The Problem with Pronouns

Poop on moms rug

I have a confession to make. I failed my 10th grade grammar test required to pass into the next grade. I was one of only three people in my entire year to fail. Luckily they let me retake it and I managed to – on the second try, pass, enter the 11th grade eventually graduate and get into college. Phew. Thank goodness for retakes, spell check and friends who are good at proofreading because I really could use a brush up. I have reserved in the most generous core of my being a little bit of admiration for the grammar philes- you know who you are– who consistently point out our errors. It is all of you I have to thank for the knowledge I have a problem with rogue commas, dialogue placement, indentation, and far worse grammatical crimes like dangling participles, a phrase which sounds more like the discovery of a murder weapon than the possible misinterpretation of a sentence.

These women, I have yet to meet a man who is a member of the grammar police, are half school teacher, half passive aggressive serial killer. You might have the misfortune of sending a missive their way and they fire it back to you with highlights, word layers and so much so it looks like a child scribbled with crayons on your typing. Part of me thinks these people draw your attention to your mistakes partly to be helpful and partly in a haughty I am better than you at something way. They sometimes wait for a reaction like they would be pleased that they mortally offended you. It does feel a bit like you went to the doctor’s office and they took a pincher clamp and pinched you in all the wrong places to prove to you you have a weight problem.

I have both, a weight problem and a grammar problem and I already know. My larger difficulty is that I never liked rules, and I can’t count calories. The irony does not escape me, that although I failed my tenth grade grammar test I have a career where I write blogs, scripts, teleplays, grants, and plenty of letters. I give plenty of people fodder for the pleasure of correcting me. I should learn from all this unsolicited “help” but do I, no because I never liked rules like the grammar police. Rules are far more boring than ideas. I say all of this to bring up my big: however moment because there is one grammar issue that bothers me and is the source of much confusion in my family: pronouns. Women seem to be worse than men at this annoying habit of not being specific and my own mother is one of the worst. For example….

She will often ask me something like:

“Will you pick that up and bring it to me.”

“What?” I ask.

“That” she responds with exasperation pointing into the air.

“What?” I ask again as I pick up a folder, a magazine, a pen.

“No, that!” she points again in frustration.

“That, what?” I again plead with her for specification.

Finally she obliges.

“That catalogue.”

“Oh” I say and hand her the catalogue.

“Not that one.” She says

“Which one?”

“That one! “ She insists.

“Ahhhhh.” I respond and push the stack of catalogues in her direction.

Shaking her head mom looks at me like I am stupid and should be able to read her mind.

My mother also suffers from old age. Her bad hearing and eyesight do not help matters when pronouns are involved. I am happy to let the readers know that my mother had a successful operation on a cataract a few weeks ago, but before that time she had been “legally blind” since she was about 10.

One day about a week before she left for her eye operation I joined her on a dog walk in Ferry Reach Public Park with her Doberman, Babe. My mother has been walking her dogs at Ferry Reach for decades in fact I think she thinks it is an extension of her own backyard. It is usually the same people out exercising at the same time of each day, interspersed with Works and Engineering workers, campers, and Regiment soldiers on drills at different times of the year. Then there are Sundays when the park is descended on by families, dogs, and the “Hoi Polloi.” As you can imagine my mother and her Doberman don’t associate with the Ferry Reach “Hoi polloi” and therefore they don’t go walking on Sundays.

Out of the regular weekday walkers I only occasionally show up with my mom and Babe. It is usually a weak moment. My mother has asked if I wanted to go on an exercise walk and I have agreed, knowing what could be a 45 minute walk will turn into a two hour, walk, swim, sunbathe, trip into St. George’s and chat at the post office during which time my mother will address all of what she is concerned are my major challenges in life, like the need to have a son, clean out my fridge, and entertain the neighbors. Most of which have barely crossed my mind.

