Who knew I could smell so bad?

This is my week with T.  Wednesday I was suddenly struck cold, right through to the bone. I even pulled the heater out at work when I was covering my second’s break because I was so cold. Went home, slept, went and picked up K and came home to T. In the evening it wasn’t so bad. But it hit hard over night. I awoke drenched in sweat my hair could almost be wrung out. Gross right? Well I felt worse.

I called in. Something that I had promised myself the last time that I was going to avoid doing for the next six months. I moved and my head throbbed, my eyes squinting because the light was too bright. I had blinds closed, glasses off and it was painful. My hips, my legs, my back ached. I slept almost all day. I did not take T to soccer. Ordered him pizza for supper because I could not move to cook. I have never felt so helpless and useless a mother as at this point.

T tucked me in and gave me his stuffed puppy to cuddle with. Along with his blanket. His dad knew I was ill so he picked him up and off to soccer they went. Home at 8:30 I tell him his bedtime is 9:30 and I am trusting him. He was in bed at 9:30. Friday a.m. I woke up again covered in sweat and my sleep had been so disjointed but I had to go to work. I groused and groaned and snivelled and groused some more, but off we went.

I am glad that I went in. I pushed through my day and as I did I began to feel so much better. By the end of my shift I was no longer forcing my smile or my laughter. Not cured mind you as my head was still throbbing. I made T clean up the floor because it hurt to bend over and pick up the mess on the floor. Hint 2 I was feeling better: the mess that had accumulated in two days of being ill, was annoying me.

Woke up this morning feeling good. Wee headache but livable. Only to discover that T puked in the middle of the night. He also had a wee accident. And he was cold.

It is Summer in the City in our city this weekend. He had to go. ‘Mom I am fine.’

I caved. He pushed through it. I am going to say this kid has way more stamina than I do. I do believe he is built like his chichi and refuses to allow illness to deny or keep him from anything.

As we are walking home, holding hands, I know yet again my guy isn’t feeling very good. Because what healthy 8 year old boy wants to be seen holding his mother’s hand as they walk down the street? He is also complaining that his legs are aching.  ‘Mom when we get home I just want to lay down on your couch.’

As I am sitting at the computer T is laying on the couch. He has not eaten yet, another indication of illness. I look over and use the bribe food: ‘Hey if I make mac and cheese you gonna have some?’ ‘Sure mom.’

Okay, and he is warming up. Maybe he is like chichi and not his wimpy mommy when it comes to sickness.

I start making the mac and cheese and he is patiently waiting. I am playing on the computer, minding my own business, eye on the timer when all of a sudden……pooot poooooot poooot pppppoooooot ppppppppppoooooooooot.

I look over at T with wide eyes and say what was that? Like I don’t know.

T stares at me I think in slight suprise. And than I am guessing that the smell hit him. His face twitched, he gasped and said ‘I didn’t know I could smell like this mom!’

And I laughed as I got up to stir the noodles and said ‘and you can’t even get away from it.’

****T did attempt to get me to smell said disgusting fart by insisting he required a kiss. I held my breath until far enough away.

 

The Bird who likes to Poo

T has taken an interest in my poetry. While hanging out with Auntie K on Wednesday before his doctor appointment, they created this brilliant piece of work. I however may be a tad biased.

I met a bird named Blue

He took a poo.

And than he flew

And took a poo.

Than Blue knew

He took too many poos.

©T Doerksen

May 29/17

The Invisible Brake

I am sure that as every teenager passes into that realm of being a responsible adult by learning how to drive every last one of us….we have driven with our parents.

I am unsure if when a father teaches his daughter or son that the same things occur when a mother teaches the same children to drive. I will actually never know. My mom taught me how to drive. Kinda. I mean, because of her, I learned how to drive a standard. The rest of it, I learned in an automatic. Most cars I drove were automatics because well my mom did not trust me enough to let me drive her car.

When I was 14 we took a trip down to Texas. My mom allowed me to sit in the driver’s seat in a McDonald’s parking lot and practice shifting gears. Totally awesome right. I am one of those summer babies. So while all my friends hit their landmarks in school, I hit them all before the next school year started. (Try being the only 17 year old in your group of friends graduating, sober, boring and watching everyone else have a grand time) PSA Drinking does not lead one to have a good time. But in moderation and with good friends, it can enliven an evening and make for good memories.

