Tag Archives: WC Mom stories

Teenage showdown

It was a showdown in our living room this past weekend. I gave her a task to complete, she refused to do it. And finally, when she saw that I was just as stubborn as she was, she huffed off and went to go do my bidding…or so I thought. When I came to her almost an hour later, she was face down in her bed, doing her best to ignore me. And when I asked her why she hadn’t finished the task I set out for her to do, she mumbled into her pillow that she was better equipped to do it in the morning.

ARGH!!!!

The next morning, she informed me that she would be hanging out with one of her guy friends. No asking. Just telling. And it was insinuated that I was not invited. So I informed her that this sounded too much like a date, and as she was only weeks from being just 13, this was not going to fly. The argument from the night before made an encore into this tense conversation. And fireworks were soon being set off right and left as we danced around a battle of wills to see who would win and who would submit to defeat. Thing is, I’m the mom. That is supposed to automatically make me win, right? And in her mind, she was just RIGHT, so that automatically made her the winner.

Obviously, neither of us was even close to backing down.

We eventually stated our final testimonies, leaving each other to stew in our own anger before letting it simmer to a gentle roll of thoughts and emotions that included a “maybe I was too harsh”. Of course, uttering those words would mean automatic disqualification, so neither of us was really keen on saying them out loud. But I am the mom, after all. And that gives me a slightly bigger responsibility to stop being immature and try to diffuse the situation. However, my daughter made it a little easier in her own way.

I continued making breakfast – soft boiling the eggs, pushing the bread down in the toaster, and buttering the already toasted pieces. She silently stepped in beside me, flipping the bacon when she saw that I was too occupied with the rest of the breakfast to keep them from crisping too much. And she helped me crack the soft boiled eggs and put them on the plates for the rest of the family. It was her way of making peace without ever uttering any words of concession. And it helped to soften the argument to the place of actually getting down to the root of the whole problem (which was separate from what we were actually arguing about, as it usually tends to be).

“I understand where you’re coming from,” I told her, regarding this separate issue. “I really do. And it sucks. I’m sorry,” I said. And she just smiled a small smile, letting me know that while she still didn’t think it was fair, she was willing to at least work with me on it.

And with that, it was over.

It was reminiscent of the arguments I used to hold with my own mother, the ones where we’d be at each other’s throats, screaming awful things at each other as we both struggled to be the one in the driver’s seat. And eventually we’d become so enraged that we’d be forced to separate and retreat to our own rooms where we could wish the most horrid things upon the other while mourning our own suffering and pain. And after a time, we would calm down and be able to diffuse the situation in a matter of moments, giggling and laughing as if we hadn’t just been guilty of leaving the household in an uproar as we bombed each other with the words we used as weapons, nicking anyone who was stupid enough to get in the way. And it would leave my poor dad wounded as he shook his head in disbelief that two totally stubborn women who had waged such an embarrassing war of words were now carrying on like nothing happened. I mean, where were our battle wounds? Because he seemed to be carrying the bulk of them.

And this was the case of DQ and me. Mere hours after our blowup, she insisted a seat next to me in church (an ironic place to be after a hell of an argument), and then spent the rest of the day hanging out with me as if she sort of liked me. And Mr. W was left to shake his head at the whole incident – though he had managed to avoid injury by quickly retreating during our flurry of angry words earlier that morning.

She turns 13 next week. And as my aunt (who raised three great kids who are even better adults) told me when I shared my story, “You’ve got a mountain to climb my dear, but you’ll eventually reach the other side. And it will be wonderful again I promise. I speak from lots of steep, rocky, avalanche-prone climbing experience.”

Ah, teenagers. Here’s to some steep mountains of torrential avalanches and gorgeous views.

