Parenting Stories

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Like Sands Through The Hourglass…

Published May 16, 2018 by sarcasmica

So are the days with our kids.

That’s what everyone likes to say. Hell, I say it to new moms. It’s unavoidable and it’s all true. It’s true that when you are on the other side, time has flown. It’s also painfully true when you are in the thick of it, time stands still some days. It’s all correct.

My son is on his 6th grade camping trip. This is day #1. He is also turning 12 in less than a month. These milestones echo the countdown of adulthood. Moms of boys graduating high school this month are sure to “tsk” me and tell me how fast it all goes by and to cherish it.  Right now I can’t imagine it going any faster.

I don’t know if it’s because he’s my first, my most challenging, my most colorful, but his infancy, toddlerdom and elementary ages were painfully slow. Painfully.     S   l   o   w    . I’ve blogged/complained/bitched/moaned enough about the trials and tribulations. Very little was exaggerated. I knew nothing about how to raise this child until I was raising this child. We learned and figured most of it out together. What I didn’t know, I faked pretty terribly. I feel like his whole life aside from, you know, keeping him alive, I’ve been waiting for him to grow into himself. He was not a baby who enjoyed being a baby like his sister. He was not a toddler who managed his world. He did not tackle boyhood with fervor and tenacity. It was more triggers and anxiety. Colic and helmets. Physical therapy and occupational therapy. Medication and testing. IEPs and sensory challenges.

Finally, at long long last, my kid has become who he is. This sounds completely insane, but I’m curious if other moms out there understand this at all. My son was always somehow both emotionally far beyond his brain and miles behind his emotions. His reasoning was miles kilometers ahead of his age at the same time he also managed to be underdeveloped with his feelings.

Now he has arrived at himself. Things make sense for him. He is the closest to emotionally mature a 12 year old male human can be. He’s not a breath away from drowning anymore, he’s actually paddling the raft…. sometimes in circles. Sometimes the oar isn’t in the water, but he is controlling his own trajectory. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch. It’s still scary and new and unsure at times, but it is so cool to see him as the whole picture and get glimpses of how the future might be for him.

For the new moms out there, don’t be too hard on us when we tell you how fast it goes. We say it with the understanding of how slow it is for you right now. We wont take it personally when you scoff at our cliche sentiments, I promise 🙂

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Chu Chu Chu Changes

Published May 1, 2018 by sarcasmica

I haven’t been writing much lately. Too many people I know read this, I think. I’m much more comfortable voicing how I feel about you when you can’t really hear it. I’m in the  passive aggressive subspecies of homosapien. We aren’t so good at the face to face stuff.

Anyway, some changes have been happening ’round here. Firstly, and foremostly, I got my braces off yesterday. HUZZAH! Remember all the whiny moaning entries about my teeth drama? No? I don’t blame you, I probably wouldn’t read someone else’s self-indulgent bitching either …. (but then what blog isn’t just that?) Well half the battle is won. The stupidmotherfuckinggoddamned braces are no longer. No more wires cutting into my gums/cheeks/lips. No more vice-tight teeth preventing my number one hobby-eating all the things. No more TADs breaking out of my jaw bone. (who remembers that little diddy?) No more biting my own damned mouth, resulting in subsequent bites because of swollen tissue.

Just happiness is what i’m saying. It’s all just happiness. The removal was less than I was anticipating. That was great. So great, in fact, my mouth decided to process for an entire day before it really decided it wasn’t happy. It seems the wrenching off the brackets off of the glue that attached them to my teeth did a number on said teeth.

To celebrate the 2 years of pain and agony, the orthodontist gives the newly slime-teethed a giant candy basket to celebrate! It is chock full of gummies and sticky candy galore. It made me wonder if he is married to a doctor that gives a discount for treating diabetes. .. or a dentist.

My kids were happy, regardless, and my son was a bit prickly that he did not receive such treasure when he got out of his braces. I reminded him where this all began – with the impulsively retired orthodontist he had who went out with a dementia bang.

I offered him to go back into braces to get the reward and he declined.

