This is the blanket fort we have built. Yes I am insane because I have the sheet up and over the t.v.
Although this is technically the Ex’s weekend with T, we are doing a double sleepover (Fri-Sun) with his best friend.
His best friend is leaving next month for a trip to Maui with his mom. The boys are already planning how they will Skype with one another. This means that there is going to be nearly 4 weeks before they see one another again. Also as M is working tonight and tomorrow night it makes life easy for her. She does not need to worry about child care.
This morning we drove an hour one way to pick K-T (T’s best friend only way I can designate) up. We left the house at 8 a.m. Yes you are reading that right. For those of you who are not Canadian, it is a stat holiday. Everything is closed. Everything. Except small convenience stores, gas stations, etc. If T had had his way, we would have left at 7 but the gas bar did not open until 8.
To start T was playing his game on his phone. He was sort of talking to me but not much. Than he put his phone down and we talked. I told him about all the things that had been wrong with me when I was born/a toddler. Had to explain what a lazy eye and pigeon toed meant. Also how they had been corrected. Than he asked if he had had anything wrong with him at birth. So we discussed that.
The drive flew by as we talked the whole way there (barring the 10 minutes or so he was playing his game). I asked him if when things returned to normal were we still going to talk like this? And he assured me that we would. I tried to impress upon him how happy this made me and it was really important to me. He is 9 3/4 now (as he likes to tell me) so really he was more focused on getting to K-T and all the fun things they would do. We were only a few minutes from K-T’s so I understand the excitement.
K-T had been packing since 7:15 a.m. These boys are nuts. You would think that rather than seeing one another every other weekend that they had not seen one another in months. I mean the minute we entered the house they were yammering at one another. It is K-T’s birthday today and he is 10 so we also got to bring home the half bit of cake left over.
M suddenly heard that T had size 7 feet and looked at me. K-T has size 2/3 feet. I explained that T was 4’10 1/2″ and 105 lbs. M looked at me and asked how it was possible that there was a 30 lb difference between the boys. I told them to stand side by side. There is almost a foot difference in their height. K-T was disappointed until I reminded him that he came from short stock.
M found this to be an insult and informed me in haughty tones that she was average height for a woman. It was I who was the abnormally tall one.
On our drive home I learned that they were both planning to be WWE wrestlers. K-T wants to also be a NHL goalie and in the Army. As soon as he is old enough off he goes. T wants to also be a WWE wrestler as well as a singer and writer. He will only join the Army if he can leave whenever he wants. I explained not possible so I think the military career is a no go. There is never a dull moment with these boys.
Once home I was banished. That is right, I spent the better part of the late morning and afternoon in my bedroom. My door is open so I can see them and what they are up to. The Ex picked them up at 3:15 and returned them at 4:30 with bags of chocolate. For a brief moment I was able to chill in the living room. Once they returned I was asked to return to my room.
They have the best imaginations. So far, they have been wrestlers, each fighting their stuffies. The giant bear in the background on the couch is T’s opponent. You can’t see K-T’s gorilla. During these wrestling matches they have also been Tag Team Champions. As I sat here I watched as they pretend high fived their fans and held up their championship belt for all to see. (I tried to video but they moved out of view)
They have broken free from jail. What they were in for I do not know.
They have become detectives. T is looking for a yellow folder which had cartoons that he had created and brought home from school. He insisted that it was under the junk drawer. They searched high and low. I know I saw it but not sure where it went. I really think that I may have thrown it out during a clean up but there is no way that I am ‘fessing up to that one. They looked for clues.
Than they decided they were going to be writers. Hot on the trail of stories to tell the world. Both have made pretend lap tops to work on. They have opened their very own writing academy. I am eagerly awaiting the stories they will produce.
As of now, they are trying to decide what they should now do. T is tossing his bear around. First hey decided on Mini Mono Wrestlemania. They crouch down and pretend to wrestle. Than they moved onto Truth or Dare. I am watching this from the safety of my room.
Eventually they will get hungry. Not sure why I cannot allow them to fend for themselves. Apparently though, M and the law assure me that I must feed them. Maybe just as I allowed them to eat cake for breakfast I will let them gorge on root beer and chocolate for supper.
This was a week of lessons for both myself and T. I think too that it has been a hard week for him as the amount of time the Ex has spent with him has been minimal. I cannot even work up anger. I am resigned. I am sad for T. I cannot make him change. I cannot make him see the young man who is growing up right in front of our eyes. T is playing Farming Simulator as I sit here typing this.
