Saturday, February 28, 2009

Puddle in Front of Screen but Master of Nutrition

The Matron still hasn't had anything anything resembling an epiphany surrounding the media issue, nor was she able to stop-- or really wholly withstand -- Scarlett's histrionics regarding a slight change made to that child's bedroom without Official Consult with the room's owner. A mistake, yes, but when those screams came pouring through the house and through the Matron's veins? She started to dial 911.

If these aspects of domestic life remain unchanged, she can take comfort in her ability to adequately feed her children.

While waiting for Scarlett to emerge from a film workshop, the Matron fretted aloud about forgetting to bring a snack -- something to keep her traveling companions, Merrick and his buddy, Jack, occupied.

Matron: "Too bad there's no food in this van."

Friends, you know what's coming.

Merrick: "Thewe's a LOT of food! Wanna cookie?"

Turns out they found a small feast on the floor. Which they were happily eating.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Matron Needs a Conversation

Really! She wonders: how much screen time is too much?

Yesterday's off color blog post reflected the fierce Battle of Will that is Matron vs Stryker, specifically regarding screen time: iPod, cell phone, lap top and television, to be precise. He is a tiny bit engaged with Game but adores the art of Passive Entertainment.

Matron: "That's enough screens."


Matron: "I'll play scrabble with you."

Stryker: "NO. I don't feel like playing board games."

Matron: "Read a book?"

Stryker: "You always suggest reading. Can't you think of anything else other than reading?"

Matron: "Bake cookies?"

Stryker: "Mom!"

And so on. But the 'so on' frequently spirals into Accusation and Assault, both sides.

In his defense, the child attends a math and science magnet school where he is an A and A + student. He has friends aplenty and Social Organizations like Little League and Computer Club. Turning the corner toward 13, he reads as well as the Matron and enjoys that, too. So there's good stuff.

But outside of that realm, all he cares about is Screen.

He's not alone. In his very fine (she's jealous but do check out his five factors) book, Boys Adrift, psychologist Leanord Sax posits that young men are not living up to their potential -- in part, video games are to blame. The Matron might see this more broadly as Screen and the passivity and inertia said sqaures inspire.

The group dropping like flies at the Matron's community college? Young men ages 18-24, although this academic duly notes poverty as an element here, as well. (Over 40% of the Matron's student experience poverty while in school)

But she is specificially worried about her firstborn, who is, like all eldest, is destined to be the great Battlefield of first attempts and new territories. Screen time!? How to nagivate with teens? Besides being friends with him on Facebook (she is!).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why the Matron Loves Women

Today the Matron took her hypochondriacal self to Ovary Ultrasound. Actually, they took pictures of the whole package.

She learned that it is possible to have an intense and compelling conversation with the person, ahem, applying all those tools below and within for that peekaboo -- if that person is another working mama!

The Matron so adored her ultrasound technician she practically didn't want the exam to end! Practically. They chit-chatted about children, jobs, husbands (men!) and the impossible juggle. The Matron learned that the technician's daughter was somber -- a worrier-- but her son? One big bundle of joy. But the technician worried a lot about her daughter.

The technician got an earful about somebody's children, herself. You know the content. They both got a little quiet when the technician said pregnancy ultrasounds weren't always the joyful kind the Matron experienced.

"Sometimes I deliver bad news. Those are horrible days."

Why, the Matron grabbed her arm: "Oh, Elizabeth! I hadn't considered that -- how wrenching.""

And at the end of the exam, while her new Best Girlfriend Elizabeth was walking her out? Said friend motioned, come hither, and dropped to a whisper.

"Mary - you know they told you I can't tell you the results of the exam, but I sooo don't want you to worry at school today and you said you were always a wreck about this stuff. . . . the films look totally normal and the radiologist already labeled it normal. But, shhhh. Act happy when the doctor calls! And I am totally going to read The Hour I First Believed!"

They practically hugged. Thank you, girlfriend!

Thank heavens that's put to rest. Looks like she's good to go for the next one. Melanoma, anyone?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

One of the Three Hysterics in the House

Well, two of the three have had a doozy of a weekend!

The first hysteric struggling to sustain a grip would be Scarlett because she closed a show. Closing a show is never easy -- you leave behind people and an internal space you love -- but walking away from the role of Helen Keller?

Many comments were made on how chipper the child seemed. How well all was in her world. John and the Matron simply looked at one another and smiled. They knew what storms slumbered ahead. To take the edge off the letdown, Scarlett had a friend sleep over.

The friend was asleep around 11 pm. Scarlett stayed up most of the night. Crying. Ostensibly because she was 'too tired to sleep' but, after surviving closing nights over the past two and a half years, her parents understand she was mourning.

If you know this child in the real world, this blog post would be talk between grown-ups, only. Thank you.

The Matronly heart might be broken over such despondence but it is not. In part, because mourning is part of the process. There is also the theatrical tendency. The child is a Mixed Bag.

The greater distraction? The hypochondriacal Matron is having an ultrasound on her ovaries on Tuesday, as part of the puzzle that is her constant need to pee. This is on the instruction of the thorough doctor, who thought the Matron a wee bit sensitive near her left ovary and likes to be extra cautious.


The Matron has spent every waking moment writing her obituary. This will be a tragic text. You'll fall over-- those three doomed children and all (okay, losing a father sucks but the mother is unacceptable). But she has is unable to move beyond every lethal possibility at the phrase: "let's just check those ovaries."

This is her special, hypochondriacal place. She knows she's terminal.

The real beauty of the Matron's current fear of ovarian cancer? She has had the precise pain the urologist located her entire adult life. Yes. She's had ultrasounds and even once, long ago, consulted a surgeon. The wisest doctor once said: "Muscle strain. Could last for years."

Now the urologist is sending her for one more exam for the same strain. And she is full of Undue Imagination. Sigh. Certifiable.

She feels sorry for the two non-hysterics in the house. The rest of the family is busy (Stryker with studying for this).