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Life without kids

In the final weeks of summer vacation (what?? It’s over already? Noooo….), my kids are spending time with their father. For 10 glorious miserable days, my kids are missing from my house as they do God knows what 3 hours from here. And me? I’m missing from my house too. Mr. W and I are playing house, and relishing the fact that we have no kids counting down the minutes till our children are home (his son is at his mother’s house). So obviously, that means we are living large while living it up! It’s party time, our time to dance and to paint the town red! It’s time to stay out late and travel to exotic places! It’s time to do all those things we want to do but can’t when the kids are around.

Which pretty much means that we are eating quiet dinners, watching TV, and then going to bed. Oh, and I managed to beat my high score on Bejeweled.

So when did we get boring? Honestly, the kids are coming home in less than a week, and I have spent most of my downtime doing absolutely nothing. And part of me feels bad that I’m not living it up more. I mean what would I be doing if my kids were here? I’d be eating dinner, watching TV, and then going to bed. But in between all of that, I’d be doing laundry, cooking, grocery shopping… When the kids are here I am breaking up fights and thinking of things for them to do. I’m constantly picking up after them. I’m on the go from the moment I wake up to the minute I lay down to go to bed.

This week it’s been nice to be in a clean home. The quiet in the house has been fantastic. And most of all, it’s been a dream to do….nothing.

Sure, when the kids are back, I might wish I had made better use of my time. It’s about to be a really long school year as they skip going to their dad’s house due to the 3 hour drive, and I’m about to say goodbye to my regular breaks from being a mom as our schedule triples itself. I may wish I had done more social outings, or traveled to more local hotspots, or even took some days off of work to get even farther away. I may wish I had danced more and really painted the town red.

But honestly? I’m not sorry about how I spent my time. It’s been great to unwind and relax, recollecting my bearings before the kids come back home so that I can be a better mom.  And truth be told, it hasn’t all been the day-in or day-out.  In our kid-free days we’ve gone out to lunch, I’ve done more writing, I’ve found new hobbies I want to try out, and we’ve even tried out a couple fantastic culinary creations. 

But yes, for the most part we have relaxed.  And in that process, I’ve lost the feelings of mom-burnout as I make laziness an artform. I even miss my kids, and look forward to having them home again.  Eventually.

Until then, I think I’ll just relax.

When your kids are away from the house, do you live it up….or lay low?

Being my kid’s embarrassment

As a parent, you will only be cool to your kids for so long. And when the tides change (and they will) you will become the most embarrassing creature on the face of the planet.

The kids and I went to camp together this past week. And in this week I got to see a different side of them, especially my daughter. It’s one thing to carry on a relationship with my daughter in our home. She is polite and helpful, the one I can rely on. She is rarely disrespectful, and is extremely trustworthy. While I hold fast that a parent should be just that to their kids – more a parent than a friend – I like to think that my daughter and I do share a special bond that does allow us to be friends as well. But in the week surrounded by more than a hundred kids her own age, she changed. She stopped wearing the cuter clothes she had (in my opinion) and started hiding under a straight-billed hat and baggy boys clothing. She was hanging out with mostly boys, losing anything girlish about her as she took on a tough posterior. She was the center of attention in her group. And I was suddenly placed in a role that I hadn’t been accustomed to.

I was an embarrassment to her.

We’ve been doing this for years, the family camp experience. So my presence at camp as a chaperone was nothing new. But as a preteen, my daughter wordlessly let me know that just the mere suggestion of my existence was mortifying. Anytime I looked at her, snapped a photo in her direction, or even hinted in a conversation that we might be related, I was met with a roll of the eyes, a glare, or worst of all, an actual reaming from my daughter to leave her alone.

Being young when I had my daughter, I really thought I was immune to this kind of treatment. I thought that I’d be the cool mom, the one that all her friends would wish was their mom. I thought we’d be bosom buddies – the mom and daughter team that would try on each other’s clothes, gab about boys, make kissy face photos together, share heart-to-heart talks every night, and have each other’s backs. I thought for sure that I would be way cooler than my own mother, who was a whole 2 years older when she had me than I was when I had my daughter, and embarrassed the holy heck out of me.

