The Medusa Scale

Colossal Meltdown. It goes without saying, it is every parent’s rite of passage to experience them occasionally. I periodically apologize to my daughter for not having more patience (for which I regularly pray). When I feel like I am not getting anywhere, I apologize and pray a little harder. I have a rating system. It is called The Medusa Scale and there are varying degrees of lunacy associated. Low ranging on the Medusa Scale might be when my daughter gets a little smart mouthed in her tone and rolls her eyes. I feel my scalp start to tingle and my skin flush with green. I envision an altercation but I am able to take a deep breath and silence the reptilian minx. I would rate that a one on my Medusa Scale.

I repeatedly ask my daughter to systematically go through her assignments at school so that she doesn’t miss anything. I have even resorted to having her cross through the numbers in order for her to check them off as they are completed. This message sometimes becomes “wonk” speech; I am blue in the face and her glazed-over look tells me I am being ignored…the lights are on, but no one is home. She then comes home with a test that had asked her to list the seven continents in no particular order. She had only listed Australia on the last line. promptly asked her to name the continents, and to no surprise, she knew them all. I asked her why she only listed one. She said she went to the next page and was answering the more difficult questions first and forgot to come back and complete the list!!!!! WARNING!!!!! WARNING!!!!! It is a 3 on The Medusa Scale. Now one might think that I am being to hard on the precious little fourth grader, however, I am very blessed (in every instance) to have a child with an off-the-charts memory. She can list every U.S. President in order, by number, backwards,…makes nary a difference. I It makes me crazy!

My daughter has recently started swimming year-round. During the winter months the meets are held in a very large facility which has ambience resembling that of amy Black and Decker veggie steamer. When I went to my “virginal” meet to cheer her on, the outside temperature was a balmy 17 degrees. Unknowingly, I was dressed in my ski coat, cashmere sweater, jeans and UGGs. The natatorium was packed! I staked out my spot that wasn’t much bigger than the size of a postage stamp, and after promptly shedding my polar attire, I compressed it AND my daughter’s Michael Phelps Pro II backpack fully equipped with a solar-powered mini fridge and backup generator, all behind my knees. All kidding aside, it isn’t equipped with appliances, but it is THAT big! After every event, she predictably got out of the pool and went straight to her coach for a consult before heading back to a nearby spot to sit with her friends waiting for her next race. I use the word predictable because my little angel is ANYTHING BUT PREDICTABLE. After her last race, I watched her talk with her coach and waited for her to come collect her towel and backpack. No sign of her. I waited twenty minutes all the while feeling sweat dripping beneath my triple-ply cashmere sweater,certain that I WILL HAVE PRICKLY HEAT FOR A WEEK. I grew up with a mom who is just a little protective. I thought I was going to be abducted by any passers by. It then continued with my training as a flight attendant when I learned how to do a security check of my hotel room! get off of an elevator when I was alone and someone got on…get off at that floor. It all lended itself to a little psychosis that I have generated toward my chhild. . Wrestling my way to the aisle and up the steps with my


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