Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cry Room Rules

On Sundays, I admit I prefer for all of us to go to mass together, whereras my husband correctly points out if we do shifts, both of us might actually get to hear the homily. It remains a source of healthy discussion, as I counter that how can we be a witness as a family if we aren’t all there? My husband points out, how can we be a witness if people observing us see essentially, a pack of crazed pious squirrels scurrying about the back of the church with two adults attempting to round them up?

Cry rooms aren’t a solution, though we go to them occasionally with the delusion that being in a sound proof room full of other understanding parents who are wrestling with their own maggoty and wormity children who decide at pristinely quiet moments in the mass to scream, will garner sympathy. They don’t because cry rooms are really made-for-tv-reality-show contests wherein the winners are those parents who find that there are other families with noisier and more wiggly children than they have. (If you stay after mass and look back in the cry room, you’ll see the winners high fiving after everyone else has cleared out).

There are however, rules to this real life scenario.

1)Those folks who bring toddlers in tow with a lifetime supply of cheerios, coloring books and their entire hotwheel collection are summarily disqualified for 1) being unctuous –yes the rest of us are jealous and mad we didn’t think of it and 2) now we look like meanies for having forbidden the naked Barbie, the turquoise plastic recorder and the superman with glowing eyes that talks and the pack of mini snickers bars from being taken out of the car.

2) Bathroom breaks are of course expected, but points are deducted if the toddler in question begins a long discussion about bodily functions prior to or following the break, double negative points if the usher is coming through at the time with the collection basket, though I suspect it improves the take for the church on those occasions.

Please note that bathroom breaks to discuss potential birthday party themes, what one wants for lunch, or to scout out the number of Boston Crème donuts left downstairs for purchase after mass, is a mandatory major point deduction.

3) Mom rules. Dad disciplines. Most adults responsible for more than one child opt for the divide and conquer method of maintaining a minimum level of good behavior.

If you use the two most likely to fight as book ends of the pew, with the boring parents actually trying to pay attention to mass in the middle, odds of being able to follow along in the missilette increase by 30%. If you use the adults as bookends to curtail spontaneous bolting down the aisle (and it’s been known to happen), fights increase as a possibility by a factor of ten.

Once you have more than three, some combination of children will have to sit together and finding the right combo is a matter of luck and dependent upon many as of yet undiscernable factors. It is for this reason, we encourage as many of our children as possible to serve at the mass, meaning their behavior will be much more public display and limiting our personal liability.

On non serving days, Mom will try to bring order by glaring and whispering sharply, “Be good, we’re in church.” Dad will squeeze the hand of the offending child and say “No donuts.” Please note, the second strategy opted for by fathers everywhere does not work for vigil or the 5:00 Sunday evening slacker mass.

4) Virtue boy and Prayer girl are fighting. If you ever want to witness the true hostility that comes naturally to brothers and sisters of similar age, take them to mass. When they kneel next to each other, check the elbows. Chances are, they’ll be boring into each other’s with such intensity that one could create diamonds out of coal if a suitable sample were placed in between the siblings two opposing joints and allowed to endure simply the Apostle’s Creed.

There will be an unspoken battle to see who can sing better…louder…softer…with fewer mistakes. There will be a race to see who can stand, sit and kneel on cue. One will sit with his hands folded, eyes fixed on the priest while the other follows along in the book. Sure, it looks like both are into the mass, but both are petitioning parents and God to smite the other less reverent, less responsive, less worthy sibling down for his/her sloppy execution of appointed physical gestures.

Parental correction to a singular person equals victory. Admittedly, as long as the war remains a cold one, most adults are willing to allow this sort of muted spy vs. spy battle go unchecked.

So if you were ever wondering why the Catholic Church in its infinite and timely wisdom has the kiss of peace, the “Lord I am not worthy to receive you,” or the “Go In Peace.” Sections of the liturgy, now you know.

These are not just reminders of our unworthiness or need to express love to one another or the words of Christ himself, these are the Church’s way of helping out the frazzled Mom and Dad in the back of the building, reminding the offspring that are the faith’s future to “knock it off.” “Play nice.” And “Be good.” ….or no donuts.

To which we, the strung out grown-ups of the clan say, “Thanks be to God.”

Friday, March 27, 2009

Growing Pains

Every parent has spent a lifetime of nagging children to eat their vegetables, to brush teeth, to read, to do homework, to watch less TV and exercise more. Every parent has hoped their children would be more manageable than they were as kids. Every kid as presumed they were more knowledgible about the world than their parents could ever be, and every parent has fretted that the current age is so very different and more difficult than all the ages past, that the world is much more oppressive and dangerous than they remember. Time is the great equalizer of all perceptions. Once you get to the later age, you have the authority of past experience to recognize those without that perspective; will not recognize your authority.