I was excited because I am able to listen to my music on my notebook while writing and also watch T play Farming Simulator. I believe I have explained before? Long story short you build up a farm. People create maps and you go farm. Drive around. It is a popular game judging by the amount of Youtube videos I have been subjected to. At the moment I am sitting here with our shared headphones on (the ones that cover the whole ear not inserted buds that would be gross) listening to Florida Georgia Line. Basically I load the entire album and start at the beginning. Today may be the first time in a long time that I get through the very long list.
We had two rather comedic episodes that left me gasping for air I was laughing so hard.
Yesterday morning I was about to wash the bathroom floor and asked T if he wanted to go use the bathroom before I did. He said yes. As he is climbing down his ladder I stand there and tell him he is not to pee on the floor, the seat, the side, nowhere but into the toilet as I had just finished cleaning it. As a matter of fact, I suggested that he straddle the toilet and push it down to pee straight in. With hand pantomimes. T stared at me in absolute horror and as I turned away informed me that that was the absolute worst advice ever. And if I had one I would totally understand why. I giggled again typing this up.
Later in the day as I was driving him to the Ex’s for his night with him T was muttering away about what an absolute boring evening it was going to be. That none of his friends could come over. It was going to be dad, grandpa and grandma. I
I am trying something new. We are all programmed to notice the negative, the absurd, in other people’s pain. We mock others to make ourselves feel better about our own selves. When T and me had our long conversation the other week I told him that we needed to change. That we needed to look for the positive no matter how hard it is going to be. And it is going to be hard. I mock others. I make fun of them to others. I am no saint as I told K and P. It is a habit, a trait, who knows but it needs to be changed. Now the other day when I dropped T off at school I mocked the bright color of one of his classmate’s snowsuit. I tried to recover by saying at the very least we would not lose him in a snowstorm. Told him that he was not to make fun of the boy to which he emphatically told me he would never. I told him I was sorry. That I should never have made a comment and about a child’s snowsuit nonetheless.
So back to T and me, driving to the Ex’s. Grandma and grandpa are visiting. T is going to be bored. I suggest that he could hang out with grandma. And glanced over to see him looking at me like this. Yes I pulled over and took this picture. Mom, he leans forward his arm on the back of the seat, that male posture when they want to tell you something really important in the car, Grandma is old. And she is annoying. The laughter escaped me and I tried to stifle it. I looked at T and explained to him that grandma really loved him. That she wanted to spend time with him. As he is muttering away, frowny face on, arms crossed. That was when I learned something new about T.
I suggested (I am great for suggesting things) that he might want to spend some time with grandma because she would not be around forever. And he said no that was not true. Um yes, unfortunately we all die someday. Nope, we get another life. I looked over at T and said you think after we die we get a different life. Yep. So you believe in reincarnation. Yeah like having past lives and all that. We get to be together in the next life too. There are times when T reminds me how so very special he is. He also believes that had he been born a girl, the Ex and me would have still been his/her parents. The life would have been the same just pink. He expanded my mind right there.
Today he was annoyed that I had picked him up from his friend’s so early. Had thought that he was going to be staying there until 5 p.m. He was angry with me and refusing to talk. So I thanked him. I could have argued until I was blue in the face with him about his attitude but again I am trying different things to find what works for us. I want to stop that cycle I have seen myself falling into. But no, I thanked him. And waited. Finally he asked for what.
I told that I had taken his suggestion and had started writing a story the night before. Wanted to know what it was about so I gave him a quick a synopsis. Explained that what had started off as a short story about one thing had morphed into something else totally different. My main character had a story to tell we were just figuring it out. I thanked him again and he said you are welcome. I felt it was a small victory and we chatted and laughed all the way home.
Once home with chores taken care of I went to grab the headphones and T was loading his game. Asked where the headphones were. As if I didn’t know, he had taken them into his room one day watching Youtube and left them in there. He fought with me. Told me I had taken them and put them somewhere and it was not his fault that I could not remember. I took the remote for the XBox and sat down on the couch explaining that he could have the remote back once he checked his room.
He argued with me and I kept my cool. I did not yell. I did not let my temper get the best of me. I spoke calmly and repeated that he would get the remote once he had gone to look for the headphones. Finally I said that if he was sure they were not there could he please just humor me and go take a look. Stood in the door and said looked. Uh-uh get up there and look.
I heard him climb up into his bed and silence. After a few moments I got up and double checked the table and counter just in case I was being a hardass for something I had in fact done. I stood watching him from the doorway as he climbed down and threw the headphones at me. I think he thought I was going to crow and say I told you so. Or some form of that. Instead I said thank you I really appreciate that you looked for them. Warned him I might sing and was that okay? I was informed that it was most definitely not cool to sing out loud. I made no promises. He giggled.
