afraid, overall. She was definitely the less adventurous of the twosome (read: scaredy cat), so every little bit was a huge victory in my eyes. She ran, she jumped, she had fun.

But then that stopped. I'm not sure what happened. Even I didn't want to go anymore. But I figured it was a phase for both of us and I was just tired after being at work all day and the whole human-growing portion going on.

And then I started noticing things. The instructor, an award-winning Russian gymnast who certainly knows her stuff, didn't seem to have the same rules for us as other classes. We parents were required to stay, while those in other classes were able to drop their kids off and come back when it was all done. I kinda let that slide and chalked it up to being part of the price of admission that came with the extra chromo. On one hand I understood that maybe more help was needed in keeping them on task. But then, I also couldn't help but think, "There are only two of them!"

Sometimes, we'd have other children in our class. Typically developing children whose parents maybe couldn't pick them up and they needed a ride home at the end of the night. That was fine if the kids were helpful. But sometimes they weren't and just added to the girls being distracted even further.

One evening, the teacher just up and left the class. I think this was right before Christmas and Playette may have been without her counterpart that day. I watched at the teacher went to meet the people who had entered the lobby and were obviously looking for her so that they could say hello after being away for a while. I fully expected her to offer some niceties and then explain to them that she was in a class. She didn't. She didn't even excuse herself from the room when she left. I gave her the stinkeye for what I now know was way too long and eventually she came back. I was really trying hard not to rock the boat. I didn't want to ruin this opportunity for both girls. But I am a huge customer service nut. And what she did by leaving my kid on the trampoline, leaving and coming back without ever saying a word to me about what happened? NOT COOL.

I also tried to give her an extra dose of grace by thinking that maybe what we were experiencing was some difference in cultural norms. Maybe in her eyes she wasn't being rude?

So, I sat back.

And then, when I was in TN earlier this month, BD reported back to me that one night another group of children (4) and instructors (2) were sharing the gym. He said that "our" girls were completely distracted, but the other people were only there for half of the class, so maybe it wasn't such a big deal. Maybe it was a one-time thing? Again, our instructor, the owner, said nothing.

I think it had been two weeks since the other class had been there when I showed up on Wednesday night and was met with a new group in the waiting area. I asked the other mom if these were the same people from before and she said yes. This time, though, they started at the same time we did. I made up my mind to address this with our instructor after class and let her know up-front that I needed to talk to her later. I watched to see how she would handle the girls running over to be with the other children instead of following her directions. Because they did. Several times. Also, what about when Playette would be staring at them instead of looking ahead on the balance beam? Normally, I would have helped. That night, I did nothing.

Now, I had spoken to the other mom the week before about how I had been feeling about everything. I wanted to be extra careful because, as I've mentioned, this would might them as well. My worst case scenario was that we would leave and then the other little girl would be in class alone.

After class, the teacher asked me what I wanted to talk to her about. I didn't touch any of the other issues I had, but simply asked her about whether or not the other class would be sharing the space from here on out. She said yes and then went on to tell me that she had to do that for her business and that she couldn't continue to give us "private lessons" any longer. If we went to another gym, we would be sharing space. I asked her if another gym would share that information with us up front. She said no. I reminded her that these children have special needs and appeared, at four-years-old, not to be quite ready to handle those types of distractions. Didn't she notice their lack of presence? She said no. She then told me that she was upset that I would even have this conversation with her.


Pump the brakes.

Did this woman not realize how flippin' patient I was being? Did she not appreciate my calm, even tone? Did she not see in my eyes that what I really wanted to do, instead of being the kind, professional mom, was go upside her head with a shoe?

Such is the cost of playing the nice role, huh? You get underestimated.

Back to the convo.

She had the nerve to be offended that I would approach her with such a thing?

I asked what she would rather have me do instead?

No answer.

So, if I have a concern about the class, I shouldn't come to her?


She then said that she was bothered that I think that she wasn't giving the children enough attention.

"Sweetie, that's guilt talking. I never said that," I thought.

The other mom then pretty much said what I was thinking in a more tactful way. She confirmed that was not what I said at all.

And then we were unceremoniously dumped.

She told me that class was now canceled. For all of us.

I asked her as of when.

She did not understand.

I asked her when this brand new decision would be effective.

She said that she would no longer offer our class in February.

I asked her when she was planning to tell us that. Was this conversation the catalyst?

