This is what life has come to…

Life has been reduced to Ketel One in a kids cup.
Life has been reduced to Ketel One in a kids cup.

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.

 

Bully Pulpit

English: A Bully Free Zone sign - School in Be...
English: A Bully Free Zone sign – School in Berea, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

It’s a Wonderful Life

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.”

Beautiful, lovely childrent
Beautiful, lovely children

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.

General merriment and comraderie
General merriment and comraderie

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?!”

Parent for reals
Parent for reals

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.”

Planning her assault
Planning her assault

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.

 

Food Issues…Again

Hi, my name is Jenny and I have food issues.
Hi, my name is Jenny and I have food issues.

I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, or more likely beating a bag of M&Ms,  but I have food issues.  This weekend, being Easter, only highlighted these issues, and with this past week being a combo pre-holiday, Aunt Flo week, all bets were off.

For those you also obsessed with vampire shows, I often compare myself in vampire folklore terms.   Take Vampire Diaries, where they have this nifty thing that if you are a vampire and life gets too unbearable, you have a “humanity switch.”  This switch can be flipped and will let said vampire turn off their emotions and just live without feeling anything.  Very good for upping the drama factor and making good girls and boys look cool doing bad things and excusing it later type thing.

Hmm.  Damon.  Just because.
Hmm. Damon. Just because.

My “switch” that I oftentimes turn off pertains to food.  It’s what I would term my “self-control” switch.  The one that tells me, Hey Jen, why don’t you stop at the first row of Oreo’s, that’s plenty dontcha think?  Or maybe, Hey girl, how about we not eat our weight in candy today mkay?  The inside voice that shuts down my inner voice that can justify eating anything as long as no one sees me doing it.  Like a tree in the woods, if no one sees me wreck that plate of cookies, did it really just happen?

I battle to keep this switch on every single day, and sometimes, the fight just goes out of me.  I stress eat.  I tired eat.  I bored eat.  I eat because if someone doesn’t eat those ice cream sandwiches currently in my fridge, no one will.  I am always thinking about food.  I know it’s unhealthy, but therapy is freakin expensive, and I currently can’t afford to pay someone to listen to me whine about food, which in turn, will only make me hungry.

I feel like food is a drug I can’t quit.  Besides I can’t quit, we humans technically need it to survive, and besides, it would completely put me in a whole other psychological mess category, and I’ve tried not eating, it doesn’t work.  Usually a half hour in, I’m like, I’M DYING, MY STOMACH IS STARTING TO EAT MY LIVER, GET ME SOME FOOD, and I end up eating half the McDonald’s menu, which by the way McD’s thanks for the calorie count buzzkill on the menus now.  I prefer ignorance; I know your restaurant is not good for me, please stop preaching it when I am trying to get my Double-cheese on.   (Quiet KQ, I am not eating your ridiculous apples.  What’s the point? You took away the caramel months ago, which almost caused complete anarchy in my backseat by the way, a little warning would have been nice.)

I will jump back on the wagon tomorrow.  I will once again try to be good, but another stumbling block I face is even when I am super good, drink water like a camel, love me some fruits and veggies, and eat smaller quantities, I lose approximately 1 pound.  I was awesomely good for the entire months of February and March (with the exception of last week, doesn’t count, see above Shark Week and Easter combo). I ate well, worked out three to four times a week, I didn’t eat at night, and I actually choked down my 8 glasses of water every day.  I only lost 4 freakin pounds.  Now, in this time, I did feel pretty darn great, my muffin top got smaller, I did have more energy and other things, but it’s HARD when you just don’t see the results on the scale or start to get Madonna arms after like 10 whole pushups.

Another problem is I LOVE food.  Not good food mind you.  Crap food.  I love Little Debbie’s, Chef Boy R Dee, anything chocolate, and anything pre-packaged and convenient.   I hate thinking ahead and planning.  I hate vegetables.  I am the person that buys like $30 of fresh fruits and veggies at the store on Saturday and am throwing them away untouched on Friday to make way for the next cycle.   If I can’t grab it, rip the top off the container and shove it down my gullet, I am not eating it.  Nachos are awesome to me, but only on special days, because those are a lot of work.  Probably not wondering anymore why my cholesterol is 265 are you?

