SAHM

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Parenting Is Not For The Weak

Published January 24, 2018 by sarcasmica

We have been adjusting around here. Adjusting to my mom getting ready to move into her own apartment after living with us for over five years. My daughter only knows life with Gramma around. I’ve been talking to the kids prepping for the actual moving day so it’s not a big “Surprise! Today’s the day!”

I figured this was the culprit for my son’s behavior of late. After two weeks of back to school with fairly decent mornings and getting off to school fine, suddenly he is an emotional, defiant, argumentative, sputtering mess. And not in the pre-pubescent way. No, it’s a bratty, fit-filled, moody way.

Did I mention the husband is away on business? Yes, we specialize in this kind of timing in this house.

Anyway, speaking to one of my son’s teachers today I find out there is a report due next week that involves reading an entire book. Something I have not seen said child actually doing. Later I ask, “So what’s going on with your report?” and am met with giant sighs and falling to the floor. I am assured that reading is being handled and report writing will be 100% taken care of.

He is on page 30 of a 152 page book and it’s due next Wednesday.

We pinpoint this as the source of some of his anxiety. No problem. It’s handled. The evening routine is all drama and tears and emotions still, however. Head-scratcher.

After reading to my daughter peppered with my own tears thanking my seven year old for being so kind-hearted and understanding when all of mom and dad’s attention feels like it’s focused on the big dramatic kid, I tuck her in and get her to bed.

Next up, big kid bed time. My son has a mini meltdown over a snack, lies about brushing his teeth, and finally heaves himself onto his bed giving up any hope that the day will include ice cream and video games. We begin what is supposed to be a quick convo about the day and it turns into something I did not see coming.

“Mom, I think I know part of why I feel so depressed.”
I hold back my cringing at the buzzword and try to focus my energy on an open mind and face. (my face is something I have very little control over)

“(best friend) has been really sad lately and says he’s depressed.”
“Hmm … i wonder why. Do you know what’s going on?”
“Well, I think it’s because of his dad… he died.” (the best friend’s bio parents are divorced and mom is remarried with 2 more kids)
“He died?! When?” (this is news to me)
“His parents got divorced and his dad was really sad so he … you know… killed himself.”

Holy fucking shitballs.

Right. So now go ahead and roll with that, Supermom.

“Wow. That is heavy. That is a lot for (best friend) to deal with, certainly. I wonder if he feels like talking to a counselor would be helpful.”
“He goes to therapy every week.”
“Wow. Ummm, i’m really glad that he has a friend like you to listen and support him. …. that is a lot for you to deal with as well. As important as it is to be there for him and listen and help him work through how he’s feeling, I want you to find a way to leave that at school with him. When you walk away from that kind of interaction, it’s really important to try and center yourself around (yourself) again. Empathy is important, but those are not your problems to work out. That is not your reality.”

“Ok mom.” and he seems to get what I’m saying after some more brief coaching.

We work out the reading math problem of barely read pages minus total pages divided by procrastinators time frame left before adding actual report writing time and then…

*giggles* “Mom?”
“Mm hmm?”
“So what is the point of the cover for a penis? You know, that thing…?”
“A condom?”
*giggling*
“Yea, that.”
[to avoid situations like this one!!]
“If you don’t want to make a baby, you use a condom.”
“So then does that mean that – sputtering giggles- sex is … fun?”

And that, my friends, is how the evening went in my house. From depression and suicide to homework and concluded with a painfully masked conversation about sex and why it’s not just for makin’ babies. Now I have to figure out if the whole best friend depression father’s suicide issue is actually real. How do I handle that?! The best friend, to my knowledge, has limited friends at this school where he is a new student. I don’t know the parents all that well. What does THAT conversation look like? We really only text. Do I text the mom, “Hey, heard your ex offed himself and the boys have been talking… anything I need to know?”

And I thought the pre-sleepover conversation asking if there were guns in the house would be the hardest question to ask.

Conclusion: Use a rubber if you are unwilling to mask your extreme discomfort speaking to an eleven year old boy about anatomy and copulation.

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Alien Evolution

Published March 24, 2017 by sarcasmica

Driving my son to fencing practice last night, he began talking about civilization. At first I thought it was just iPad withdrawal, but turns out he was going somewhere with it.