So I get the pain and awkwardness of teenagerhood. No one ever says “Man, if only I were 12 again.”

Having two teens and one tween and one perspective tween, I am having bad flashbacks.

Yesterday was a free dress day at school and I remembered. One of the biggest arguments I ever had with my Mom and I LOVED my Mom, (she was a safe haven and a refuge in those ugly high school years), was over a bathrobe sash.

I thought it looked great tied around my head.

It had a long flowing tapered end and it was fuchsia pink and made of terry cloth. It could not, could not have been more stylin’. I had on a mini skirt, tights, a flash dance cut sweat shirt, leg warmers and to complete the screaming 80’s fame wantabe ensemble, the fuchsia terry cloth bathrobe sash head band. Mom said no. I protested. Mom still said no. Somehow, the words “It’s a bathrobe sash.” Refused to sink into my adolescent brain. She tried mightily to convince me but undaunted, I marched to school, headband a swaying, euphoric.

That today, there is no physical evidence that I ever wore the thing to school is proof, not that anyone needed any, that Mom loves me.

Some kid at school, I forget the name, said, “Hey Sherry? Why are you wearing a bathrobe sash on your head?” The sash was off instantly and I was cured.

My daughter came up to show me her outfit for school. She had been in a great funk about what to wear but now joyfully modeled blue sports shorts, a striped pink and white top, a purple jacket and light blue ughs. Her hair was in deep curls and she twirled around with a twinkle in her eyes that mirrored her mother’s of 28 years ago.

“How do I look?” she'd asked.

I struggled. I knew she loved this, I knew I hated it but I knew she loved this. “You look happy.” I replied.

Off she bounced, her heart light.

Hopefully, no one took any pictures.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Notre Dame Our Mother, Pray for US..We are ND

When Mario Cuomo came to speak at Notre Dame, "official" people and political fans of the man went into logistical moral pretzels to assuage critics who felt the university was betraying its Catholic identity in the process. The University opted to host him, saying a university must be open to all ideas and that it was important to hear dissenting views of prominent Catholics. His arguments that one could “not impose” one’s morality on others allowed countless Catholics to check themselves out of the abortion issue entirely. They “washed their hands” of this moral issue. He set the stage for John Kerry and others on how to parse the abortion question such that if no one paid too close attention, they could have their virtuous Catholic faith and the endorsement of NARAL too. They felt Solomon like, but in actual reality, they split the baby.

Our current President used the votes of those who embraced the Cuomo argument, to help him to get elected. People who were Catholics for Obama argued that we can’t be one issue voters and thus the public good offered to the poor of the world in health care and social programs outweighed any good that might be gained for the unborn, as abortion would still continue. This type of thinking drove me nuts before the election, because it wasn’t like poverty and sickness and suffering for the living would vanish because this guy became president! But the election happened, and for those who think all souls have meaning and specifically for those who hold Catholicism to be authentically true, it’s hard not to be fighting mad with how things have thus far turned out. Eight weeks in, we have embryonic stem cell research, funded abortions overseas, talk of FOCA being signed, and a repeal of the Mexico City policy that banned federal funding to all organizations that either promoted or provided abortions.

Based on all these policies and using statistics the way the global warming crowd does, the unborn of our nation are the most endangered life form on earth; for all practical purposes, it is open season on all stages of neonatal development. 50 million and counting have been served by Planned Parenthood and similar minded institutions, and there is no sign that the fiendish beast that loves abortion desire’s to devour those not yet born is in any way abated. Shouldn’t we be jumping up and down or something? Holding a concert? The devil salivates at all the souls scarred and potentially lost through this procedure: the mother, the father, the nurses, the advocates, the doctors and the politicians and the duped.

Over and over again this past year, we have seen Catholic public officials and Catholic citizen alike, check their moral compass at the Election booth or behind the policy making door. Those who advocated for President Obama amongst the Catholic community, specifically, Biden, Pelosi, Sebelius, Douglas Kmiec and all who joined Catholics for Obama, who felt that one could vote for the most pro-abortion candidate in the United States history in good conscience, have now found a strange and to my thinking, terribly sad ally in the University of Notre Dame.