This post is a cry for help.  I need motivation.  I need something.  I have only one idea left.  Basically I need people in all areas of my life shaming me into not eating badly.  I need people judging me at get togethers.  I need people at work to call me names when I am gorging on donuts and M&Ms.  I need to know I am being watched, or else I won’t quit.  Nighttime is the hardest, but I guess I’m on my own there.  But if I can make it the rest of the day, I might just have enough willpower to finish the day strong.

I have to do something.  I am killing myself.  I am teaching my kids awful food habits.  I want to put dinners on the table every night, not just mac and cheese and nuggets.  I need to get my butt in gear and grow up.  I am 33 years old and it is time to get organized.  I bet there’s something on Pinterest for that, and most likely, I pinned it months ago, and then went back to funny memes without reading it.  So, I issue my inner circle a challenge:  watch me, comment on my eating, shame me, it’s the only way I will stop, or at least get started down the right path.  I will warn you though, in approximately 28 days, if I come at you looking for chocolate, you best move out of my way, because this week can make me violent.

Happy Easter everyone!

 

UPDATE 4/1/13:  Just called the doctor’s office to get my updated cholesterol bloodwork results and I am down from 265 to 216 just with the dieting and exercising I am doing!  There’s a little motivation to not jump off the wagon!  I may be fat, but by God, I am making myself healthier! Yay!  No meds yet for me.

Messin Around

One quick, funny, slightly mortifying story, and then this PMSy, tired mother is going to bed.

Like I’ve mentioned, Mark has been doing this new job for over a month now and we are getting a rhythm down, a routine established to help give some structure for our kids and for our weekends.  Therefore, weekends include a “quiet time,” which because they are 4 and 6, is rapidly becoming non-essential, and us parents are the ones who need some quiet time mid-afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays, not our dear offspring.

And it’s worth reiterating, we don’t see each other at all during the week, hence we relish our alone time.  So, we put them in their rooms, shut the doors and tell them to play quietly until we come to tell them it’s ok to wake up.   Most of the time, this works and due to their rooms being the only electronic-free rooms in our house, they usually fall asleep out of “boredom” surrounded by actual toys.  Well, we were going to find out they don’t always go to sleep.

I think we both intended to lay in our bed, do some snuggle bunnying and then grab a quick snooze in the quiet moments.  Well, thanks to ending a really good, really smutty book series earlier that morning (He fixes pancakes, I read.  Totally fair.) and the fact that my husband is a guy and I’ve never not seen any guy horny, let alone this one whom I’ve agreed to love, cherish and snog til death due us part –  snuggling led to some very heavy petting.  All under the covers, but a little ardent with maybe a dirty limerick or two being exchanged in the heat of the moment.   Well, apparently we got a little too consumed and did not hear our son’s door open, nor did we hear the footsteps pad up the hallway.  So into it we were (yes with the door open), we were not interrupted until we heard, “When you guys are done fooling around, can naptime be over?”  We look up to see our son standing calmly in the doorway asking a very prudent question.

Gasp.  Shrivel. Panic.

“Uh, in a little bit buddy. Mkay?”

Ga!  Forget college.  We have a therapy fund already started, but really then maybe not, he really didn’t seem all that bothered – but then he could be repressing the whole thing and will be waking up in cold sweats at 16 wondering why rhyming anatomy words creep him out.

True story.  OK – maybe our dirty talk doesn’t rhyme, but go with me on this one.

PS – Check me out on Goodreads, where you can find all the books I allude to.  <—-

Sundays

I love my kids.  I love my husband.  With all my heart.  HOWEVER, at this moment, I want them to all GO AWAY.

First, I just Febrezed my husband’s shorts and the couch he was polluting with his ass.  While he was laying on said couch in said shorts.   I say, I am getting the odor at its source.  He complains it’s cold.  Whiner.

