I am procrastinating.
Have done laundry. Which to be honest I totally forgot I had to do today. Until I used the last of the toilet paper and had to go get the rolls from the linen closet when what do I spy but my laundry basket. With both of my uniforms in it. That would have been a difficult one in the morning, having only the apron to wear to work. Somehow I am thinking that would not go over very well. So laundry is done and in dryer. Well I cannot do anything until the dryer is done so aforementioned uniforms do not end up wrinkled.
Okay laundry is done.
I guess I should explain what I am procrastinating on. I am writing a short story. I pretty much have it figured out however I am opening with the point of view of a really really disgusting slimy character. K asked me if I had to have his point of view and yes because it leads up to the children. The children are scampering about wanting to be written but I cannot until sleazer gets written. He is in my head and as I told DD I need to vomit him out before I can sleep because he will haunt my dreams.
After finishing the laundry I sat down to read a few blogs. That is not really procrastination because I love reading the stories of the people I am following. And than after reading Welcome To Our Campfire’s post A New Family Pet I had to write a short novel in response to it.
Okay now I am going to write……no see K and P are both messaging me. As is DD. So I cannot be rude and ignore them so I shove sleazer back into some dark cupboard and chat away. Well voice msg with K and P. Those are a blast and we are, I am very goofy at times.
Now I am going to write…..oh wait someone new has liked my comment on A New Family Pet and I must go and check out their blog. Bitchin’ in the Kitchen. So over I go and am delighted to discover a new person who sounds and reads as a lovely person. I spent a good fifteen or twenty minutes perusing her blog, liking away and hitting the follow button. I laughed quite a few times. Okay most of the time.
Now I am going……..yeah I am not even going to pretend. I responded to a few comments in response to my comments. Than I moved into my room and got myself all settled in. Still talking with K who has now fallen asleep. DD is also going to bed. I am alone, with sleazer (he is in my head still not my bed) who is cackling.
I have like 6 emails to read and than I will go and write him. I really will have a bad sleep if I don’t excise him from my mind. Wish me luck.
Oh look I got 2 more emails. 🙂
Further procrastination taking picture with Thomas.
T is over tonight as his dad is working evenings and his S.O. is not available. Well lucky me I get him for an extra night during a week that is not mine. Of course I am going to scoop that one right up.
When T first arrived home there were two bags of garbage waiting for him to take down to the dumpster. We had a little bit of a hemming and hawing and arguing a tad, about how unfair it was and it was not his garbage. This ended with me reminding him that when he came back we needed to have a talk.
Oh no he insisted, we did not have to have a talk. That was all taken care of. He knew all about it. I raised an eyebrow at him and said yes, however we need to have a conversation. I am not mad but I need to explain some things to you. Off he went, looking dejected and worried, for I am sure he was expecting a lecture.
I required fortification for this conversation so I poured myself a cup of coffee and turned around to sit back down at the table. T had plunked himself into my chair so I ushered him out of it. Not happy. He wanders around in front of me, anything to forestall the dreaded lecture that T feels is coming. I look at him. He walks around the cat’s scratching post, pulling on the batting ball.
‘Buddy, do you know what rape is?’
Well now that I hooked you with suspense and you are all sitting with either your mouths hanging open or a crooked eyebrow thinking what the hell has gotten into this woman? allow me to fill you in. Monday I came out from getting ready for work to discover that T’s school had called me. Noticed I had a voice mail but was in a panic so did not listen. Had I, I would have realized it was from T’s teacher. Well, I am trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Thought if he was being a bully he had better run. Was hoping he wasn’t being bullied. Called and left a message at the school for T’s teacher to call me at work.
He did. And I discovered that T and a group of his friends had been playing tag. It was called ‘Rape’ tag. I still do not understand the full concept. It entailed playing tag but if you were it to make the other person it you had to ‘hump’ them. Needless to say my face was burning with mortification. I had no idea where this came from and well I may have stuttered a little I was so shocked. I agreed that not only should I have a conversation with T regarding this subject but also that he needed to see the guidance counsellor along with the boys that had been involved. They also saw the Principal I believe.
Let us fast forward to this afternoon. So T is staring at me and I ask him again. And he goes well it has to do with sex. That is it. That is all. Okay I in no way want the school to be explaining what rape is to T. This is something that needs to be handled by parents. But I knew that the Ex (I know I confuse myself too) had talked to him because he knew the name of the boys involved and had disciplined T with the loss of Youtube. Which means that tonight T is stuck hanging out with me. Once he comes home from hanging out with the neighbor.