A little note about my mother. She got great pleasure out of embarrassing my sisters and me. HUGE pleasure. The only explanation that I have for being forced to wear handmade dresses in 6th grade was that my mom was sadistic. She must have been wildly amused by the torment I received from all my classmates in their cute pegged jeans and white Keds. And me? All I could do was slink away in my patchwork dress with the wide bow in back, sporting my ugly brown hiking shoes so that I could run on the playground while looking pretty. My mother also memorized every single bar song that exists. She would break into song about “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” at random times of the day, ignoring our pleas to keep it on the downlow. Same goes for the Monty Python “Lumberjack” song, and a certain song from the Dick Van Dyke show:

“I’m in love, I’m in love with Attila the Hun! Attila the Hun! Attila the Hun! He’ll pillage the village and kill everyone. Attila’s the one, for me!”

And because of our Italian heritage, my mother had my preteen sister in tears when she told her this joke: “How do you tell who the bride is at an Italian wedding? She’s the one with French braided armpit hair.”

Yes. My mom was a hoot. Oh, and my sister’s getting married next year, and it’s supposed to be classy. Anyone know any fancier braids than the French braid?

At any rate, I thought for sure that I had conquered the mom-barrassment by being young, cool, and hip. Obviously, I was wrong. And apparently she’d have everyone believe that she sprouted out of the ground rather than coming from someone as repulsive as her mother. Things finally came to a head at camp when I was taking a picture of all those around her to gather photos for the whole camp, and then pointed the camera at her.

“Would you get that thing out of my face???” she demanded, hiding behind a scowl as I snapped photos. “God, you’re so embarrassing!” And then she turned away from me, ignoring me as she gabbed with her friends – doing her best to pretend that I didn’t even exist. I let it go in that moment, but my feelings were hurt. Gone was my daughter who still shared most of the contents of her heart with me at home. And here was this preteen girl who was suddenly dressing strangely to fit in with all her friends and wishing me away as furiously as she could. I decided it best to not call her out and embarrass her anymore, but that evening I pulled her aside, away from her friends, for a chat.

“You need to accept the fact that I’m your mom, and I’m here,” I told her.

“I am!” she protested.

“No, you’re not. You’re totally mortified by my existence. And I’ll have you know, you’re the only one. No one else here cares that your mom is here, only you.”

“But I’m not doing anything!” she insisted.

“But you are. You are acting like everything I say or do is totally stupid and mortifying when I have done my best to leave you alone this whole week. And it’s hurting my feelings.”

In that moment she seemed to actually be listening, and the hard look on her face softened some.

“If you want, I’ll just pretend that you’re not my daughter. I’ll continue the week as if I’m just a chaperone and we’re not even related. It wouldn’t be my favorite thing to do, but it sure beats what’s going on right now,” I told her.

“No, I don’t want you to do that,” she said.

“Well, how about this. You treat me a little bit nicer, and I’ll do my best to not do anything to embarrass you.”

She nodded.

“But know this,” I continued. “I’m taking pictures of all the campers here, you included. I won’t go crazy, but at least smile for a couple of them?”

She nodded again, and actually leaned in at the same time as I did for the kind of hug you give after a disagreement, letting herself be wrapped up in my arms just like she did when she was younger and I was her whole world.

Amazingly enough, the talk we had did change things. She made a point to smile at me as she stood in line waiting for her lunch the next day. And she came over to where I was sitting to share what family had written her in letters to camp. And she even made friends with some girls and spent just as much time dressing like a girl and being sweetness and spice, as she did wearing her hat and beating up her guy friends. And true to my word, I left her alone as much as possible, letting her have fun without her mom watching her every move. At least, I hope I did.

While this isn’t the first (or the last) time she’s been averse to my presence, this week taught me several new things. First, communication really can help break down the walls that exist between parents and their children. Second, I’m not as cool as I thought I was. And last, I need to brush up on my bar songs – because if she’s going to be embarrassed by me anyway, I might as well have fun with it.