I have to paraphrase here because honestly, I wasn’t actually listening in the beginning. I tuned in off and on and it went something like this

“…. where we came from…”  “… like from another planet, because there are a lot of planets and we still don’t know everything that’s out there…”  “.. how I got here. I just wish I knew where we came from, you know?”

This was obviously the answer portion of the show.

“You mean like reincarnation?” (a topic of discussion last week)

“Yea.. sorta… but like where people came from. I wish we knew how we got here.”

How can he not know this at 10? Have I been that negligent that these basic concepts were left out?

“Honey .. we know where we came from. There has been lots and lots of science that tells us our history and how we got here.”

silence…. which, if you live with a ten year old boy who plays Minecraft and video games, you know this is not usually a positive reaction.

…. ?? hello?

And it dawned on me that he didn’t really want to seem out of the loop, but since it is a huge loop, more of a sphere, I delved into the very limited information I have on the topic. I was cursing myself for not paying more attention in Ancient Civilization in high school.

We talked about evolution. We talked about early humans. We talked about evolution and early humans. This somehow segwayed into a conversation about language. He wanted to know how language becomes established. Thankfully this I had slightly more information on based on having a near certification for Interpreting.

I explained how language is an ever-evoloving thing. There is no set permanent language because it’s constantly reflecting society.

Language is a result of the culture that establishes and uses it. Think about the word “Cold” or “snow”. Do you think Alaskans have more words used for that or Arizonians? We went on to discuss how the culture determines the usage and rules of a word.

He was still spinning on the fact that words are still being created. “Can I create a word?” “Only if you can find a massive group of people to all use it the same way you do, and then they influence and cause millions more to use it all in a common way.”

“Take ‘Selfie’ for example. This was not a word before smart phones. There were people flipping cameras around to take photos of themselves, yes. I was/am a master at this. It just didn’t have a name until people began using smart phones, apps, taking pictures of themselves en masse. Instead of always saying ‘I’m taking a picture of myself.’ it evolved down to just a single word. A word everyone uses for the same thing.”

We talked about how words get added to the dictionary every year because society and culture is always finding a new way to describe something. We talked about certain things being invented long ago that forever changed society. Fire. The wheel.

It was quite a cerebral conversation for a non-college educated mom and her ten year old son.

And this, my friends, is what can happen when you travel without an iPad. (because your son lost privileges due to behaving like a rabid beast every morning before school)

Don’t get me wrong, this conversation could have played out in a million ways. 999,998 of them being about Minecraft in one way or another. Also, I could have tuned in and out of whatever current story is being written in his brain. This one time it was educational and interesting and I actually found a topic I didn’t have to bullshit my way through entirely! SCORE!

 

Armor

Published January 17, 2017 by sarcasmica

We are a video game family. My husband makes them so it’s sort of a requirement. This is aided by the fact we all enjoy them.

I like RPGs. (Role Playing Games) I’ve lost many a personal growth opportunity to playing WoW. (World of Warcraft) I no longer play, but had played since the beta and well into my son’s life. I did not neglect him to play, but let’s just say dirty dishes may have aged and laundry may have walked as a result of my hobby. This game was my first RPG and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn’t very good at it, and did not achieve anywhere near maximum level, but I felt it was a respectable character.

I like ranged characters. This means I get to be away from the fray, but still hurl damaging hits from afar. Because I get to hang back, my character only needs light armor. I’m vulnerable to attacks, but I rely on “tanks” to deal with the bad guys up close and personal.

My husband likes to play FPS games. (First Person Shooters) He loves big hulking characters maxed out in armor and giant weapons. He loves running into a mess and tackling things head-on.

My son likes FPS games, but tends to hang back and want to direct. He likes the weapons and the action, but not necessarily up close and personal. His armor is protected. Fighting is sometimes secondary.

My daughter is only 6 so her game library is pretty sparse. She loves playing Minecraft with her brother, but they never play with the monsters on. She has begun to master Mario Kart also – but only if she’s Princess Peach 🙂

What is with the gaming lesson? I have realized we play much like we live. Not with big guns and moon boots and space ship getaways, but with our armor and our plans of attack. I am very passive aggressive. I will do anything to avoid a confrontation. Please do not put me on the spot for a quick decision because it will simply not happen. Need support? I’m your gal. Need advice? Anytime! But direct conflict? No thanks.