Now it is a big deal to have a sitting President come and speak at a University. Having the sitting president speak at commencement is many things, heady, impressive, and publically good for the institution as whole. It is a draw to future applicants of the school. We’re important; we get the President of the United States. It will look good for both the President and the University.

What it won’t be, is Catholic, because it is also the obligation of every Catholic to speak out and provide correction when people of good character go wrong, and to refuse those who knowingly engage in wrong moral behavior, the cover of tacit approval by association. Here was the opportunity to speak truth to power as was once popular, to be a clear moral voice in the world of relativism that seeks to dismiss all debate as partisan and symbolic rather than necessary and substantive. To my thinking, the University failed in its core mission, again.

One hopes when the cock finally crows and the University has denied Christ in disguise a third time, that those in positions of leadership will weep and become the rocks they always could be. I love this place. I met my husband here. My father and mother began their great romance story here. My sister and her husband went here. My grandfather went here. My Aunt, my Uncle, cousins I care about deeply, people I call and write and love went to this place or just across the street at Saint Mary’s. I know the University of Notre Dame is still Catholic and that perhaps those in positions of authority see the situation differently. But they should know that we don’t just want the Irish to win on the football field, we want them to be scholars and gentlemen. We want them to be good sports and kind souls. We want the whole package, undefeated, perfect in all things, shining like the Dome itself, humble, virtuous, good. We’re THAT Catholic, we want all.

And so we worry that Notre Dame will become like Georgetown, which once took down the crucifixes in its classrooms rather than offend those who did not know Christ crucified, or Boston College, which considered back 1989, selling condoms in the bookstore might somehow not a betrayal of Catholic values. If Notre Dame wants to return to its once former glory which did not rest on the football field, but on the steeped Faith and Beating Catholic heart of the University and its people, it needs to reassert its Catholic identity.

I’d say, it’s time for the sacrament of Reconciliation….and maybe it’s sister school, Saint Mary’s College should invite Sarah Palin.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Every Saturday I load up the car with three of my girls for ballet lessons. Today I was relaxed about this because I had located the tutus, shoes and leotards and tights yesterday. I'm slowly learning to preempt my stress.

The older child adores her class and is ready at 7 am for her 10:15 Ballet/Tap course. The younger sister earned her slot in the First Steps Ballet class at 10:30 by becoming potty trained. "Ballerinas don't wear diapers." I explained.

There are a lot of Moms in the waiting room with only one or two children. One mom asked me today, "You're an expert with having so many kids and do you potty train?"

After I stopped laughing manically, (I think I spooked her), virtually every Mom was all ears as I admitted that numbers do not an expert make. Numbers just provide cover for most of my weaknesses. (My house is a mess. It was a mess when I had only one, but now I can blame it on sheer volume). I hate homework. Numbers now require that anyone over third grade be self sufficient for the most part. Organization is a decent skill. Neatness is not. I stress over being late but I'm not punctual.

Basically, I explained that while six children have come through potty training unscathed, their mother has not. Potty training involved the child becoming self willing of the act and thus far, none of my children had willingly submitted to the indignity of self imposed body control without a mighty struggle. Others might have better ideas I volunteered.

Several Moms offered suggestions but basically, all of us said, "Wait until Summer." (The Mom in question is expecting a baby any day now). The dancers interrupted the conversation as class was over.

My daughters came up to me and started sharing the candy they got from the teacher at the end of class. This week's treat was "Smarties," Those sweet and tart little candies that come in a roll stacked like pennies and look like vaguely tinted Tylenols.

As I took off my dauther's tutu and put on her cover ups, she began putting the candies in my mouth. "What are you doing?" I asked. (There were about six she was trying to shove in there).

"Making you smarter." She explained and then gave me a kiss.

"Better give me a whole roll." I quipped as I put on her shoes.

I then turned to her sister to get her ready. The youngest girl was testing out the class; she is considering potty training. This little one almost sucks her thumb. She holds it to her mouth but does not put it in. Likewise, she sits on the potty but that's it. After class, she needed her coat and shoes too.

The first toddler daughter returned and very solemly tapped my shoulder.
She had gone back to the teacher and returned with three "Smartie" rolls.

"Here." she said. "That should do it."

I popped a roll into my mouth and hoped that maybe, it would help me get through the next girl's potty training with minimum of psychological scarring.

Friday, March 20, 2009

That's Amore...of knowledge

For those of you who fell asleep during Philosophy class or opted out…a quick primer

Sung to the tune of “That’s Amore.”

“When Kant wanted to show that in experience you know
it’s aposterori…

When you know it innate, and there’s no physical state
it’s a priori.”

