Monday, February 21, 2011

You Quit Holding Me!

I am sleeping on my side, and hear a tiny voice saying something I can't quite understand in my sleepy haze. I open my eyes to see the Vampire standing right in my face.  I glance at the clock while saying "what's wrong honey," and cringe at the blaring red 4:03a.  She says "I SCARED!"  I say, "of what honey?"  She just repeats the I SCARED line and crawls up into bed beside me.  I roll over and let her lay on my chest/stomach (she sleeps on her belly).  She wraps her little arms around me, I wrap my arms around her, and she's instantly asleep.  I hold her like this until it's no longer comfortable, then I pull her off to my left side and hold her.  Around 5:00a I wake up to her fussing a bit.  She is sweaty, my arm is asleep, and I don't see how she can be comfortable, so I put a bit of space between us, and roll over to go back to sleep.  Seconds after I roll over, she begins sobbing.  I say, "Vampire, what's wrong?"  You see she is on antibiotics right now.  I know she isn't sick.  She isn't running a fever - she was sweating cause of the multitudes of blankets I have on my bed, and the thick flannel sleeper that I zip her up in on cold wintry nights.  My sleep addled brain can not register why this child would be crying, but I am running through scenerios, and trying to figure out what I did wrong.  I am not laying on her hair, I can't fathom how I am hurting her enough that she feels the need to cry.  Then she says through her sobs, "You quit holding me".

You quit holding me.  This child wants to be so close to me right now that she is beside herself upset when I stop holding her.  So I roll back over, wrap her in my arms, and she is asleep instantly again.  She just wants to be held.  I go through times like that.  When I can't be held long enough or close enough.  I imagine we all have days when being in the arms of a loved one is the balm for any problem.  This little cherub wanted me to hold her.  She must feel fairly safe with me, and be accepting of the love that I have for her, to be so happy, so content just to be held.  I sent her back to her own bed around 5:30 because it was time for me to get up and get moving.  She obliged me without any fighting or crying - just got up and toddled into her room.  These moments I hold so dear.  I know she feels loved enough that she doesn't need me to hold her anymore and she can stand on her own, because if I am holding her or not... that love is always there.  That love will always be there.

I rec'd another text from my sister last week (2/15 @ 1:51p).  It was directed at the girls, like she was speaking directly to them, and I wasn't even reading it.  It said "Hey i love you girls and i hope you are well and having fun i miss you so much keep being great kids."  The Drama Queen mentioned a few days ago that she missed her mom, and I told her "she misses you to, she sent me a text saying she hopes you are well."  The Drama Queen didn't really have a response to that.  She just smiled and danced off.  My conscience felt better for having found a way to relay that to her, and I didn't have to go into detail about it all.  There was no long drawn out crying/screaming match.  Just a smile and she's gone.  She seemed fine the rest of the day.  I hate being the middle man, and I know that all episodes in the future won't be so pleasant or flawless.  But I can hope and dream that the ways I am handling everything right now will set us up for an easier set of teenage years right?!?!

The Vampire seems to be doing OK with her new school.  She is averaging one bite a day, but I don't think they have been severe ones.  She was seen by the infamous "Child Whisperer", George, who I have heard about at the last three daycare centers, last Thursday, and I hope to set up a date/time with the director to hear what George has to say about my little girl.  We watched an episode of SuperNanny on Friday night (I would like to invite her to come live with me... I will cook and clean... she can eat bonbons and just keep an eye on my kiddos).  The entire first 10 minutes I sat there and said, "that is my kid" about the unruly 3 yr old on the show.  This kid, Logan, didn't care for authority figures, and loved to push the envelope when told to do something.  He regularly hit, kicked, screamed, yelled when being asked to do anything he didn't want to.  His tantrums rival the Vampire's.  Time outs were comprised of the parent repeatedly placing the kid on the time out mat over and over and over.  I felt sorry for the young couple trying to run a coffee shop and raise three hellions of sons.  Super Nanny laid down the law, and I have been trying a new twist on my time outs after having seen how she handled it all.  The kid still has to sit quietly for 3 minutes (or 1 minute for every year of age), but when the time out is done, you remind the child of exactly what landed them in time out, then you tell them you love them, kiss and hug them and send them on their way.  Our current time out regimen does not consist of any positive reinforcement once the time out is over... and I think my kiddos need that reassurance that although they've been terribly naughty, I'm always going to be there and to love them.