My husband is all about confrontation. Clean it up, clear it out, what’s the matter, deal with it. No mess. He is a big personality with big opinions and ideas to back it up.

Together we’ve created this little man. This kid that likes to be in charge, but doesn’t necessarily like conflict. He’s all about safety and rules. Things are black and white and everyone else should absolutely follow the rules.(If he chooses not to, it’s for a very good reason! Duh!)

So here I am sitting at my computer trying to work out a problem. My son has a villain. A nemesis. An enemy. This kid has been a problem since 4th grade. I don’t like using the term “bully” as that should be reserved for actual physical threats, abuse, intimidation, etc. The jerk in my son’s class is just that. A jerk. A now 5th grade jock brat. This kid is bigger than most kids in the class and has the psychological back up of a teacher mom. A teacher at the same school, no less. He has a nearly impenetrable invisible armor. … nearly.

Last year the harassment began. Slight things. Big brother annoying things. This kid is not my son’s big brother, however, and that crap will simply not fly. I brought this all to the teacher’s attention.

Things escalated and nothing was being done. I found out my kid was not the only one being harassed. By the Spring there was a playground incident where my kid was shoved by Jerk Boy and I took it to the principal and called out the fact that just because Jerk Boy had a Teacher Mom, I did not appreciate the staff turning a blind eye to the treatment of my kid.

Surprise! Things were corrected. The Teacher Mom literally refused to make eye contact with me after that (and still wont look at me at pick up) but who cares? I just wanted my son safe at school. He had enough to deal with from being behind by an entire grade level and was working through finding a good medication for his ADHD. Also we were new to the school, and a lot of the kids knew each other so my son had to jump in and make friends from scratch.

After making a huge deal about everything, the antagonizing and overall jerkdom ceased. This year we found out they would be in the same class again and worried a bit, but the year began with no issues. … until recently. My son told me last night that Jerk Boy had been resurrected and he was starting again.

Kids have a way of making you grow. Unless you are just unable to pay attention and parent, you kind of have to grow and change as they do. I was a very naive parent in thinking if I could just keep them alive until Elementary School, things would be cake!

HA!! HAHAHAHhahahahhaAAAAAAAA

Dumbass. It just gets more complicated. At school you have a big giant pool of all kinds of small humans from all kinds of big human lives/situations/circumstances and the big humans in charge also come in a wide array of Human.

Spoiler alert: Some asshole grown ups make asshole kids. I strive not to associate with either.

So I’ve become more aggressive in my tactics with dealing with these situations. I cannot send in my tank husband to bash through the administration office. I am the face they are used to seeing. They know me from the IEP meetings and they know i’m not an asshole ( i hope!) But now they know I can be one if someone is choosing to overlook my son’s treatment simply because they are friends with his Villain’s mother.

Kids suck. School is hard. Armor is required! I had big brothers so my combat training was extensive before elementary school. Teasing and name calling was not something that concerned me. I am thankful my family has always been brutally honest about everything. Don’t feel good? Take medicine. In pain? Lose weight, fat ass! Hungry at lunch time? Pack  your own damn lunch! Failing a subject? Do the damn homework!

This made adulting slightly more doable. Cynical and intolerant? That’s just back up armor.

I am a firm believer that kids should not be sheltered from life’s harshness. I DO believe it makes for better adults. Having said that, there are levels of tolerance. My kid is a sensitive boy not because he is coddled or enabled. He is sensitive because he is dealing with a lot of factors. He does not go to school, sit at a desk, listen to the teacher, follow the directions, play at recess and come home. My daughter is able to do all of that, and is mastering it in Kindergarten. My son, however, literally cannot. He goes to school after getting up from a restless night of intermittent sleep. He deals with ten channels going on in his brain as he tries to focus on getting the toothpaste on the brush …. if he decides to actually brush instead of just trying to convince me that it happened. He manages whatever clothes he likes despite being able to identify colors, fights through the lack of impulse control to jump scare his little sister every chance he gets. When he makes it to breakfast, he takes medicine that will eventually kick in – hopefully by the time he sits at his classroom desk – eats what he can before his body is no longer interested in food. He then wades through the noise of a morning house, his brain noise, and whatever duties he needs to complete before configuring all the items needed to leave the house.