Second, my 6YO’s meds are off.  We are in the process of finding the right dosage level, and I am supposed to be patient while we are doing this.  Patience is not one of my strong suits.   I am pretty sure the pharmacist at Rite Aid is a sick sadist and gave us placebo sugar pills instead of ADHD medication, because this kid is off the charts lately.  He hasn’t held still or stopped making noise since he woke up this morning.  It’s like the Energizer Bunny on steroids.  As a disclaimer, I have been anti-medicating kids since Day 1 and fought for YEARS to put him on a controlled substance for his ADHD and sensory issues.  We went everywhere, tried everything, and tested tested tested.  The only saving grace has been this medicine.  At first, it was like a miracle.  He was still my boy, personality, appetite and energy intact, it was just less insane.  I am not calling him crazy, but sometimes his mind would go so fast and his body would totally spaz, it was hard to watch him get lost in his own body.  This medicine seemed to help him keep up with himself.  But now, whether he has grown a tolerance for it or because he is growing like a weed, it has started to lose its effectiveness.  He’s become the scapegoat in school again – the one all the other kids blame when things go bad.  95% of the time, he is actually the culprit, but the other 5% of the time, he gets blamed because it’s easy to believe he was the instigator.

The thing I love about my boy is he’s a lover.  He wants to entertain, to be loved, to make people laugh.  Gosh, not sure where he’d get that from eh?  He’s just a bit more boisterous than I ever was.  With his meds off again, we seem to be back to square one and seem to have lost all the momentum we have gained.  The inner struggle Mark and I go through is endless.  Is he truly not in control of himself or is this a 6YO testing his boundaries?  Do we punish?  Do we seek other treatment?  Do we blame the disorder or make him take responsiblity for his own actions?  We try to maintain a balance of being responsible for his own actions and treating his behavioral problems.

Like I said, my patience level is not at its peak at the moment.  At this point, at 7:30 on a Sunday night,  I am all for pumping him full of Valium just so I can think clearly for two seconds without having to answer why the lights blur when he squints his eyes, how to find home on Google maps, all while dodging Nerf darts that him, his dad and sister are currently battling each other with.  But that’s wrong, I know this.

Next, my daughter is in a stage that has geniusly been termed the Fucking Fours.  Ahh, the age of 4.  Still adorable, getting smarter by the second, but yet still incapable of finding her hat and coat, which is always in the same place – on the floor where she left it.   The most dramatic person I’ve ever met.  Today, I put my arms on her shoulders and gently (seriously) moved her aside as I walked by her in the hallway.  She proceeded to execute the most dramatic fake fall I have ever seen.  Academy Awards (ahem Oscars, sorry rebranded, forgot) have been won for less acting.  As she looks dramatically over her fallen shoulder up from the ground at me, she exclaims MOM!  Why did you push me?  SOB!  Good Lord child.

I should write a book just on the insane stuff that comes out of her mouth.  I am truly terrified and can honestly not look her preschool teachers in the eye for fear of what she has told them about her homelife.   Today, she told my husband to quit being a pain in the ass, which to be fair, he is, but I wish she wouldn’t pick up everything I yell at him in the car.  I thought you were watching that movie??  I didn’t spend 30K on a car so you could LISTEN to our front seat conversations!   Next car, a limo with a dividing window, or maybe a police squad car, which would at least prevent the projectiles from coming my way, but wouldn’t quite mute the sound, unless we got that plastic divider thing you see in some COPS episodes.  OK, I am giving this waaay too much thought.  Then, she also tells us we have to kiss her like we’re married, which is her tilting her head to one side and shaking her head back and forth, so as to get continuous movement while kissing.  Nice huh?  What kind of princess porn am I letting her watch?  Where is she getting this stuff?

Also, her most favorite daily accomplishment?  The one she yells to me with unabashed pride at the end of school, in restaurants or at Grandma’s house?  MOM!  I didn’t poop my pants today!  G!  That is so exciting!  I am glad I have set the bar so high for my youngest!!!  I don’t need her to start reading, know her colors, I just need her not to poop in her pants.  Mensa here we come.