The Drama Queen is taking off with her reading!  As we drive down the road she will say "that says OUT!" and "that says EXIT".  She even surprises me with some larger words, and I lavish praise on her.  I also try to encourage more reading by saying "what does that orange sign say?"  This morning we played a little game that I used to adore, of a Pass Along Story.  I asked her to tell me a story, and she said she couldn't think of one so I told her the rules of the game, and then started it about a horse named Geroge who lived in a pasture.  She then added that George loved to eat apples and grass.  I then said that one day George was in the pasture eating apples and grass when suddenly something scared him, and he ran for the forest!  Her imagination ran with it from there, and by the time it was time for her to go into the school building, I was a little sad to see her go, because I wanted to continue our story about George.  It was a lot of fun!  I think she had fun too, and won't be surprised if she asks for us to do it again tomorrow. 

Starting in March, I will be taking a slight cut in my hours at work.  It's bad for my pocketbook, but I will get to spend more time with the girls, and I hope that I won't be so tired all the time.  Starting the week out on a 12 hour day wears on me by Friday.  I think it would be easier if I had a job where I was moving more instead of sitting at a desk all day long, but then I wouldn't work for and with the amazing people I work for and with, so I will just try to utilize this new stint of free time with some more activity in my life.  I was trying to teach the Vampire how to do crunches the other day, and her little belly has no muscle in it!  I hope that with a little hard work, and persistence I can teach her how to enjoy working out.  I could see her getting frustrated that she couldn't sit-up from the crunch starting position, but I just kept encouraging her.  The Drama Queen on the other hand is 95% muscle, and she was going to town with it.  She then made up new exercises for us to try, and pretended to be a mini aerobics instructor. 

Uncle M is still loving his new job.  I think he gets a little bored with it when they are slow, but he is thankful to be out of the other job and onto better things.  The Drama Queen is enjoying Girl Scouts (started last Tues - and won't stop singing the songs she learned), and Piano lessons.  Both girls are doing well in dance class.  We have opted not to do the Father Daughter dance this year (as much as I would like to) because if the girls bio dad shows up and wants to come to the recital (Fathers Day), then it would just be a big ugly mess, and I don't know how well it would go for Uncle M to dance with both of them in one dance.  I have all sorts of imaginary catastrophes befalling all three of them on stage that run through my mind when I think of it.  The Vampire bites the Drama Queen cause she stepped on her foot... or the Drama Queen hauls off and tries to smack the Vampire, misses and hits Uncle M in the groin...  you get the picture.  It would be a huge embarrassment to me but I'm sure the other parents would get a kick out of it.  Maybe next year we can attempt it.   I guess I would feel better giving Uncle M the go ahead to do it, if Bio Dad had been out of their lives for at least a year.  Speaking of Bio Dad, I haven't had a call from him since October (no child support statements on him either - so he's not paying child support), and I'm holding out hope that after this next October, Uncle M and I could move forward with some adoption processes.  Keep sending good thoughts our way!

Aunt TT

Monday, February 14, 2011

Through the Wringer

There has been a lot that has happened in the last week.  This blog is mostly about the Vampire.  She has been pretty wild.  I can not attribute the behaviors to any one thing, but she sure keeps me on my toes.  She has not been sleeping well at night.  She goes to sleep easy enough after she is put to bed ,which is something new that we were enjoying, but she has been waking up between 2-3am and staying awake till 4:30-5a.  She has, out of the blue, developed some pretty irregular sleeping patterns.  The wee hours of the morning that she is wide awake and roaming the house, I am a sleep depraved monster. Uncle M and I re-direct her back to bed, have her use the bathroom, make sure she isn't thirsty, etc.  None of it seems to work.  She's just wide awake.  I am praying this phase won't last long.