Because of Grandma

Two weeks ago (June 9, 2010)  my grandmother passed away. It wasn’t a surprise, we had known it was coming. She had been dying for probably the last 3 years, getting steadily worse until she was finally 1/3 of the weight she once was and unable to keep her eyes open for more than a couple minutes at a time. Her imminent death was awaited upon to end the suffering she was going through. But once it happened, the overwhelming sadness that came with it was inescapable. And I was actually surprised to be overcome with tears upon the news.

She was gone.

Grandma was a huge part of my cousins’ and my childhood. There were 10 of us grandkids (plus several step-grandkids she loved wholeheartedly) growing up, and most days many of us would populate Grandma’s house while our parents worked. Single-handedly she would take care of us, encouraging us to try new things like balancing on the jungle gym 7 feet up in the air or performing musicals in her front yard for the amusement of the neighbors and every single car that drove by. She let us roller skate through her house, her wood floors perfect for gliding from room to room. At night, we would all pile into her bed (5 or more of us at a time) while she slept on the couch. We would wait to hear her snore, a kind of wheeze-cough, wheeze-cough. And once she started sawing logs we would sneak out one by one, crawling behind the couch on our hands and knees until we had made it safely into the front room where my father had his office during the day. We would stay up well past midnight just to see if we could. Of course, if Grandma caught us we would all be sent back to bed with red bottoms, crying and wondering why Grandma was so mean.

Thing is, while Grandma was strict in keeping us in line, she was also very generous. All of her children were grown, yet she opened up her home gladly just to be able to spend time with us. She taught us how to curl our hair with an old fashioned curling iron (until my sister burned one curly lock completely off), how to make an apple pie (though I don’t think Mrs. Smith intended for the crust to be so black – just the way Grandma liked it), the wonderment of Velveeta, the magic of our imaginations, and the practicality of Muumuus and Smocks. She was the only grown-up in charge of us who actually let us walk to the corner market all by ourselves, as long as we stayed together. She bought us Easter bonnets and listened cheerfully as my sister and I clumsily sung songs on the way to church. She kept her candy dish full, and didn’t seem to mind when we ate all of the candy in a matter of minutes. When we got to the ripe old age of 12 (and for some of us, even younger), she even let us learn how to drive her car.

Grandma had been a single mother to my dad and his brothers and sister. She had been an artist who painted waves that looked like they could come crashing into the room at any moment. She loved songs from the 40’s, often singing them to us in her quiet, low tones. She thought that the music artists of today screamed too much, never failing to tell us so when we’d turn the television to MTV. She told us bedtime story after bedtime story. Even when her youngest son passed away in a car accident, she spent that morning reading stories to my 5 year old self from a book in a tearful voice. I didn’t understand why she was crying. And when I asked her what was wrong, she just told me she was very sad.

I’m very sad. But I’m sad in a way that I never could have explained until now. You see, I’m also happy in that sadness, and it was because my grandmother was such a wonderful lady. And I got to be a part of that wonderfulness. Because of her, many generations are living and creating life. Just this past weekend most of us were able to get together for a family reunion at my parents’ house. My dad and his sister and brother, my sisters and me, most of my cousins and their children, my own children… None of us would be here if it weren’t for my grandmother. And you could see snippets of Grandma in the lessons she taught us over the years, in the way we were now raising our own young families, in the conversations that traveled from table to table, and in the signature full lower lip she pouted so well in her 1940’s glamour shots with her sisters – the same mouth many of us inherited from her.

My grandma’s passing has also brought up thoughts about my own role in my family. One day that will be me, surrounded by the very family that I raised and created as I take my final breaths. And in the time before that happens, I hope to have taught my children well all of the lessons they need to learn in life, just like Grandma. I hope to have grandchildren to spoil and scold, and to be their escape from their parents. And I hope that when it is my time to leave this earth, I will also be remembered with as much love as my grandmother is.