So while all my friends were getting their driver’s license’s I was held back by my age restraint. And than the fact that the first time I went for my driver’s test, my brake lights did not work, second time I failed everything but the parallel parking aspect and third time is the charm. Got my license.

Alright, I have my license. Hey I even had a job. I was well on my way to becoming a responsible and active adult member of society. But mom, well mom had some issues.

The first time we drove together after I got my beginner’s was in the Kmart parking lot near our home. There was a lot of shouting. It was a Sunday. (This was before Sunday shopping was a thing, so the parking lot was empty.) I stalled a lot. Do you know, that really to shift gears is so easy, 20, 40, 60 and 80 and 100. Learned that from a boyfriend. Prob only good thing cause I don’t recall his name.

Mom yelled. I slammed on brakes. A lot. Not the invisible one. The real one. I stalled. She drove home.

Which leads me to this recollection.

One Friday evening mom is going out with the girl friends. I am going to babysit for one of them. Mom decides that I should drive from one end of the city to the other. Back in my day it would take about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes depending on how I hit the lights. Today, it would take us close to an hour and a half.

Hyundai Pony. A blondish gold color. Very basic. Had the radio on to my station. Yes, mom allowed me to have my radio station on. She sat in the passenger seat which underneath the glove box had a shelf that held the interior warmer. This is an item that you have when you live in Manitoba.  One plugs it in along side their regular block heater. This one though kinds takes the chill outta getting into a car in -40 degree celsisus weather.

The drive from home to the downtown area of Winnipeg is uneventful. It is twilight and I have made most of the lights so it has been clear sailing. Part of my route is a known route for it is the way we drive to my grandparents every week. Mom and me we are talking. Laughing. Having one of those really rare mother daughter (when she is a teenager) moments. Where all the animosity, the ‘you know nothing attitude’ the exasperation because well how do you understand a daughter who is nothing like you? That night mom and me, we were in a groove.

We are driving up Donald Avenue. This area is center downtown Winnipeg. It is a bus route. It is Friday night approximately 7ish in the evening. Traffic is enough to make mom a little nervous. So we are cruising along. I am doing all the right things. I am, for one, in the damn lane I need to be in. Two, I am watching all angles of traffic…..including the buses to the right of me. And yes, I am aware that the bus has it’s flasher on. Yes mother I am aware, I am watching.

Well mom had very little faith in my ability to gauge traffic. To this day she still grabs the door handle if she thinks I might be about to kill us all. First she says ‘Jay, watch out.’ I look at her and say nothing. (From the corner of my eye) ‘Jay-lyn do you see that bus?’ I glance at her and return my concentration to the road. Please note, the bus is 50 feet in front of me, edging out and I have already taken my foot off the gas because a) my depth perception is a little off and would rather be safe than sorry b) mom is starting to panic.

The bus swings out into my lane. There is more than enough room to spare. I am no where near crashing into and killing not only ourselves but the bus riders. Mom shrieks. I look at her in dismay. Radio is playing Bon Jovi. And mom slams on her invisible brake.

Her invisible brake? The shelf that held the interior warmer. She slammed her foot into that shelf like it was going to bring the car to a complete and utter halt. My head whips around and in a split second I gape at her than return my attention to the road. The bus soars off into the distance and four cars are able to slide into the gap.

I glide to a stop at the red light. And my head swivels to look at mom. Mom stares back at me. I cannot even ask the question. But I do. ‘Mom what do you not trust me?’

Mom looks at the the shelf. She looks at me. (and this is poetic license)

‘Onward Jeeves.’

**If memory serves I think there was a lot of giggling and accusations shouted in fun. I demanding to know if she didn’t trust my driving skills or what? And her defending her actions……’but that bus was soooooo close.’**

Do You like to be Scared?

****As a child, my uncle would tell me about Postavesula, he lived in the upstairs closet near the attic in my grandparents house. Turned out he just didn’t want us going upstairs. My grandfather use to use Postavettula who lived beneath the basement stairs to scare us from going down there. Is it any wonder that I see boogeymen everywhere?’

Yesterday T and me get home after school/work. Soccer had been cancelled due to rain so I was looking forward to a nice evening at home.

We arrive at the apartment, gather up all the bags that are required and head into the apartment. T stops when we get to the bottom of the stairs and looks at me. ‘Did you leave the t.v. on?’ ‘What? You were the last one watching it you were suppose to turn it off!’