One such day a couple weeks ago my mother and I and Babe are heading around the last stretch home enroute to the car when my mother (cataract and all) catches sight of a movement in the distance.

“Did you see that up there?” she asks.

“I am not sure, “ I squint with my 20/20 vision.

“I am sure I saw something.”

“Mom other people are allowed inside, it’s a public park.”

“Other people aren’t usually out here at this time.”

“Well maybe today is an exception, the schools are on break you know.”

My mother shakes her head, unconvinced like a hawk shaking its feathers to get a better view. Suddenly she pulls on Babe’s lead who then snaps to attention. Simultaneously she puts her right hand out in front of me to stop me in my tracks, like she used to when she braked for a pedestrian in the old bright red Honda we had growing up before the era of seat belt laws and booster seats.

“Oh my god that person up there has a dog!”

“It’s a free country mom. Other dogs are allowed in Babe’s park.”

“Yes but the dog is off the lead. It’s against the law”

I squint down the mile expanse and I see something shifting about.

“You might be right, but I can’t tell if it’s on a lead.”

“I can’t see that well.” Mom says.

“You saw it before me.” I say.

“What size dog is it?” she asks.

“Mom I think it might be medium sized.” I say squinting at the creature in the distance being walked by it’s family.

“It’s wearing a sweater, so I can’t tell the breed.” I add.

“I can only really see movement from a distance,” my mother says, “everything else is blurry even close up.”

“I bet its an Alsatian, they are really vicious,” She adds. “I saw one out here a few months ago.”

When we approached the family, a little voice said.

“May I pat your dog?”

“Yes,” I say as my mother at the same time says, “No.”

I whisper to my mom, “It’s not a dog.” But she doesn’t hear me.

My mother looks down at the little girl coming toward Babe. Making out the pink sweater she says, “ You know SHE should really be on a leash.”

The mother looks shocked and responds,

“Well SHE is four years old.”

“At four THEY still jump around, trust me, I have one myself they need a leash.”

The other mother just smiles at me awkwardly and they ask again,

“Can we pat your dog?”

Hopeful that my mother could show some willing, I answered for her with a resounding.

“Yes” at the same time she said even louder, “No!”

I look at her as if to say she was being ridiculous and she felt the need to explain,

“My Babe, SHE bites, does yours too?”

The woman keeps trying to pull her daughter away from Babe.

I smile politely and lead my legally blind mother away at which time she says within earshot.

“People need to control their wild animals.”

children_on_a_leash_15

“Mom it was not a wild animal it was a child on half term break!”

“SHE still needs a leash” my mother said.

It was this moment at Ferry Reach Park that made me realize that my mother’s surgery was not without urgency. This was brought home a few days later when she was taking care of Eva’s cousin Sadie, my sister’s daughter who is also two years old.

My sister’s older son Trystan is five and is being schooled in the art of the prank by none other than his own mother. When my sister arrived at my parent’s house with Trystan to pick up Sadie, Trystan slipped off unnoticed. Thirty minutes later, my mother, Sister, Sadie and Trystan walk into the living room. There on my mother’s prized Moroccan rug was a huge poop.

My mother squinted. She hovered. She sniffed. She bent over, then recoiled in shock.

“My carpet! “

“Quick get the paper towel..” my sister ran off to oblige, when she returned, my mother took the paper towel and hovered over the mess.

Mom looked at my sister and Sadie and said,

“SHE has really gone crazy this time.”

Sadie started to cry. My sister looked at mom in horror.

“Sadie is potty trained.” She insisted.

“No SHE is insane.” My mother insisted.

“Who?” my sister said. “Not Sadie.”

Sadie cried harder.

“ No, BABE! “ My mother yelled as she bent over and picked up a hard fake plastic dog poo.

Trystan giggled the rest of the afternoon, his prank had been more successful than he anticipated… Trystan and my sister after telling me of the scene above, convinced me to replicate the same prank on Chris. What do you know, it worked, probably because there is something easily believable about dog poo on a carpet in the Spurling compound. Of course I videoed it.