A couple weeks before my grandmother passed, my family and I were able to visit her one last time. The dementia had placed holes in her memory so that most of the time she didn’t remember who any of us was. She looked so small in her bed and she kept her eyes closed, fighting sleep unsuccessfully. My aunt leaned down to her ear and told her who was there. She reached my name and her eyes opened wide.

“Well,” she breathed. And in that moment I saw that she knew.

I had been afraid that seeing her as frail as she was would erase the memory of the strong woman who had helped raise us in our youth. I had been afraid of being overwhelmed by this new image of her, helpless in a bed when I still remembered her as strong. But that one word, and the knowledge that even in the end she knew me, flooded back all the memories of my grandmother as I was growing up, linking the past and the present in a beautiful new way as I leaned down and kissed her soft forehead and laid my hand on her downy hair one last time. And that is the final memory that I am grateful to be taking with me of my grandmother.

Rest in peace, Grandma Estelle. We all love you.

Forced to enforce

“What is that?” I asked DQ when I came into her room to wake her up.

“What is what?” she asked, moving the covers slightly to conceal what I was pointing at.

“That,” I said, flipping the covers aside and grapping the lime green cell phone that had been hidden underneath. “I thought you told me that it was put away for the night. You lied to me.”

“I didn’t!” she protested. “It was put away.”

“So when was the last text?” I asked her, flipping it open to reveal an unread message that came in at 12:45 am. She grabbed it away from me before I could read any further.

“I was asleep then,” she said, clutching the phone as if it held top-secret information.

“Uh-huh, right. So when was the last text that you sent?” I inquired, attempting to get the phone back. She stealthily maneuvered it out of my reach, but saw that I wasn’t kidding around. She opened it up and scrolled down.

“12:30,” she said sheepishly.

Dang it. Dang it! Why does she have to do this to me? I mean I set up guidelines, and mostly she obeys them. But this bending of the rules? I had told her in the beginning, on Christmas day when she was presented with the phone, that she had a strict 9pm phone curfew. I told her that if she couldn’t follow that rule, among the other rules I had put in place, I was going to have to take the phone away. Only once before I had caught her bending this rule. I let her off with a warning that if I caught her using her phone again after curfew that the phone would be taken away. And I had done my best to be naïve to the subsequent rule bending that occurred after that, meaning that I had purposely not checked to make sure that she was following the rule – choosing to “trust” that she was putting the phone away at the proper time. But there was no denying it this time. I mean, it was in plain sight. And now she was forcing me to do something that I didn’t want to do…

Be the parent and take the dang phone away.

It’s not like I enjoy punishing my kids. I actually hate it. Things are so much easier and more serene when we are all getting along. I like my kids, and I’m pretty sure they like me. But as parents, we run the risk of sometimes NOT being liked when we have to enforce rules to keep them safe, to help them learn how to be responsible, and to allow them to get enough sleep at night instead of staying awake texting until the wee hours of the morning.

And sometimes I wonder if kids purposely break rules to see if their parents are paying attention. I mean, it’s almost like they WANT to be caught with how obvious they are in their monkey business. Either that, or they really believe that parents just won’t notice. For example, remember that one friend of mine with the pothead son? She ended up voicing her displeasure at his habit, and forbade him from letting any of the wacky weed into her home. And he promised her that it never had, and it never would. But when she was collecting laundry from his room, he had left a half-filled pipe right on his dresser table. Either he really thought it was invisible, or he wanted to get caught.

Or there’s the third option, if I remember correctly from my own hijinks as a teenager – rebelling for the sake of rebelling just to prove to parents that they can.

In my purse is one lime green cell phone, buzzing away with questioning texts wondering where my daughter is. And stuck at home is my daughter, her thumbs going through texting withdrawal. And me? I am not exactly jumping for joy about having to enforce punishment that I laid out from the very beginning. But what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t? What kind of message would I be giving her if I set rules and then allowed her to break them? I mean, we’re supposed to enforce the rules as parents.