Berkley and friend Hume say all knowledge’s presumed
Being’s just your mind’s story. (It’s a story).

And Socrates and Plato
Said we just know we don’t know
As we sit on the cave floore.

When you debate what is Truth,
are killed for corrupting the Youth
You love knowledge. (You love Knowledge).

When you argue about Elliatics
and you feel dramatic
You’re in college. (You’re in college).

When you think this is all there is
and the sky is the limit
You’re called a realist. (a realist).

But for me can’t you see such a bleak world
It has no appealist.

Happy Saint Joseph’s Day!
May he and all people of Italian descent forgive me, including my children and husband.

I had writer’s block, this was the best I could do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Signs and Portents

For the adolescent house cleaning impaired, the following is a helpful checklist designed and provided by the management to help in determining if in fact it is time to clean one's room.

10) Are there designated trails to allow for ease of passage through the room? Are they clearly marked and delineated to indicate level of difficulty/skill required by the hiker? If's time.

9) When the dry erase board and calendar both read September and its March, it's time. Please note, it is not relevant whether the calendar says 2008 or 2007.

8) Displacement on too small a scale design errors: translation, five coffee cups, one tall glass and two plastic tumblers in the bathroom atop the sink to allow for rinsing and midnight drinks of water is perhaps too much for the demands of one teenager's dental hygiene or thirst. If you have to bus the sink, it's time.

7) Cascade effect. If you need a bigger and/or additional trash can, here's a hint. Try emptying it.

6) Papers --house or news, homework or letters, circa 2006. It's time. I promise, you won't be quizzed on your vocabulary from seventh grade, and if you are, you should know it by now.

5) Christmas/birthday cards/presents still wrapped/unopened. Boo. I'll be regifting...soon.

4) Relics/evidence of food. Best to leave no trace. CSI should not be able to determine you ate here. Neither should mom, and she's infinitely worse than those guys on TV.

3) 10$ in change. If I clean, there will be “carrying charges.”

2) Let’s think about this for a moment. Do you really want me going through your room?

1) Crunchy socks. They’re fabric, soft fabric. They shouldn’t BE able to make a sound by being folded akin to the snapping of branches.

Final Notice: Failure to adhere to this simple check list could result in the "accidental" releasing of toddlers into said teenager's room.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Grown Up Christmas List

There's this song, it's kind of syrupy and so I haven't decided if I like it or not, "My Grown Up Christmas List." The cynic in me goes bleah. The true believer that knows our own hearts yearn for a reality that is more real and more loving and more authentic than the one we have, concedes that the words still move. So I am at odds with myself whenever this song comes on the Radio during Christmastime. So here's my wish list two and a half months after December 25th. I'll be sending out Christmas Cards on Saint Patrick's Day. Last year, it was Feb 2nd when they got mailed. Look for a card tax day in 2010.

That having been said, as I was cleaning the kitchen with my shop-vac this morning, I sighed that the attatchment that would make this job much swifter has been lost to the toy bins of the ages, all because once, I assigned vacumning to my daughter and she took offense. In retaliation for being required to sully her hands with a mere domestic chore, she promptly lost one of the attachments. Then, the next time, another, and as such, I have the machine and the hose and the three tubes, and the holder for the attachments, but no extras. I've searched. I've had her search. She doesn't remember.

So I'd like to have a new sucking attachment to my vacumn. I'd also like some backs for all my matching GOOD earings, but since that requires that I take said earings to a jewelry store, they sit unworn in my dresser. I'd like the other pink velcro easy for her to put on shoe that fits my daughter to reappear and I'd like to walk into my basement and not need to steel myself before I do it.

While I'm wishing, someone would put two wire shelves in the back basement and help me reorder the memory boxes that were in great shape until the existing shelving gave out, causing six plastic bins of sorted photos to crash and scatter. They'd also take away the tile table top in the back basement. Someone would fix the light in our bathroom that I can't reach with a step ladder and which seems stuck such that both adults in the house are afraid to mess with it. I'm tired of sitting in darkness. It's been more than a year.

My grown up Christmas list does not warm hearts or demand a lot of money, but it would sure be nice not to have a fully working bathroom at night. Both the cynic and the true believer would rejoice. Talk about peace on earth.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Real Impressionists at Work

Anyone who has ever taken an art class knows one of the most basic of teaching techniques is imitation. To learn how to paint, one copies the methods employed by the masters. Through the dabbing of dots of paint, one learns how technique influences form and how carpal tunnel syndrome existed long before portable computers became ubiquitous. The overarching idea is to gain an appreciation for method while forming one’s own judgments about how to best express one’s own concepts of motion, form, color and mood. “Wrapping a line around one’s think.” Sr. Betty used to say.

