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Monday, May 12, 2014

My parenting purpose

If you've never woke up and thought "Today is the day I'm going to kill my child if he/she gives me attitude" there are two options of who you are.
1- You don't have children, and you wake up to peacefulness and a day filled with you.
2- You are Mother Teresa.

I am neither of these things. I am that mother who opens her eyes and thinks about what punishments she will give her children even before they open their eyes. I am that mother who wakes up anticipating that the children will be assholes all day. I am that mother with the constant look of distress on her face.

I believe I walk around my life constantly looking like I have constipation. My eyes are in a permanent squint. There are wrinkles on my temples from how often I rub them. I am that mother who lives in a permanent state of frazzled.

I am that mother who has been asking her child for 2 weeks to clean his room and put his toys away. I am also the mother who throws toys in the trash if the bedroom doesn't get cleaned. I am the mother who has no problem telling her children they can't play with their friends. I yell at my kids in front of their friends. I yell at their friends.

To some of you, I may seem like an overbearing, mean, vindictive mother. Good. Keep thinking that. Because my child will say please and thank you when he is at your house. He will apologize if he does something wrong. He will sob and cry when he gets a punishment, because he knows why he's getting punished.

I'm not raising a friend, I'm raising a child. I learned manners growing up. I'll be damned if I'll let my kid run around like some of these other neighborhood kids. My child will not curse at people. My child will never say the N word. My child will never punch another child just because he can. He used to, but I beat that out of him.

I may be that mom that no one wants to be. I may be that mom that other mothers hate. But my child knows I love him. Just today I informed him that I am allowed to be mad at him, and still love him at the same time. He seems to get that. And today, after a week and a half of yelling and punishing and throwing toys away, he cleaned his room. AND apologized for not doing it sooner.

I'm not trying to raise the most perfect child in the world. But I am trying to raise one right. And if that means I wake up every day ready to kill my kid, then so be it.

Hate me if you want, but I promise I'll never visit my child in prison. I'll never get a call from the cops. And I sure as hell won't be cursed at. In a time when everyone is scared of being arrested for child abuse, I laugh at it. Let the cops come tell me I can't wash my kids mouth of with soap. Let the cops come tell me I can't smack his butt when he pops off with some kind of attitude.

You know what will happen? I'll let the cops know that THEY can handle him when he gets arrested if they don't let ME handle it now.

I actually kind of like being the mom on the block that all the kids are terrified of. And all the parents hate. It gives me a purpose in life.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Summer of Fun

I have decided to put my book on hold. I know lots of you were excited for it. Some of you read a few chapters. It's not going anywhere, it's just been backburnered for a little while.

Summer is coming very quickly. The big one is done with school on June 3rd, which is only 3 weeks away. That means an entire summer home alone all day with 2 assholes. I don't foresee too much work getting done on it until kindergarten starts anyway.

Once we start kindergarten, my life can settle back into a routine. But here shortly, my life will be filled with days of yelling about touching toys, and playing in the pool and arguing about what to eat for lunch. I'm looking forward to summertime. It's going to be great fun.

I honestly am excited about being able to stay home with both boys this summer. Last summer I was pregnant and had a new baby and didn't get to do much fun stuff with the big one. I was banned from getting in the pool, so he could only go with his daddy and my mom. I could watch from the sidelines and was in charge of getting the ice cream when he needed it.

I was banned from picking anything up, so there weren't very many chances for snuggles while I was home with the boys. Plus I was always feeding the new baby.

This summer will be completely different. We will go swimming all the time. We will go to the river and throw rocks (my big ones new obsession). We will go on vacation to the beach (we haven't ever taken a vacation before so this is a big one for us). I'm actually looking forward to it.

BUT, ask me in the end of June and I'll be looking forward to August, I'm sure. But for now, I'm delaying all my big projects and planning a summer of fun. It's the least I can do before my son becomes an official school student.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pacifiers and Parfaits

I have a relationship I simply can't give up. Well, a few, but one that bothers me the most. I love it so much I haven't tried to give it up. But I always feel like hell after.

I have an awful addiction to sweets.

Tonight, when choosing between the gym and stuffing my face with a parfait and watching Vin diesel, guess which one won? (I'll give you a hint- the parfait was peach flavored.)

I have gained a less than amazing 17 pounds in the last 2 months. My pre pregnancy pants still fit, thank god, but I am far from where I want to be. In fact,  I'm do close to where I started, I can still touch the starting line.