I explain that rape was not about sex. It was a violent and degrading act that happened to both women and men. That often time women (I needed to chose one or the other to explain female is just easier) are threatened with being killed if they do not comply, hit and beaten. That their clothing is torn off and it is an evil act. Do you think that I was too graphic? I want to get the point across to my son that rape is nothing to be blaise and flip about. But he is only 9 you are pointing at the screen, only 9. If he and his friends are able to use the word and run around knowing that it has to do with a sexual act, than he is old enough to learn what is right and what is wrong in regards to his behaviour towards women.
I also explained that a lot of times, especially by men, rape goes unreported. That the person lives with guilt and fear. And that if they do come forward and go to the police they are often treated as though it was their fault. That they had asked for this act to happen to them. He said ask for it? What do you mean mom? So I tried to explain and than I stopped and said, you know how during the summer mom wears a bikini at the beach, and shorts and tank tops? Do you think that because I am dressed like that that anyone should be allowed to touch me or try to have sex with me? And he said absolutely not.
I said, that is what it means to say someone was asking for it based on the way they were dressed. But it could also be how they act. How they are walking. Even how they might have smiled at someone. T looked at me and went to sit on the couch. He stared at me and I stared back. I wanted to know if he understood now why everyone was making such a big deal about it. He did.
I again reiterated to him that no matter what a girl is wearing or how she looks, talks or behaves does not mean he has the right to touch her unless she gives him permission. And than I did something that may have either scarred him for life, or done some good, I told him that the basis of his behaviour towards girls (now) and women as he gets older should be as simple as this: Would he want someone to do this to his mother?
I am not saying my son is not going to ogle girls and smile at them. I would not expect him not to. It is human nature. If you say not, I say you are a liar. You should see me when a cute man walks by the counter at work, I will be leaning over it to watch him go out that door. However, I know that I am teaching him how to respect them more.
***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.
***Picture is mine taken Aug. 19/17 my bro and nephews.***
There is literally only one thing that any older sibling wants to do in their lifetime. And that is to crush an illusion that a younger sibling holds so that they are unable to ever hold onto it again. Last night I got to do just that with my baby bro. With the help of his children. Apparently he has been suffering under the delusion that he is cool.
You read that right.
My 38 year old brother, father of 3 teenagers, believed he was cool. You will notice the past tense I am using.
Myself, my nephews and my niece, disabused him of that notion.
The conversation started off innocently enough. He had been texting me while I was at work and once I got home and settled we continued to talk. He was having a great evening with his therapist Wayne. Wayne Gretzky that is. Apparently the great one makes rye. Who knew?
First he thought that he could trick me. We were having a conversation about spelling. He told me he was a great speller. I informed him that auto-correct does not count towards his ability to spell. D than said to me ‘go ahead, give me any word and I can spell it correctly.’
At some point time in his life, D fell under the belief that he could trick me. Thus far, I have a score of about 1000 to his 0. My response, ‘dude if I give you the word it will already be spelled correctly and you will just copy it.’
I am sure he was sitting in the corner of his couch chortling away, thinking that he had finally caught me out.
Than he did something that drives me absolutely nuts. He began to shorten words and misspell them. When you are a writer that is enough to drive the knife in and twist it. I finally corrected his spelling and was informed that this is a new thing that the kids are doing these days. Shortening words. Cool lingo.
As far as I am concerned they just look illiterate.
I love my niece and nephews. I love my son. But they are kids. And kids are assholes. They think that they know everything and anything. I know this because I once was a kid. I was the biggest asshole around.
When I informed my bro of the fact that he just looked illiterate, he laughed and said ‘doesn’t matter I am still cool.’ I nearly fell off the couch I was laughing so hard. It is a good thing that I can type through tears because they were threatening to fall as I howled.
I made him ask his children if they thought he was cool. I also let him know that if they did say he was cool, they were liars. ‘You are a parent. You are the antithesis of cool.’
D asked. His children broke his heart. At 38 years of age, D must finally reconcile the facts. He is no longer cool. His children and me, we are cruel creatures he informed me. Crushing his dreams. All I could get out of him was that the kids told him ‘dad is not cool.’
It had to be done. D could not be allowed to suffer under this delusion any longer. After crushing his coolness dream, we discussed our weirdness. And how that is just who we were. And how it is kinda cool to be weird. But the kids cannot see that because to them normal is ‘cool.’
So with our weird freaks flying free D and me, we are cool. It is the kids that are not.
