Moms Who Drink and Swear – Nicole Knepper makes me feel NORMAL and comfortable with the fact that I think my kid using sarcasm correctly at age 6 is a personal achievement in parenting.
Jen @ http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com/, because really, her blog name says it all. She cracks me up. She wrote a book with other awesome bloggers and maybe one day I can hornswaggle my way into one of her next bestselling anthologies. Cause right now, my publishing attempts are 0-2. This girl brings the funny.
And lastly but not leastly… my local girls
Jayme @ http://www.randomblogette.com/, who is awesome and one of only 3 ladies who will remember our senior trip to Cancun together, and who will most likely agree that our parents were the dumbest ever and our kids will NEVER get that opportunity of drunken debauchery in HIGH SCHOOL. Good Lord, some of the stories from that week we will take to our graves. Let’s just say only ONE of us did NOT get a tattoo in a walk up Mexican tattoo parlor, where they did not turn the autoclave on, only pretended to take things out of there. This was only because said person was STARVING and just wanted to eat food that would ultimately give her diarrhea. Food always trumps peer pressure, in SOME people’s eyes. 🙂
And Brittany @ http://brittanyherself.com/, who in the 4 years I’ve been following her (religiously and maybe a bit single white femalishly) has gone from laugh out loud pee your pants funny anecdotes to totally hot, inspirational blogger with ever-increasing fame and success – and she still has time to write ridiculously entertaining, hilarious stuff. See The Brazilian.
OK – that should give you something to do while I take a brief hiatus from writing. Check these girls (and guy) out. They are hilarious and will probably make you unproductive at work too. Try explaining why you are laughing at the Brazilian video to your cubicle mate. Not easy.
This is my Sunday night. I was going to hop on the treadmill. But my kids have driven me to drink instead. In a kid’s plastic cup. With the good vodka. By myself.
How do they do this to us? No one can make you mad like your kids. Not your husband, not your work, not your family, not your parents. It’s like these little people that came from you know exactly how to push your buttons. How to take that one last frayed nerve you have and pull. Hard. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you either don’t have kids, or your own kids have not reached, oh say, 3 (if I’m being generous). I remember looking at my 6 month old baby boy and wondering, how could I ever get mad at this face? HA! Easily when said face is telling you YOU need to adjust your attitude and he doesn’t care how many privileges he’s lost because what I say doesn’t matter and he didn’t do anything wrong.
My personal button of rage is flipped when they completely disregard the fact that I am speaking. They don’t seem to fear me in any way. Not even a little bit. It’s like I am some chump substitute teacher they are switching names with their best friends to drive insane. They aren’t like this for Mark. Ever. It’s like I emit some sort of unique pheromone that only my kids can smell that makes them completely insane and flippant about anything I say. I feel like I am talking to brick walls. Stubbier, smarter, cockier brick walls.
What am I doing wrong?
No, I’m not depressed. I am highly medicated and have been since G was 6 months old, and I ain’t never going back to non-medicated me. It was horrible. I was horrible. Parenting was horrible. My life was horrible. I will take my 40 mg of Prozac gladly and proudly. I will take that Xanax when needed and have it on my person at all times. In fact, the highest dose you can take (so they tell me) is 60 mg of Prozac. I have been thinking about pleading my case to my doctor for 60 mgs just because. I am technically doing great on 40 mgs, but hey, if 40 is this good, imagine what 60 would feel like amirite? I can’t quite convince myself to lie to my doctor about my mindset…yet. I don’t want him to lock me away in some insane asylum. Unless said asylum let me have my own room and computer with wifi, then sign me up. Peace and quiet with no one needing ANYTHING from me. Just some nice nurse to come in a few times a day and say, “Mrs. Jen, time for your medicine.” Heaven.
You know you are a mother when an insane asylum sounds relaxing.