And finally, my traveling husband.  We are a month into this new job and five days before my period, therefore,  I am ready for him to go back to where he’s working.  I let him drive this morning and since I am sorely out of practice with being a passenger, I could not help the backseat driving that comes ripping from my mouth.  But to be fair to ME, he does pull too far forward in a driveway and does appear to be hanging out in the street, he DID almost hit that guy in the Costco parking lot because he was so concerned with saving my bottle of wine rolling around in the backseat, and he really didn’t see that car coming from his right (which, I was closer to, therefore, was simply helping him out).  This resulted in an angry chinese fire drill in a very busy Costco parking lot, when he REFUSED to drive with me any longer and told me I am driving.  Really Mark?  Aren’t we overreacting just a tad?  Now I know where G gets her dramatic side from.  Yeesh.

Then he takes us to dinner at Olive Garden.  OK OK, I admit I have super simple taste, but I LOVE me some Olive Garden.  He then FORCES me to get dessert.  Bastard.  Problem is, he wants to share.  JENNY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!!!    We get the chocolate cake, which has four layers of awesomeness, and where does he start?   The back!  The best freakin part!  He’s totally cheating!  He is stealing the essence of the dessert while I am dutifully starting at the tip and working my way up to the delicious finale.  GOD!

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Needless to say, I need a break.  But, it’s Sunday, I have papers to sign, lunches to pack, a husband who needs to catch a 6 AM flight, and a week to prepare for Easter, so no rest for the weary.  Although, I guess I could watch just one episode of Parks And Recreation before I start right?

We Have a Reader

0978081099313_300X300Hey all! I have been tired and off my game lately, sorry I haven’t been posting often. My goal is twice a week, but I have been lucky lately to get one done. Plus, I am a little bummed in that with all my talk about Toledo Area Parent, it’s been almost a month and not one word in response to what I sent them. So, sorry if I got anyone’s hopes up. It’s my first rejection as a writer, but I am hopeful I will get more chances elsewhere.  I am just proud I put myself out there.  The rejection will help me when I finally finish that Great American Novel I am intending to write.  😉

Anyways, I think I can officially state that my 6 year old is a full fledged reader. The best part is, I think he’s going to be just like his mother and read voraciously. He got his first Kindle book (because Dad left his home. I do not share! Hey, I need something to do while How’s It’s Made is on, please don’t make me actually learn about how erasers are made again ). I bought him Diary of a Wimpy Kid and he’s almost done. I asked if he had told his teacher about it, and he told me, no he hadn’t because he was afraid she’d be upset because there were swear words in it. What??? I thought this was safe reading??? Well, apparently the word “stupid” is used a lot. OK – I can deal with stupid, as long as he realizes only the not nice characters use mean words like that.  It helps build character I say.  As long as he isn’t learning the fine essence of the F-bomb, I can deal.

So anyways, when this came up, I asked him what it was really about. He was telling me the gist of it, and I asked if there is a love story in it, because he knows that if there isn’t a love story, Mom ain’t reading it. He grimaced and said, No Mom! I said there’s got to be a love story, what’s the point? He rolled his eyes and said, “Why do you only read books where they suck each others….” at which point I slapped my hand over his mouth, terrified of what he knew about what the people in my books sucked. I really try to keep these things under lock and key, but he reads EVERYTHING (including nutrition labels), so maybe he found an extremely juicy part when he was using my Kindle for Where’s My Water?

He took my hand off his mouth, and finished (with me cringing in anticipation)…”blood.” Sucking blood. OHH, much better. See – he knows I am obsessed with Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Chicagoland Vampires books, and basically anything vampires. He thinks all I read about is bloodthirsty boyfriends, which is not entirely wrong. It’s just that I have some other books where the people suck, umm, other things.

And with that, I will now be locking my Kindle up, or at least making sure my smut novels are closed before I hand it over. No need to explain to my kids the birds and the bees this early.  That, and why birds and bees can be so very very dirty.

Next up…Food Issues.  Not having so much luck with this whole losing weight adventure.  Am I the only person who LIVES (read:  exists) to eat?

Time Change

This bastard.
This bastard.

Let’s just put it out there.  If you have kids, DAYLIGHT SAVINGS SUCKS.  It makes me swear.  It makes me yell.   It makes me put my kids to bed at 6:50 in the evening.  It messes with them and they in turn mess with me.

