Yesterday, we went to what was advertised as a Mexican Independence Day Festival at a local mall. They advertised dancing, bands, maraichis, and food. I expected a carnival, as this mall often has rides set up in the parking lot and little mini festivals. The first hang up was it took us a while to get out the door. Flower is learning time management, and sometimes struggles, and it’s hard for my other kids, who are wanting to go somewhere but then have to wait on her. We left almost an hour late, fought horrendous traffic, found a place to park, walked a mile, and then found the festival was indoors. So, we fight the crowd inside, wander around, and find nothing. Hubs and I start to suspect that the “festival” is a ploy to get people into the mall. We find a stage, with no one on it, and no one has any idea what time any of the advertised festivities begin. My kids are all getting antsy. People are staring at us, trying to figure out why the crazy white lady with so many tattoos is in the mall with her one Latino kid, wandering lost. We decide to find a restaurant, eat a late lunch, and figure out a new plan. Dozer was irritable and grumpy in the way that only a teenage girl can be, and Flower was feeling hurt and asking to leave because she thought Dozer was mad because we came to the festival. Sugar Biscuit was whining, and Stinky was impatient for his food, which was taking FOREVER. The food came, and it was meh. I had to take Dozer to the bathroom for an attitude adjustment, which was unsuccessful. We decided to give the festival one more walk through, and then go home. Flower found a store that had the style of pants she likes, and Dozer and her friend that accompanies us got henna tattoos. Things were looking up. We made the best of it, and came home.

After Dozer’s friend left, I made an effort to sit and discuss things with her, forgetting that teenage girls are frequently incapable of being rational conversationalists, and that effort ended with me losing my mind about her attitude and deportment, and grounding her again. I’m hoping at some point my kids are going to figure out that I’m no longer taking any amount of bullshit, and this is a zero tolerance household. Seriously. Everyone in this home is going to be compassionate, respectful, and helpful, or their lives aren’t going to be fun. At all. So, that conversation went really poorly. At the end of it, I get a text from Flower about a relative being hurt in Mexico. I go into Flower’s room to discover that she’s feeling pressured to leave the program, run away, and get a job in order to pay a coyote to smuggle her relative into the country. While I am doing my best to understand her desire to help family at all costs, the mother in me that sees the bigger picture is scared for her. I got her to agree to stay put and see what her lawyers say about a work permit, and that I will try to get her some babysitting jobs. Today, I have to touch base with the caseworker and see what she advises. While I understand a cultural value being places on helping friends and family, I can only think that it is unfair for a grown adult to put that kind of pressure on a child.

So yeah, yesterday sucked. I am worn out, and I just woke up. Today is going to be a pajama day for us, no doubt about it. Excuse poor grammar and typos. I barely have words as it is. I’m hoping today is much better, and looking forward to Stinky’s first football game tonight. And I’m pretty sure somewhere in today there needs to be cookies, and lots of them.