Would you jump too?

When I was a little girl and well let’s face it right up until the time that I moved out of the house, I did not get all the things I wanted. Cabbage Patch Kid phase, I was the only kid on the block without one. One of my friends had two and I was green with jealousy. I cannot quite recall the other things I wanted in life that all my other friends had but what I can tell you is my mother’s comment on all these passing phases. (And yes I realize that having a Cabbage Patch Kid now would earn me some serious cash but alas, I am missing out. Thanks a lot mom.)

My mother was a single mom in a time era where divorce was still frowned upon. But that is a subject for another story. Here we are discussing her absolute disdain for popular phases and my desire to follow them. (Just remembered another one, in grade 7 it was Melissa Jeans with a white stripe down the side. Finally got them as they were on the down swing. And the pair I had were defective. The zipper refused to stay up. I walked around half the day with my zipper down, showing off my scarlet granny panties for everyone to see before one of my friends alerted me.)

Our conversations would always start off the same. ‘Mom I really really need a Cabbage Patch Kid.’ ‘Jay, it is really close to Christmas just wait until Santa comes.’ So I was excited. Ten years old and although I knew Santa was my mom, I had expectations. I wrote a letter I believe to Santa. And than came Christmas. There was no Cabbage Patch Doll under the tree. What on earth! Santa always got me at least one of my asked for gifts on my list. Why had he forsaken me?

Now every smart child knows that the time to ask for a much needed item is not during the holiday season. So I waited. And waited. My Amma passed away just before Christmas that year and in January I was struck with (as the doctor put it) good old fashioned Scarlet Fever.

Finally I asked again for a Cabbage Patch Kid and this was my first (probably not but the first time I recall it) introduction to what would become my mom’s famous last words. ‘Jay-lyn Anne you are not going to die without a Cabbage Patch Kid. If all your friends were to jump off a bridge would you do the same?’ I think I may have made a smart ass comment about knowing how to swim but alas, it failed to impress.

Let us fast forward 33 years. There is a new fad in town. It is called a Fidget Spinner. It is a plastic toy for kids to keep their hands busy. Are you kidding me? It is literally a piece of plastic that kids spin around their fingers. M has indicated to me that it is kinda neat but I am appalled.

She bought K one. I said when I saw it, no way in hell is T getting something dumb ass like that. His dad has agreed to ‘make’ one for him at home in the shop. Not sure if his dad is waiting for him to forget or will actually make him one. I do not care. I refuse to spend money on something this dumb. Which brought back the statement ‘If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you too?’ and I understand now where my mom was coming from.

T and his dad came to the store to shop yesterday. We had a conversation about the Fidget Spinner and how I most certainly was not going to buy him one. With a slight pout and whine T asked me why not? I did not use the statement my mom used on me but I did tell him that the reason why was because his interest would last as long as it did for his talking Elmo and Chuck the Truck. He asked how long was that? I said one day!

As I said one day to him, the statement if all your friends jumped off the bridge would you do it too? And I finally understood what my mom meant.

I am not the perfect mother

I am not the perfect mother. Hell I do not even come close. I am the mother whose car is a disaster, who although I have all his shit packed, will still forget to pick up her son at the sitter’s before heading off to soccer practice. Because well that just happens when you are single mom and you need to be in six places at once.

When I was a child I hated my mother’s punishments. And truly they weren’t punishments they were corrections to my behaviour. As an adult omg my mom is my hero. (Having said that mom read ahead with caution). She set boundaries. She made me responsible for my actions. She made me the incredible person that I am (okay so that is tooting my own horn) But I am following in her footsteps so she must have done something right.

So this evening I am having a conversation with a friend. We are discussing boundaries and how her kids seem to ignore hers. So I am listing off all the things that she can do. All the things that my mom implemented with me. Things that worked. And as I read over my suggestions I start to envision what she is seeing.

She sees that little old lady with her glasses perched on the end of her nose. Steely eyes glaring. Pin curls that were contrived in the 1950’s and have never changed a bit. Her bosom is a shelf that cannot be breached, her waist thick and barely there. Her stockings roll up at the knees because she can’t be bothered to pin them up at her thighs.

Oh my dear god, that is so not me. So I needed to enliven the conversation. I needed to let her know that I was not the perfect mother that my voice portrayed in the messages I sent. So, I told her the following story.

I am a single mom. I have needs. I have desires. I have an eight year old son who at this point and time does not need to know that his mother is a being with a life beyond him. (He will learn, but right now I can hide this aspect of my life) So when T is around I am the celibate single mom who lives for her child.

Alright folks (mom I suggest you stop reading here) I am going to admit the truth. I may be single. I may not want to introduce a multitude of men to T’s life which would only serve to confuse him, but I am a sexual woman. And I have a drawer full of toys. Yes mother if you are still reading I have toys!

So and I am absolutely positive that I am not the only one that this has happened to, but I am putting this out there. I was having a rough night and T was being a little shit. Arguing and fighting. Telling me how great his father was. I was incensed and a little pissed. He would not go to bed. Finally after a bath at 10 and listening to him chant mom over and over and over again I caved and told him go to sleep in my room! I can move him back to his when I go to sleep.

Silence ensues and I lay back on the couch, ready to watch another episode of whatever I was watching when T comes into the living room.

‘Mom what is this? I found it at the end of your bed?’

I look over and omfg he has my vibrator. I cannot even be ashamed at this point and time; because this folks, this is why we as parents have boundaries. He is flicking it around and I bolt off the couch screeching ‘give that to me.’ Poor child thought that he had done something wrong.

