Archive for October, 2010

An industrial-sized bag of Sam’s Club candy bars,

LAST year’s left-overs,

and assorted Dollar Store novelties were not enough to fend the number of trick-or-treaters driven into our neighborhood…

2 years ago, we were egged and had a window smashed with a rock, even though we gave out candy…

I am turning out the light at 8:45 p.m., despite our best efforts to have enough goods…

and wonder about the Spirit of things….

i am my brother..


BOO!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

The iconic Hallelujah breaker of violence against women is considered in another woman.
Michelle’s story remains incomplete.
I continue to dwell upon her Hallelujah vacuum that risks entropy.
Thus, a fourth window into Michelle’s life.
( For the first pieces of the story, see: Quiet Rage, part i , Quiet Rage, part ii, and Quiet Rage, part iii)

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

_quiet rage, part iv_

Michelle was no stranger to feeling flat. She’d spent the better part of her adolescence leveled and two-dimensional on the 4-D stage of dysfunction that played out in her parents’ divorces and remarriages. It wasn’t the first time she collapsed onto herself.

She remembered well the first time. It happened on the day after her thirteenth birthday.

“Given this most recent cluster fuck occurred on my birthday,” she mused somewhat bitterly as she stiffly shifted her covers, “I gotta wonder if my birthdays are cursed.”

You didn’t need to be a lawyer to prove that she’d been the second accident of parents married too young. Their ore hasty marriage in a rural, Catholic church barely kept her brother from being born a bastard, but, like an heir apparent prince, he was one entitled son-of-a-bitch.

Michelle actually deeply respected her only brother, Eli. They were as different from each other in affect and space as the sunrise and the sunset. She often thought that the fourteen months that separated them were much like the number of hours between the changing of guard of the sun to the moon. Only son, Eli was easy going and warm. Michelle had always admired his easy laid-back nature, such a contrast to her own vibrant intensity. More water repellent than a duck on a pond, she wondered how her life could have been different if she were more like her brother. Her parents had posed this question to her so often since her 13th birthday that it was as reflexive of her to ask it of herself as was the mole that perched high on her left cheek bone like a sparrow was an aspect of how the mirror reflected the portrait of her face.

It all had happened yesterday, a mere blink, a pathetic, staggering breath ago that Michelle was barely thirteen, just a day plus twelve. Since then, even then, she’d always maintained in retrospect, that she should have known something was awry. Michelle never got what she asked for as birthday gifts. True, she opened approximations, clearance substitutions, and filler crap she could have cared less about, but this was the first time that she not only opened gifts that were exactly what she wanted, but received everything that she had asked for that year.

Like the harbinger it was, the next day seared upon her heart to never, ever hope to enjoy too much for herself. She was not worth it, and if she got it, Michelle certainly knew by now, it would never last.

“You have heard…”
a personal invitation
from Jesus
to believers
to live their lives differently.

_Beatitudes_
poor riches,
comforted poor,
humble heirs,
slaked thirst,
meek muscles
grow active God view
and peace makers.

Relational transparency
crowns spiritual poverty
as Mitzvah
serves the law
and pours the character of God
into hearts like high tea.

Be different,
read deeply,
delight to know Him,
LOVE,
move,
serve,
be His salty covenant keeper,
bear His image well,
honor its reflection in others
through word,
thought,
and respect of woman,
fellowship deeds.

Tabernacle Light,
shines through
seekers eyes and
Holy Fruit.

Fear No Evil Person,
Turn the other cheek
Open up texts
burst forth the Word
and open souls anew forever
as new creation,
reborn.

I am the Truth
Who’s on the throne?
Let yes be your yes and
no be your no.
Seek deeper relationship
and abide with Me-
scandalous grace!

There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
!

I took The Oldest Girl on a date today.

Unlike The Boy, I had made arrangements in advance with The Oldest Girl to take her out to dinner and encouraged her to use her gift card from her Mamma G for a new outfit to wear at her first school dance.  To her credit, she was effusive, and even greeted me at the door with a handmade, thank-you card book before we ever left the driveway.

Dinner was pleasant.  Nothing lubricates conversation among the girls in our family like beans and sour cream.  Thank you Chipotle!  Conversation was easy and blessedly without an agenda.  The Oldest girl shocks me with her ability to embrace the moment and create a memorable event from the simplest of things.  It was fun.

