Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lizards and Frogs and ......More Lizards, Oh My!

I have a love hate relationship with frogs and lizards. They are so cute and the green ones are my favorites. Frogs have the cutest little bitty hops and lizards are so beautiful with their long sleek bodies. They are both beautiful little members of the reptile and amphibian families……….in pictures.   In fact, pictures of lizards of one of my favorites things!  And I've been in love with Kermit T. Frog for YEARS!

The problem is……I’m scared to death of them. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone being bit by a lizard or a frog, but I just don’t want them to touch me. It’s not that I think they will hurt me….it’s that I know I will hurt myself, trying to get out of their way.

I remember once when we first moved to St. Simons Island, I was keeping Ryan during the day so Kate could work, and both Ryan and I were upstairs cleaning and I needed to go back downstairs for something. I scooped Ryan up in my arms and we headed down the steps……to be met by a LIZARD standing on the 3rd step from the top! He stopped me dead in my tracks and I fell backwards onto the top step with Ryan in my arms. Ouch!

I didn’t know what to do!!! That lizard had both of us trapped upstairs with no way out unless we climbed out of the window onto the roof and shimmied down the porch rail. I could have called 911 to come rescue us, but I had a feeling that might not go over too well with the rescue people, who I’m guessing, have no sympathy for anyone who might be afraid of a lizard.

My heart was racing as I backed myself back up the steps. I had to figure something out! Think, think, think…. OK…. I’ll KILL it! I looked around and didn’t see anything I could kill a lizard with. Nothing! Think, think, think……OK….

I had a small wooden shelf on the wall in the hallway upstairs, so I took the shelf down and peeped down the steps at the lizard. He had moved UP a step….closer to us! Yikes! I had to work fast! I rared back with the wooden shelf and beat the lizard over and over until I was satisfied that he was dead and could no longer cause me to hurt myself.

Whew! I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. I looked at the shelf and unfortunately it must have busted on the last wallop. It was broken completely in half….casualty of war, I guess.

By now, Ryan must have thought I had lost my mind, but he was too little to tell anyone………. so whatever. I scooped him up again and we headed downstairs. The coast was clear and I had saved both of us.

Does anyone need a Zoloft, Prozac, or Paxil?

A little while later, I needed to go back upstairs for something… be met by none other than the same lizard! YES! That damn lizard came back alive! He had played dead all along (maybe so I would stop pounding him with the wooden shelf). There he was standing on the bottom landing staring up at me! YES! He was daring me to go back upstairs.

I waited for Minor to get home to let him take care of the lizard……I had had enough of that lizard for the day, and I honestly didn’t think my heart could handle anymore. So when Minor walked in, I told him all about my horrible experience with the lizard that day.

His reply was, “Babe, he was just trying to get down the steps and out the door…..away from a crazy woman that was beating the shit out of him.”

Where's a good cat, when you need one?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cupid.....Draw Back Your Bow

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, I’m going to play it safe and just flat out tell Minor what I want. I know….it doesn’t sound very romantic….. But let’s just face it…we’ve spent 34 Valentine Days together and I haven’t been surprised yet, so I don’t expect it will happen this year either.

In fact……I remember a few years back when the kids were in school…….

We didn’t really have much money and flowers and jewelry were so expensive and candy was so fattening…..I told Minor not to get me anything for Valentine’s Day since I really didn’t want any candy and flowers would just end up dying. He asked me if I was sure about it, and I said yes, it just seemed like such a waste of money. I knew he loved me, so that was really all I cared about. So he agreed.

Valentine’s Day rolled around and all the women at work received flowers from their husband’s or boyfriend’s that day. Flowers were rolling in all day long delivered all over the bank……but none for me. By the end of the day, it seemed like every woman there had flowers or balloons or candy or SOMETHING delivered to her……except me. I knew I had told Minor ahead of time NOT to send me anything, but now I was feeling a bit left out of the hoopla.

Don’t judge me……...I think my hormones were screwed up that day……… Once that happens, I’m not responsible for anything I say or do from that point on. It’s a known fact and my family is well aware of this. So just read…don’t judge.

On my way home….I was feeling all sad and down…..but then I thought about how much I knew Minor loved me and he was sure to have bought me something and he was probably going to bring it home with him tonight! Yay!! I knew he would never let a Valentine’s Day go by without getting me SOMETHING….no matter what I had told him before. He would probably surprise me after supper with flowers or candy or jewelry….. Of course he would!

Supper came and went and just like all the rest of the days of the year, Minor sat down in his easy chair and watched TV, while the kids did homework on the dining room table. No Valentine’s Day gift for me….. I laid down on my bed and cried into my pillow. Oh woe is me……

Just then, John walked by my bedroom door and saw me crying. He came in and sat on the bed next to me and asked, “Mama….what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

*sniff, sniff* “I’m crying because today is Valentine’s Day and Daddy didn’t get me anything. Everyone at work got something, except me.”, I said.

John immediately got up and walked directly to Minor sitting in front of the TV and said, “Daddy, why didn’t you get Mama something for Valentine’s Day? You hurt her feelings and now she is in the bedroom crying.”

Minor was completely SPEECHLESS………..

He got up and came into the bedroom with John and Kate, both on his heels. Sitting on the side of the bed, he pleaded his case, “Baby, I thought you said you didn’t want me to get you anything.”

*sniff, sniff* “I know…..but I changed my mind. I didn’t know you really WOULDN’T get me anything.”, *sniff, sniff*, I cried.

John interrupted, “She changed her mind, Daddy. You should have gotten her something.”.

“So…….no means yes?”, Minor asked.