I know I'm usually harder on myself than anyone else is. I wear clothes designed to hide the extra bulges I've acquired. I still wear sweaters in 70 degree weather. I haven't cut my hair in 5 years for fear that shorter hair will make my double chin more noticeable. But other people still say I'm "cute".

My Little Pony is cute. My son eating jello is cute. I am fat.

In case you missed it previously,  I'm also terrible at taking a compliment. I can't see it so it baffles me when other people say they can. Maybe being the oldest causes me to strive for perfection I can't obtain. Maybe being good at the things I try has caused me to have false security that I can be good at being healthy without trying so hard.

Or maybe I'm just lazy. Or maybe those people who RUN the entire time on the treadmill intimidate me. There are a lot of those people, and they scare me.

I'm going to start going to the gym more. I have to. As long as Vin diesel isn't on tv. And my husband stops buying me peach parfaits (bastard).

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A painful day and a painful lesson

I had a whole post written this morning. I was about to hit the publish button. And a noise on my phone caused me to pause and walk away. I came back and deleted everything I just wrote. Because not one bit of it mattered to me today anymore.

This morning, I learned of the tragic passing of someone I considered a good friend. Someone who battled their way through a hefty heroin addiction and a jail sentence for DUI. Someone who had finally turned his life around and was on the right track. Someone that will now never get to learn what life holds for someone who isn't always under the influence.

There were 4 other people who passed with him. I knew none of them personally, but had heard of some of them. It was a tragedy that could have been averted had someone just opened a window. Part of me is really mad that at 30 years old, he didn't have enough sense to open a window while using a propane heater in a small cabin. Part of me is really mad that 3 innocent children aren't here anymore because of that. And another part of me is understanding because we have used propane heaters before and never thought to open a window either.

My medical brain knows that dying of carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the least painful ways to die. The friend part of my brain is in agony that what if that's wrong and it isn't? I know that I need to not let this bother me. But just last week he had explained to me that he was going to be a dad in October and he was really excited. He was so happy that things were looking up. And that he was getting a chance to show the world what he was made of.

I know in a few weeks I'll be able to hear a story about this on the news and not get choked up. I know in a few months I'll be able to look at his facebook page and not cry. I know in a year I'll be able to watch the video of the cold water challenge and hear him say my name and not lose it. But today, today I'm hurt and I'm sad.

As you all know, I don't have many true friends. I don't share that part of myself with everyone. But Nate and I were traveling a similar path. Nate and I both spent many days thinking about how to not go back to the life we once lived. Nate and I both battled addiction, even if his was way worse than mine. Nate and I both had an intense disgust for humans in general. We could yell at each other and be mean, but be friends later that day.

I went great chunks of time without speaking to him, because that's how I am. We hadn't actually seen each other face to face in god knows how long, because that's what I do. But damn it, today I regret not putting in more effort. Today I get to live knowing that I had a great friend that I didn't try harder to see. And now I can't anymore.

Today I learned I have to be a better friend to people. Because nothing is promised.

I will miss Nate. I will miss his stupid stories of the trouble he used to get himself into. I will miss yelling at him for being an idiot. I will miss telling him about my shitty days and seeing him type "Suck it up, Nancy. My life's worse." in a facebook message. I will miss him telling me to try harder to be a better mom and a better wife or I'll end up a cat lady. I will miss the honesty.

So, this year, I am going to get back in touch with the people I consider my true friends. I will facebook message them all and tell them how much they mean to me. I will make the effort to not be so focused on myself. I can never fix not telling him I appreciated him kicking my ass in the right direction sometimes, but I did appreciate it. I can never fix not telling him I was proud of him for getting out of the drug life, but I was. And I can never fix not telling him how thankful I am that he told me plenty of times how great my husband is and told me to not mess this one up.

But I can fix what I haven't told everyone else yet. And I will. That I can promise.

Friday, May 2, 2014

I am not mother material

The past twenty minutes have completely convinced me that I am not cut out to be a mom. This is not the ideal job for me.

I can not keep a straight face when my children do bizarre and ridiculous things. And that's a staple in any mom's bag of tricks. You're supposed to laugh after the children wander off. I am not equipped for that. I giggle. A lot.

On the ride home from preschool, this is the conversation we had in the car.

"Mom, I went to Kindergarten yesterday."
"I know buddy. Did you learn anything interesting?"
"I learned how to be a kindergartener."
"Does that mean you are ready to start your big school?"
"Yep. It also means I don't have to go to my crusty old school anymore, right?"