Tight tummied, we made the drive to the mall.  In constant gestures of sincere affection, The Oldest Girl maintained physical contact with me at all times.  She held my hand, or tucked her arm around my waist, or pressed her head onto my shoulder.  She delighted in everything that sparkled and was the shiniest pretty in the store.

Her only moment of disappointment was when we found what she considered to be, “The most perfect outfit ever,” too soon and clearly wanted to linger.  I suggested we head over the Claire’s to find a necklace to go with her new look.  She giggled as her enthusiasm made precious faux pearls and the most gauche of rhinestones.

As we headed out through the food court exit, I asked her if she might have enough time to enjoy an ice cream.  We read every flavor on both sides of the counters before she made her selection.  We chatted as she labored over her cup, finally conceding that perhaps she better take the rest home to her sisters and brother.  “They will be so surprised,” she predicted.

Once again, The Oldest Girl pulled me close as we made our way to the parking lot.  She told me, “When I was a little girl, I used to dream about going out to buy an outfit for my first dance!  This was all I ever imagined it could be and more!  It was better than perfect!”

Sometimes math is really simple.  I had one, really thrilled girl who was happy with the outcome of a date with her mamma.  She enjoyed the food, the perks and an unexpected surprise ending.  Her joy was sincere and contagious and equaled the unequivocal success of maternal effort.

The Oldest Girl never left my side, and it was one of the best dates of my entire life.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

I took The Boy on a date today.

The Husband and I decided we wanted to interject more whimsy into our family routine.  Our calendar has many blocked and iterative events dictated by outside organizations like school hours, assigned homework, sports practices, lessons, games and tournaments, music lessons and performances, as well as church and community events.  Though we are in almost constant motion, we realized there’s sometimes more march than joy in our steps.

Our parental plan was a simple one.  When they were least expectant, we would bombard them with the unexpected.

As such, this morning, I enjoyed an iBed breakfast while The Husband took a sleepy-eyed crew to Spudnuts.  For the uninitiated, Spudnut donuts are made with potato flour.  A moist, sweet delight, they blissfully surrender a happy, glazed melt down the eager throat of each blitzed-out consumer.  Spudnut donuts are more than donuts, they are holy confections with a sense of history in our small town.  The Husband took happy kids to school who were thrilled to further anticipate an early dismissal at noon.

Unbeknownst to The Boy, I had made arrangements for all the other children to be playdate engaged so that I could surprise him with a lunch invitation.  To his credit, he was more than amiable, even before he learned Five Guys and a trip to Barnes & Noble were on the itinerary.

Lunch was pleasant.  Nothing lubricates adolescent conversation like hot grease and ketchup.  Conversation was easy and blessedly without an agenda.  The Boys shocks me these days as he has so experienced such dramatic physical changes in the past couple of months.   Even his face has taken on the angles of a man’s chisel, complete with <gasp> a discernable mustache.  However, as he greedily slurped his root beer, I could almost see the little boy I remembered hiding just behind his red straw.  It was fun.

Tight tummied, we made the short drive to Barnes & Noble.  In a gesture I mistook for chivalry, The Boy preceeded me to the door excitedly telling me, “Look!” as he opened the door for us.  He opened the door and stepped in so quickly that the door literally closed in my face.  What I mistook as excitement over a book display or café novely was actually his joy to find one of his best buds in the store.  As it happened, his buddy was there alone waiting for his mother, and really appreciated the company.

Again, to The Boy’s credit, he apologized to me before he ditched me cold for his friend.  He said, “I know we are on a date, and I didn’t think it would end this way, but, well, we can finish our date later and…. I gotta go!”

I assured The Boy that I understood and went to the café to sketch a couple of ideas I had from the night before.  When it was time for me to go, The Boy’s friend was still solo, so I allowed my son to stay so that his friend would have a buddy.  The Boy used his Barnes & Noble gift card to buy his friend a drink (that he had promised to treat me with) at the café.  I don’t know he could have looked more pleased with himself if he had used a Visa to buy concert tickets.

When I returned for him, his friend’s mom was there to pick up her son.  A spontaneous overnight invitation was extended to The Boy, “We’d love to have him,” the mom agreed,  grateful that her son had company while he waited for her return.