I think I may have scared them tonight. I yelled. Thank God it’s northwest Ohio and still freakin freezing so the windows were closed because it was loud. LOUD. They team up, ignore me, laugh and run around, scream and holler in circles around me and I had had it. My son lost his book that was due tomorrow in school. My daughter refused to get into bed, instead dramatically dragging herself across the mattress and screaming in maniacal glee while doing it.
My kindergartener has a project due on Wednesday that I was going to foist upon his dad, but his dad got stuck on the east coast because of the effing weather, so no dad this weekend. That leaves me to put it together, which will be a fight. I don’t want to be that mother who does his project for him, and I won’t, but it’s tempting because I know the fight to get him to put any effort at all into it will be like pulling teeth. So there’s my Monday and Tuesday fight. After work. You know work, the place that I get to go back to after a 3 day “weekend.” 3 days because Willie comes down with strep this week, which I totally blew off because I assumed he was being dramatic and it was just a cold, and he never gets sick, so he’ll snap out of it right? WRONG. I sent my poor kid to school for 4 1/2 days with strep throat because I was desperate to make it to my job for 5 days in a row. Something of a miracle during the months of December through, apparently, April. Or even May, as G had pneumonia at that time last year, so by no means am I in the clear yet.
I don’t know. I am just ranting and raving. Venting. I’m not sure this post even makes any sense, and you know what? I don’t care. I had a margie at Chili’s where I attempted to have an enjoyable evening with my mother after not seeing her for 4 months, and now I’m halfway done with a 1/2 vodka 1/2 OJ fuzzy navel, so I am 3 sheets to not really caring about anything. No I am not an alcoholic. It just seems to be a Sunday trend. God bless Sundays. Get me back to work, where the normal people are. And if you knew the people I worked with, you’d know that’s comical. My workplace makes The Office seem rational. They’ve got nothing on us and I have a picture to prove it, but I don’t want to get fired. Yet.
Good night all. One day, I won’t be whining about parenting. Just not today.
Today is April 10th. A date that is etched into my brain for one annoying reason. Today is my childhood bully’s birthday, and for some reason, I can never forget it. A girl who made my life miserable from about grade 5 until freshman year of high school.
I don’t think of this girl often, as it’s been 20 years since I last saw her, but every April 10th I remember it’s her birthday. I hope wherever she is, she’s happy, as I can assure you she was not as a kid.
I met D’Vile (Ha! Get my play on words?!) when I picked her mom to babysit my sister and me. It was between a lady who had a nice boring house that abutted my school or her mom, who had a super fantastic playground and a POOL in the backyard. Pretty easy decision when you’re 9. It started out fun enough. Her mom was nice. A little possessive of food (meaning I couldn’t grab Little Debbie’s whenever I wanted, which to me, was the End. Of. The. World.), but otherwise a good babysitter. Her dad worked 3rd shift at the Jeep Plant and was chronically laid off. (Sidenote: This was my first real experience with a loser. He basically scared the crap out of me. Lord help his kids (never us thank God) if he had to get his paddle, which was hung on the wall as decoration, for punishment. It was sadistic. Not because of the paddling, but because of the psychological torture leading up to said paddling. Crazy. No wonder this girl was messed up. He was often laid off and was always smoking and drinking beer even before we left for school. His favorite pastime was recording on VHS Looney Toon cartoons on the TV in some sad desperate attempt to “get them all.” (Poor dude, all that time wasted, I can buy him a complete DVD set now for $50). And another fun fact, he had a “secret” room. One with a padlock on it in the basement. As kids, we never thought anything of it, except it had plants and a lot of neon lights in there when we did see the door open. In grownup hindsight, dude was growing his own medicinals if you know what I’m sayin.
Anyways, I’m just providing some background. Here’s the thing that freaks me out and makes me kind of a crazy parent – my parents never knew any of this. Why? Because I didn’t think they needed to know. First, I had no idea about the pot. Second, they never hit or yelled at me or my sister, so I thought this was just the way it was in their house. They basically were good to us; it was their own kids they fucked with.