The Vampire has also been very angry...  vengeful.  She bit her sister on the leg yesterday.  There is a very large ugly purple and black bruise from the bite.  They were playing so good together, I had just complimented them on their play, and bam - the Drama Queen is wailing and the Vampire is heading for the hills.  We separated them.  I iced the Drama Queen's leg.  Uncle M told the Vampire that we don't bite anyone, and how disappointed he is with her, so now the Vampire is sobbing, and a hysterical mess.  All of the crying  in our house is fraying my nerves.  The Vampire is still being kind of mean to the kitten.  It worries me that I can tell her over and over and over not to do something, and she still does it.  I know, you're laughing at me.  This is something ALL parents go through.  The biggest complaint is that their kids don't listen to them.  She really honest to goodness does NOT listen.  I know I have told her at least 150 times since the Kitten (we call her Sophie) became part of our lives, not to chase her, not to pick her up, not to stand over her, etc.  She doesn't listen.  Well Sophie took her back claws to miss Vampire's belly on Friday, and I had to say to her "I don't have any sympathy for you, because of how many times I warned you she would hurt you!"  Sophie is so laid back and easy going, that I imagine she was trying to get away, or the dog scared her.  But at any rate, Kate has claw marks (they didn't break the skin) on her belly.

She also has a huge scratch on her back.  After she bit the Drama Queen yesterday, she was told to stay in her room while the Drama Queen was in the living room, icing her leg.  The Vampire is a sobbing wreck cause Uncle M has just lectured her, I am on the top bunk making the Drama Queen's bed, and all the sudden the sobs escalate into sob/screams.  She has (in the heat of a roaring temper tantrum) slid down the wall and her shirt rode up, and she scratched her back on the heating/cooling vent near the floor.  She also has bruises on her legs.  I do not know where they came from.  The Vampire and the Drama Queen seem to bruise so easily (as do I), and always seem to have bruises on their legs.  She also has a bite mark on her hand where she bit herself.  I dropped her off at her brand new daycare today thinking "please dear Lord.  Don't let these wonderful people think that I beat or abuse this child."

The new daycare seems like an amazing place.  The teachers are great with the kids.  They seem to keep them pretty active.  The Vampire however did bite at least one child today.  When I picked her up for a doctor's appointment around 10:00, she tried to tell me she didn't bite today... while I am signing the incident report.  While the director is explaining to me that she bit.  While I am trying to get her out the door and to this last minute doctor's appointment.  I was then very sad that she bit and more so because she thought she could lie to me about it.

On the way to the doctor, the Vampire informs me that she is going to pee on the doctor if the doctor touches her.  I am shocked and appalled by this.  Some parents may say I am over-reacting.  But this isn't some funny thing the kid says... I know in my heart that she means it.  She will try to pee on the doctor. So I get the Vampire to the doctor's appointment.  The doctor just brushed over my little girl and handed me a script for antibiotics and sent me on my merry way.  They didn't take her temp.  They didn't listen to her lungs, feel her lymph nodes, look in her nose/ears, anything.  I am thinking the whole time... "Maybe the Vampire should have peed on her..."  They might as well abolish the need for a script for antibiotics... cause I could have done the very same thing.  I tried to talk to the doc again about the biting, her cough, etc.  Only to be blown off with a bunch of medical jargon.  At this point in the day (10:30a), I am depressed that I didn't get much sleep, the Vampire is being out of control and mean to everyone, and the doctor doesn't seem to care about what I am saying to her.