Once again, The Boy pulled me aside to apologize our date had been interrupted, but he really, really wanted to go.

Sometimes math is really simple.  I had one really thrilled boy who was happy with the outcome of a date with his mamma.  He enjoyed the food, the perks and an unexpected surprise ending.  His joy was sincere and contagious and equaled a successful maternal mission.

I got stood up in the middle, but it was one of the best dates of my entire life.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

Please.

Please, please.

Please, God.

Oh, God!  Please!

(Read Maternal Coat to find out why I’m praying.)

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

The efficacy of this treatment plan would soon be tested, as the results of The Oldest Girl’s heart cath were not good.  When the cardiologist returned to our room, he confirmed that she did have coarctation of the aorta, and that surgery would be required.  He explained that her blockage was so severe that the red blood cells were literally lining up one at a time to pass through it.  Because of the severity of her condition, he told us that emergency surgery would have to be performed that night.  Even though the events of the preceding days had prepared me for this eventuality, the impact of his announcement hit me like a hard punch in the solar plexus.  It took me to the mat and simultaneously stripped me of my title as The Oldest Girl’s primary care giver as swiftly as it demoted me to a helpless bystander.  There was nothing I could do for her.  I could not protect her from this, I could not take her place, and I couldn’t even stand by her side as she went through it.  The resident who consented us for her surgery was painfully clear, anything could happen and there were no guarantees.  The walk with The Oldest Girl down to the OR was the longest mile I have ever traveled.  At its end, I had to pass The Oldest Girl off like a baton to a stranger in surgical scrubs.

I don’t remember a lot about what I did while we waited.  I know I prayed, paced, yelled at my husband at least once, and frantically cleaned the room we had to depart in our transfer to Pediatric Intensive Care.  Each moment that passed further eroded my calm like acid rain.  My breasts ached and leaked, spilling their tears of grief for our absent girl.

Tears of relief were the next shed when The Oldest Girl’s cardiologist returned to our room to inform us that her surgery was a success and that she had come through it strong.  The next fragile 24 hours would determine if her victory remained unchallenged by complications.  The Oldest Girl never looked more frail or beautiful to me than she did when I was finally reunited with her in PICU.  She looked as vulnerable as a sparrow lost in the rain.  Tubes instead of raindrops fell from almost every part of her.  Her full head of dark brown hair was her only unmolested spot.  It had been freshly washed.  I could still smell the sweet scent of the Baby Phisoderm.  I gratefully drank in that healthy, familiar smell as I stroked her clean hair, and kissed her with my mama’s voice to assure her I was by her side once more.

I have joyfully remained at that same post since that day.  The most bitter of cups has passed; The Oldest Girl has recovered.  Hallelujah!  The experience stripped me of my rank as well as the regulation maternal coat issued to each mother after delivery of the placenta.  I am a civilian lost in a world without order.  Children die of cancer in this land. McDonalds playlands become killing fields and my daughter may need additional surgical intervention if her repair does not grow with her.  I have to learn how to accept these atrocities and still get myself and my family out of bed each morning.  I have to gracefully balance this reality with the Cheerios, apple juice, Gogurt and graham crackers that I serve them every day.  It’s my job.  I am The Mama and I have work to do.

Mama is my elegant and simple title.  What I did not learn during two natural childbirths where I crowned two perfect heads and delivered two babies of rainbow-dimming beauty, I learned through my daughter’s experience at a teaching hospital.  It was her salvation and my watershed.  No matter how much of a little girl I still sometimes feel, I am a mother now.  I imagine every mother must have her own moment of maternal epiphany when she realizes in startling Technicolor how her life has been transformed by becoming a mother.  For some moms it’s the first time their child raises her arms to initiate a hug.  For others, it’s when she screams, “Push higher, Mommy!” from a swing at the park.  A fortunate few experience it from the first moment their newborn paints their stomachs with birth gunk.  For me, it was when I dismissed a doctor from my daughter’s hospital room.  That order was not issued from my evil twin as I first had suspected.  She was not my doppelganger; she was The Mama in me, my best self.