As he stares at me with tear stained eyes, confused and unsure as to what he has done wrong I implore him; ‘Buddy I have never ever asked you to lie or say nothing to your dad. But baby this is a secret we need to keep okay?’

‘Mom what is that?’

‘That is a toy for mom.’ I admit lame ass reply but what the hell else am I suppose to say?

‘Oh so do you use that when you are sad? You play with it to make you happy?’

As I choke on my laughter and shake my head, tears glisten in my eyes. Oh yeah I am still waiting for my ex to confront me about the fact that T found my vibrator. I am still absolutely horrified that he found it. But this leads me back to my mom, who set boundaries so never once did I ever find her sex toys. (Sorry mom please forgive me.)

I am not the perfect mom.

 

 

It only took a year……

T and me, we started this new journey of life a year ago this month. I upset his daily routine by moving from the home I shared with his father into an apartment. I upended his life by falling out of love with the man I thought I was destined to spend the rest of my life with. Shit happens. Wrong people marry and to carry on would have resulted in a child who would have had commitment problems as he aged. (Look at myself and the bro……children of divorce, father was a total louse and neither of us were/are interested in marriage.) So two years ago this upcoming October I told my ex that I no longer loved him and well……how could you not see the problems?

That is not what this is about. When T and me moved, I had my mattress (a king size that I still am not use to sleeping in alone. Am finally beginning to sleep all over but for the passed year I have still been sleeping in ‘my’ spot-makes it easy when I don’t want to fold clothes, they go on the other side ha ha ha) T had a mattress. I got my bed frame, a romantic piece of work. All curly curves and open and a light color!!!!!! My ex liked everything dark thus I am rebelling and everything I now have is a light color. (This includes my new clothing save for yoga pants and shorts. They are still black)

Let us fast forward through a year of trying desperately to get T to sleep in his own room. I have bribed him, I have cajoled him, yelled at him. There have always been excuses. The ‘moo moo’s’ have returned to live in his closet. (Imaginary scary animals that are not cows from when he was 3) The angry people living under his bed despite it being on the floor. It has been a disaster zone from day one.

I promised him that when I received some money this weekend that we would go to Ikea and finally get him a bed frame. Only problem is the money was suppose to be deposited into my account and instead they sent a cheque to my ex. (Long story short back pay for ex for last year’s CTC from government) so no money in my account. I was going to wait until next weekend but M finagled the truck from her son so I decided what the hell? The ex will give me my share next week and off we went.

As seen in the picture up above, T is pumped. This is the same bed frame that we looked at last year. Exactly the one that he wanted. It was 15% off. Done. And than we walked around Ikea. And I listened to T whine and mutter about how he was dying of thirst. No word of a lie, he followed behind me panting and pulling at his shirt like it was 600 degrees in there. I am pms’ing. I was ready to kill him. When I had to go and get the trolley to lay my large boxes on I told him to stay with M. And she knew so she kept him for me.

Got home and a friend came over to help me put the bed together as opposed to M and me doing it. And thank goodness I asked. I would still be attempting to put that bed together right now had he not. M would be cursing my name. Cursing T’s name. But sometimes I can be a little smarter. My bed frame, king size was so easy to put together, here I was assembling some bomb or something because oh my god!!!! The directions were so complex and really why is there nothing in writing? Why all pictures? Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

As you can see though, T has his bed frame and loves it. Bed time last night and in he went no problems. And his room is clean. Today I am going to Rug Doctor his carpets and move his couch in there. Once I have a table for him, I will bring out the spare t.v. and hook the Playstation up for him so he can watch Netflix and Youtube. Despite the way I was feeling yesterday I am thrilled that T is happy. And it isn’t like I can’t use the newly purchased bed frame to milk a few chores out of him. ‘Cause that is just how this parent rolls. (LOL)

Parental Secret Society

T comes into the house. He has been with his dad for the last week. Immediately he zones into the empty pizza box on the counter. His head swivels around and he glares at me. I have broken some sacred law that exists when you are a single parent. Thou shalt not have any fun or take out when your child is away from you. Not sure who wrote the law but am certain that it was a child.

I can only buy my favorites when he is not home. Chips. Cheese. Cookies. For if I were to buy when he was home I would never get a taste.

Is your eyebrow raised? Are you doubting me? If you are a parent and skeptical, than I am pretty certain that your child has not yet reached the treat stage. They are like 2 and you can still control them. Wait until your child turns 3. You will never again be able to enjoy your favorite foods without hiding it from them. From your child. From your spouse or significant other. Hell, from your parents. Everyone will devour the snacks that you have bought for yourself.

You mock me right now.

So listen to this story.

It got a little busy at work this morning so I had to jump on till. One of our regulars comes through. She has two younger children who are with her, and a teenage child. As I scan through her items there are a few chocolate bars. I ask if she would like them for herself. Would she like to hide them? As a treat.

And she looks at me and bursts out laughing. She knows what I am talking about. Explains that the bars cannot go into the ‘school snack cupboard’ because she would never even see a morsel. Has to hide the chips too because if she does not, her husband will eat it all.

‘I like chips too,’ she tells me and I agree.

This is the parental secret society. It is not limited to women. Men are also involved in this group. Generally they are buying the donuts, one only and scarfing them down in the car. Licking their fingers clean before they even start the car/truck. No need to get the steering wheel sticky and give away the fact that……a donut was consumed, without your knowledge.

I have a week to eat my treats. And I have learned to toss out the evidence prior to T coming home. You all only have minutes. And I bet sneaking that wrapper into the garbage is going to become a skill you hone all so you can enjoy a single treat.