Next we venture to the pharmacy.  I walk up to the counter with a firm grip on this 3.5 yr old who is trying to grab everything off the displays and either just toss it on the ground or rummage through it.  She is having another of her tantrums because she wants to go home, but I told her she has to go back to school.  The pharmacy tech then tells me that it will be a 20 minute wait on her script.  So I sit down, with the screaming, flailing, kicking child and pray that they see how pitiful I look and mix the antibiotics quickly to get me and the source of the ear piercing screams out of the store as quickly as possible.  The pharmacist took mercy on me (or he was unable to concentrate with all the noise the unruly child I was forcing to sit on my lap was making), and got me out of there in less than 10 minutes.  Once in the parking lot, she is trying to wrench away from me and run wild amongst the cars.  I am explaining to her over and over that we don't do that.  We hold hands in the parking lot and near cars.  She is having her 100th melt down of the day.  I am so exhausted I can not fathom going back to work, and wishing that I could just touch this child's mind and let her know that I will never intentionally steer her wrong and, it is just best to listen to me.  I wonder if she is exhausted from her lack of sleep, and all of her shenanigans, but can't help but doubt even that as the only sign she shows of being tired is her severe irritability.  If only I had that energy....

We are now set to seeing a specialist for her medical issue on 2/25.  It is the earliest I could get her in.  It is sad that it is going to take two weeks, but I will have to suck it up and do everything I can to keep her comfortable until then.  I am also going to practice being more forceful and forward when speaking to the doctor about her issues because I am so tired of being swept under the carpet.  I am sorry that I am not explaining to you exactly what this medical issue is, but until I am certain of it's nature, I can not disclose it for the Vampire's privacy.  Just know that it is nothing life threatening or dangerous, and I am doing everything in my power to help her heal from it.

The Drama Queen is enjoying her piano lessons.  She doesn't like to practice but if she asks to play her D.S. I will tell her that she has to practice on her piano for 15 minutes, then she will be allowed to play.  We set the timer and let her sit and practice.  She is picking up a little bit from it all.  She starts Girl Scouts tomorrow.  At least I hope she does.  I called the secretary of the school (I have no other contact) and spoke with her because it was never confirmed to me that she was accepted into the troop, and she couldn't tell me for certain.  So I am bracing myself for the phone call tomorrow "Ms Aunt TT...  You have forgotten to pick your child up from school..."  How much worse of a parent can I be!?!?  Uncle M did call the Drama Queen's bluff on the rice last Monday.  He offered it to her and told her "It's Monday!"  She finally said "I really don't like it."  So she didn't have to eat it after all.  We went to a birthday party on Saturday evening, and Uncle M came up with the idea of putting balloons in the Drama Queen's hair to make it float.  It was very funny.

The sitter was more civil by Friday last week.  She told me she wishes me luck, cause she doesn't give up on kids, but in the past two weeks, has wanted to give up on the Vampire.  Everyone wants to give up on her.  She pushes people to those limits.  She is so strong willed and emotional, that it is very draining trying to help her learn to cope with those different emotions.  I was telling a friend today that although I love both girls the same amount, I do love them differently.  With the Drama Queen, I can be a little bit of a friend and have fun with her because I know she will make good decisions about things.  With the Vampire, I have to be more of the disciplinarian.  I can't have as much fun with her because I am always re-directing her behavior, or worrying about her hurting someone.  It is so hard to see when that switch is flipped from Dr. Jeckyl to Mr. Hyde.  The Vampire really puts me though the wringer.  The new biting necklace I purchased for her has been destroyed.  I bought two, and am not giving her the other one because in one day... she chewed the daylights out of the one I let her have.  I am going to cut the terrycloth necklaces that she has been using in the back, and sew velcro on them so that they can break-away (thank you Uncle M for the idea) and just send her to school with them tomorrow.  I just wish I could help this child see how beautiful life could be if she just stops trying to swim against the current for a little bit and tries to work with others.  But then I would be altering her personality, and if I could maybe guide this strong willed little girl into a strong willed woman with good morals and upbringing...  then maybe she will accomplish something truly fantastic some day.