Also this month, my 2.5 year stint volunteering with man eating dinosaurs is coming to an end. I began in August 2016 volunteering twice a week to feed and clean at a parrot sanctuary with nearly 300 birds. That gig was the start of many amazing things for me for which I will always be thankful. I have always always always wanted to work with animals. Truth be told, in that dreamworld I would get paid for the work, but whatevs. I compromised and volunteered instead. The experience has been priceless. The bites have been memorable. The friends made have been unexpected. The growth and lessons for myself have been lifelong. I will still support them by taking photos and helping out with the Instagram account ( @zazushousesanctuary if you’re interested!) but my weekly obligation has been worn out. I feel like I can’t honestly say why because as stated before, too many people have access and i’d hate for there to be any blow back for my reasons. Let’s just say it stopped being a fun side gig and started becoming an unappreciated obligation by more than one party.

I will miss the birds, but I’ll be able to go and hang out with them simply to catch some hopefully great photos.

The next order of change on the docket is my child. Someone went and told my son that growing up shall commence. He will be done with elementary school in less than two months and he will be on to junior high school.

Holy hell, how did that happen?!

I’ll tell you how; with a lot of grief, struggle, tears, alcohol, diapers, helmets, braces, expanders, medication, IEP meetings, fencing, love, pride, and trumpets.

Honestly I’d love to be one of those parents who is like, “Wow, where did the time go?” But really I can give a detailed account of just where all that time went and it’s all marked by my well-covered gray hairs. Truthfully. I love this kid like nerds love dragons, (moms love yoga pants/teachers love medication/dads love bathroom screen time) but the time has by no means gone unmarked.

I have been in the moment with this kid since the beginning and sometimes I feel like he should actually be entering college by now, but no. We are simply staring down 7th grade. I’m excited for him. He has grown into a great kid. He has been a late bloomer what with his asshole parents moving him all over the damn western half of this country his entire life. I have earned every single nearly all of these grays. I take full responsibility. But I’m happy to report that he will be sent off to junior high with confidence, integrity, strength of character, some bad habits, and a lot of love.

The last change is making the choice to go back to work. Granted, the hiring deities are really the ones making the choice, but I’ve thrown my resume in the ring, so to speak. It’s been over 9 years since I was an educational interpreter. It’s scary to pick up my hands and entertain the idea of being the responsible party for a deaf kid to have equal accessibility to a classroom. A lot of the language has gone bye bye, but I’m gonna choose to believe it will magically flood back into my brain with the exposure of a workshop and some youtube videos. Sign language is like any language… difficult to maintain when not in use. Unlike other languages, it’s a bit hard to find signing practice partners.

So that’s the update for now… kids are around, homework needs doing and those cocktails wont mix themselves.

Yoga Awakening

Published April 16, 2018 by sarcasmica

A friend invited me to an 8:30am yoga class.

Cruel, right? Like are we really even friends, Becky? Is there coffee or bacon at “yoga”? What are you doing to me?

My plan was to immediately accept before thinking through the logistics. That way I was committed. Also, the timing worked perfect after dropping the maniacs kids off at school, so why not?

So I dust off my heretofore lounge pants a.k.a. yoga pants and tell them this is their moment. Right here, right now their destiny will be realized. .. and then I prayed the seams would hold.

I show up and immediately announce my noobness in using the YMCA facility mat. The stranger-sweat-on rubber washcloth that is supposed to protect my rhinoceros knees from the hardwood floors of the workout room. I doubled up.

So there I am, ready to meditate through my sweat and the instructor shows up. Now I’m not saying you should judge a book by it’s cover, but let’s just say I was surprised that our yoga instructor looked like a carbon copy of me fresh after the doughnut line. I was certain I could do this…. full disclosure: I have taken a few yoga classes here and there sprinkled through the last ten years of my life.

So we get started. First pose: Child’s pose. I thought this was hand on hip, scowl on face, and whining about how hungry I am for anything but what’s provided.

Wrong. Reality: Face down on stranger sweat mat, knees crushing into the floor and spread apart.

“Don’t fart don’t fart!”

“Now breathe”

One pose led to another and before long I was breaking a sweat. From holding poses!

The one she lost me on, however, was the downward dog. It’s not that I can’t do it, but my wrists were not having it. From DD we went down to a plank and then to “Baby cobra” pose.