This made me absolutely giggle out loud. Explaining summer vacation and starting big school in the fall seemed to help him understand he still had to finish going to his "crusty" school for a few more weeks.

We pull up out front of our house, and he asks me if there is a bathroom in the car.

"Does it look like there's a bathroom in the car?"
"Noooooo........"
"Right, so you have to go inside. So let's get out of the car."
"Ok, can I wait for you on the sidewalk?"
"Yes."

Simple right?

NO! I turned around from getting the baby out of the car and my son's pants and underwear are around his ankles, a group of high school boys are giggling from 3 houses down, and my son is yanking away at his hoo-hoo.

Apparently he didn't think anything of whipping his hoo-hoo out in the middle of the street and peeing. I screeched "PULL YOUR PANTS UP AND GET INSIDE!" Which caused him to turn around, still holding his hoo and explain the reasons why he should be able to pee wherever he wants. He did go inside to the bathroom, and I had to stop on the porch to catch my breathe from all the giggling.

Not every day in my house is quite so amusing, but today sure as hell took the cake of the most amusing day of the week. And since it's only the second of the month, I'm wondering if this will win most amusing of the month.

So how is YOUR Friday going?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

List of things I never want to hear again

I find myself in a constant state of mildly offended and always standoffish. I don't mean to be. I certainly wasn't trying to be. But it happens anyway. And surprisingly, the ones who offend me most are my friends and family.

My family, and my real friends, should be understanding. And they generally are. But part of our problem is, honestly, they don't know quite how to do it. So to everyone I love, and those of you who have your own family in this position, here are some things "we" don't want to hear.

1. "I don't need to medicate my child. I can handle it, and I keep him/her busy."
           Are you looking for a gold star for your kid, or for you? I applaud you for finding a way to deal with what you're dealing with sans medication. But please, for the love of God, don't judge me for having a different way. I do medicate my child. I'm not entirely ashamed of it. But want to hear my story? I only medicate my son on school days. Contrary to popular belief, I CAN handle my kid. In fact, I happen to love him just as much unmedicated as I do medicated. But my sons behaviors were so severe he was being tossed out of schools faster than I could find them. That, to me, was an indication we needed to listen to the doctors about medicine. I may not forever and ever medicate him. But for now, he needs it. There's this funny law in these parts that says your kid has to attend school or they throw you in jail.

2. "I'm not broadcasting that I medicate my kid. I know you do, but I don't need to."
            I'm not giving my kid cyanide. I'm giving him medicine prescribed by his doctor. I'm also not one to hide things. No, I don't approach parents on the playground and state what my kid takes and why. It's none of their business. But I have released it to social media. And I do have a damn good reason. Too many parents aren't saying it. Too many parents want to act like they have their shit together and nothing anywhere is wrong. That's not me. I've been in the medical field too long to sugar coat things. I feel like hiding how I treat things won't help other parents open up about it. If I didn't want to talk about my life, I wouldn't write about it daily. Children need raised by a community. What better way to be a part of the community than to connect with other parents who are also medicating their children? I find it helpful to talk to other parents who are in the same position I am. They give me coping tips, and strategies, and damn it, some of them are better than the ones I was coming up with.

3. "I totally understand. My kid has so much energy."
             Nope. You don't get it. Giving your kid Kool-Aid and a bag full of jelly beans and letting him loose on the neighborhood is not the same. My child wakes up running, and falls asleep the same way. My kid can totally and absolutely function on 3 hours of sleep. My child is me, but in petite form. And frankly, it's a hard life. I can jump between 15 different things at once, and accomplish none of them. I have so many half done things in my life that I even annoy myself with it. Now imagine being 5 and not understanding it. Your kid can probably give you a run for your money, sure. But this isn't just about extra energy. It's about not having the attention span to complete things. I'm 31, and still have trouble. I was never diagnosed with anything, but looking back on it now, I should have been. I was an excellent student in the subjects I liked. Everything else, I barely scraped by. I am great with projects, but shitty with deadlines. I lose interest in things so quickly that I often don't even learn enough about something before I'm off on something else. Who on earth wants their kids to feel the same way? The trouble here is I completely understand what he feels like, and I want better for him. So stop saying you get it, honey, because you don't.