She said yes.

I asked her if I had never asked the question, would this still be the case?

She said no.

(Which I believe. Before class, she had asked the other mom for the contact info of the local Ds group so that she could place an ad looking for more students.)

I looked at the other mom and apologized. I told her that I had no idea this would happen.

The instructor then told me that there was no need to apologize.

Say huh?

I told her that there was. I said that because of my confrontation and attempt to address an issue, that their daughter would miss out on class (nevermind the start-up and uniform fees!).

My brain was fried. Isn't this what grown-ups are supposed to do? Talk things through? Address and solve conflicts in a mature manner?

I took Playette's hand, told her to tell Miss M thank you and good night and then we left.

Pleasant as ever.

By the way, when I came in that night? I saw a calendar on the wall of all of the classes. None of the others classes share space. She must think I have "Yummy the Dummy" written across my forehead. Two things you don't mess with: my kid and my money. This was far from charity and I expect for us to be treated as equals.

What a nutball night.

So. Do we go back next week, y'all?
I'll have to check with BD, but I don't think we've paid for January yet. I'm guessing that we should, because that's the right thing to do, even though I don't want to. And then, if we do, I don't want to miss out on a paid-for class. It's not like I feel like tipping this lady. But I also don't want to be held liable if I go off on her next week. A shoe upside the head feels too kind now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

To clarify...

I have heard from several of my peeps that they thought, after reading yesterday's post, that my "sweet" Playette literally showed her behind on more than one occasion yesterday.

I, for one, hate to ruin a hilarious mental image, but that's totally just a figure of speech.

It was more like a case of Preschooler Behaving Badly.

Urban Dictionary elaborates (warning: crass language!)

When she does explore that phrase more literally? I will be sure to let you know. Ha!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Discipline, etc.

When I got home from work today, I was told by our trusty babysitter that apparently Playette showed her entire behind both at school all day and during her PT session.

My guess is that she was expressing her pisstivity that her dad has been away again. He's on his way home now (take that, crazies who may be lurking), but that didn't seem to be enough to keep her content throughout the day.

So. What to do. I was mad, sure, but how do I address this with her so long after it took place?

I mean, in my day, I would have been spanked from here to eternity for such behavior. My approach has been a little different. We do time outs. We have conversations. It feels strange since this isn't how I was raised, but I have been trying. Actually, we have been trying. BD is definitely a full partner in this entire endeavor.

In all honesty, Ds is not even a factor. We just do what we think is best to do. We certainly don't give her any leeway because of her diagnosis. This girl understands right from wrong and we hold her accountable for her actions. Typically, it pays off because she's a pretty well-behaved and ultra-polite kid most of the time.

Today, I asked her to join me on the bottom step and we had a little chat. I kept my voice even and calm and tried to recall tidbits I've learned from watching experts on TV. I told her that I was disappointed in her behavior and that she promised me that she would be a good girl at school. What she exhibited was the opposite of what we had agreed to and that made me angry.

She started baaawwwwling.

"Well," I thought, "It seems like she gets the point."

So I told her to stay on the step until I told her otherwise.

She lost it some more.

I called BD, who was sitting in an airport in NY. He chatted with her for a while.

In all, she might have sat on that step for slightly more than the customary four minutes.

But, trust me, this is progress in my world. I never expected to even entertain an approach like this.

So. Gold star for me.


In other news, I hit the Dirty 30s today. I wish I meant my age, but I mean weeks of pregnancy.


Also, we got the boot in gymnastics. Her last class will be next week. Apparently, I had the nerve to approach the teacher about her allowing another class to disrupt our class and she didn't like that. I'll have to elaborate more on that later. It really is a crop of crap, but I'd rather it be over than have to deal with the angst I was feeling each week. I could not have been nicer when I spoke with her, but she still decided to be offended for whatever reason. Why am I surrounded by wack-a-loons?

What sucks the most is that my conversation also impacts another child/family since the teacher didn't just cancel for Playette, she cancelled the class. Period. So now we have two cuties in hot pants and leotards with no plans for Wednesday nights.

We'll find them something better. Hmph.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

L'il Mama

In as many ways as we are just like the Cruise-Holmes' and the Cannon-Careys', we do differ from them in one way.