We look at one another. Shrug our shoulders. T starts to watch Youtube as I putter around getting supper. I am replaying our morning over in my mind and realize that the television was not on when I came home in between dropping T off and leaving for work myself.

The hairs on the back of my neck start to stand up. Omg there might be a serial killer in the apartment? Would M have come in and watched my t.v. as opposed to laying in the comfort of her own bed? Never (and just so we can be clear, I did ask this question of M.)

Without alerting T, I slink into his room to ensure that 1) his closet doors are still open and 2) there is no one there. So far so good. I enter my room. T.V. borrowed still here, so J did not come and pick up. I stand back from my closet, reach out and push the door open. Jump about two feet when I realize that the satanic clown is not about to jump out from behind my dress and stab me.

Last but not least, I check the linen closet. Thank goodness, I sigh a deep breath of relief, there are no killer clowns in my house.

But wait……I head in to the storage area where the cats litter boxes are. I need to do my daily scoop. It is dark. Only one little light. And nothing under the stairs.

My breath catches in my throat. I can hear breathing, a wet gasping breath coming from beneath the stairs. I squeak and rush back out into the hallway. All of two feet away.

T is sitting at the computer. Nonchalantly I lean against the counter and appraise my eight year old son. Yep, he can do it.

‘Hey buddy. I need you to come with me. But I cannot tell you why. Not until I am done.’

‘Where am I going mom?’

‘I need you to come with me. I have scared myself. But I can’t tell you right now just come with me.’

And he does. Yes my eight year old son is my knight in shining armor. As I hovered over the litter boxes scooping the poop and pee, T is chatting away behind me. About how smelly the big chunks of pee and poop are. And what am I scared of? And are we almost done yet?

Finally I am finished. We head into the kitchen. T looks at me quizzically. Do I, his mother admit that I scared myself with my own imagination? Or do I ask him to just……oh hell gotta admit the truth.

So I did. And T looked at me. Looked at the storage space. Looked at me again and shook his head.

In my defense, when I was a child I was easy to scare. And I may have mentioned before but I love it. Going down the hallway to the bathroom I would turn on my bedroom light, the kitchen light, the light in my mom’s room and just as I was about to hit the light to the bathroom my mom would call ‘Jay, are you okay?’

Every time. And every time she would scare the shit out of me and I would run screaming back down the hallway to her. We would both laugh.

I have an overactive imagination and I can scare myself without even meaning to. Yes I admit that I am using my son as my defender. Yes I admit that I love to scare myself. And it is all in fun. Rationally I knew no one else but us was here, irrationally, a mad clown hid under my steps.

Apple…..Tree

I am a rather sarcastic person. My humor tends to be a little rough. Not quite as rough as fart jokes, but it can be a little rough. I make smart ass  comments in an aside to M all the time. Than we giggle like little school girls. However, I never realized quite how much T takes after me until last evening.

Soccer practice was cancelled due to rain. Rain had stopped but the fields were a mess so Thursday it will be an hour and a half practice. (Wohoooooooo) T and me are at home and I have informed him that he must come and help me with the dishes. All I needed for him to do was put the dishes away. First we bartered about how much money this was going to earn him. I informed him that at the end of the week I would let him know how much money he earned so long as he did what I asked.

This lead to a conversation of how unfair it was, that none of his other friends ever had to do chores. I responded with ‘I am not their parent, I am yours. And to teach you to be a responsible adult, you are going to learn to do chores. Do you know why buddy?’ He looks at me like I am crazy. ‘Because life as an adult is one never ending chore. I clean the house, I do laundry, I work, I make your lunch, I cook dinner, I do and do and do……with the possibility of getting fifteen minutes in at the end of the day, before I fall asleep.’

He stared at me and blinked his eyes before grabbing the cutting board and asking where it went. Our conversation as he put away the plates, the wine glasses, was the daily things all people talk about. Nothing you would attach significance to. Finally as the sink is empty of all put the cutlery I begin to wash the dishes.

I had been making a steak last week to a request of rare. I had never ever cooked a steak rare, I am a well done kinda girl. So I had my probe thermometer out and googled it to ensure I had the right temperature and score!!!! I did it. That aside, it was in the sink with the cutlery, stem pointing up so I cautioned T to be careful so he didn’t poke himself. He proceeds to take the thermometer out and spin it around the counter. By now I have washed my cutlery twice and want to rinse it off and put in other sink to dry.

‘Hey buddy, do you think you could take the cutlery out? Just grab it and put on counter. Than you can put in the drawer.’

