Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summertime is Not for Wimps

Ah yes... it's that wonderful time of year again. Summer. When all the little children are home with their parents spending quality time with each other while trying not to drive one another crazy. Or maybe the children ARE trying to drive their parents nuts? I know mine is. Being 13, bored, and stuck in the house because you can't stand the heat means you feel entitled to WHINE non-stop all day long. "I'm bored." "There's nothing to do." "I don't like that movie!" "I don't know what to do." "I hate that game!" On and on it goes while I try hard to focus on the positive (we're spending more time together. That must be good, right?) and think of new, creative tasks to keep her busy.

To be fair, this summer has been especially difficult. Not as bad as last year when she had surgery, but definitely hard.

First, her step-dad had bariatric surgery and is now home recovering. Things are going well and he's getting stronger by the minute, but it meant he and I were away for several days while she stayed home with her grandparents. She was happy to see her grandparents, who she adores, but not so happy with both parents disappearing to San Francisco for four days. Then, when we got home, her dad went to bed and I rushed around trying to get everything set up for him. Queen Teen and I took a long walk to our local cafe the following day, which helped. However, I've been so busy taking care of Rick she's had to play by herself a lot. She tries, but when you're 13 and don't know if you still like your doll house or not, playing by yourself becomes a challenge.

At the same time, I've been taking care of the family dog who was attacked at the kennel by another dog. One of those weird, completely unprovoked accidents. Our dog, Bourre, was seriously injured and had to be rushed to the vet for surgery on both front legs and paws. She then spent four days recovering there. I brought Bourre home on tuesday and happily she's doing great. What a relief. Queen Teen was very worried about both the dog and her dad. She kept a thoughtful distance from both, waiting to see if they were alright. Now that Rick can get up and is moving around more, she smiles and hugs him and they joke and tease each other in the morning again. As for Bourre, Queen Teen talks to her with a gentle voice and tries very hard not to bump the dog with her walker.

Then yesterday Queen Teen had dental surgery. Finally! She broke her front tooth back in February and it took this long to get into the surgeon. Plus, her adult teeth were coming in around her baby teeth rather than pushing the baby teeth out, so seven baby teeth had to be pulled. The dental surgery center is in Windsor and is FANTASTIC. These people are truly dedicated to helping children and providing dental care, despite Medi-Cal cuts and other insurance problems. If I ever win the lottery, I'm writing them a big, fat check.

The surgery went well and she recovered quickly, but woke up this morning with a bad cold. Sigh. Luckily she isn't in pain, so today she's lounging in bed watching movies while blowing her nose every ten minutes.

Two-and-a-half more weeks of summer, and then she and I start school on the same day; she Jr. High and me San Francisco State Graduate School. Anyone have any good ideas to keep a teen-ager busy?

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