Aunt TT

Monday, February 7, 2011

I only eat rice on Mondays

I have spring fever.  I woke up on Saturday, and although I have a chest cold, and I was tired, I fed the girls, then set about tackling our bathroom.  The room is tiny, but it took me all of four hours to scrub it from top to bottom.  I am not joking when I say that.  I cleaned and organized the drawers, and under the sink, I scrubbed every surface in the room, even the walls.   It shines.  When I finished that however, I was exhausted, and did practically nothing the rest of the day.

The Vampire was sent home from the sitters on Friday b/c she had diarrhea so on Saturday, I asked Uncle M to make her some rice.  Poor kid had been pooping so much, I decided to attempt the BRAT diet.  Uncle M made some, and put cinnamon and sugar in it (which I thought sounded gross, but the Vampire gobbled it up.).  The Drama Queen however took one bite, then handed it to Uncle M and said "I'm sorry.  I only eat rice on Mondays."  I told my mom what she said and mom said "that sounds like something you would have said as a child."  It made me smile.  I really want to call her bluff on it and hand her a bowl of rice today and say "DQ... it is Monday..."

This is our last week with the sitter.  She has been a little bit more willing to talk to me.  But I can still tell she is angry.  We will be paying 30.00 more a week for this new place, and I can only hope that they are worth it.  The director called me today to let me know that my paperwork looked great, and the fees, and to welcome the Vampire to their center starting Monday.  It will be a large adjustment for all of us.  I ordered new "Chewelry" on the internet for the new school because the director asked that we have a necklace that has a break-away clasp at the back, so it will not be a choking hazard.  The necklaces she wears currently are terrycloth, and elastic, and do not break away.  I hope they come in before she starts this new adventure.  I would like to arm the school with everything I can to help battle her impulses.

The Vampire spent a good majority of the weekend in time out.  If she wasn't hitting/biting her sister, she was chasing the kitten, screaming at Uncle M or I, and climbing all over the furniture.  She was very wild, feral this weekend.  But she stayed dry.  I wonder if I am seeing a pattern, because when she is calmer and in better control of her emotions...  she will urinate in her panties (esp. in her sleep).  When she is more wild, angry, and uncontrollable, she stays dry.  It's like I can only have one or the other, there is no middle ground with her.  Last night was her 5th dry night in a row, and Uncle M and I praised her for it repeatedly.  We are so proud of her, but deep down I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, and since Uncle M has made some comments to me, I think he may be waiting for it as well.

The Drama Queen continues to do well in school.  I gave her $.50 today so she could buy a Candy Gram for two of her friends (at a quarter a piece).  She was showing one of my co-workers her $.50 and he handed her two more quarters and told her to buy 4.  She was thrilled, and thought she was going to ask everyone else in the store for more quarters, and I put a stop to that quick.  I told her that it wasn't polite to go around begging for money, and that he gave her the quarters out of the goodness of his heart, that she should just be grateful for the gift, and be glad she can buy for 4 friends instead of 2.  I have wondered all day who she bought for, and imagine at least two of them are the little boys she got in trouble for kissing on.

We had a couple of friends over for the SuperBowl yesterday.  It was so nice to be surrounded by friends and family.  I had a second wind of cleaning on Sunday and finished scrubbing the living room while Uncle M helped me with the kitchen before our friends came over.  I moved furniture, vacuumed, mopped, cleaned out air ducts, you name it!  We did all of this cleaning to the totally 90's channel on the satellite dish.  This channel brought back so many memories for both Uncle M and I and we sang and danced with the kids while we cleaned.  The dog thought it looked like such fun when I was dancing with the Vampire that he tried to join in, and nearly knocked us both over.  He can't stand to be left out of anything.  Silly mutt.  The kitten is still doing well.  She has learned to be afraid of the Vampire and the Drama Queen as they won't leave her alone, but when it's just she and I she comes out of her shell and will roll over for her belly to be scratched.  She is getting so fat!  She weighs 2.2 lbs and has this huge belly.  My aunt asked if she was pregnant and I said I sure hope not...  She seems too young to be pregnant.  She is still terrified of Hobie, but Baata has started to warm up to her a little bit.  I snapped a photo of them sleeping together on the bed!   A landmark moment!