The following week I realized I myself was creating misunderstandings for Eva with pronouns. Since she was only a few months old Eva has had a healthy marked obsession with animals. She rides horses without fear, gives fierce snappy dachshunds bear hugs, talks to the flies and feeds the fish; it is part of who she is. Most days we venture to the toad pond to count the toads, and she is occasionally brave enough to touch one; we watch the bird nests and look out for big fish and sea turtles and I cannot wait until she is old enough to take her whale watching.

With her recent emotional maturity evidenced by tantrums and fear of the nighttime, she has started to talk to me about her feelings. On our regular walks she points out every lizard she sees, and says, “I love HIM.” And “I love HIM.” And “I love HIM.” Then she sees the kitty cat, Inky, and says, “ I love HIM.”

I was beginning to realize the errors of my ways, as I must have referred to every living thing over the last two years as a “him.” OPPS. BIG OPPS.

“Inky is a girl kitty cat, Eva.” I say.

She looks at me confused.

“No titty tat is a boy.”

We disagree for quite sometime about this fact until I give up, and go in search of a toad and a snail, which I then refer to as HER. “

“I love HIM.” She says back.

“NO, her “ I say back and she looks at me confused. I realize I am digging myself quite a hole with a toddler.

“Yes you do love the snail but the snail is a girl.”

“No, a boy.”

“Okay whatever.”

Later that night I took her out of her bath and she asked to be held like a baby, so I wrapped her up in the towel and started singing, “Hush little baby,” to which she laughed hysterically and then without warning she announced,

“When I grow up I am going to be a boy. “

“But you are a girl.” I said.

“ No! When I grow up I am going to be a boy and play football.”

“Oh!” I said, “But girls play football too.”

“No Boys! “

These ideas about gender had obviously been subconsciously if not outrightly implied and she had been ruminating about it all day, or perhaps all year. I knew I should have been worried a few months ago when she picked up a baby coconut and pretended it was a penis, and tried to pee standing up.

There are some things women just shouldn’t do but football is not one of them. I will teach her, she will learn. I might have to try and play football just to prove a point. That would be funny. I should video that too. Watch this space.

P.S. My mom posed for the reenactment of the scene below. Who says she doesn’t love my blog!

Xx Derelict Mom.

Mom with poop

Queen of the Gypsies

 

I picked up my parents from the airport yesterday; they had been gone about a week for my mother’s eye surgery in Boston. When I rolled up in their Rav 4 station wagon, our modern version of a Romani gypsy caravan I looked at the sidewalk where an extended family of body bags were lined up next to my parents. I sighed, their bag porter had already high tailed it with his tip. We heaved the body bags into the car one by one, and they just about fit. We shut the doors and thanked god for the minor miracle of fitting everything in, which includes my mother and her many accoutrements.  Mom doesn’t travel lightly, neither do I. When we rented an apartment in Montana on a family holiday it looked like my mother had moved in, she brought three pairs of cowboy boots, several stand up mirrors, a jewelry box etc etc. She had to travel back east by land or she would have racked up a world record in excess baggage. For this trip though she was travelling light by her standards, they only came back with a bag for every day of the week they were away, I am surprised the suitcases weren’t labeled: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday like the kids underwear.  My mom was probably out shopping as soon as they wheeled her out of the hospital door, eye patch and all. Shopping is easier when you can’t read the price tags! Derelict GiGi is trying to get into Ripley’s Believe it or not for the most surgeries in one lifetime, in reality she has had more surgeries than Michael Jackson but no where near as much properfol instead she has a Lindo’s green eco bag stuffed full of East End prescribed happy pills.