I need to be his example. I cannot expect him to act one way and for me to act another. I will slip. I am sure that I will make a mocking comment about someone, and snort giggle when reading memes on FB again I am no saint. But I will actively work to do this. For both of us. And in a world full of negatives looking for the positive is hard. And that is when I learned my second lesson.
What I do now is easy. I am in my home. Being a good example is not hard when I am not interacting with others for extended time periods. I will be going back to work. I will be around toxic people who are going to attempt to shame me. Those who are going to judge me. Not celebrating with me as I recover from this bout of depression. That I am emerging a better stronger woman. And it is going to be hard to not to give in. To not laugh at that little aside about a coworker. A dis about an employee. An irate customer. Being tired. I could come up with a thousand reasons why I slipped back and forget what I was doing this for in the first place.
Yes in part this is a step in my mental health and realizing that I was following a cycle that my father got from his mother. I was yelling at T and several times during the week I cut myself off from phrases he said. I need to break it here and now. But this is for Tember. Our children are our future, and I want to encourage T to see the good first before having to process the bad.
***Picture downloaded this morning****
I recently had a conversation with an older female friend regarding males and how they view females. And how teenage girls dress in such a way so as to entice the male sex. I was appalled. I could not believe what I was hearing. I was even told I would feel the same in a few years when T became a teenage boy.
I have never been shy around T. He has seen me naked I would say up until he was about 6 or so. I know this is going to cause concernation but I had a reason. I do not want T growing up objectifying the female body. I want him to realize that that cute girl he is looking at is as anatomically designed as his mother. It is only a body.
I am not so naive as to think that T is not going to be looking at girls and having thoughts. He is a boy. And hell I remember what being a teenager felt like. I know how overactive my hormones were so I am not going all puritan here.
What I want T to learn is that a woman’s body is her own. Only she can choose whether or not to share it with you. And no matter what she wears, that is not an invitation to subject her to your asinine comments and delusion of being absolutely irresistable to everyone of the opposite sex.
This past year I finally became comfortable in my own skin. I am proud of who I am and how I look. I am wearing clothing that actually fits me. I have always hidden my body and shape.
That has more to do with the past past than it does with the here and now. However a few times I had comments made regarding my clothing and what signals I am sending.
Back the fort up people. I am 45 years old. The only signals I am sending out are the ‘I love myself, I am proud of myself, I am in a damn good place and wow am I loving my life.’ The signals I am not sending are the ones that say violate me against my wishes.
So, ultimately the way that T views the female body will be dependent on what I teach him. And here is what I am teaching him:
A woman’s body is her own. Should you choose to be an asshole and violate a woman against her wishes, you will be praying that the police find you before I do. Because son, if you disrespect a woman and violate her I am going to whoop your ass and turn you in. Dragging your ass into the Police Station by your ear.
Today is going to be the 2nd hardest day of T’s life to date. I would say his first hardest was when I moved out of the family home into our apartment. Like that time period, he had to adjust and redefine his reality. This is going to be the same. Today is the day that T’s best friend K is moving. An hour away.
Yesterday T and me, we put on a helluva show for the neighbors and others who were lucky enough to have caught it. At one point the RCMP drove by and all I could think was wonderful, I am going to be arrested for making T go for a walk. Again. This time I did not even make a lap around the park I was so furious. Walking back I steamed. When we got home he refused to come in.
It was awesome. His dad had text to say he was going to take T shopping. I text him back and said come and get him. I cannot deal with this attitude. I went outside and told him his dad was coming to get him. And I ruined his life even more by telling both of his friends that he was grounded. The t.v., the play station, youtube, computer, all gone.
When his dad arrived I explained everything to him and handed the Fire Kindle back saying T is not allowed any electronics. I assumed that he would think that I was over-reacting so was a bit on the defensive. He did not. And when T came out and was snarky with me, my ex said T’s name and looked at him.
I went back inside, still angry. I was so tired of T’s attitude. All I had wanted was for T and me to go for a quick walk while his friends were not home. This whole show was for a point he had snippily informed me, as he did not want to go for a walk. But your friends were not even home, I pointed out, so there was no one to play with. You did this all for nothing.
I mulled it over. Text back and forth with K’s mom M and finally I decided that because it was K’s last night I would allow T to play with his friends. I still was not giving him back his electronics because he acted like a little snot, but I would not be the cause of irreparable childhood scars for not letting him play with his best friend, on his last night, as our next door neighbor.