It would be nice if school was the beginning of his brain activity for the day, but it’s not. When you add to that the stress of a Jerkwad who is seemingly protected by an invisibility cloak in the form of a mother who is a well-liked teacher at the same school it adds complication to your day. It’s a distraction! My kid has managed to jump an entire grade level in Math and Writing. That’s epic! That is huge and I would hate for that achievement to get diminished and jeopardized because he’s trying to figure out avoidance and exit strategies.

Let’s just make kind reasonable people, ok? And if you are afraid you are one of the asshole parents mentioned, you probably are. That’s ok! There’s help! Just stop being an asshole. Attempt to open your mind to another perspective. Start small. That checker who never smiles at the grocery store? Maybe it’s not you, maybe he/she has something really hard to deal with like a sick family member. Be nice anyway. There’s hope! I used to be an asshole, and my kids have convinced me to change… and they are worth it because they’re pretty awesome.

At the end of the day we all want to be able to take off our armor, sit at a table and chow down on a turkey leg.

Just be kind.

 

Break Free!

Published January 3, 2017 by sarcasmica

Dear Teachers of My Little Angels,

I tried. I really did, I swear. I tried really hard to prepare them for going back to school today. I even began prep last night.

7:45 Tuck everyone in. Everyone was bathed, storied, brushed, loved, and hugged.

7:49 Girl child comes downstairs claiming headache and inability to fall asleep
7:51 After list of complaints, hugs and stern “Good. Night.” was given

10:30 Surprise! The boy child is still reading. but he was reading, so that’s allowed, right? At least, this is what he tells me.

10:35 Lights out, happy sounds on to lull overachieving reader to sleep
10:36 “Mom. mooooooom. MOM”
10:37 Swallow fury and exhaustion and sternly correct all imperfections in sheets, blankets, hair, eyebrows, elbows. “Good. NIGHT.”

This brings us to this morning. I swear I tried! I did! I got up, made a hot breakfast for my little geniuses to have proper fuel for the glorious school return.

Fail.

Kids got lost in the bathroom, they forgot how to open drawers to find socks. They failed to operate spoons and cereal bowls, they were unable to locate both shoes.

On top of all of the joyous regular needs of school children, it was 18 degrees outside so we then had to operate jackets AND gloves. Pants AND boots. Scarves AND hair. It was mayhem.

And because I was busy showing/teaching/coaching/yelling directions, I failed in my own duties to foresee the ice covering my windshield. Getting all children out the door without death threats was a bonus, but sitting in the front seat staring at an iced over windshield was my undoing, Teach.

I scraped and cussed as the first bell rang.

The upside is that they were delivered with all appropriate cold weather fixes so they do not return from recess frozen kidsicles. The downside is that they will most likely forget at least two items of wardrobe either in the class before going outside, or just leaving them on the playground.

But I did what I could. It was all I could do not to drive immediately to the airport afterwards and head to California where there is family that would feed and water me, and a beach to soothe my mom-drenched, care-taker emptied soul.

So on the bright side, I WILL be there to pick them up this afternoon. .. i think … right after I check alaskaair.com.

Sincerely,

An appreciative and apologetic mom

P.S. I’d like it noted in my file that I made a hot breakfast AND made lunches. Lunches that did not include cheetohs or chocolate or fish. Although, my son did take a PB&J which I realize is virtually declaring war on the PTA. For this, I apologize but it appears my maid neglected to make it to the grocery store before today. She will swiftly be flogged and fired.

New Shmoo

Published January 1, 2017 by sarcasmica

I have been absent for a while. It would seem failing at the craft fair has sent me into hiding out of embarrassment and frustration, but sadly that is not the case. Nope, I have just become a care giver to my post op husband.

Imma let that sink in.

You know how there’s a whole honest truth to the whole “Man Cold” thing? Well imagine that after surgery. Go ahead… i’ll wait.

I love my husband. I do.

(this is not a statement as much as a mantra I have been  repeating since the surgery)

Between a husband home and immobile after surgery and two kids home on winter break, and preparing for Christmas and decorating it’s safe to say I’m a few fries short of a happy meal right now.