Anyways, back to D’Vile. It started kind of slow and as a kid, I didn’t recognize it. First, there was another girl her mom watched that she was just plain ol’ mean to. They blamed her for everything that went wrong, made her feel crazy, fat and ugly, all for no apparent reason, except maybe D’Vile’s mom didn’t like her mom.
She eventually left. I met this girl again in my 20s. We ended up working in adjoining cubicles at my 8 months of torture call center job, when I recognized her name. She survived and turned into a nice normal adult, but has very different memories of her time there, but it still has the same crazy undertones I remember.
After she left, they turned on my sister. I don’t know why they never picked on me, I think it’s because of my wallflower tendencies. I remember one day they pulled her chair out from under her as she was sitting down just to be mean. As her older sister, I started to cry. Cry because no one had ever been mean like that to my sister (besides me) and I didn’t know how to stop it. This girl and her little brother terrified me. Never once did I think to tell my parents.
So, this girl and I were friends. Friends in that I was terrified to not be her friend. We were in the same class that year, and I noticed she was mean to others around me and I didn’t like it. I never had the balls to stand up to her and defend any of my classmates, I just stood by hoping she wouldn’t turn on me.
As time went on, we got older and eventually stopped being watched by her mom, and after a few years of this “friendship,” it got too much for me. Some straw broke the camel’s back. I can’t remember what now, but I remember my real best friend and I decided to take a stand. We completely stopped talking to her, which at 10 was totally the right way to go about ending a friendship with an unstable crazy bully.
Let’s just say that didn’t go over well. Over the course of the next few years, all culminating at a rough inner city middle school, she made me and mostly, my best friend’s, life a living hell. She called my friend butterball and other fat names when we got off the bus each day. She’d follow us home. Things never got physical thank God, but then, girls are much more sadistic about bullying. They go for the jugular, and by jugular I mean tear into an 11 and 12 year old girl’s physical appearance. It was pretty brutal.
By now my parents knew, but were pretty much helpless to stop it. I mean, she wasn’t physical, just threatening mentally. Plus, these were the 90s, waaay before anti-bullying campaigns became popular and schools became more involved. It was just us kids figuring it out on our own, in a very Animal Farm/Lord of the Flies type of way. (See? I did read in 8th grade.)
Things got better when my best friend and I went to the private high school and she continued onto the public high school. We no longer saw her and thought it was over. Then, one summer we started getting prank calls. This was pre-technology anything. Heck, we still had rotary phones in our house and caller ID hadn’t yet been invented. Now, as the babysitter of my younger sister, initially these calls were terrifying. I was alone in a house all day long with my sister and some weirdo kept calling, breathing into the phone and then hanging up. We called the police and they put a tap on our line (or the phone company did, I can’t remember.) All we had to do was pick up the phone each time for it to record. I don’t know how we figured out it was her, but we did. One day she called and hung up over 200 times, which I knew because I had to keep track of and pick up the phone each time.
Nothing really happened when they tracked it back to her. I think we pressed charges, but not much was done. I think they found out she was stealing from someone else and got in trouble. Her parents divorced. I went to high school, tried to fade into the background and not draw any attention to myself in true introvert fashion, pretty much hated it, and survived. Life got dramatically better in college and I grew up to what I am now – a fairly confident 30-something.
I wish I could take my 33 year old brain back to that 8 year old girl I once was. I would tell her what I was confirming in my young brain – that this girl is batshit crazy, you should tell your parents, and get away from her and her family at all costs. That you and your best friend were beautiful, funny and smart and to never let some scrawny insecure little girl make you doubt that.
Funny thing is, this girl still has a bit of power over me. Right now, I am a wee bit afraid of putting this on the interweb for fear she will find me again and start all over again. But, with some preliminary research, I am pretty sure this girl is mostly off the internet grid. So maybe, if we’re real quiet, it won’t get back to her.