“Yes.”*sniff, sniff*, I answered.

He hugged me and we both giggled a little. But most importantly, he has NEVER let Valentine’s Day go by again without getting me something……no matter what I say ahead of time.

That day is now referred to as, “The Valentine’s Day that I told Minor not to get me anything…….and so he DIDN’T!!!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just Please Keep That Stuff Hidden!!!

When my kids were young, I tried so hard to protect them from the bullies and the bad guys. I knew it was a matter of time before their minds would be infiltrated.  I couldn’t be with them every minute. I could only hope that I had taught them right from wrong at home and that they would carry it with them.

I was always very protective of my children and tried extra hard to be completely sure of any influences in their lives. But I’m here to tell you, that no matter how much you try to make sure everything is kosher….it never is.

We never had anyone other than my parents or Minor’s parents keep Kate and John. If they were unable to keep them for some reason, then Minor and I stayed home. This arrangement truly worked for us and for the grandparents, as well. It relieved a lot of stress on me because I knew my parents would care for my children as well as they cared for me, if not better. And the same went for Minor’s parents. It was the perfect situation! ………or so I thought.

John was in 3rd grade and Kate was in 5th grade and rode the big yellow school bus to my parent’s house every afternoon. They stayed with Daddy until about 5:30 or 6:00pm, when I arrived to pick them up. Most days, they watched cartoons while Daddy dozed in his easy chair. They were old enough to fix themselves a snack, if they wanted it, and clean up after themselves, as well. Daddy had a golf cart that he sometimes rode them around the neighborhood on and they would all pile in with dog and take a ride. They loved being at Mimi and Pa’s house and couldn’t wait to go there each day.

One morning upon entering my office at the bank, my phone was already ringing. The bank had not even opened yet… would have to be someone who had my direct phone line. So I answered immediately and was taken completely by surprise when it was the elementary school principal at Kate and John’s school.

“Is this Mrs. Pryor?” he questioned.

“Yes, it is.”, I answered.

“I’m sorry to have to call you at work, but you are going to have to come to the school immediately. It seems that your son, John, was caught handing out pornography on the school bus this morning.”, he said.

*long silence* “……………………………….excuse me, what did you say?, I asked.

My brain could not compute the words I had just heard…… I felt the color leave my face….. I began to get nauseated….. I felt weak and had to sit down….. tears began to fill my eyes. There were several other people standing in my office and they witnessed an entire body change before them and became silent, except for a whisper among them, “It must be bad.”.

The principal repeated himself and although I was barely able to speak, with a quivering voice, I asked, “Are you sure? Are you sure it was MY son?”.

“Yes, maam. The bus driver saw him and reported it. She said he had a deck of cards with naked women on them….pornography. He was passing them around to the other kids on the bus.”, he answered.

“Where did he get them? Did he say where he got them?”, I asked.

“Yes, maam. He said they came from his grandparents house.”, he answered. “And you will need to come to the school immediately and pick them up. You may want to bring Mr. Pryor, as well." he said.

I hung the phone up slowly……… I looked up to see everyone in my office waiting around my desk to hear what had happened.

I paused for a moment and took a deep breath. I was in shock and my voice quivered as I told them I had to go….that John had been caught on the school bus with a deck of pornography cards and the principal said I had to come pick them up now. The men in the office tried not to laugh and the women were just glad it wasn’t their son.

I called Minor and told him the news and we met at home and drove to the school together. On the way over to the school, I called my Mama and told her what was going on. Her response was, “Oh, yeah…..those are the cards I bought for your Daddy when we were in Tennessee last month. Do you need me to explain that to the principal? I’ll come up there right now! I don’t even know where the cards were…..”

“No, Mama. I don’t need you to come to the school. Minor and I are handling it.   Just, just, please keep that stuff hidden…..okay?”, I answered.

So Minor and I entered the school as though we had committed a crime, and we, along with my parents were now being investigated for distributing pornography to underage children.

We walked into the Principal’s office and as we sat down, he closed the door. He sat back down across the desk from us and told us the same story over again as we remained silent. He said he had already talked to John and needed to give the cards to us. He then slid the deck of cards that were now sealed inside an envelope, across the desk to Minor and said, “You might want to take these.”

We apologized and more or less confessed our sins as bad parents who obviously had bad parents, as well……..and left.

As we got to our car, I turned to Minor and said, “Give me that envelope……..I’m dying to see what the hell this is all about!”

I had imagined all sorts of things that could be on those cards. And to make matters worse, my sweet little 8 year old had seen it, too! His innocence would be gone forever……and at the mercy of my own parents!

As I opened the envelope and pulled out the cards, this is what I saw………

Yes! Girly cards……somewhat revealing, but this was not what I considered pornography! What rock had that Principal been under?

Now…..I am not by any means approving of my 8 year old showing girly cards around on the school bus, but let’s face it people, there is so much worse out there to pass around the school bus. I was so relieved that the cards weren’t hard core porn, that I had to laugh.

When John got home from school, Minor and I talked to him about the seriousness of what had happened.

This was his story in a time line.......and completely backed up by Kate.

• Kate found the cards under the sofa at Mimi and Pa’s house the day before.

• Just then, I arrived at Mimi and Pa’s to pick the kids up.

• Kate didn’t have her book bag with her, so she hurriedly stuffed the cards into John’s book bag and she would look at them when she got home. John was oblivious.

• Next morning on the school bus, John opened his book bag to get a pencil out and saw the cards.

• He pulled the cards out to see what they were and other kids saw them, as well.

• A girl on the seat behind them saw what was going on and she told the bus driver.

And that’s the story. One thing I know……..never say never.