I am counting down to Tuesday when at least the kids will be out of the house for hours at a time in a safe place where I do not have to manage them, their behavior, their bickering and fighting, their “nuh -uh, that’s not right it’s THIS way!” and dietary demands.

The other reality that has been fairly entertaining with a smidge of annoyance is the dawning of my reality on my husband. He’s not been around the kids for this many consecutive hours ever. Like, ever. And one of the kids has a cold!

He has no escape. He cannot wheel himself on his knee scooter down the stairs to escape. … well, he could if he had the right incentive, I suppose. There is no driving to the office to a last minute meeting. Also there’s a whole fun game of “stop interrupting when i’m talking to mom”

The kids don’t like sharing my attention anymore than I like dividing it up while explaining to all parties how to manage their individual frustrations.

and then I go smoke a cigarette.

Just kidding, I drink heavily.

No, that’s not right either. See, if I drank, then who would drive my husband to the ER in the event of an emergency? Not the 10 year old.

“So, Sarcasmica, how do you handle all that bottled up frustration and energy?”

I tell myself many other people have it much much worse. There are countless women out there taking care of sick kids, terminal family members, managing their own jobs and armies of medical professionals who are necessary for every day life.

Me, I just have to manage my entire family being home for two weeks while my husband recovers from foot surgery and is living in the world’s smelliest boot, rolling around the house dodging dogs and kids, and living in a hospital bed in the middle of our dining room-turned office-turned apartment.

So new year, at this point my only resolution is to keep my children alive to drop them off at school on January 3. Think I can make it? I’m not so sure!

Taking care of another adult has been quite eye-opening. For one it’s made me understand in our old age we better live in assisted living because there is no way in hell I am helping with bathroom duties… doodies… hehehehee

I can’t. It seems I don’t have it in me.

I was raised extremely independent. I am quite happy managing myself, taking care of myself, medicating myself. At this point I’m training my children for college independence and their only 6 and 10. “Make your own breakfast, bring down your laundry, start the car, take the meatloaf out of the oven.”

Kidding, but that’s my parenting goal. Self-sufficiency.

So now to have a grown ass person asking me to pick up a remote and hand it to him. Make a sandwich. Don’t forget to put on the mustard. Bring me a pillow for my foot, but not that one or that one… or that one. No not that direction, face it the other way. But don’t forget to position the corners like this.

It’s all I can do not to explode, people. And it’s not his fault. It’s not. He can’t help being an invalid giant child. I’d be miserable if I were solely dependent on another person to take care of me. He’s actually been in great spirits…. but being waited on hand and foot does have it’s perks come to think of it…

Funnily enough it’s not that i’m managing more around the house with him out of commission, either. Shocking spoiler alert: the trash is still being taken out like always, the dishes and laundry still get done without hiccups, and food gets put on the table like always.

“But how can that be?!?!”

strange, right?

This whole thing has been an exercise in patience, sympathy, patience, unselfishness, compassion and patience. I’ve swallowed so many comments and held back so many eye-rolls that I’m dangerously close to becoming a grown up. It’s terrifying!!!

 

 

 

Bad Writer

Published August 8, 2016 by sarcasmica

I figure it’s better to have fewer posts than many posts that are babbling on and on about nothing in particular.

So, summer. We are in the trenches of summer here. I’ve managed to keep sanity until about two hours ago. I am so in need of school to begin now. Like, now. Some people are early Christmas preppers, I am an early school prepper. We have all the lists checked, backpacks bought, lunch boxes ready and I am counting down!

Swim lessons in the am every day are really preventing me from digging a trench in my room to stick my head in. We get up and get out and then spend the rest of the day smelling of chlorine.

Don’t even act like you all bathe your children on the daily when they are just getting back in that chlorinated cesspool in the morning. It’s not like we live in Rio. :0O !

We are down to frozen dinners and hot dog lunches in varying forms; corn dogs, beans and weenies, cold.. Am I Mother of the Year? Nope. But my kids are both covered in bacteria prevention (chlorine) and they can reach all the shelves themselves. They know how to operate a remote control and a game controller.