That was the moment I learned that no matter how many other people were in the room trying to help The Oldest Girl, I was her mother.  I learned that parental advocacy is essential in a teaching hospital whose dual purpose is to treat and to educate.  This is not a Dateline exclusive report.  The Oldest Girl’s hospitalization was a success.  We are the fortunate beneficiaries of doctors of exceptional skill and dedication.  The very doctors that saved her received their training in teaching hospitals similar to the one in which she was admitted.  Her rescue and recovery endorse the merit of that training.  I am grateful for it.  I am also aware, however, that its momentum was more than I was comfortable with at times.  Clinically speaking, The Oldest Girl’s case had a positive outcome, but there were glitches.  At least two of these were significant enough to have had serious implications.  In both of these instances, I would not have known to intervene had I not actively followed her care.  I learned that important information is contained in a child’s medical chart that may not be directly shared with parents.  Parents should know they have the choice to read it.  I learned that attendings are not necessarily the ones who perform treatment procedures, including surgery.  Interns and residents are trained how to perform them on patients under the supervision of attendings unless otherwise restricted by a patient or family.  Parents need to decide if they are willing to have someone practice on their children.  I was not.  I learned that a family medical treatment plan is necessary to insure a family’s wishes are honored in the event the family member cannot be present.  Parents can contact hospital patient representatives to get information about how to create such plans for their children.  I learned that a serious hospitalization of a small child is a stress without a comparable metaphor.  Everything about the experience robs parents of control.  It also thrusts them into a strange culture without a map.  I learned that there are advocacy steps a parent can take to mitigate some of the daily pressures of the teaching hospital world and help to guide their journey.  Experience taught me that taking them was not only worth the risk, but rich with reward.  I actively helped The Oldest Girl recover.  I’m The Mama who brought our “Ladybug” home.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

It is Parent-Teacher conference season, that time of year that professional educators and the parents of their students come together to celebrate accomplishments, identify goals and articulate plans.  There is so much positive spin on the intent of these sit-downs that it could have its own press cycle.

Naturally, we all hope for the best during these meetings.   Parents go in with their edited questions neatly written on legal pads, or filed on desk tops.  The teachers enter with their grade books, course hand-outs and classroom calendars.  No one’s looking for a fight, but due diligence has been done, and done well, by all stake holders.  Game on, baby…

The scope and sequence of conferences change as a student progresses deeper into his/her academic career.   Naturally, the tone and content of a meeting about a kindergartener is different from that of a seventh grade, super hormonal, adolescent.  In the former, happy tears are often shed among the educational team.  In the later, however, wails of lament, shame and/or accusation often divide the stakeholders.

As such,  and until Valium is in the public water supply, the following guidelines might help educational teams as they prepare for this season’s round of Parent-Teacher conferences:

Before the conference:

  • Schedule conferences so that another adult can attend with you.  A spouse, best friend, mentor or grandparent will hear and remember different pieces of information than you might not register.  Additionally, having a witness to confront or restrain you often assures you will not do or say anything too painfully stupid, embarrassing, or intense.
  • Pack a sense of humor.  You’ll need one.
  • Before meeting with the teacher, please review with the person who will attend the meeting with you all the times your child has been grounded, lost technology privileges or sentenced to family-community-service since the last marking period.  Remember that what happened in your home may well be different than what your child asserts at school.  It’s not paranoid if someone has really told his/her teachers you’re clinically bi-polar.
  • Assess what you think your child’s grade should be at the time of the conference based on papers and assignments that you’ve actually seen.  Understand this may well be off the mark.  Expect omissions, backpack consumption, lost articles, and forgotten items.
  • Consider the questions you will ask during the conference prior to going to the meeting.  Connect with your child to determine if there are any confessions s/he wishes to make before the meeting.  Offer a two-for-one deal on all infractions done by your child at the school s/he has not yet vetted with you in hopes you won’t enter the meeting totally clueless.
  • Be ready to probe how the teacher’s classroom makes space for your child to demonstrate his strengths.  Assess if there are vending machines, video games and cell phone chargers easily assessable to his/her workspace.
  • Investigate if your child has difficulty in certain subjects, for example, selective listening, hygiene, workspace organization, mood swings and communication with adults.
  • Distinguish between the conference and the confessional.  Offer no life stories, personal narratives, nostalgic memoirs, tearful pleas, or begging for mercy.
  • Be certain to ask about the thing your kid cares about most.  How are his/her friendships going?  Is he getting along with teachers?  How are his relationships?