When I was childless, I LOVED the Daylight Savings.  Ohhh, the days are longer, more sun, happy happy joy joy.   One of the few pieces of legislation I supported that Dubya passed during his reign was when he made Daylight Savings longer.   Awesome!   Yay farmers!  Thanks for needing the light!  (See? I knew there was a reason to be one.)

Now, I dread it and for good reason.  First, I have to explain why we are leaving the house when it is still pitch black outside.  It feels like we are sneaking out in the middle of the night to start our day.  They freak out when I turn all the lights in the house off and shut the door behind us and we are temporarily blinded – guided only by the lights of the pre-started mom mobile.  Then after a long day, I get to explain why it is still light out when I am putting them to bed, thus making me, not the farmers or the government, the bad guy.  As usual.

Tonight was a prime example of how I hate time change.  You cannot MESS with my kids’ schedules.  They lose their freakin minds.  I have two awful weeks every year while my kids adjust.  Spring forward is the worst.  And once again, I am by myself to witness the devastation.  One day, and it will be during a time change week, I swear my kids’ heads are going to swivel all the way around.  Green vomit.  Glassy eyes of evil.  The whole shebang.  They cannot handle this.

There also seems to be a growing trend in my house that the sound of my voice is not at a decibel level that my kids can hear.  Apparently, only dogs and squirrels can hear my requests, demands, pleas and screams to pick up their plates/clothes/coats/bookbags, put their PJs on, wash their hands and so on.  Even questions as simple as what they’d like to drink for dinner and how was their day fall on deaf ears.

Today was the final straw.  A zen-like calm came over me.  I made up my mind and I stuck to it.  One too many, I HATE HOMEWORK AND I HATE YOUs.  The camel’s back was broken when the high pitched shrieking whine and hysterical tears came from the living room because she couldn’t find her Barbie’s shoe.  The bell was tolled after I put dinner on the table and they looked at it and whined, but we don’t like this!   It’s ravioli for the love of God.  It’s not like I am making them eat foie gras or duck l’orange for Pete’s sake.    They seemed to tag team with each other.  An unspoken bond made that one would be quiet while the other went in for the kill.

I had had it.  I put them in bed.  My six and four year old in bed for the night at 6:50 p.m.  1 hour and 10 minutes before actual bedtime, 50 minutes after we had gotten home for the day.  No stories.  No movies.  Light and sunny day still going on outside.

There was no yelling.  Just an eerie calm emanated from my body.  I didn’t raise my voice or stamp my feet.  There was no manhandling.  Just a calm, “Get into bed, this night is over.”  I was at my limit, but not fearful of losing it, I just knew I had had enough.  Time to assert who’s on the top of this food chain.

I am so proud of myself.  It’s not easy when they are whining, pleading, begging, bargaining for one more chance and how very sorry they are for what they said before and that they didn’t mean it.  They’ve learned and won’t ever do it again.  I stayed strong during red blotchy faces and hitching breath.  I won.  I fought a battle of wills with a four and a six year old and I won.

If you don’t have kids, you might think me weak for being so proud of winning one argument and sticking to my guns.  You might think, my kids will listen the first time, every time.  HA!  I thought that too, and I was very very naive.  These buggers are the most stubborn, tenacious beasts you will ever come across.  They will fight until you are in the fetal position hiding in your closet.  They know no fear.  They take no prisoners.  Until you have them and they are your responsibility alone, you cannot fathom how hard this job is.  How they suck every ounce of energy from your body, leaving you a flabby pile of mush at the end of each day.  I’m in the trenches.  I am writing my war story as we speak.  I will have battle scars, but this will make me stronger, a better parent, a wiser person.

I win.  Today.  Kids – 843 Mom – 1  I’ll take what I can get.

Bath Night

Sunday nights are bath night.  As I sit and let my daughter play with Ariel and her pal, hotter sexier Barbie mermaid, I brace myself for the upcoming fight.  The fight to wash her hair.  The shampooing she says she never needs even though her bangs have syrup in them and the top of her part has glue on it as a result of scratching her head during “craft time.”  I use this term loosely, as craft time is usually just cutting magazines into itty bitty pieces and gluing them on “paper.”  And by “paper,” I mean the back of the kitchen chair.