This has certainly been a week of discoveries. I took holidays this July (1 week only) for the first time in 3 years. And T and me spent this week up with my mom. Whom I love with all my heart. But lordy spending all this time in a three bedroom smallish cabin is enough to make a woman tear her hair out. Even when T is with me we still have time apart. He goes outside to play, I get fifteen minutes of silence.
On Wednesday I announced to mom that I required 15 minutes, just 15 to go for a walk by myself and rebalance. This was way too much together time. She huffed. T waved as I walked away. I tried to explain later to her why it was required but am not sure that she really got it.
Which leads me to the ‘wonder where he gets it’? T and mom started butting heads on Tuesday I believe it was. Monday when we arrived it was gorgeous out. Mom and GU-S (great uncle-mom’s youngest brother) immediately put T to work. I sat on the deck soaking up the sun and reading. I was to build the fire. There was too much in the fire pit and anyways once I got the fire started the uncle took over.
Tuesday though, was bleak and rainy. Windy too. We were all on top of one another and I allowed T to play his video games on the phone. Not my phone lol but a phone his dad had given him. No sim card but GU-S had hooked him up to the internet so it was all good. I had checked these games the night before and had no issues with him playing. Did I maybe allow him to play too much and too long? Mom certainly thought so while I was just happy that I was not subjected to the boredom song. And this was when the smart mouth and constant desire to be last came to the forefront.
I have never realized, and that may be because he does not pull it that often with me, that T has a need to have the final word. But oh lordy, once mom pointed it out to me, I heard it. I saw it occurring. There were a lot of warning low grumbles of ‘T that is enough.’ There was mom telling me that I needed to nip this in the bud or I would end up regretting it. T was being a smartass and for the most part I could deal but not when I was getting it from both sides.
Wednesday also dawned grey and wet. Oh lordy not another day spent inside with these two! I was not sure that I was going to be able to handle it. (Thankfully T’s little friend KJ had arrived on Tuesday evening and eventually the sun broke through allowing me to sit in the back reading and chilling and getting my shore up time.) Mom asked me a few questions to which I shot back some smartass comments. She than pointed out to me that it wasn’t a wonder T had a smart mouth he learned it from me.
T is always right. He will twist and turn his facts to prove he is right. He also, with mom it seems, needs to have the last word. Mom and me were talking about something, I cannot remember what now but she made a comment and she says to me ‘well I wonder where T has learned the smartass behaviour and need to be last.’ ‘I do not always have to have the last word and I wonder where I learned it from?’ an arched eyebrow as I looked at her.
‘Jay, I am funny not sarcastic and you always have to have the last word.’ She is opening the door to go in. ‘I do not.’ I retort quite like the 8 year old son I have. Mom looks at me and just shakes her head.
I never have noticed that I require the last word. I rarely argue with anyone any more. I do not argue with folks at work, nor do I talk enough to my bro to have any arguments. Which leaves only T and myself. And usually those arguments end with one or both of us in angry tears. And I always get the last word in as the parent.
This picture was taken on Thursday after a huge battle before leaving the cabin. Mom wanted to do her laundry. T had a fight with KJ. He was not pleased that he had to go to Winnipeg Beach with us. There was yelling. I took the phone away and he was reduced to tears. I also threatened to put him in the car myself if he didn’t get in there. Not sure how I would have accomplished that as he is a very solid little boy.
Once in Winnipeg Beach, I made him come along on our walk, threatening that I could not leave him in the car as it was illegal. The RCMP would arrest me for child endangerment. I made him hold my hand as we walked. T was less than thrilled with me.
As he stomped along pouting, mom and me walked behind him talking about this and that. Until he saw the play structure, with boys playing. Mom had intentionally guided us that way. We left him to play while we took a short stroll. Mom wanted to get some pics of me so I told T where we were headed and I would come back for him. Everyone was happy.
After we were done, mom headed back to the laundry mat to get her clothes and I went off to collect T. Who was heading towards me, a little distraught. He had come looking for mom and me and may have panicked a wee bit when I was not where I said that I was going to be.
As we walked along, he informed me that he loved me. And he held onto me. Of his own volition. I made him stop and took this picture of us. We were both happy and in a good mood. I got him ice cream. And one for mom.
More and more do I see myself in T. I am sure that when he is with his dad, his dad sees all sorts of habits/behaviours that are just like his own. I do believe (and this might be wishful thinking) that more and more, his internal unseen building blocks are more like mine. He is tenacious and sarcastic and stubborn. He spins fiction into facts and they sound good. He is my son.
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.