Right?

Are best friendships unhealthy?

This last weekend I joined a friend for dinner over at the Union Hotel. I brought my kids with me, all of us dressed up nicely in anticipation for dinner. And when I greeted my friend, it was with a huge bear hug. When we pulled away, I was looking at the same face I had seen 12 years earlier, and one I hadn’t spent any quality time with for almost 20 years. But I had missed that face, and the friend that came along with it, and we settled into elaborate details of our lives as if no time had passed at all. Yes, it had been awhile. And yes, our in-person friendship had been brief. But it didn’t matter. Since 1st grade until the time she had moved away in 6th grade, this had been my best friend. And the bond from that friendship was strong enough to withstand time, marriage, divorce, college, jobs, life, children….everything that had happened to each one of us until we were finally able to meet up again.

As kids we had been inseparable. Almost every weekend I was spending the night over at her house as we watched marathons of the Muppets. We’d terrorize her little sister, annoy her big brother, run around in the field outside, and make use of every single inch of the house. At school we had crushes on the same boys, shared the same interests, kept each other’s secrets, and always ate lunch together. If we were lucky enough to share a class, the teacher was sure to keep our desks far away from each other.

Of course, having a best friend had a couple drawbacks. First off, I admit I experienced a little jealousy. I actually wanted this girl as my friend, and my friend only. Unfortunately, my friend was a very likeable girl, so she had several good friends. And these friends weren’t always fond of me. So sometimes my best friend would be hanging out with her other friends, and I would be left on my own. That was the other problem. Because this girl was my best friend, I didn’t take the time to make other good friends. Sure, there were kids that I was friendly with. And from time to time I would play with them. But I wasn’t close enough to anyone else to be able to go to his or her house or share secrets with them. When my best friend moved away, I naturally went through a little bit of an identity crisis and had to rediscover who I was.

These drawbacks are the very reason that many experts of today are recommending that “best friends” during childhood should be discouraged. “I don’t think it’s particularly healthy for a child to rely on one friend.” Jye Jacobs (a camp counselor) told the NY Times in a recent article. “If something goes awry, it can be devastating. It also limits a child’s ability to explore other options in the world.” At the camp he is at, measures are taken if two friends appear to gravitate towards each other a little too much. They are placed on separate sports teams, seated away from each other at meal times, or a counselor will invite them to participate in an activity with another child they may not have gotten to know yet. The other concern regarding best friends revolves around cliques and bullying. Just the hint of exclusivity creates a fear that some kids will be excluded, while others are being forced to not be friends with other kids.

But this recent turning away from having a best friend has other experts worried, wondering if children will now be denied the strong emotional support that comes with having one really close friend. They argue that close childhood friends increases a child’s self-esteem, and also allows them to develop relational skills that they will use into adulthood. That hurt they might go through over friends? The jealousy over their friend’s time, or letting go of possible possessiveness? All of these feelings and experiences are ones they will be having in their adult years. So doesn’t it make sense that they should be able to learn how to work through them in their childhood years?

So is it better to discourage one best friend in favor of many good friends? Or is it ok for children to claim one friend as their closest friend?

For my friend and me, we were meeting this last Sunday for a very special reason. Her father, the man whose house I used to frequent almost every weekend and who had been so kind and patient in letting us overtake his house, had recently passed away. His funeral service had been in the morning, bringing her from the busy city of LA back to her hometown of Santa Rosa. It was only fitting that we were meeting up again for the first time in years at a dinner meant to honor her father. We looked over old pictures from back in the day when she was the freckle faced kid I once knew. And we laughed over some of the photos that she had discovered of the two of us, ones my kids were now giggling over. A tear or two was shed over his recent passing, but mostly the evening was spent in laughter and great memories. We were reminded of the past that each one of us carried for each other. And in that dinner, we rediscovered that bond of friendship as if no time had passed at all.

So am I against best friends? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t give that friendship up for anything. And I hope my kids are fortunate enough to also grow up with at least one friendship that withstands the length of time.