G - An oldie but goodie.
G – Before hair washing was an issue.
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Will – One of my most favorite photos of him.

I let her play a bit, give her a 2 minute warning and then I get down to business.  That’s when the screaming and shrieking begin.  Like I am trying to drown her on purpose.  MOM!  DON’T GET IT IN MY EARS.  OWWW!  YOU GOT WATER IN MY EYES!  Me, being the classic abuser, blame the victim.  Quit thrashing around like a cat stuck in a plastic bag then!!  The girl has more evasive maneuvers than the Air Force.   I feel like I am water-boarding my child every time I try to clean her up a little.  Dick Cheney would be proud.  She gets so hysterical and screechy, it’s a wonder the neighbors don’t call to make sure I’m not ripping her limbs off.

Sometimes I wonder what a Child Protective Service Agency would think if they heard only snippets of my child rearing skills.  Like what if Will told his teacher the conversation we had a few months ago.  It was during a particularly rough patch with Molluscum, a viral skin condition that gave him tiny itchy bumps that look like little zits all over his body.  After some advice from a mom who’d been there, we tried a homeopathic treatment called ZymaDerm, which is simply a topical you put on the bumps twice a day.  (Worked like a charm by the way, and for the bargain price of $26 for a teeny tiny bottle! And no, I don’t know which all natural ingredients are in it.  I choose to believe it was manufactured solely from fairy dust and angel kisses.)  Well my boy was a bit skittish about this topical, which to him looked like pure acid meant to burn them off instead of slowly and not painfully shrink them to nothing.  So, in order to ease his fears the first few times around, I would blow gently on the area where I applied the stuff.  You know, to neutralize the flesh-eating acid I was putting on him.  Now, some of these bumps were near (not on) his groin area, so yes, I blew there too.  Can you see where this is going?  One night, as we were beginning our ritual, he says to me very nonchalantly, “Mommy, I like when you blow on my pee pee. It tickles.”    “Uh….OK, thanks, I think?  Saaaay, how about you NOT say that to anyone else please?”  What the freak?  How do you explain to a kid why another adult would not want to know this particular comfort technique his awesome mom is using?  You don’t.  You just pray they never say a word and if they do, hope to God his teacher would call ME before calling Child Services.

Likewise, the problem my sister is facing at the moment with her 9 month old son.  Apparently, some doctors prefer to not circumcise boys the way they used to.   Some prefer to leave a bit more scarf to the kerchief if you know what I’m saying.  She was a bit worried that something was wrong down there, and being raised around 99% females, we are bit uneducated in this area.  Sure, we’ve seen ‘em, but not enough by any means to qualify either of us as experts.  And personally, I’ve never seen one with its hoodie still up.  I missed that when Will was born, being they did it before I got feeling back in my legs, which is a long story about lazy doctors and an epidural being left in for 24 hours after he came out.  Not a fun first birth experience, but a story for another day, and six years later, I’m still not sure how I’d make that story funny.

Anyways, how does one go about finding out what normal looks like?  Google?  How do you Google normal baby penises without alerting the authorities there’s a pervert in our midst?  What would you search to get scientific results instead of horrible images you could never erase from your brain?  Circumcision mistakes?  Nope.  Healthy baby penises (or is it peni?)?  I don’t think so.  Baby girth?  Who knows, no matter what you search, it’s not going to be pretty, and what if someone checks your hard drive down the road?  We’ve all seen SVU, it happens.  Lord help me if they check mine at work, because I swear I was looking for Dick’s Sporting Goods, nothing else.  I just didn’t realize you had to type in the actual full name of the store.

I just worry constantly about being misunderstood.  Adults think crazy things, and they should, there are some crazy horrible people out there.  It’s just that I’m not one of them.  Most of the time.  I’ll admit that first nice spring day when I open all the windows I completely forget I have to keep my yelling to a minimum.  Who knows what the neighbors think when they hear me yell, “Will wipe your own butt!!  I’m trying to get the nail polish off your sister’s lips!!!” 

Please don’t rat me out.  Most of this I can explain.  It just won’t be much fun and will still make me look like an inept parent.  A loving, nurturing, but utterly inept, parent.