On conference day

  • Show up on time.
  • Shut up and listen.  You talk enough at home.
  • No crying.
  • Ask teacher what s/he wants you to do differently at home.
  • Shut up and listen.  You talk enough at home.
  • Work cooperatively to put a plan in place if one is required.
  • Shut up and listen.  You talk enough at home.
  • Schedule follow-up conference if necessary.
  • No crying.
  • Leave on time.


After the conference

  • Celebrate positive comments and insights from teacher with your child.
  • If you made a plan with the teacher, introduce it positively to your kid and implement it right away.
  • Let your kid know that you wish to work with him/her and his/her school so that s/he can do his best work.
  • Update teacher on progress you see at home.
  • Write a note or email of thanks to the teacher for his/her time.

It is painfully difficult for parents not to take their children personally.  This makes Parent-Teacher conferences rife with possibilities for conflict.  However, if you live with an adolescent, you really must safeguard your conflict energy for use at home.  All kidding aside, the conference might be the place you are reaffirmed in the conviction that you are not crazy, and your kid is actually, pimples and hormones aside, a really great, growing, thriving, individuating individual.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

I was grateful to hear a message about beginning well from Genisis.  The celebrant gave an example from his family, his son went to Kindergarten and won the Student of the Week Award.  This pastor said there is something inherent in us that celebrates beginnings, and beginning well.

As such, I have thought much about Genesis this week, and beginning well.

Naturally, I was delighted  to receive the following email from my kindergartner’s teacher:  “Thought you’d enjoy knowing that Ms. Head of School read [The Baby’s] poem/scarecrow project today over the intercom during morning time.  It was adorable and [The Baby] just beamed with pride!!  She brings me such JOY!!!”

I know you must read it now, so here is her song:

I could while away the homework,
Conferring with my mamma,
Consulting with [Ms Teacher].
And my head I’d be scratchin’
While my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had [School Name] brain.

I’d unravel every riddle
For any boy or girl
In trouble or in pain
With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’
I could be anothet [Head Master’s Last Name]
If I only had a [School Name] brain.

Oh I could tell you why
The Big Room’s lots of fun,
I could think of things I’d never thunk before
And then I’d sit, and read some more.

I would not be just a nothin’
My head all full of stuffin’
My heart all full of pain
I would love and be Christian
Life would be my living mission
If I only had a [School Name] brain.

The Baby

Fractured from, “If I Only had a Brain,” The Wizard of Oz, Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg

We love to begin well!  The Baby did…

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

THE DEPARTMENT OF Child Rearing and Correction Department

SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT


CASE FILE # 16-23-04 PAGE # 1
Scene:  Kitchen DATE:  10/14/10
OFFENSE:  DOMESTIC DISORDER SUSPECT: MINOR CHILD/REN

On 10-14-10, shortly before 6:00 p.m., I was notified by The Husband dispatcher, Father of Four, Department of Child Rearing and Correction Department, of an incident of vandalism in the kitchen of our residence.  The Husband called me from the basement to state that a disturbance had been found in the first room south of the garage of our family residence.  The Husband said that the scene was found disturbed upon his attempt to enter to get a cold beer from the ‘frig.  The Husband alleged that when he entered the kitchen to approach the Kitchen Aid refrigerator, he noticed the disturbance.  He asserted that he immediately left the scene and sealed it until I could be contacted.   He left The Boy to guard the scene while he made the necessary communications.

Upon receipt of The Husband’s report, I advised The Middle Girl to notify The Oldest Girl and The Baby regarding the situation.  The children immediately walked down the steps and reported to the scene, arriving shortly after I did.  My arrival on the scene was 1807 hours.

On entering the kitchen by the open door way adjacent to the family room, The Husband directed me to the rear of the kitchen on the southeast corner of the room.