I was imagining pirates and snake-filled islands as my brain was screaming, “What the fuck are you doing?!”

Eventually I had to just give up on the constant pressure on my wrists and stand there like the shamed noob that I am. I was ok with that. This was the well-practiced “Awkward Wait It Out” pose I have excelled at lo these many years.

We finally get through all the warrior poses and archery poses and reach for the sky poses and we get to sit down again. THIS I can handle. Me and my doubled up funk mats were more than prepared for whatever came from these exercises.

Then every rude, judgemental, mean thought I have ever had for a fellow Lane Giant shopper smacked me in my sweaty flushed face. As we sit, the instructor – with grace and control, mind you – demonstrates the incredibly difficult double knee-into-chest grab, then extends her legs off the ground in front of her with her arms outstretched beside her legs.

There was no huffing or puffing. In fact she continued to call out the insanely complex Twister moves we are supposed to be hitting as she was transitioning her own body.

I assumed the Eat Crow position as I sat there barely executing 1/4 of the poses asked of the class in that moment.

As we were moving on to other leg twisting, spine stretching, floor laying poses I found myself going back to two thoughts. 1. Kick ass women come in all shapes and sizes. 2. I could sweat and stretch my ass off daily and I’ll still look like a lumberjack?! What’s the point?! (yes, i know. strength and health are the point, blah blah blah)

As we finished breathing and laying on the rock hard floor listening to the combination meditation/therapy session I realize I have a long way to go in mind and body.

Then I went to the grocery store and bought all the yummy things! … but made sure to pepper my snacking with an orange. See? Growth!

Namaste

Making A Little Sense

Published March 20, 2018 by sarcasmica

Like many parents, I imagine, I get emotionally riled up after hearing about school shootings. I’d like to think that any human being would, and especially if you have children attending school.

Sadly, there have been so many that the numbness is now what moves me. It moves me into the anger and desolation at the thought of someone actually making a decision to load a weapon/weapons and walk into a mass attended venue and begin destroying lives. Where has humanity gone so wrong that this is a. an option for someone and b. it’s hardly news anymore unless the toll is ratings worthy.

Predictably these shootings bring forth all the gun protectors. Under the guise of fiercely protecting the rights of the constitution, people get all preachy and accusatory over where the blame lies. Admittedly, both sides tend to use the same tactics. Gun-protectors are adamant it’s the person wielding the weapon that’s to blame. Anti-gunners are equally adamant that if a weapon was not made available, the assailant would presumably be deterred or at least not inflict as much tragedy.

Lately, however, there’s some strange and dangerous new argument. “Walk UP, not Out” Meaning walk up to the loner and befriend them. Walk up to the outcast and include them.

I’m gonna go ahead and take issue with this. No one has solved the horrifying issue of something that we all took for granted before Columbine; school safety. Because we as a country refuse to work out a solution that suits real life, now the discussion is being dropped in favor of pointing fingers at the students who have been attacked. This is bewildering to me. Everyone wants a clean cut, easy to swallow solution that leaves everyone happy and satisfied. Because there is seemingly no way to make both pro and anti gun groups happy, the easier thing is now the focus; blame the kids. They haven’t endured enough being shot at, burying friends and teachers, let’s blame them for their own terror.

This is wrong on so many levels. I am having trouble articulating how many ways this is wrong, but I’ll do my best.

The outcasts. These are kids who are not just left of normal. They are left, down the block and a few dead end streets. Think of what mental capacity you have to live in day in and day out to actually carry out shooting up a school full of peers. It is not the responsibility of your peers to handle your mental state. Teenagers are not the mental health police for other teens.

Do you then, as an adult, take responsibility when a homeless person attacks another person? Did you go provide housing and care for that person? Surely you are at fault, then, right? Is society a factor in shaping an individual? Absolutely. Is it one hundred percent solely responsible for raising, molding, modeling and nurturing? Absolutely not.