I have to admit I am exactly the same as my mother, just with a far smaller budget. And when she unzipped one of the body bags out came a box of almond meal, a huge gallon bag of coconut flour, and custom baby probiotics all ordered by me to their Boston apartment and dutifully transported back to Bermuda by the Queen of the Gypsies, my mother. I am grateful; I am her daughter in training. Just looking in my purse I can find twenty ball point pens, gaffer tape, three notebooks, files, a few novels, two cameras, and floss and a few plugs… you know just in case.

My mother’s lecturing me about not ordering so much stuff to the Boston apartment is steeped in irony. My mother might not order things off of amazon, but she buys enough from Lord and Taylor and Talbots to surpass all of my internet shopping exploits. My father might be the all time worst for online shopping sprees; he is always ordering strange antiques and on occasion making me smuggle in an iron dagger from 1500 B.C. in my luggage. When we got pulled by TSA, try to explain that one..”Yes that iron dagger tangled in my thong underwear is my Dad’s antique letter opener.” Hmmmm. I started wondering if travelling around with lots of stuff was genetic.

My parents have even started bringing in tons of specialty foods in their suitcase, which is reminiscent of my mother’s parents who every Christmas would arrive with several suitcases each, and if you sat next to one on the ride home from the airport chances are you would get freezer burn. When we arrived at the house, they would be opened and enormous steaks as big as my arm would be heaved from the suitcase into the deep freeze, along with sausages, orange rolls, and frozen pounds of cookies of several varieties. I’d wonder where their clothes were as that’s the area they would economize on space, and would have about three interchangeable pieces for as many weeks.

 

My mother was becoming more and more like her mother, as I became more and more like my mother.  That said perhaps on some occasions she was far more like her father. Many early morning service callers have mistaken those gruff adenoidal cadences for the man of the house.

“Hello The Spurling Residence.”

“Hello Sir, it’s Bermuda Telephone Company calling.”

“This is not Sir, its Mrs. Spurling!”

“Mr. Spurling if you pass me to the lady of the house I can make an appointment.”

“This is the lady of the house.”

“Mister Spurling I must have caught you on a bad day it sounds like you have a very heavy cold. ”

My mother replies in her best Queen’s English, “It’s Mrs. Jane Spurling speaking at this very moment.”

“I am so sorry Mrs. Spurling it must be a bad line.”

…..

Before doing all this genealogical research I didn’t realize there was such thing as a “Youngblood voice.” It’s deep, gravelly and with a smooth timbre much like my mother’s Aunt Bernice in this video. I wonder if people thought Bernice was a man when she answered the phone. There are some genetic consistencies that just can’t be denied, including my mother’s most definite gypsy like tendencies!

Over to Aunt Bernice:

Like Aunt Bernice, and my mother both my sister and I also register on the lower scale. I’ll never forget one of the most mortifying moments in primary school music class when the music teacher classified us by vocal register. Most of the girls were soprano or mezzo soprano, a few boys were too, then most of the boys were in the middle as tenors, and I am sure you have guessed by now, there was one Barritone Alto, me. I was the smallest girl in the class with the deepest voice. It must have been then I wished to become a boy, little did I know I would only have to wait a few decades to be mistaken for one!

There are many things that are genetic: looks, personality, voice, and well: hair.

When I saw this video below, my first thought was, this is exactly what I would look like if I had a mullet. Scary thought. Mullets I think might be genetic too.  Eva was born with one, and she still has it, see picture below. I tell people it is her genetic adaptation to childhood, which saves mommy from having to cut it or tie it back, but now I am thinking after seeing the video below that it might be a rogue Youngblood gene.  I do hope that Eva has better grammar than our dear relative “which is” Cousin Brenda with the crazy hair. I also still wondering how you can collect careers like cousin Brenda “which is” a nurse, electrologist, interior decorator and chiropractic assistant and still have time to sew, swim and play tennis. You know us Youngbloods, we are prone to exaggeration…and collecting careers, like the gypsies.

Does anyone know what an “electrologist” is? I am guessing it has something to do with sticking a fork into an electrical socket… something this derelict mom must admit my Eva has done under my watch. That’s what happened to the Youngblood hair!