Upon stepping to the doorway, I observed a pool of orange-beige fluid lying on the floor beside a shattered Simply Orange bottle.  There was juice splattered against the cupboards behind the broken bottle.  Droplets of liquid sprayed the counter across from the spill, and dotted the coffee maker above the counter, suggesting that juice had fallen from a considerable height.  The juice bottle fragments had been disturbed.  There was a drag pattern of liquid in the direction of the garbage can.  An area of splatter also covered the lid of the garbage can.  Droplets of juice fell to the foot lever of the trash receptacle.   Amid the floor tiles were clearly visible bare, foot tracks.  Next to these tracks were two, small droplets of what appeared to be blood.

Photographs of the scene were taken from numerous angles, both iPhone and Sony digital 640 by The Mamma, and The Papa took Flip video camera coverage of the scene.

The suspects stood at the boundary of the kitchen.  None of the children spoke to the others while the investigation was underway.  All were dressed in normal street clothes.  Only the Middle Girl was bare

PAGE 1 OF 2

THE DEPARTMENT OF Child Rearing and Correction Department

SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT

CASE FILE # 16-23-04 PAGE # 2
Scene:  Kitchen DATE:  10/14/10
OFFENSE:  DOMESTIC DISORDER SUSPECT: MINOR CHILD/REN

foot while the others all wore soccer socks.  She stood silently with both hands inside the front pocket of her hoody.

Observed also at the scene was an empty paper towel tube lying on top of the refuse in the trash can.  The paper towels in the can were sodden with orange liquid and sprinkled with broken pieces of glass.

The crime scene was further searched by The Papa.  Cookies and Cream Pop-Tarts crumbs were found on the kitchen table, roughly matching the nibble patterns of a clandestine snack attack.

The suspects were known to purloin forbidden after-school snacks.  All had incidents of such infractions on their records, except The Baby.

Evidence recovered was bagged and tagged.  The table was wiped cleaned.

The family assembled around the table to discuss the incident.  The house, generally neat in appearance had clearly been violated by intruding snackers.  It was difficult to initially determine if one child had acted alone, or in the company of a gang.

After a candid family meeting, The Mamma and her children carefully cleaned the scene.  Safety protocols and appropriate notification pyramids were reviewed.

The guilty party was treated for a minor cut of the right index finger at the scene, and was then sentenced to no dessert or computer for a week.

PAGE 2 OF 2                                       INVESTIGATING PARENT: The Mamma



THE DEPARTMENT OF Child Rearing and Correction Department

SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT

CASE FILE # 16-23-04                                                                                       PAGE # 1

Scene:  Kitchen                                                                                                 DATE:  10/14/10

OFFENSE:  DOMESTIC DISORDER                                                               SUSPECT:  MINOR CHILD/REN

On 10-14-10, shortly before 6:00 p.m., I was notified by The Husband dispatcher, Father of Four, Department of Child Rearing and Correction Department, of an incident of vandalism in the kitchen of our residence.  The Husband called me from the basement to state that a disturbance had been found in the first room south of the garage of our family residence.  The Husband said that the scene was found disturbed upon his attempt to enter to get a cold beer from the ‘frig.  The Husband alleged that when he entered the kitchen to approach the Kitchen Aid refrigerator, he noticed the disturbance.  He asserted that he immediately left the scene and sealed it until I could be contacted.   He left The Boy to guard the scene while he made the necessary communications.

Upon receipt of The Husband’s report, I advised The Middle Girl to notify The Oldest Girl and The Baby regarding the situation.  The children immediately walked down the steps and reported to the scene, arriving shortly after I did.  My arrival on the scene was 1807 hours.

On entering the kitchen by the open door way adjacent to the family room, The Husband directed me to the rear of the kitchen on the southeast corner of the room.

Upon stepping to the doorway, I observed a pool of orange-beige fluid lying on the floor beside a shattered Simply Orange bottle.  There was juice splattered against the cupboards behind the broken bottle.  Droplets of liquid spayed the counter across from the spill, and dotted the coffee maker above the counter, suggesting that juice had fallen from a considerable height.  The juice bottle fragments had been disturbed.  There was a drag pattern of liquid in the direction of the garbage can.  An area of splatter also covered the lid of the garbage can.  Droplets of juice fell to the foot lever of the trash receptacle.   Amid the floor tiles were clearly visible bare, foot tracks.  Next to these tracks were two, small droplets of what appeared to be blood.

Photographs of the scene were taken from numerous angles, both i-pod and Sony digital 640 by The Mamma, and The Papa took flip video camera coverage of the scene.