If we are to expect that bullied kids become shooters, why aren’t all the shooters harassed, ostracized gay teens? Why aren’t they African American teens in predominantly white schools? Why aren’t they special needs kids with physical disabilities? These are the bullied and harassed kids. Always have been, and I’d like to think not so much anymore but that is supremely optimistic. It’s been a decade or two since I was in high school, but I think it’s pretty logical reasoning to understand these are the bullied kids across the board. These kids are not the ones taking horrifying action on campuses.

The individuals who enact these terrible crimes are imbalanced. They have been missed or dropped or pushed aside by families, peers, friends, and professionals. The blame cannot absolutely be put on one group, but it most certainly should start in the home.

Regardless of how these people have slipped through the cracks, it is in no way acceptable to think that justifies the actions of taking lives and forever destroying the lives of everyone involved.

If these individuals did not have access to weapons, it is logical to think that the level of atrocity could be very much lessened. There will always be the argument of “they will find a way, regardless” but you know what? We don’t know that for sure, and to use that as a reason not to enact change is irresponsible on us as a community. How about we change the access and then work from there?

I am marching this Saturday in support of demanding new gun control laws and regulations. We have to start protecting our kids and stop arming them. It’s gotta start somewhere, and I am happy to do what I can to help prevent any more school shootings.

 

VR u kidding me?

Published March 9, 2018 by sarcasmica

VR. When you just don’t have enough shit holding up your television set, VR!

When game consoles and controllers and amiibos have all achieved a layer of dust, VR!

When your children already have a healthy dose of sunlight fear and societal misunderstanding, VR!

When you want to manage a constant timetable of allowed VR time …say it with me now.. VR!

Can you guess what item has joined our family entertainment rotation? That’s right, Nintendo NES!

Just kidding, we now have virtual reality.

Guess which game my 11 year old likes the most? Job simulator. At least we have learned from the entitled millennials that have made living with their parents a nearly-but still not quite- acceptable situation and began training the up and comers sooner.

This game simulates thankless jobs like cubicle jockey, mechanic, cook and server.

This is how he likes to spend his short stints in a virtual world.

If we train them early to see everyday jobs as a game, what possibilities will this open up for the future?! What can we make next, virtual chores? Cleaning toilets with an actual snake! Maybe make a dishwasher a là Flintstones and make it a dish-licking dinosaur?

Virtual marriage- fighting over the budget has never been quite so interactive! Changing the toilet paper/paper towel rolls with a stick of dynamite?

Virtual taxes. ..no clue how to make that fun, sorry.

The possibilities are endless!

Cookays

Published February 28, 2018 by sarcasmica

How many pieces of celery cancel out a girl scout cookie?

If I cut the celery into smaller pieces, is it still considered one piece?

What if it’s covered in peanut butter? Thats a protein, right? It adds nutritional value, not more sugar.

Can the cookie-erasing properties exponentially grow the more celery you eat?

…asking for a friend

Tweendom du dum dum

Published February 20, 2018 by sarcasmica

It has hit. Tweedom. My kid is a tweenie. A tweenster.

He is 11 and the emotions and sass and backtalk and under-the-breath muttering and door slamming and behind-closed-doors cursing (undoubtedly accompanied by flipping the bird) has begun.

This week on Tweens of Our Lives the story line is sharing. Sharing and how it directly feeds poison into the brain causing epileptic fits complete with spitting and tears.

No, this isn’t a toddler, it’s a preteen. The culprit: Legos. Not the built, colossal lego set left untouched after fighting through the manual. Not the Minecraft built out level. I have implemented a shared lego bin from the tens of bins left untouched for over a year.

Evil bitch mom.

Apparently I don’t understand how special and important each individual lego piece in the dusty forgotten bin is!! Im a monster!!

It has been 2 days of bitter resentment and acting out over this fucking lego bin and I’m not ashamed to say that it’s causing me to see bins of colorful prescription pills instead of plastic interlocking bricks. I’m about to be committed over my nearly twelve year old son flat out refusing to see any reason when it comes to sharing without resentment.

*two hours later*

To his credit, after using props and trading places with his sibling he has finally conceded that my forced decision of a community lego bin was a reasonable one considering the amount he still gets to keep for himself. But only after a full out internal combustion, brain-imploding fit of nearly swallowing his tongue. This is not an exaggeration.

Stubbornness is a super power that runs deep in this family.

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