(side note: Don't you just love the internet? I totally could be writing this from my Malibu mansion or my NYC penthouse or my junky guestroom/playroom/office in someplace much less exciting. You just never know!)

We don't have our own ultrasound machine.

But we do have a doppler.

And Playette loves to listen to the babies with it.

Yeah, there are two.

You didn't know?

Mine and hers.

She was way intense last night and wouldn't talk to me much on the video. I never planned to record her, she was just concentrating so hard that I figured why not since we were sitting there for a while and all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Month Bites the Dust

I have had this song stuck in my head for like a week.

You're welcome.

They used to play this at the church I went to whenever a couple got engaged. I thought that was like the best thing ever. Everyone cheered and it turned into a party. Not very traditional, I know. Shoot, it was stuff like that that got me in the door and kept me there so long. By the time I was betrothed to BD, they didn't do it anymore. Boo. I still can't help but think of that every time I hear the song though.

Anyway. So I've been gone. Again. Blah blah blah.

I really do have good reasons. Wanna hear 'em? Here they go:

1. I know I've posted since then, but I never really elaborated about our Christmas trip to the Dominican Republic. It was rather awesome, if I do say so myself. We didn't get to go away last year since we were in the midst of a post-deployment cross-country move. And then, over the summer, we were quite The Busy. BD was working and we were hosting company weekend after weekend. It was pretty chock full of activity and we hardly missed getting our passports stamped between beaches, lakes, and San Antonio.

So, yeah. The DR was a great get-away. I slept on the beach a lot.

And we ate a lot. Playette made plenty of friends everywhere she went. We forgot we had brought an actual camera until the last two days. Whoopsie! But I did get this cute little clip of her with my phone after the resort staff handed out gifts to all of the kids. It was an impressive stunt, even after a parade complete with brass band and landing Santa on the beach in a helicopter.

I'm not even kidding.

Obviously, I'll need to devote a post to this trip.

2. Right after we got back, it was off to DC for an amazing New Year's Eve wedding of a very good friend. Can you say Best Wedding Evah? Yeah. Cause it was. From the goody bag in the room (complete with a red velvet Georgetown Cupcake) to the steel drum playing during the cocktail hour to the fun photo booth to the hip hop violinist while we dined on amazing food. I totally made myself stay up until the music stopped at 2am.

Again, I'm not kidding. Hip. Hop. Violinist. It was all sorts of amazing.

I wore my sparkly shoes for the occasion and was feeling super cute, belly and all. Even though several people were concerned that I'd be giving birth on the dance floor. Apparently, I am very large. It's nice that people remind me of that, isn't it?

3. The next morning, we had to hop out of the ever-so-comfortable hotel bed and make our way to pick up Playette from her sleepover with my friend's kids so that we could get home as soon as possible.


Because I had to fly to Tennessee at noon on Monday (yes, the holiday) to start my two weeks of annual training with the Navy Reserve. Highlight: I got to break out the khaki tent, my affectionate name for the maternity uniform. That thing is not only super comfy, but totally unflattering. And it has no pockets, so it's also impractical. Woot!

I met some great people, had a few fantastic meals, learned a lot, saw the Globetrotters, went to the National Civil Rights Museum, skipped Graceland on Elvis's birthday, and more. If my family had been there, I would have been solid. But they weren't, so I came home as soon as the opportunity was made available to me.

BD did a fantastic job of holding down the fort. And Playette. Of course I mean that figuratively. Maybe.

4. I got home and slept. Because, ironically, while I was busy doing items 1-3, time did not stand still and somehow I crossed over into my third trimester of growing a human. After 12-13 hour days of work while I was away, coming home to my own bed was absolute heaven. The adrenaline rush that kept me vertical through the training faded right along with the second trimester and my body did all it could to recuperate before I had to return to work on Tuesday.

5. And then, on top of everything, work is a boiling pot of stress. I hate it. Did I just write that? I think I did. I really need to do something about this. It's been bad since pretty much Day 1 and here we are five months later and I'm still there.

I have a goal in mind and I've pretty much met it, so I'm about one stupid comment away from being back at home full-time again. Little do they know. Or maybe now they do.

I. Don't. Care.

6. If there's another excuse in there somewhere - and who knows, maybe there was something else - I can't even remember.

But I'm here now.

And I'm feeling big scared great, so let's just ride that out for a while, shall we?

Things are going to drastically change soon enough.

Hold me?