The suspects stood at the boundary of the kitchen.  None of the children spoke to the others while the investigation was underway.  All were dressed in normal street clothes.  Only the Middle Girl was bare

PAGE 1 OF 2

foot while the others all wore soccer socks.  She stood silently with both hands inside the front pocket of her hoody.

Observed also at the scene was an empty paper towel tube lying on top of the refuse in the trash can.  The paper towels in the can were sodden with orange liquid and sprinkled with broken pieces of glass.

The crime scene was further searched by The Papa.  Cookies and Cream POPtart crumbs were found on the kitchen table, roughly matching the nibble patterns of a clandestine snack attack.

The suspects were known to purloin forbidden after-school snacks.  All had incidents of such infractions on their records, except The Baby.

Evidence recovered was bagged and tagged.  The table was wiped cleaned.

The family assembled around the table to discuss the incident.  The house, generally neat in appearance had clearly been violated by intruding snackers.  It was difficult to initially determine if one child had acted alone, or in the company of a gang.

After a candid family meeting, The Mamma and her children carefully cleaned the scene.  Safety protocols and appropriate notification pyramids were reviewed.

The guilty party was treated for a minor cut of the right index finger at the scene, and was then sentenced to no dessert or computer for a week.

PAGE 2 OF 2                                                                                       INVESTIGATING PARENT: The Mamma

Gender Characteristics Which Distinguish Women:

  • lunar cycle
  • estrogen influence:  puberty, sex drive, child birth, menopause
  • physiology:  breasts, hips, vagina, hair
  • socialized to privilege appearance
  • socialized to “be taken care of” by a male figure:  father/husband/boss
  • prone to specific diseases:  eating disorders, Lupus, gynecological disorders, breast cancer

Common Lables Used to Describe Women

slut coquette
whore tease
bitch vamp
dyke flirt
witch trifler
courtesan hoyden
demimonde cunt
demimondaine siren
prostitute prick tease
wench cock tease
harlot gold-digger
strumpet wanton
demirep battle-ax
trollop hag
slattern crone
Jezebel freak
hussy ball and chain
hooker nympho
tramp hex
coutesan old maid
cocotte beldam
lez/lesbian/lesbo bag
vixen bat
skeezer gorgon
Miss Priss hellcat
harridan scamp
cow cow
Pollyanna Jewish Princess
mofo/mother diva
old lady

62 words compose this incomplete list.  What commonalties do you observe?

How many words of similar connotation can you catalogue to describe men?

What sense do you make of your results?

Gender Questions for Women:

  • How does being a woman affect identity?
  • How does being a woman affect social status?
  • How does being a woman affect employment?
  • How does being a woman affect proximity to/in violence?
  • How does being a woman affect political power/affiliation?
  • How does being a woman affect empowerment?
  • How does being a woman affect higher education status?
  • How does gender affect voice?
  • How does gender affect credibility?
  • How does gender affect sexual identity/role?
  • How does the mass media portray women?
  • How does literature represent women?
  • Do women share a common culture?  If so what are its characteristics?

Another Woman

Today another woman died
and not on a foreign field
and not with a rifle strapped to her back,
and not with a large defense of tanks
rumbling and rolling behind her.

She died without CNN covering her war.
She died without talk of intelligent bombs
and strategic targets.
The target was simply her face, her back
her pregnant belly.

The target was her precious flesh
that was once composed like music
in her mother’s body and sung
in the anthem of birth.

The target was this life
that had lived its own dear wildness,
had been loved and not loved,
had danced and not danced.

A life like yours or mine
that had stumbled up
from a beginning
and had learned to walk
and had learned to read
and had learned to sing.

Another woman died today.
not far from where you live;
Just there, next door where the tall light
falls across the pavement.

Just there, a few steps away
where you’ve often heard shouting,
Another woman died today.
She was the same girl
her mother used to kiss;
the same child you dreamed
beside in school.

The same baby her parents
walked in the night with
and listened and listened and listened
For her cries even while they slept.
And someone has confused his rage
with this woman’s only life.

-Carol Geneya Kaplan

I am another woman, though I did not die that day…

I am a lunar creature; I quicken life within me…

I am a woman…

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!