‘Sure mom.’ And he does. Grabbing two pieces of cutlery at a time. Two!

I can feel my jaw clench as I grind my back teeth. Like seriously grab all the cutlery.

‘Dude what are you doing? Grab some more. Like this’

I reach over and scoop up all the cutlery and dump it on the counter. I look at him standing behind me and he is grinning from ear to ear.

‘Like dude, seriously why didn’t you do that?’

‘Because mom, there might have been something in there that would have poked me.’

And his eight year old voice took on that forced falsetto all men do when they are imitating women. Only he was mocking his mother! I stared at him for a minute as my brain tried to process the fact that my child had just turned my words around on me in the perfect sarcastic play that I actually envy. I played right into his clever little hands. (We all know he didn’t plan it; it just played out this way) I tried to glare but he knew I was faking as I hollered ‘why you little booger!’ T chortled with glee and I kicked him in the butt and we both laughed.

Honestly as I write this I am giggling away. He is so much like me that it is unbelievable. He is also so much like his father. And yet, he is so uniquely himself. This little boy, no not even, he is becoming a young man….the evolution is slow and I hope it will be good, but he is no longer my little baby. As funny as he is.

****I did not come up with this title. I stole it from a friend who said this to me after I told ’em the story.

Mother and Son 2…

Having a boy is hard. Not because well, I am a woman and do not understand the whole car and what not aspect. Not because I am watching him evolve, and girls are becoming more of a ‘thing’ in his life. T has a girl who is friend, not a girlfriend. Boys are just hard because I have to learn a whole new language and discard some of my ideas and proprieties. Case in point a conversation between K and T yesterday.

K to T: Do not waste your diamonds on a ho!

M: What is a ho? (Cause y’all know that is what she is thinking.)

K: You do not know what a ho is?!?! This is a ho! (Total exasperation because mom is such an idiot)

T: No that is a booty slapper! (Hint it is a shovel but he believes it sounds funnier calling it a booty slapper.)

M: Do you even know what a ho is?

K: (with a look of total disdain) you use it to hoe grass mom!

They were playing Minecraft. The conversations that we hear with these two boys often includes slang that we just are not sure which context it is being used in. I have also discovered this week that my child has a bit (okay a lot) of my sarcastic side comments. He though does not mutter them under his breath the way I do, he just blurts them right out there for everyone to hear and acknowledge.

M has been mulling over the possibility of getting herself a motorcycle. Not entirely sure why and when she announced it to the boys, they were flummoxed. Her point is that prior to their appearance, we both did have other lives. T’s response was to state “That is not going to end well.”

His babysitter has two daughters. Both older than T. He is like their little brother and it is different for them to have a little guy around. On Friday as everyone is in bathroom whether blow drying their hair or brushing teeth and hair, there is my child banging his balloon around asking someone to play with him. K (his sitter) slams it hard and it bounces out. T is dismayed until it is pointed out to him that it is right behind him. Than they are all getting ready for school. Well, T’s bag is already to go and he is leaning against the door waiting and waiting for the girls. K says to them to make sure that they have everything as she has an appointment and will not be home. T’s response “Yeah like that is going to happen.” Death was almost instantaneous from the laser eyes except for the wall between him and H. J just snorted because she knew he was right.

Lastly, Saturday after suppper, M and me are sitting talking. I am telling her how with my spending spree that I am into my overdraft. Not hugely, I can live with the amount over I am but still I just got paid lol. All gone. But the bills are all paid and the fridge and freezer are full. T is playing on the floor when he suddenly looks up at me, worry etched on his face. “Mom am I into my overdraft?”

There is never a quiet or dull moment in my household. T has so many things he wants to know, or has an opinion on. I love all of them. Because no matter what, he knows how to make me laugh. And I treasure the smart ass quality that appears every now and than as it reassures me that a small part of me is in there. It also means he listens when M and me mock others. Not sure if that is a good life lesson, but he would learn it anyway. As long as I teach him, he can be kind in his mockery and absolutely never ever mock the person to their face. Unless a close friend who gets you. M mocks me all the time and vise versa.

Parenting Styles

Of late, I have been thinking about this a lot. Not in respect to friends or aquaintances, but rather with regards to myself and my brother.

My bro and me are 7 years apart, with myself being the elder.

