The Right Perspective

Thursday, October 25, 2007


It's 9:50 pm on Thursday night. I have hardly said two words to my husband, my 3 year old is still awake and determined to stay that way and be angry about it, despite having started the bedtime process at 8:00 pm.

Em had at least one major meltdown (the kind where people openly stare and judge with evil looks) in KMart and two minor ones in two other small stores.

She can hardly keep her eyes open past 4:00 and she is crabby and miserable and making us all that way. She has dark circles forming under her eyes. Nothing we do is right or helpful at all.

This has been going on for a month and a half, night after night, relentless in intensity and getting worse.

I can't think of another time in my life when I've been more discouraged, defeated and frustrated. My heart is heavy and breaking and I don't know how to fix things or who to talk with or where to turn next. I'm praying but it feels like no one is listening. I know that isn't true, but still....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Solicitors Will Be Shot On Sight!

Anyone who has visited my house lately has noticed a handwritten sign on my front door. The sign says "NO SOLICITATION!" Apparently, some people can't read.

Saturday morning started off fine. Andrew took Emily with him to get his hair cut and out for lunch so that I could get some cleaning done before the in-laws came. It was a good plan. It should have yielded great results. It had real potential, but I was foiled by, you guessed it, door-to-door salespeople. (Yes, I meant the plural.)

While the other two-thirds of my family headed to their destinations, I put on some make-up and some cleaning clothes, threw a headband in my messy hair and went to work straightening up the living room. I had just gotten the clutter out of the way and was starting to de-clutter the kitchen table when I noticed someone standing at my front door (the outside door is glass).

Now, I'm nothing if not polite, but I've decided that that approach has gotten me nowhere lately. I answered the door and opened it up enough to talk to the young woman on the front step. She handed me a bottle of Glade airfreshener as a "free gift" (I knew I was in trouble right there). Then she said that she just wanted me to answer a few questions for a quick survey that would only take a few seconds. "Seconds" was her exact word. You'll want to remember that. She then said, "Hold on just a second, I have to go get something and I'll be right back." So, I went back to cleaning and then answered the door when the woman returned again. What I wasn't prepared for when I opened the door was that what this woman went back to "get" was the rest of her "tag team".

That was the second sign of trouble. Then I saw what they were carrying....a large box with what else, but a vacuum cleaner, specifically a Kirby vacuum cleaner. Now there were two different women in my house, a vacuum cleaner and one ticked off-but-still-trying-to-be-polite Christina.

From the get-go, I made it clear that I had company coming at an unspecified-but-soon time (completely true), that I needed to clean (obviously true) and that I would listen to their pitch but only to be polite. A lot of good that did me.

First Katie, the aging cheerleading/homecoming queen/man-eater-in-high-heels started in on the pitch explaining that her colleague was just starting out (it was her 3rd day on the job) and that she was trying to win a contest to go to Orlando. All I had to do was listen and she would get credit. Okay fine. So then Brittany, the overweight frumpy-but-shy young woman started in on the pitch. Katie made her exit to check on her other "worker bees" in the neighborhood with the promise to return. (Oh goodie!)

Brittany then started unpacking the box and getting down to business. First she showed me the air compressor feature of the vacuum. (I kid you not.) Then we moved on to the duct cleaner feature, the ceiling fan cleaning feature, the wall cleaning tool, the stereo dusting tool, the upholstery tool, the paint sprayer/insecticide sprayer feature (again, I'm not kidding, but does that sound like a dangerous combination to anyone else?) and on, and on and on.....At the end of the first hour, we were just getting through most of the attatchments.

I was seriously irritated by this time and had already refused several offers to show other features (like the one that would require me to take off the sheets on my bed and let Brittany show me how many dust mites were in my mattress. Somethings are better left unknown....seriously.) At this point, I told Brittany, in the politest tone I had left in me that she needed to wrap this up in five minutes. So what did young Brit do? She started pouring baking soda onto the carpet and then rubbing it in to demonstrate the actual vacuuming part of the vacuum. (This of course after expressing her disappointment in not getting to show me the carpet shampooer attachment.)

Now I will stop here to say that not only am I seriously irritated with the interruption in my morning, but it was also unnerving to see the amount of dirt in my carpet. The vacuum did seem to work well, but that was beside the point.

Meanwhile, Andrew and Emily returned home. Andrew began cutting the grass and Emily hung out with me part of the time. After the baking soda demonstration, I told Brittany that time was up, even if she wasn't done. So she called her manager Katie. Katie came back in and the real sales pitch began. The price of this behemoth machine was a whopping $1875.00! Yeah, right. But after my first, uh...not interested, I suddenly got the "Friends and Family Discount" droping the price to $1300, cutting out part of poor Brittany's sales commission and payable in 24 payments of $70.00. That's all.

Now again I pause. I forgot to mention that Katie has now talked to Andrew while he was outside and reports back to me that it was "cool" that I was getting a new Kirby vacuum. (Yeah right!) I was tempted at this point to buy the dang thing, in part just to get rid of these people but also because I was appalled at the amount of dirt that my own vacuum was leaving behind. So I went outside to talk things over with Andrew. Thankfully he talked me down from breaking under the pressure of the high sales pitch (to which I normally don't yield.) So I went back inside and said no thank you once again.....which led to more begging and pleading and the call for more reinforcements.