In the forming of an actual person’s personality, the approach is much the same. One of the jobs of parenting is to expose children to beauty. When driving, a father or mother must draw attention to the scenic vista, the historical marker or the local color shop that seems iconic to the geographic area one is passing through. The problem however, is that being shown beauty does not always have its intended effect. For instance, if I show my kids a mountain, they want to know if we can go skiing or hiking. If I show my kids a river, “When are we swimming?” or “Can we fish?” pops up. Farms trigger “When do we eat?” and “Can we pick our own?” responses. Animals alongside the road invoke clamors for pets, rides or visits to the local zoo.

With every attempt to enrich our children, the responses are immediate and beyond what was intended, resulting in the adults having to either ratchet back expectations or dim enthusiasm. We took the kids to a museum. The natural consequence “Can we paint?” made me shiver involuntarily. I could see my floor covered with blue spats, at least four outfits worth of laundry, three full baths with hair wash, seventeen muddy watercolors in my future that I must simply adore and possibly frame, and the very real possibility of my kitchen walls receiving the Jackson Pollack treatment. Yet the Mom gene in me always ignores these clarion cries and says “Yes.”

Things were going smoothly until one child decided her arm needed to be purple. This started a trend. I was now the proud parent of a Blue Man Group franchise. If I could have sold tickets to have people stare at my oddly hued offspring as they made caterwauling sounds while playing Wii’s Rock Band, this might have been okay. As it was, two hours of scrubbing later still left me with vaguely tinged children, like easter eggs in that PAAS dye that haven’t been allowed to sit. It was winter so long sleeved shirts and gloves mitigated what might have otherwise been an awkward moment at Sunday mass, though my three year old sported a skin tone that might have been considered jaundice if it hadn’t been so Trix cereal yellow in hue.

Now, the artists in my home seize every moment possible to cut paper, glue things and add little extras to our walls. I should buy stock in Mr. Clean, as he and I are constant companions, scrubbing the walls to erase what would be otherwise permanent murals paying homage to toddlerhood. I had come to an uneasy acceptance of this situation until one daughter brought me to see her art. “It’s you.” She beamed proudly, and I gulped at my moral dilemma. Erase the portrait offered with love or leave a scrawl of pencil and crayon clearly visible first thing when you walk in the house.

Wrapping a think around the lines, I grabbed a paint brush. Sure the work was untouchable before but that was when there wasn’t actual paint involved. Within minutes, I had a white door again and several pleased artists, including the revisionist who was now reveling in her “White period.” However, before they get too carried away with thinking that they can redecorate the house, I think I’ll take them out in the car and maybe point out a mountain or a farm or a river.

It will give my husband a fighting chance to clear out all the crayons.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Thaw

One of the problems I face raising so many children, is getting into a parental rut; like not varying the menu or not thinking to expose my kids to a type of art work because for me, I’ve done this six times before. The tone I use with the three pre-schoolers cannot apply to older, nor can the ironic humor used with teens be salted in conversations with pre-teens. If you only eat Nutella, you forget other chocolates like semi-sweet have a beauty that’s worth appreciating. Drinking only one type of wine or hearing only one kind of song will ultimately become dull. Parenting the same way with everyone is a guaranteed recipe for failure. As of late, the sheer numbers had resulted in my engaging in mostly triage style parenting, fixing what needed help the most and trying to just muddle through the rest.

Playing ball, the kids began a rhyming game and I had to marvel at how quickly my older children molded their behavior to keep the younger ones engaged. I conceded, I had been an all work and no fun parent as of late. Fortunately, my daughters and sons keep providing me with their fresh perspectives. Without their everyday examples, I’m not sure how one could rediscover experiencing toddlerhood the eighth time around and continue to recognize that a day spent scribble scrabbling through an entire ream of paper is much better time spent than even a few minutes agonizing over a difficult Sudoku.

The other day, my daughter put out the paper and crayons as soon as breakfast was over and had the toddlers make periscopes so they could play pirates. The project lasted all of 20 minutes but the joy was contagious and soon I had swabs running about the house saying “ARRR” and “AVAST” with lots of giggles, whereas boring old me would have cleaned the table and handed out the crayons and paper without the additional prompt.