They played and all things were grand until T came in and he had tears on his face. Angry that he could not play with his friends, he could not understand why they had gone into one’s house without him. He wanted to go knock on the door again, and while I sympathized with him, I had to caution him that it was inappropriate to go banging on the door again. In under two minutes. Than he heard the boys and went off running. Only to return three minutes later tears leaking down his cheeks.
I held my arms open and he flew over to the couch. I held him, rubbing his back and rocking him, my heart breaking and my own tears falling. I told him that K was only an hour away and that with school starting he would make new friends, people he had never met before. T shook his head and said ‘no mom, I have no other friends. And I know everyone in grade 4.’
I had no argument for him. I held him until he felt better and he sat up. I cajoled him into the shower. The tears had left tracks in the dirt on his face. And he had said it was shower night anyways. We sat on the couch and talked a little bit more. I let him watch Larva and I watched it with him. A show that I cannot fathom nor explain. It is on Netflix.
He was in bed and asleep at 9. I am holding firm on that one. We have been getting back into the swing of a 9 p.m. bedtime so I won’t have to fight next week. This morning when he got up, I text M to see if they were awake. They were. T and K are together for the last little while.
As I was writing this, any residual anger that I felt at T for his behaviour has leaked away. Instead I am ashamed that I was not more compassionate towards him. He is 9. His best friend since he was 1.5 years old is moving today. They have been neighbors for over a year. Don’t get me wrong that does not excuse T’s behaviour, and the repercussions still stand, but compromise might be possible. After I get my house cleaned. And his room purged. And the cat litter boxes cleaned………..
Yes so Wednesday T was furious with me. I had been after him all day to go for a walk with me. He kept putting me off until finally I had had enough and told him that we were going, no ands ifs or buts about it. Outside we went and he huffed and puffed behind me. Stomping his feet and swinging his arms, postulating like an ape. I was trying so hard to keep a straight face.
We walked along, me slightly ahead of him, as I was not going to allow his misery to color my joy at being outdoors. Finally he comes clomping up next to me and with a red face demands that I slow down. I am walking too fast if I can be way ahead of him. I slowed my pace but refused to talk to him while he was still acting this way. All I wanted was a little time where he and me could get out and enjoy our time together.
We got to the park and began our lap around the pathway. I ended up being warmer than expected so made him hold the keys and my phone while I took off my hoodie. This began a conversation. Of sorts. First though T had to make sure that I knew without a doubt that I was only allowed to take one lap around the park.
Our conversation was actually pretty cool. We talked about university versus college. How was T to get there? What if he didn’t have his driver’s license by than? All this stemmed from the fact that I informed him that unless he was going to school, he would not be living with me rent free until he was twenty-five. I was optimistic as this is the first time that T has agreed that he is going to further his education after high school. (I should note here that he wants to be a mechanic and own his own business. I keep telling him that he will need to learn the trade aspect as a mechanic and than take business courses so he knows what he is doing. T seems to think that this might be a good idea now.)
As we come around the curve, I decide that we are going to keep going so I wave T to continue walking. Which did not meet with his approval. So he became angry. We walked along no longer talking. T continued to bitch and moan that I was not being fair. We no longer had anything to talk about. I finally had enough.
‘Here, lay down on the grass between the trees and I will continue my walk.’
‘No, you aren’t going to come back this way mom.’
‘You can see the entry way, just watch for me.’
‘But what if I miss you?’
‘I guess you will figure that out soon enough,’ I glanced over at him.
‘Mooooooom! You would just leave me here?!?’
I could not contain myself. The look on his face one part abject horror that I would even conceive of leaving him laying on the grass in a pout and one part anger that I would even conceive of leaving him laying on the grass in a pout. I burst out with laughter, and not a gentle ladylike tee hee hee. I guffawed. I chortled. I had tears in my eyes.
‘That is not funny at all mom.’
‘I thought it was.’
‘Well it wasn’t.’
We continued along in silence a little while longer. Me giggling under my breath and wiping away the stray tear. T clomping along in stony silence. Finally throwing me a glare he muttered ‘you can talk now mom.’
With that we segued back into our conversation about school. I admitted that I kinda wished that I had continued my university education. Not sure what I would have done with a Bachelor of Arts but there you have it. When we came to the bend again, T made sure that I continued walking the straight and narrow out of the park.
His friends were outside playing but he graciously conceded to walking to the Co-op with me. As we walked over to the apartment, I was glad I had forced the issue. I thanked T for walking with me, and told him that I hoped it would happen again. And soon.