A new addition to our family

Hi. Remember me? I’m the girl who decided that she didn’t want to grow up to be a cat lady. I try to like cats. I really do. But when their hair is all over me, or they are whining to want to be fed or cuddled, or when they poop outside of the litter box and then spread the litter all over the bathroom, it all comes down to the fact that I am just not a cat person.

I mean, isn’t that what kids are for?

So knowing that about myself, and radiating that negative energy to all cats that come within 20 feet of me, tell me please why this was found in my backyard, crying more pitifully than anything I had ever heard in my life:

Yes. That is a cat. And yes, that is him eating food out of a bowl I set in front of him. This could only mean that the cat possessed me into feeling sorry for it, cuddling it, feeding it, then letting it into my home while I had crazy thoughts of actually keeping it should it not belong to anyone else.

I’m telling you, the cat is a witch. And yes, I have given the witch cat a name.

Folks, meet Luchi.

(Apparently, Luchi also possessed me to let him in the house and onto a fluffy blanket so he could be comfortable…)

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do with a cat. First of all, my landlord forbids animals in our apartment complex (despite the fact that over half of the apartments have dogs barking inside or cats sunning themselves in the windows). Secondly, we are a family on the go. Most weekends we don’t even stay home. Last, if this cat ends up not having a home I am going to have to neuter it, get it shots, and feed it every day.

On the other hand, if our family is ever going to own a pet, this is the best way for us to have one. I really can’t see myself going out to the pound or the pet store to get an animal. No. The animal would have to find us, just like Luchi did. And cats are a perfect pet for a family on the go. They can entertain themselves and, at times, would rather be left alone. They are the perfect fit to curl up in a lap when sitting down to watch a movie or read a book. They sleep most of the day, which is something I’d love to do if I could, so I can live vicariously through him. And the kids have been dying to get an animal that they can love and that won’t die within three weeks of getting it (RIP Gecko Lizard). I think I can actually keep this animal alive. It’s not as if it will keep quiet if I forget to feed it.

I have made it very clear to my kids (and myself) that we are going to take all the necessary measures to find out if this cat has a home already. We will be scanning it for a microchip (Thank you for reminding me of that, AP). If that doesn’t produce anything, we will place a collar on it with a note saying what’s going on and see if anyone responds. If it belongs to someone, I want to be sure that they have their cat back.

“Someone did this to my cat,” Mr. W told me, when I let him know about the cat that was purring in my lap as we spoke on the phone. “They kept feeding the cat and pretty soon the cat didn’t even want to come back home.”

Who knew that having a cat find you and adopt you could be so politically exhausting?

In the meantime, my son has already bonded with the cat. After a really hard baseball practice, and being destined to play a position he hates for the rest of the year, he told me he couldn’t wait to get home.

“I just want to take Luchi up in my room and talk about this for awhile with him.”

Doesn’t that just break your heart?

We all end our sentences about the cat with “if we get to keep him”. We’ve also set up cat care with the neighborhood kids for the days when we aren’t at home. And we also learned another secret about the cat.

“Hey! That’s the cat that’s been hanging out in our backyard!” our next door neighbor said when he came to our door looking for the Taz.

“He slept on my bed just the other night!” another girl cried when she and her mom came over.

Anyone ever read the book Six Dinner Sid, by Inga Moore?  It’s the story of a cat that had six different homes, unbeknownst to all of his owners. He had six different names and had six different personalities to please his owners. And because of all his efforts, he got six different dinners a night. But when a cough sent him to the vet six different times, Six Dinner Sid was suddenly found out.

It is very possible that I may have a Six Dinner Sid for a cat.

Nonetheless, the neighbors agreed that we could keep the cat if no owner turns up. Looks like I’m going to be a cat lady after all. And know what? It might not be so bad.

How did your family acquire a pet?
Have you ever had a pet find you instead of you finding him or her?
And what is it like adding a pet to your family?