It’s just another day… again.

We are staying in Denver until the weekend, having changed our tickets so we can better respond to the various issues that have arisen with Mom’s hospitalization.

We went and visited her in the hospital again today, and she is really no better or worse. She is responding to commands, but her 2cnd degree burns are becoming 3rd degree burns despite her doctor’s attempts to prevent that by flooding her with saline. She still looks horrible, and I have no idea what to hope for. All outcomes point to wretched.

I spoke with the fire marshal and it looks like she may have been smoking after all. Either that or there is a massive conspiracy to kill her and make her death look like and accident. Ockham’s Razor would indicate that she has begun smoking again.

We have no idea how to feel about that, or at least, I don’t.

We found out that her apartment had asbestos in it, so all her stuff is covered in asbestos, so if we want to keep any of her things we have to pay to have them professionally cleaned of toxic waste. Many of the things Lee planned on keeping as momentos of his childhood were in her place. I wish there was something I could do to make this easier on him.

In other news, Marlena was on better behavior today, and got all cute and creative making crowns for each member of the family. She went about it all quite intelligently, measuring the size of our heads with strips of paper, taping them together, cutting out shapes and taping them on for decoration. She even made one for Oliver. It kept her busy for a while, without the T.V.! Yay!

We still had an issue at bedtime, but pretty much she was good today. I think she is feeling the tension in the air, and responding to it the only way she can. Sadly, that looks a lot like being psycho.

Oliver tried a new food today. So far he can eat Rice Cereal, Squash, and Carrots. He tried Pears, but did not like them, so we will have to try them again later. He is getting better at actually eating solid food, instead of pushing it out of his mouth with his tongue after each bite.

We will go and see mom again tomorrow and hopefully we will have a better idea of her chances then.

Oh… so that’s why he does it!


We went to a friend’s house for dinner this evening. Initially all went quite well. That is, of course, until she sat down to something gasp new to eat.

“I don’t like this.” Said She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Fed.
“Marlena, that is very rude, please try the chicken burger and sweet potato fries and thank Jon for cooking for us.” I said, with a tooth-clenched smile plastered on my face.
“Thank you for cooking Jon.” Said She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Fed, in the same voice she would use if I had asked her to thank me for throwing all her worldly goods in the garbage. Then she picked up her chicken burger, took a miniscule nibble, and proceeded to behave as though it was the worst thing she had ever tasted in her life.
“Marlena…” I say in a warning tone.
“I don’t like it together!” She yells at me, having jumped from calm to yelling right off the bat, and proceeds to strip the chicken burger into it’s component parts. I cut up her chicken, after asking her not to yell at me, and then watch as she takes a bite.
“It’s dry.” Says She-Who-Is-Hell-Bent-On-Rudeness.
“That’s is, time out.” Says I, as I grab her hand and begin to help her out of her chair.
“No!!” She yells, yanking her hand out of mine.
“Now Marlena, Time Out.” Once again taking her hand.
“No!!” She whine/yells, while pulling hard against my grip.
“Marlena, you will go to Time Out now or there will be no dress up for a week.”
“FINE!” She yells, leaping out of her chair and stomping into the other room.

Deep breath… breathe, breathe… in with Ghandi, out with Hitler. Breathe….

I follow her into the room, and tell her not to yell at me any more. In mid-sentence, she turns around and claps her hands over her ears.

“Fine. That’s it. You can stay in here.” I turn to leave, only to be roughly grabbed by the now frantic young girl screaming “No! I will listen” while sobbing. I calmly turn to her. “Marlena, stop and look at how you are acting. Do you really think this behavior is going to get you what you want?” She calms down, apologizes, and sits in Time Out.

She finishes her Time Out, we have a talk about rudeness, she comes out, apologizes, and sits down to drown her chicken in ketchup and consume it. All is well for about 5 minutes until I hear “Mom, can I have five more bites and be done?” I look at the plate, which is full of chicken and sweet potato fries. “This is all you get to eat tonight” I say,”so you better make sure you are full.”
“Oh I am.” She says, of course, until dessert is mentioned, at which point we have the drama of bringing back out the plate of untouched chicken and ketchup. I section off the amount she has to eat to get ice cream and tell her I want to hear nothing more about her eating. She will either eat and get dessert, or not eat and not get dessert.

“Mom, I am eating.”
I ignore her.
“Mom, look how many bites I have left.”
Ignoring her, trying to talk with other adults.
“Mom! I am eating!”
“Sigh. What did I tell you Marlena?”
“Not to tell you anything more about my dinner.” She says sullenly, obviously upset that I am attempting to pay attention to anything other than the slow and painful progress of her dinner consumption.
“Right. So don’t tell me anymore.” I say.
“Fine.”

Five minutes pass. During this time I actually get a sip or two of wine, a nibble of dessert, and a short conversation with Mar.
“Mom, have I eaten enough for dessert?”
“Did you finish what I told you to eat?”
“No.”
“Then no.”
Small whiny sounds and a great deal of sighing.
“I don’t think I want dessert.” She says, with the face of a martyr.
“Okay, then put your dish in the kitchen.”
“No, No Mom, I want to eat!” She yells. (Notice how at this point, she has cleverly played both her role, and mine, so the fight and drama can continue, as I have removed myself from the fight by refusing to discuss or negotiate further dinner options.)
“Marlena, if you yell at me, argue with me, or bring up your dinner one more time tonight you will be grounded!” I say, having lost my robot mom voice and progressed straight to Mad Mom voice.
“Sorry” she whines, “Sorry Mom.”
“Just eat.” I say, going back to the couch to deal with the now cranky and overly tired baby.

Finally food is eaten, dessert is tried and rejected (Cheesecake, another something new), and she is seated at the table with my mother playing a puzzle game. The first puzzle is pretty hard, so she asks me for help. I give it, show her how to solve the puzzle, and pick another puzzle for her. Of course, this one requires help too, so I assist a little here and there, until she begins to yell at me about using the wrong pieces while simultaneously whining to me about needing help. Finally I tell her I am done, she can figure it out by herself, and I go sit down.

Where oh where has my little lamb gone? Oh where oh where can she be? Has she been replaced with a demon spawn? Oh where or where can she be!?

Six is hard, she argues over everything. When we were getting into the car on the way to dinner I asked her to get into her seat, when I looked up, she was still outside the car, futzing with something on the ground. I asked her to get in the car, and she yelled “I AM!” then threw herself into the car and proclaimed “You DON’T have to ask me so much!”. I calmly informed her that I asked her because she was not in the car, and to not yell at me.

I miss the girl who only yelled when she thought things were grossly unfair, and who actually meant it when she said “I’m sorry.” I know this phase is important for her growth, but I just feel beat up by it. Oh yeah, and I really understand Homer’s desire to strangle his son. If we were cartoons, I would be so tempted to follow in his stead.