My sister texted me again on Sunday.  I (again) did not respond.  I am a little afraid she is up to something as the texts are becoming more and more frequent.  So I continue to keep the girls, my pets, and my home well guarded.  I do not know what her boyfriend is capable of, and couldn't live with myself if any of my loved ones were hurt because I wasn't cautious.  I could be being silly, this could all be because she misses the children she gave birth to, and she is feeling guilty about having left them.  But she didn't contact me for nearly a year, and now I hear from her once a week.  It is a little unsettling, and I refuse to let my guard down about it.  I feel in my gut it is building to something, and until I know what that something is, I will remain very cautious in all that I do. 

Aunt TT

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Flesh and Blood

I received another text from my sister today.  It said "tell the girls i miss and love them and i an very sorry that i wasn't a good mom but i always loved them". 

So many things go though my mind when I read this.  I wonder if her guilt has taken it's toll on her and she is going to overdose or hurt herself.  I wonder if she just wants me to think that because she knows what a bleeding heart I am, and how I want to help everyone in pain or need.  I read this simple text, and just feel like crying.  I am stuck in a very hard place because she walked out on her three children.  The sister in me wants to reach out to her, and tell her that no one is perfect, and that she did the best thing she could have done for them by leaving them with us.  I don't want to sound superior or condescending when I say it to her, though.  I want the love I had for her to shine through, and for her to know that I have forgiven her, and the children will in time too.  I wonder if this is another message because something has triggered the guilt she feels for having left them.  I know she has to feel guilty about it.

I don't know how to respond to this.  So I haven't.  Truth is... I probably wont.  I really want to text back, "I can not tell your kids that you are sorry for you.  It is something you will have to do on your own."  I want to ask her if she still plans on coming up in March, and if she does, she needs to tell us a date so we can make arrangements on our end.  I want to tell her that she has missed out on so much.  From watching Drama Queen read her first book on her own, to listening to the Vampire begin to form full coherent sentences.  She has missed the sheer joy that shines in Z-man's eyes.  The kids are so happy in their new lives. 

I haven't told them about their mom's texts.  I don't know what I should do.  I don't know if it would make things worse or better.  This indecision isn't good for any of us, though, and I need to make a good solid decision soon.  They have all these positive things going on, and we try to keep their environment as positive as possible.  I hate to say "Hey girls, your mom texted me today.  She says she loves you, and wants to let you know she is thinking of you."  Maybe it is because of my own inability to deal with the fact that my sister, my flesh and blood ditched her kids.  I told mom that it is so hard for me to admit to people that I am raising these lovelies because my very own sister walked away from them.  I feel like they look at me and wonder why my sister would leave her kids.  Some ask me WHY?  I can't answer them.  I can toss out the speculation that we all have, but I don't really know why. 

She has been texting me at least once a week for the past 4 weeks now.  I imagine she is in a pretty bad place mentally and her guilt is eating away at her.  I hope that she is OK.  As she is still my sister, and I would absolutely hate to hear of anything bad happening to her.  I also have to remind myself that I can't live in fear that she is going to do something drastic to herself.  She will make her choices, and if they are good, bad, or ugly, they are her choices, and I have no influence over them.  I must make my choices, and reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of them. 