4. "Try this diet. I've heard wonderful things."
             I know people are just trying to be helpful. I know they have our best interests at heart. But I am not going to feed my kid water and bananas for 3 meals a day. Or whatever fad diet they come up with next week. Or the week after. Yes, I have started cooking more healthy meals. I've steered away from pre-prepared foods. I give him vegetables and meats and a well rounded diet. Sure, I let him sneak unhealthy snacks sometimes. I even let him eat candy. But in moderation, it won't kill him. Nor will it make him behave any better or worse. I've spoken to numerous specialists about diets, and none of them are appropriate for my kid. Sure, they might work for some kids, but they won't do any good for mine. He doesn't have any of the conditions where these diets would do any good. I love my kid, and I want the best for him, but I honestly don't believe that making him a vegan or a gluten free kid or anything like that will make him "better". He's just fine how he is.

5. "He's just a brat. You should discipline him more."
             I'm sure my kid is a bit of a brat. Whose kid isn't these days? All of them seem to have iPads and computers and electronic toys and God knows what else. Plus my kid was the first grandchild on both sides. He is a brat. But occasionally, what you view as being bratty is honestly something my kid is having a hard time handling. Certain things are a bit much for my kid to take. In large groups, there is too much going on for my kid to be able to keep his cool. I know, because sometimes I feel the same way. There are so many things to look at and pay attention to and process that it's overwhelming. You almost don't know where to start. What you don't see is that I own a time out chair, which my son is well acquainted with. I have been known to smack my kids butt when he deserves it. I have even put soap in my kids mouth for speaking to Mommy and Daddy how he does. My kid gets disciplined. Don't assume that because you don't SEE me smack my kid, that I don't discipline him. I do not feel that making a child the spectacle in the grocery store by beating his ass is going to help him learn anything other than Mommy is mean. I prefer to handle our discipline in privacy, that way I can make sure he's getting what I'm teaching him.


I'm not saying that every time I hear these things that they are meant in a condescending way. But I take them that way simply because of how many times I hear them.

I am NOT a perfect parent, just as you probably aren't either. I haven't met a perfect parent yet. We all screw up. We all get irritated and send our kids upstairs with a snack just to get 5 minutes of quiet time to start dinner. We all turn on stupid cartoons to distract our kid so we can shower in peace and quiet. We all buy them that toy they don't need because we love them. I'm just tired of being judged more harshly because my kid has a "diagnosis". It's not fair to define my child by what he has, and it's equally unfair to judge my parenting based on the same thing.

So stop saying these kinds of things to any parent. Stop bullying each other. Parenting is the hardest thing in the world to do. It's the shittiest job I've ever had. Stop making it worse.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The joys of surgical sterilization

Some days I am thankful I got fixed. I absolutely love my babies. But if I had so much as one more kid, I'm not entirely sure I'd make it out of childhood without a mini-vacation to an inpatient psychiatric clinic.

As it is, I'm not sure I'm going to make it through the next 10 years without some form of counseling. These kids are bad. These kids kill me. These kids push my buttons.

The big one is generally rambunctious. He sometimes does bad things. The little one laughs when the big one does bad things. Which means the big ones does bad things more.

They are both incredibly messy creatures. If they are eating it and it falls out of their mouth, they leave it where it lays. If they are holding it and it falls out of their hands, generally they kick it to where it shouldn't be. If they are playing with something and it breaks, they just hide it around the house hoping I won't notice.

If it can be eaten, someone is always eating it. If it can be broken, someone is always trying. If it can be a loud toy, it will be a loud toy. Even quiet toys are loud if you bang them on the coffee table hard enough. If it can be spread all over the floor, it will be spread all over the floor.

Keep in mind, one of these babies is new. Not quite a year old. He's moveable, but he hasn't figured out how to ambulate while carrying something. I'm sure when he figures that out, there won't be a clean spot in my house.

I only have 2. I will never have any more. I have been surgically sterilized (for which I owe my OB/GYN a huge thank you card and some flowers for). Just the thought of having more babies gives me goosebumps and it makes me cringe.

For the record, a woman in the big ones daycare has so many children she needs an extended van to transport them all. The very moment I realized a regular minivan wouldn't fit my crew of children, I would have drowned myself in the shower. God love that woman, but there is no way in hell I could do it. I thought about that the entire drive home and realized that 2 is so many more kids than I need, I literally could not do more.

For those of you who have more than 2 children, my heart goes out to you. No matter how many times you say you love your life, a tiny part of me refuses to believe that.