Over to Cousin Brenda:

And here is a picture of Eva “which is” two and has a mullet au natural. Eva who with her Diva nature, and her rogue Youngblood gene is surely destined to take over as Queen of the Gypsies one day from GiGi. She is practicing already, today she went to daycare with two bunnies a Mickey and a Mini Mouse, and she came back with all of those plus one blue dolphin.

Eva to NH

 

Eva and Sadie 2014 072

I remember my grandmother on my mother’s side of course whispering in my ear once at an amusement park when I was about eight, “You see those people over there, they are GYPSIES.” Well Grandma Youngblood, who we called Gawgie, I think we are too! When Eva grows up to tell fortunes, as well as swim, sew, play tennis and be an electrologist, then well I will be absolutely sure.

 

“Mommy, I am dying.”

The other night I overheard my mother putting Sadie to bed. Sadie is Eva’s cousin at a robust, four and a half months older than Eva. GiGi tucked her in and as she was dosing off dreaming about Mickey Mouse and Disney Princesses my mother recited the Lord’s Prayer.

I had totally forgotten or blocked it out I am not sure which – but my mother recited the Lord’s Prayer to my siblings and I every night of our childhood and we would be instructed to say it along with her when we were old enough, how could I forget. The words came creeping back into my mind like a favorite poem:

Our Father who art in heaven,

hallowed be they name.

When kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses

for we forgive those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil, forever and ever

Amen.

At the end my mother would say God Bless, and then list all the family members who were in heaven.

Every night would be a chorus of “Go to bed! “ “Say your prayers!” we would put our hands together in pretend prayer until we were reprimanded to take it seriously. My sister would always get the trespasses line wrong and we would rarely finish it without help. So all these years later, did it rub off?  Not really in the way it was intended.

Far from being a good Christian, I rarely go to church and I got married in my aunt’s garden because our vicar refused to let my two miniature dachshunds, Piccolo and Piglet walk down the aisle as ring bearers. I am what my mother calls a “heathen.”  It was this moment, a flashback to my childhood recitations of the Lord’s Prayer to consider the possibility of this being true.

It is always shocking when you turn out to be exactly like your mother even if you had intentions of being completely different. Eva is barely two but every night I make her turn off her Tinker Bell lamp by pressing the center of the flower at its base, and then as the fairy swirls around and the lights go out, I refuse to put her in her crib until she says, “ Good night Fairy, I believe in Fairies.” Most of the time she does what she is told, and curls up without resistance but some nights she won’t say it just to annoy me.  Sound familiar? Without realizing it until now, I have been indoctrinating my daughter in the supernatural. I am a heathen; I am a derelict mother. Worse I am just like my own mother. I can’t seem to read her a bedtime story and call it a day.

Age two is when children begin to develop their imagination and I forgive myself thinking that letting her believe in fairies is helping expand her mind. Eva’s make believe usually involves a tea party or a sleep over for her friends: Bunzy, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Peppa Pig.   But the other day she was having just such a sleep over under her blanket tent. I came in and sat down next to her and she laid down ontop of the blanket and looked up at me and said, “ I am sleeping.”

I replied, “No you are not.”

To which she replied, “No, I am not sleeping,”

I agreed, then she said, “I am dying.”  For a moment I felt like Tinker Bell fell out of the sky at my feet and expired.

“You aren’t dying.”  Was my witty, well thought out reply.  I could see her scanning my face for recognition. I was taken aback but tried to hide it with a fake smile. It worked.

“I am not dying.” she said.

“Yes.” I agreed.

I really wasn’t prepared for something so difficult to happen, she wasn’t supposed to throw hard questions my way until she was at least eight and maybe not until she was sixteen. I was supposed to have years to dream up interesting, intelligent answers to, “What happens when you die?” I was worried too that next, pretending to pee like a boy was going to turn into the where do I come from talk at age three.