No bodies have been stored in refrigerators, no siblings choked out by controllers (hellooooo wireless!) and we are all relatively functioning. Isn’t that the point of summer? To push SAHParents to the brink? This way we don’t mind sitting and figuring out math homework every night. We look forward to the fun notes we put in lunchboxes. We appreciate the laundry because it means everyone is going to SCHOOOOOL!

We have no more vacations or trips planned for the remaining 29 days of summer. We have TV, movies, video games and maybe an outing or two. I did go and plan their first ever sleepover. What crack pipe exploded in my face to do that?! I volunteered to have four children in the house over night instead of the regular two. Total crazy town.

Forgive my lack of witty imagination and commentary. It appears my brain cells are fried and the evidence is in the form of frozen dinners in my freezer.

Just 29 more days until sanity …

Time Out

Published May 26, 2016 by sarcasmica

It’s fair to say I’ve been processing some shit recently. I’ve had some dental apocalypse that I’m currently dealing with, and I’m also getting through the after effects of the car accident I was in with my kids.

This, of course, is not the end of the shit show. There have been a few epilogues. You see, the dentist recommended I get a different opinion on the orthodontia the day of my extractions – five days post accident – and now we have hired a lawyer to deal with the crap the car insurance company is trying to pull.

This all requires constant communication and sending info and follow ups and conversations with my husband about how to move forward not to mention the kids are back at their activities and all of our post-accident-related doctor visits.

And my husband is away on business for the length of this.

I’ve been dealing. I’ve been dealing by doing a lot of ‘resting’ which means i’m on the couch a lot. I have various aids with me like heating pads, ice packs, remote controls, water. This is not to say I get much rest. I’m always popping up for snacks for the kids, drinks for the kids, dishes, laundry, normal every day requirements of not living in a hovel. Today, however, i’ve had it.

It seems my sanity breaking point coincides with my daughter’s intolerance for her own poop. She is 5 and she has figured out the magical word “diarrhea”. She learned a bit ago that if she says this word in conjunction with sitting on the toilet, some adult will come and see if she has this mystical situation to deal with.

Needless to say the word lost all of it’s magic after the first five shouts of “ITHINKITSDIARRHEA!!!!”

So today I finally had the ability and energy to get TWO loads of laundry done AND folded… I know… give it a minute…

I did dishes, I cleaned the counter tops with actual cleaning solution. Not just wiping around a wet paper towel. I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. I cleaned the stove top again with the actual proper cleaning solutions, I made lunch, I dusted the blinds, and yes even managed a cup of coffee in between. (and now must take the Ibuprofen)

I had just sat down to slowly and carefully chew my salad when from the bathroom what do mine weary ears decipher?

“M-O-M-M-Y?” (She’s in a ‘spell it’ phase which is not at all annoying after six hours)
Me: chew chew “yes?”
Pooper: “Can you please come here?”
chewer: “Nope.”
P: “ButIthinkitsdiarrhea!!”
c: “Oh bummer, man. You need to take care of it the same as any other time you poop.”
P:”I CAAAAAAAN’T!!!” – in a high pitched dog whistle decibel shriek
c: “Well, I guess it’s time you figure out how to deal with that since you’ll be starting kindergarten soon.”
(lots of crying and yelling and screaming and crying, none of which are by me I must say)

It all escalates into a big 5 year old poo tornado of refusal and mom-calm and protested wiping and more crying and flushing and just overall ridiculousness. It results in her in her room under her bed tent still crying about how she has to stay in her room for quiet time without TV.

I really wanted a stiff drink by this point. I really needed a time out myself. I just can’t continue on the insanity wagon of parenthood solo right now. I’ve had very minimal time away from my wonderful cherubs of sunshine and this is a time I really would have appreciated some peace and quiet.

I had a flash of her as a baby and having to let her cry it out, so we went back in time. I walked away and into my room where I shut my door. Then I went and took a hot shower with the bathroom door shut, and the speaker turned up. I have no idea what was playing on the speaker, but it wasn’t a 5 year old crying about wiping her poopy butt. I settled for this ten minute spa time out for myself and you know what? I haven’t heard a peep from her room since sneaking back down stairs.

Stay tuned for Chapter II : Why Not to Let Them Nap (written around 10pm)

 

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