I guess to wrap up, bullies still scare the crap out of me. My son is just starting to experience mild forms of it, but so far, we have escaped mostly unscathed. I am sure this is temporary as my kid is quirky, intelligent and funny in a weird way, which will eventually make him a target. And my daughter is fairly timid in her interactions with kids her age and basically lets her friends run all over her. I am absolutely clueless on how to handle this. Do I helicopter over them, so I am not largely unaware as my parents were? Do I teach them when, where and how to defend themselves? How do I teach them biting sarcasm and dry humor that has become my defense as an adult against big meanies?
I have no idea. Guess I’ll Google it or ask around if and when the time arises that I have to deal with it. I am just terrified some punk is going to stub out the quirky, unique, adorable strengths of my children way before they realize it’s those traits that make them awesome. I never want my kids to feel they have to fit into some box of preconceived normal. I want them to think for themselves and be leaders. I want them to have best friends who look out for them and love them for who they are, not because they are good at a sport or drive a fancy car (not likely on both accounts – they do have us as parents.).
I just hope I’m doing something right and can guide them through as best I can. What are your thoughts? What are you doing for your kids? I’m all ears.
I came home from work this evening to see my kids running up to me with joy. They both took a springing leap into my outstretched arms as I knelt down to say hello. They were so excited about their days they started clamoring together. I got a few snippets of “and then we went outside and saw…” and a bit of “Janey played a princess, and I was…,” before I laughingly told them to slow down and go one at a time. As I stood to listen to their stories, a wonderful smell wafted from the kitchen. I walk in to see my husband cooking away at a bubbling, sizzling stovetop. He looks up and smiles and says, “How was your day? I got off early, picked up the kids and thought I’d start dinner and surprise you.”
Later that night, I sit next to the tub, playing along with a riveting adventure between Ariel and Nemo, while the kids giggled and splashed away. Then, after they were dried and nestled in their beds, I laid in bed with them, read them each a bedtime story as they sleepily yawned and asked for another one. I shushed them with a chuckle and turned out their lights, kissed them lightly, and snuggled them down in their covers. I shut the door to begin my evening with my husband, which included a few TV shows and casual conversations about our day.
AND SCENE. You didn’t really think that was my day did you? If so, you haven’t scrolled down to read much else I’ve wrote yet. The above little fantasy world is what my idiotic brain thought marriage and having kids would be like. Yes, I knew kids were hard, marriage was work, but really, I thought, how hard could it be?
Fast forward to my real life. I have two children, a full time job with no sick days, only precious few “Paid Time Off” days that are rapidly dwindling to single digits and it’s only the beginning of April, and a husband that we are lucky to see every weekend, because the only job he could find that didn’t pay minimum wage and involve a spatula was located on the east coast. 500 milez away.
What kind of idealistic weirdo was I to think I could live this charmed life? Besides, who lives this way anyways? Give me any parent and I’ll show you someone who would sell their souls to be given one lousy day where they get to do whatever they want. Where no one needs something from them, where no one hides from her brother under their shirt and then proceeds to tell said parent they have a big fat bootie. Where their kindergartener doesn’t act like the five minutes of homework he’s been given to do over spring break isn’t the equivalent of ripping his limbs off. Where no matter what they cook, they hear “THIS IS GROSS!” Even if it is the food they loved last week and were screaming for even though they knew you had ran out of it and hadn’t had time to get to the grocery store for more.
My life is actually quite charmed and I am very lucky, but screw that it’s a wonderful life bullshit and let’s get real. I’m in a mood. I’ve just spent two straight days with my children. Not the above mentioned joyful loving children – my actual children. And to make matters worse, both were in some stage of sickness since Saturday, which ups the normally whiny and bitchy quotient by 100. Ever get waken up by a sneeze? One that’s aimed directly at your face and showered on you at point blank range? I have. Ever get waken up by hearing, “QUIT WATCHING MY KINDLE, YOU HAVE YOUR OWN!” Moment of silence… then, “MOM! GRACE IS BREATHING ON ME AND WON’T MOVE!” This is then followed by a scream that gets louder as it screeches down the hallway to find you to tell you all about her brother just punched her? Check.