I asked Auntie Zoe the next day when she picked her up for school if anything happened at school that would make her say something like that. Zoe said they were talking about watering the tomato plants that were dying. That made me feel better, but I couldn’t help but think she had picked it up from an older kid, after all the playground is where you learn most of life’s lessons starting at two.

I am still not sure what I will tell her about dying. I am starting to think I should start talking about heaven first, perhaps I should read her the Lord’s Prayer, or maybe Gigi will have a chance to indoctrinate another generation if she ever agrees to babysit. By saying No she is passive aggressively creating more fairy-believing heathens.

I myself do believe in an after life but how do you explain that to a kid. I also believe in Tinker Bell in the parallel world of my imagination where I am still a two year old waiting for a life full of adventures. Maybe Eva is a bit cynical like her grandmother after all by living we are growing older, which is dying. Or maybe Eva just wants to understand but, in that case I have some bad news because adults are still arguing about life after death and the other mysteries of our world.

Interestingly around the same time this happened, I came across this article trending on the internet, evidently most kids believe in immortality whether its believing in heaven, fairies, ghosts or God.

http://digitaljournal.com/news/religion/op-ed-kids-believe-in-immortality-regardless-of-culture/article/367857

Not planning on giving up on Tinker Bell anytime soon.

Xx Derelict Mom

TinkerBell

I Lost Custody of My Baby

Pig and Reza-1

Last week I strapped my first born into the car, packed up his toys, his bed, blankets, his clothes and booties and even his hot dog Halloween costume, packed up a months worth of food and dropped him off on a leash and left him on his new mother’s doorstep in floods of tears. It was something I swore would never happen to him or me but he had been a problem child since birth and well, I am a derelict mother, one who would abandon their child in a basket on a nice lady’s doorstep. It had come to that. Piglet moved to St. David’s.

When I got home I put on a huge pair of sunglasses to hide my tears, and Eva put on her Elton John star shaped glittery sunglasses and we left to go to a friend’s birthday party. When we arrived Eva had had an accident in the car and so the two of us arrived crying, wearing sunglasses in the middle of winter and covered in pee. We were just what our friends wanted at their kids’ fifth birthday, a crazy mother spontaneously bursting into tears, who gave away one kid, and can’t cope with the human one. A mother who claims Eva is potty trained while she runs around the friend’s brand new house finding places to mark her spot and then spent the rest of the party in only her party dress swinging on a tree swing with a full audience of five year old boys.  When I got home our little cousin brought me down a Valentines card covered in glitter and addressed to: Luci, Chris, Eva, Piglet and Piccolo. I burst into tears leaving my uncle, an innocent bystander, to explain to our little cousin how I had to move Piglet to St. David’s. I immediately put extra pairs of hello kitty underwear in my wallet just in case there is a next time, as they would conveniently double as a handkerchief.

My new normal was hard to get used to, especially every time I looked at my backpack emblazoned with “I have multiple dachshund syndrome” but then I remembered I could count Eva, as she was following Piccolo around on all fours mousing. But I was still having difficulty letting go of my dream life as a happily married family woman with 2.5 dogs, Piccolo, Piglet and Eva.  I had worried that it would come to this after Eva arrived, but after the first few months I thought we had survived the worst. The boys, Piccolo and Piglet were not jealous of Eva but they hated each other. When Eva was born, Chris dropped the baby hats they give you in the hospital around the house and when we got home from the hospital with Eva all the hats had been collected and put together in their bed where the boys were guarding them. It was a good omen; we would all be one happy family. WRONG.

