Gonzo

posted by Momo Fali on October 27, 2008

Just over a month ago, I was out of town and my six year old son got sick with a sinus infection. My husband took him to the pediatrician on a Saturday, which meant seeing a different doctor than we normally do.

The doctor they saw is a lovely, kind, intelligent woman, but is that what my kid focused on? Of course not. He instead greeted this complete stranger by saying, “You have a really, really, really, big nose.”

So when my daughter had an asthma attack last Saturday and I had to schedule an appointment with the same doctor, I warned my boy not to say a word.

And I think the kid is starting to comprehend what I’m saying, because as the doctor with the big nose was examining my daughter, I looked down to see my son biting his lips so hard I thought they might bleed.

Why You Should Marry a Good Speller

posted by Momo Fali on October 24, 2008

You Know It Ain’t Fiction, Just A Natural Fact

posted by Momo Fali on October 21, 2008

The other day, I was walking around with Paula Abdul’s song “Opposites Attract” in my head. Why? Because there is some sick, twisted part of my brain that is apparently into self-torture.

But in fact, dealing with opposites is part of my daily routine. My nine year old daughter and six year old son could not be more different.

Other than the fact that they were both preemies, there are little similarities between the two of them. I can probably name them on one hand. They both like roller coasters, movies, Tootsie Pops, reading books, and long walks on the beach. That’s about it.

My daughter rises early, likes to help me clean, and hates to be tickled . My son has to be physically removed from his bed, makes big messes, and begs us to tickle him until he’s ready to pee his pants.

She likes sparkles, he likes trucks. She like horses, he likes trucks. She likes shopping, he likes trucks. Okay, okay, he likes trains too.

My daughter is predictable, while he is a wild-card. She is well-behaved, and we call him Jim Carrey Junior. She is polite, and he once told a woman with big lips that she looked like a fish.

Tonight at dinner, they showed us yet another difference between them. Because when I grabbed some quick extras to go with our cheeseburgers, my son saw me and said, “Yum! A veggie tray!”

And my daughter said, “Yum! Sun chips!”

She totally takes after her Mother.

My Fear Is Real

posted by Momo Fali on October 20, 2008

Saturday night, I left my nine year old daughter downstairs while I went up to take a shower. She was watching a Harry Potter movie, which can be a bit spooky when you’re alone in a room and it’s dark outside. But, when I asked her if she was okay staying downstairs by herself, she shrugged as if I’d asked her the dumbest question ever and she replied, “Sure. I’m fine.”

A few minutes later, I was washing my hair and our dog started to bark incessantly…and I started to get anxious. Obviously someone was outside and my daughter was alone downstairs, and I was not in any condition to answer the door should someone knock. My husband wasn’t home and my last post about Amityville Horror was fresh in my mind.

Eventually the dog stopped barking, but as I finished showering I came to a realization. When someone jumps out to scare me, there’s a reason I burst into tears.

This is not about the boogie-man or being scared to go to haunted houses. This is not about getting spooked. My fear is real.

When I was eight, my aunt not only took me to my first horror movie, but that was also the year that another eight year old girl, who lived near me, was picked up on her way home from school, sexually assaulted, and murdered. They found her body a few miles from where I lived. They never found the killer.

Her death was the reason that my childhood memories include staying up all night reading, because I was scared of my own dreams.

After my kids go to sleep, I go into their rooms and marvel at how they are peacefully slumbering when their closet doors are open. Then I shut them. I move hanging clothes so they don’t cast frightful shadows if they wake during the night. I shove toys out of the way should they need to come running to me. These were the things I did, and still do, so I can sleep through the night. I don’t do it because my kids need it, it’s because I do.

In my teens and early twenties, I was involved in an abusive relationship. It ended with him stalking me and threatening me. I bought a gun and learned how to use it. The police had enough evidence to press charges against him, but that’s never stopped the nightmares.

Then shortly after my husband and I were married, I was home alone when I saw a car drive slowly past our house, over and over. Something about it was unsettling. A short time later, a strange man approached my window and looked inside.

I was standing a few feet away, in a dark shadow with my gun in my trembling hand. I didn’t know if he was going break in while I stood within an arms length. He left as quickly as he appeared, but I still don’t know what he was doing or what he wanted. The police caught him that night at the end of our street and pressed charges against him. That is why we went out a few weeks later and bought our dog.

These random events have made me paranoid. These random events have done enough to scar me so that the slightest “boo” completely freaks me out.

But somehow, I have not transferred any of this to my children. They can go to sleep with their closet doors open. Somehow, despite the anxiety I have deep inside of me, my daughter can watch Harry Potter alone, in the dark, with the dog barking at someone outside.

And if that doesn’t prove that I’m conquering these demons, I don’t know what will.