These have been my “vacation days” for the past three years. The first year Mark went back to work after his yearlong lay off, Gracie was 13 months and Will was 3, and I ran out of PTO by June. I took the rest of my days off unpaid and luckily didn’t get fired for taking a whopping 27 days off that year. The next year was better; I gained more time off for being there longer, had slightly less sickness and made it until October before I ran out of PTO days. Christmas shopping? HA! Done online, by a husband 500 miles away, or amidst the crazies on the weekend, squeezed in between parties and bake offs and general holiday “merriment.”
I know I am whining and people in third world countries are saying, “bitch please,” but really, we all know they aren’t reading this anyways, unless Oprah has given them a computer and internet access, so I can whine away to my first world parents who feel me.
I just never pictured life where a shower would be optional. I never thought my kids would want three freakin meals EVERY SINGLE DAY, prepared by me every time. Seriously, when I was growing up, food just magically appeared, and I was pissed because Mom called dinner every single night just as The Monkees was starting. To add to that annoyance, there was no pause button. You either watched it at 6 or you didn’t see it AT ALL. But I digress. This magical food every single night appeared in serving dishes (my kids think serving dishes are pots with potholders under them and a cooking stone topped with bagel pizza bites) and included, no kidding, a meat, a starch and a veggie, and oftentimes rolls or biscuits. Every. Single. Night. Like magic.
So I grew up thinking when I had kids, this magic fairy would show up at my house and cook, clean, and do the hard part of parenting. Stupid fairy never showed. Well unless my mom or mother-in-law shows up, then my house breathes a sigh of relief from being cleaned and the stove gets woken up by someone actually using it. But then, when they do show up, all I am free to do is attempt to sift through that paper mountain of filing that hasn’t been touched in 5 years or play find-the-throw up/poop/pee-smell. Or if I’m really lucky, I can sit down and watch TV…Backyardigans, Cat in the Hat (If I ever meet Martin Short, I am ripping his larynx out…Yes, your mother does MIND if you do!), or the original Benji…from 1974, with my kids. Or maybe I can go outside and watch them ride their bikes and yell in a panic every 5 seconds at the top of my lungs CAAARRRR!!!! Or maybe I can go downstairs and eat some fake food in the playroom and get bossed around about how I’m eating it wrong and not making appropriate yummy noises. Or maybe we can play legos, where within 5 minutes I am like, “Where is that freakin red piece the size of an atom?!”
Then once the bedtime routine is over and silence finally descends on the house, I have dishes, cat litter, and laundry among other things giving me dirty looks. Sometimes I do it, begrudgingly and half-assed, all while promising myself I’ll deep clean “later.” Sometimes I say Fuck IT and sit down to read a book or catch up on actual enjoyable adult TV, only to be interrupted by a 14 year old cat who steps on my face like, “What the fuck woman? Remember me? The one who can tell all your drunk college stories AND your most recent sexcapades? Yeah, well, it’s time for some kitty loving. And don’t mind my snotty nose, I’ll just wipe it all over your shirt.”
So then at this point – it’s 11:00. Time to give up, fall asleep in my contacts and makeup, only to hit the snooze to start it all over again at 5:30 the next day and tick the days off until my husband can join me for our fun-filled, family-time weekends, which include dragging our asses out of bed at 7 (if we are lucky) and making those two days not only productive and efficient, but also the best freakin 2 days our kids’ lives, all to alleviate some of that mommy and daddy guilt that plagues us during the week.
Thanks. I feel better. Feel my pain people! Help me to know I’m not alone.
PS – Now I’ll go watch my kids sleep like angels and fall in love with them all over again…or at least enough to start fresh tomorrow… or tackle the midnight fever or vomiting episode.