Piccolo and Piglet had always had fights, and I had always been able to separate them. I almost lost a few fingers but that’s motherhood I expected to loose an organ or an appendage at some stage. When it got worse we summoned the dog trainer, they were walked in a pack three times a week and in the worst case scenario they went off to boarding school for a few days to blow of steam. All of this seemed to diffuse the madness, which is sibling rivalry. When we added the half dog/ half human child Eva to the brood, the fights grew worse for awhile but got better again as we all got accustomed to our new life. I was worried that when Eva learned to walk that her relationship with the dogs would change and things would go wrong, but that milestone came and went and by one and a half I was sure we were in the clear. But when Eva developed an affinity for ham, and bacon it signaled the beginning of the end.

In the space of six tortuous months our house became a ridiculous circus like obstacle course of gates and barriers and bizarre rituals which had to be adhered to exactly and in sequential order or else hell would break loose and the dogs would tear each other limb from limb. Eva would cry “Boy’s fight, Boy’s fight.” One of us would be taking a dog to the vet or boarding school, the other trying to explain to Eva why one dog brother tried to kill the other dog brother.  I would have happily carried on with this madness, after all I had been doing it to a lesser extent for ten years rather than face what I had to do last week.  But it all came to a head one Saturday evening in December, when the two dogs followed me into Eva’s room while daddy was bathing Eva. I saw them facing off and knew it was going to be a bad fight. After it erupted Daddy had to take Eva out of the bath and lock her in the bathroom, dripping wet in a towel, the equivalent of locking her in a closet, which I had done before to protect her from the mayhem.

It took us several minutes to get them apart and at the end of it there was blood spattered all over us and up and down the staircase. If anyone had come over we would have had a hard time explaining why there was so much blood over the stairs and one child locked up, and another missing because I had taken the injured dog over to my parent’s house to recuperate. When I returned Chris said essentially “It’s me or the dog.” This had to end. After ten and a half years I had to find a new home for Piglet. In the eight weeks between the fight and Piglet’s relocation, his brother Piccolo stayed with my parents, where he howled and marked his spot and generally drove them crazy. Unsurprisingly they did not volunteer to adopt Piccolo or Piglet. We came to the decision to rehome Piglet and keep Piccolo because Piglet was the aggressor. Our dog walker who is sweet on Piglet agreed to adopt him after her oldest dog passed away and so Piglet’s fate was set. In the meantime I had been interviewing potential adopters, handing out flyers, calling people for advice and losing my body weight in tears all with consternation and back handed encouragement from family members.

Eva has been taking Piglet’s relocation much better than mommy. Now instead of saying “The Boys had a fight,” Eva says, “ Piglet went to live with Reza.” And when I ask her, “ Do you love Piccolo?” She says “No, I love Piglet.” And I say, “I love Piglet too,” and then I tell her, “we did our best for him,” and I try to believe it myself.

Eva is developing fears now and she plays a game where all the tiles on our floor are where the “Sharps” live and she runs away from the “sharps” and climbs up on my feet for higher ground.  At night when I read stories to her in bed, she looks at her animal book and gets scared of the lion and the leopard pictures and snuggles into my chest and I tell her “Don’t worry I will protect you and keep you safe. “   I then feel horrible and think to myself, I hope I am not lying to her like I lied to Piglet who thought I would be his mommy forever.

When I shed a tear, my own mother says, “ Good God Luci, grow up, you should have followed my advice and put the dog down, good riddance that’s what I say.” I just think to myself, I wonder if they established the social services department in the 1970s because my mother moved into town.  I should be thankful I made it out of 1984.

My recent underemployment has allowed me to look into my genealogy in order to complete a picture book and family tree for Eva.  It turns out I come from a long line of derelict mothers, in fact, one actually sold a child into slavery.

I know you are dying to know what side of my family that derelict mother was on…. Drum role….. yes indeed, that derelict mother is found on my own mother’s side, the same mother that suggested I kill Piglet. I am hoping Eva improves our genetic line and can live out her entire life without having to admit that she gave away a child, or got forbid sold or killed one, because now I have to admit I left a very sweet only sometimes vicious miniature dachshund named Piglet on a very nice lady’s doorstep in St. David’s.

Pig and Reza-2