So Katie and Brittany begin packing up the Kirby (incredibly slowly) while waiting for the top dog manager who "just wants to make sure that the presentation was done well." Well, I'm past the point of polite by now and ready to be done when Backstreet-Boy-Wanna-be-Jesse comes in. He wants to know why I don't want to buy this vacuum..."is it the price?" Well, duh, of course it is. I said yes, I didn't have the cash and I was trying to get out of debt and didn't want anymore payments. To which Jesse replied, "Well, you're always going to be in debt."

Now that was what pushed me over the edge. I replied, "No, I'm not always going to be in debt. I don't have to be unless I keep doing dumb stuff like this." (I think that started to tick him off.) So he said, "Well you're always going to be in debt, and really, there's good debt and bad debt. Don't you think this is good debt?" (Yes, he actually said this.) I replied that I did not believe there was good debt, that it was all bad and that I didn't always have to be in debt. He might be, but I wasn't going to be.

Finally Jesse tried again and that's when I lost it. I told him "My answer is no and it is not going to change no matter what you say. Now you need to leave right now." (In the same tone that I use with Emily, by the way.) Well, this sufficiently ticked off Jesse and his little band of thugs and they finally left almost 2 hours after they first arrived....

And that is why the sign on my door will be changed to read, "Solicitors Will Be Shot On Sight!"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Not Much to Report

Well, I guess I just don't have much to say these days. My life is currently consumed with caring for Emily from sun-up to sundown these days, with no break in between. Naptime is still a major struggle. If I can get Emily to lay down and be still for 5 minutes (or less) she almost always will fall asleep, but something keeps waking her up about 20-30 minutes into her nap. I finally got to the point where I told her she didn't have to sleep, but she did have to play quietly in her room until "quiet-time" was over. That was just a big joke. She would either yell down the stairs, "MOM....MOM.....MOM....UH...MOM etc... or cry forever, either of which totally defeat the idea of quiet time. So today, I have her trying to sleep in the guest bedroom with the tv on in the background. I'm not proud of it, but if it helps her rest and gives me a little break, then so be it.

Ahhh...the things we say we'll never do.

We go to visit Emily's new doctor tomorrow afternoon for a flu shot and a consultation/brainstorming session. I hope and pray that this new doctor has some helpful ideas.

Let's other news, not much is happening. Emily doesn't love going to "pretty school", but she's got to go. I don't know that I really see any improvement in her speech, but then again, even though she is getting more therapy time per week, it's group therapy as opposed to individual therapy. I expected progress to slow, but only time will tell if this is helping enough. I just hope we're not simply treading water and losing valuable time.

Anybody who says parenting is easy has obviously never done it!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Nightmares and No Naps, Need I Say More?

So I haven't been keeping up with this blog very well lately. It's not that there isn't plenty to comment on, particularly in the realm of politics, but the truth is, there's just too much going on in my own little world right now to think about the other stuff...and frankly speaking, when I do have a chance to relax, the last thing I want to think about or hear is another fight about anything. I just want to relax and laugh.

There's not much of an update to report. Emily is still not sleeping well. Every nap and bedtime is a forever-long battle with lots of tears all the way around. She hasn't been napping the last few days, or if she does, it's only for a short time followed by her waking up screaming and running from her room in a panic. We think she is having nightmares. She remembers waking up and being scared of "sounds" outside her window. (We know the streetsweeper and the trash trucks are loud, but that's been happening her entire life.)

When Emily wakes up like that, she is inconsolable. It's scary and unsettling. I hate having to leave her alone in her room at night, scared and panicky, but I also know that sleeping in her room would only delay the inevitable battle. So we continue to wage this battle a while longer.

Add to this that Emily is now also waking up with the sun (this, the child who has always slept in late) and we have one very tired girl. She is also stock-piling anything she can find that isn't nailed down in her room into her bed. Every day, I find old shoe boxes (with and without shoes), all the clothes she can find on her floor, probably 40 books (not exaggerating here) and various other things in her bed all piled up on and around her in her bed. This concerns me a little. I've never heard of this happening before and I'm not sure why she's doing it.

Of course, this leads me to the conclusion that it's probably time to mention this to the doctor, except that the doctor we've been seeing isn't the easiest person with which to talk. So, I called the office and asked to switch to someone else, just to see if we "click" any better. Now, we have an appointment on Nov. 1, to discuss our concerns, but I don't know if I can hold out much longer. We shall see....

In other Emily news, preschool is going fine, but she is having some separation anxiety (yet again....) I have a hard time with this. While I was always shy, I don't remember being upset about being away from my mom or dad, and neither of them were stay-at-home parents. Now, I spend nearly 100% of my time with Emily, and apparently it's still not enough, yet I know we would kill each other if I tried to homeschool. So we're gutting it out there, too. I know that battle won't take as long, though.

So, that's about it for now. Thanks so much to the ladies and gentleman who encouraged me in my last post. It's been hard to find time to myself to post, but I read your words and appreciated them. In the meantime, I'm just trying to keep going.