How long had I been sleeping? These effortless acts that for some reason had for me, taken effort, were all around me. The children needed me to have new eyes too. A mental wall came down, making me wonder when I first put the darn thing up and why?

Suddenly, there were all sorts of possibilities. I could already foresee, reading the lyrics to rock band, our first grader would getting additional reading time and mentally planned a band session for the next day. That week, times tables were an issue for my baseball player, so we’re worked on drilling them as we played catch. “Pop fly Pop Quiz. Seven times Seven.” He had to catch, throw and give the answer. I told him it was just as hard for me without the math. After watching me drop a few routine flies, he agreed.

The calendar may say only March 8th, but the first signs of a real spring are here. For me, parenting is and will always be like listening to opera, watching a movie with subtitles, visiting a museum or hearing baseball on the radio. The experience itself is more pleasurable than the idea of the experience, and I need to not be put off by the concepts which often sound dryer and duller than the reality. The thaw of my hibernating fun parent has begun.

Yesterday was beautiful so we went outside. One daughter had too much homework, but in keeping with the new policy to squeeze in a little fun, she dribbled the basketball under the table as she worked on her geometry. The old me started to mess with it, after all, she was in the house, it was loud, what if the toddlers try to do this…visions of messes threatened to create six more weeks of winter. Then I remembered myself in a desk. Even in graduate school, my leg was always bouncing, I never sat still. Even in tests, I’d be almost twitching to get out of my seat and my notebooks were illustrated with dragons on every page whenever a lecture was taking place.

I made myself smile and ushered the younger ones outside to bike a game of red light green light, but before leaving, I drew a dragon on her worksheet. "Keep up the good work." I added.
“Cool Mom.” and she kept on dribbling. “Look, with my left hand too."

P.S. There are lots of lessons I’m taking in from this most recent child’s brief life, not the least of which is, whatever I’m currently worrying or obsessing about, it isn’t important. Life raising nine children suddenly seems a lot less difficult than I previously thought it was, and thus I am grateful to this little one for bringing with her, the gift of perspective.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Taking Time Off

For those who do not know, I experienced a miscarriage this past week. (Ash Wednesday). Yesterday, I had the necessary surgery to allow my body to heal and remove the remains of our 11th child. I had a miscarriage back in 2003 as well. There wasn't something to see and I was out cold anyway, but the doctor will have a chromosone work up done of our baby's DNA so we can know if it was a boy or a girl and what if anything can be known, caused death in utero.

So I ask for your prayers and patience, as I heal and take this week off from blogging. I'll probably find 15 things to write about as a result of claiming not to post this week, but that is the nature of things. Will post again come Sunday. Thanks for reading and I hope by then, I can write something to make you smile or even laugh.

While I was Sleeping

This year, I really tried to pay attention to world, national and local events. I read the paper, I watched the news. Every day, my husband or I read the articles from Real Clear Politics, right and left, Republican and Democrat. We watched both primaries. We watched both conventions. We watched both candidates and all the debates.

So I really thought I was informed.

Forgive me, I missed something.

I don't remember any candidate saying, "Vote for me and I'll spend 3.55 TRILLION dollars in the first 40 days! And, as an added bonus, if that doesn't work, We'll spend MORE."

This Lent, I gave up Real Clear Politics, The Drudge Report, Politicio and Radio politcs commentary. I can read the paper in the evening, but the object is to not allow myself to obsess on the political during the day. But I can't shut off the world entirely, so I was aware of the President's speech, of his campaign for his plan and of how the Dow is currently at 7062 and showing no signs of doing anything but a crash dive.

So I'm just wondering, at what point, Will this country say, "Cut them off."
410 Billion for a budget. 750 Billion for the Big Three. 789 Billion for the Stimulus package. 250 Billion for Foreclosures. 750 Billion for the TARP. I had to do the math using a pencil because my calculator doesn't have room for that many zeros.

What scares me isn't just the current amount spent, but the speed. And mind you, we only started 2009. There will be more bills. It's not like Congress is going to stop writing checks unless we make them, and then, there will be fiscal budgets for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Normally, I would stipulate that we probably wouldn't finance ANOTHER 789 billion dollar stimulus package in the same fiscal year, but as we have been told/warned, we might need to spend more. At the current course and speed, we are preallocating 600 billion or so a week, meaning by the end of December 2009, we'd have run up a tidy sum of 31 Trillion. I'm not saying we'll get there, only that this is the current rate at which we are spending. But, it isn't bad because we're only taking from the rich. The moral compass of Robin Hood does not good politics make.

Bring on the Sherriff of Nottingham.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!