One choice has been made recently regarding daycare for the Vampire.  We will be starting her in a new daycare on 2/14.  I have high hopes for this place.  They have more trained staff on hand than the three centers she was in prior.  They do not believe in sending kids home, and use a time out chair.  They have "care conferences" and I got to sit with the director, and teacher (and the Vampire's speech therapist) yesterday and discuss what we think would be best for the Vampire.  They were very open with me about everything, and could sense how apprehensive and nervous I am for this change because of our past history with daycare facilities.  I really felt like they cared.  The director sent the Vampire home with a puppet, and told me that puppets are great role playing tools to help kids learn how to communicate.  The Vampire calls the puppet Sally.  We have to take the puppet back to her next Wednesday when we are there for therapy, and I know it will break the Vampire's heart to part with Sally.  She just loves it!  She bit me with Sally twice yesterday, and I put her (because she was the force behind Sally's actions) and Sally in time out for it.  I told her (when I put her in time out) that she could spend time out telling Sally how biting hurts people, and it's not an acceptable behavior, then I closed her in her room for 3 minutes.  We do lots of time outs with the Vampire it seems.

The sitter is very broken hearted to hear that we will be pulling the Vampire from her care.  She hasn't really said much to Uncle M or I when we take the Vampire to her house or pick her up.  I know she is upset, and we really hate to be the cause of any distress for her, but we have to do what is best for the Vampire.  I really hate that she is pulling away from us so harshly, almost feel like it is a punishment, and half expect her telling me not to bring the Vampire back next week.  They offer so much at this center, physically, mentally, etc.  I think that if the Vampire is happier there, then it will be for the best.  The Vampire is very excited about this move.  She can not wait to start at the new center.  I have told her countless times that she can not bite there.  I have told her how important it is to have friends, and that if she bites people, they might not want to be friends with her, they might be afraid of her, and I know she doesn't want someone to be afraid of her at her new school.  I pray this is the right move.  Time will tell.

The Drama Queen is reading more and more.  She surprises me with the ability to sound out big words, and I can tell when she is being lazy on the little ones that she knows.  She sat with me and counted to 109 last night and only stumbled between 29 and 30, then instead of saying 110, she said 10 hundred.  I enjoy listening to her explain her art work at the end of the day, and the rare moments that she opens up and talks to me about school.  She will talk other people's ears off, but cause I am the "mom" figure in her life, I'm not quite as fun so she doesn't talk to me as much.  I'm making an effort to be a little more fun, but still be the mom figure.  We balanced pop bottles on our heads on the kitchen floor last night and giggled up a storm.  She started piano lessons on Monday, and seems to enjoy it.  She and Uncle M practiced a bit on the piano last night.   She came home yesterday with a paper for Girl Scouts, and she is begging us to sign her up (3:45-5:15 every Tuesday - dance starts at 6:00 every Tuesday).  I was in Girl Scouts, and would love to give her the opportunity, but it might be difficult to get her fed and to dance on time.  But if that is what she really wants, then I will do what is in my power to give it to her. 

The kitten has been loads of fun!  She is still pretty sweet, although she is becoming more comfortable and growing a little frisky.  My 13 year old yellow tomcat is starting to warm up to her, and he has let her sit close to him instead of smacking her in the head and hissing.  He is such a crotchety old man sometimes!   He eats all of her food too.  I can't tell if he just likes it better than his, or if he's trying to starve her to death cause he doesn't want her there, but he hasn't made it easy on her.  He has been giving me the cold shoulder as well, because he refuses to sleep in the bedroom with me if she is in there, and she has made it a point every night to curl up at my legs.  They will work it out in time.  I imagine my old Baata will keep her in check, though.  Hobie is still afraid of her, and she is afraid of him.  It is pretty funny how huge her tail gets up when her hair stands all on end when Hobie comes barreling into a room.  The girls love the kitty, and try to carry her everywhere.  I have to keep explaining to them why they can't, and how she needs her freedom just like they do.  Maybe one day they will understand.  Uncle M grabbed the Drama Queen and held her last night when she went walking by him, and she got really upset and yelled at him to let her go.  He told her, that is what you do to the kitten, and she doesn't have the words to ask to be let go.  The Drama Queen broke down into tears and took off to the bathroom.  I don't think she understood the point of the lesson because she had her feelings hurt.  She is so much like me and so easily hurt. 

Aunt TT