By the time my brother was born, my parents were already living in seperate homes. By 1982 they were divorced, truth be told I believe in was as early as 1980 but that is neither here nor there. What happened was, our dad took a long walk off a short pier. No, he did not commit suicide, but he dove into a bottle and remained there until the day he died. My brother and me, blips on the screen and only when our mom really stuck to her guns. For the most part, she allowed his parenting responsibilities to slip because well, he wasn’t a parent. Or rather not a great one.

So, I was an only child until I was 7 years old. Than he came along. LOL yes, I am referring to my brother. I was ecstatic I had a brother. A wee part of me, okay like a massive part of me wanted a sister, but hey what do you do? Once they come out it isn’t like you can return to sender, according to my mom, it just does not work that way. So I made do. Yeahhhhhhhhhh a baby brother.

And I did love him. I protected him. I raged for him. Until the day he decided he was smarter than me. Than the war was on. And well, I am the knowledgeable fount of information that no one wants to know, so that makes me so much smarter. I am laughing and digressing at the same time.

And than things happened. I got older, he got older, but I was a teenager. Do you know what it was like to be a teenager in a single parent home in the late 1980’s? If you weren’t born than, than no you don’t. If you were, you remember it was unpaid hell. You had to look after the younger sibling sometimes up to three times a week for free! And not only that, they could say you twisted their ears off, and despite evidence to the contrary because they still have both ears, you were the mean one. And the infant child is coddled while he/she smiles the evil smile of all younger siblings.

I use to swear up and down that our mom parented my brother and me differently. With me she was strict. Bedtimes, weekends home by 8:30-9 p.m. and no later. I was tangled in the leash as she tried so hard to protect me. And than there was my brother. Oh how my mom and me fought about the differences in parenting. I screamed and raged that she was so much tougher on me. That she allowed my brother to get away with murder. She did. And even when she did put her foot down, it was kinda like my bro knew how to talk his way around it.

All of this is not a criticism of how our mother raised us. I am the woman I am and I have the morals and a compass by which I lead my life all because of her. Essentially, how would my mother deal with this.  My brother, he too has morals and a compass that guides him, and he would not be the man he is without our mother. Having said that, my grandmother (mom’s mom) and my mother had/have both apologized to me for how a) grandma always insisted that mom treated us equal when she so did not and b) mom apologizing because she admits to having been more permissive with my brother than me. But she was playing the role of both parents and it is a heady one.

All of this leads me to my current topic. The differences in how myself and my brother and me raise our children. Despite the fact that he is younger than me, my niece is now a teenager with my nephews coming right up behind her. T is 8. The one thing my bro will ever be able to hold over me for being first, having kids.

And suddenly I see the differences. My brother and sister in law, they are hands on parents. They know what their kids are doing morning day and night. They know who all their friends are. They spend their time with their kids. My niece watched Netflix one morning without permission and my bro wrapped her device in layers of tape and bubble wrap. Yet she spent the afternoon at home with him unwrapping said device.

Their boys are in baseball, basketball and play video games. All with their dad and mom, in their corner, being there for them. Bro and nephews play a lot of video games together and yet all three of those kids are verocious readers.

Part of me wonders, is he so reactive and so involved because our mom was permissive? Do not get me wrong, she was involved with his sports and encouraged him. But in some cases, there were parameters that were missing.

Than I look at myself. I talk a lot to T. I am always talking and bugging him to talk to me. I tell him that us having conversations is how I know what is going on in his day to day life. Never mind that I miss two weeks of that life every month. I sit outside (now that it is warmer) reading and watching him play. Because that is what he wants of me. Not to hover over him. Not to intrude, but just to be there.

Inside, he likes to play with lego. Watch Youtube. Play his Scrap Mechanic. He creates, and draws and I am there. I have asked him about that. I will say to him we never do anything and he always responds to me with the same thing. Mom you are here, you are beside me. You are always in the same room as me, always within reach, what more do we have to do?

And we are happy with that.

For the longest time I have compared myself to my bro and his parenting style.

I also know that our mom, and my bro, they think that I am permissive. And I am. Which leads to the whole point of this blog. Which actually has just turned into a reminiscent of my childhood.

Our mother was very strong handed with me. Curfews, knowing where I was and who I was with. My bro, he went where he wanted and came and went as he pleased. And I truly believe this has lead to how we each parent. Neither one of us is better than the other (although were you to ask the bro he would tell you it was him) we are just different. And there is nothing wrong with being different. In fact, it is how come each and everyone of us is unique.