Heart & Soul

Today’s episode of ‘Let’s see if Jay can keep her cool…..’ is brought to you by…..me!

It has been awhile (okay a long time) since I have given an update as to what is going on with me and T.

The end of the year was difficult for T and I. We had a lot of rough mornings, yelling and screaming and that was just me. He ranted and cried and refused to leave the house. We have to find a balance for next year as I am just so unprepared to deal with this. As well, he is going to soon out weigh me so it will be harder to push him out the door. 🙂 The last time we battled, I ended up grabbing him by the back of the neck and frog marching him into the bathroom. Than dragged him out by his arm. All while he screamed ‘stop hurting me, you’re hurting me.’ This lead to a serious discussion on the way to school let me tell you.

Now for braggy mom to come out. T sailed onto Grade 5. With flying colors. My son is a mostly A student with a couple of B’s thrown in there. The subjects that were the lower grades, well not the ones that he found to be all that enjoyable. What I need to enforce this summer is reading so that he will be going into Grade 5 on par with his peers.

Me time, me time! I have been doing awesome. I am happy. I am confident. Yes, no doubt there are days when I have a little let down but they never last long. I am setting goals for myself and although I have yet to begin working on a single one, I have them. Work is going so amazing.

Stepping down absolutely was the best thing that I could have done. I am not the same person at all. The person who worried. Who controlled. Who followed all the rules. She is gone. I am responsible for T and myself. No one else. Nothing else. I am way more relaxed. I am making changes, ones that are good for me. Exercising. Eating well. I am not sure how it could get any better. Well I can but that is a long conversation for another time.

Now let us fast forward to today’s episode on ‘Can Jay keep her cool?’

First Act: Regular customer is getting ready to pay for his groceries. Pays the same way all the time. I told him the total and hit debit and told him to go ahead and insert. He looked at me sheepishly and said: I’m sorry, I stuck it in too early.’ I bit my tongue so hard to keep from laughing out loud.

Second Act: A lady stops in front of the counter. I ask her how I can help her. This is the following conversation.

‘How can I help you today?’

‘I want a ticket.’

‘What type of ticket are you wanting?’

‘A scratch ticket.’

‘What type of scratch ticket?’

‘I guess they are all scratch tickets aren’t they?’

I could only stand and stare at her.

‘I think I will take a crossword because I like words.’

Third Act: Phone is ringing and I answer it. I do my spiel ‘Thank you for calling blah blah blah blah. How may I help you?’

‘I need a price check.’

‘Okay, on what?’

***To save on space and too boring I will give a synopsis.***

The customer had been in our store and made a purchase for her neighbor of cream. Now when she got home, there was no cream. But she paid for it. And the cashier had given her back change. $15-16. I check with the cashier and no, cream was not left behind. Ask customer if she has her receipt and am told no.

‘M’aam, maybe you were not even charged for it.’

‘But I was. I gave her a $20 and she gave me back change. I just need to know the price so I can charge my neighbor.’

‘But you don’t have the cream?’ (Yes I realize none of my business.)

‘But I paid for it and now she needs to pay me back,’

I go and check for her and come back to phone.

‘$3.99.’

‘Good so $4.00 I will charge her.’

She than hung up. Did not even ask me how we were going to fix this. Was so intent on getting her price that the fact she did not have the product seemed to have flown out the window. I would have loved to be a fly on that wall.

‘Yes Doris? You owe me $4.00.’

‘Where’s my cream?’

‘Well it never made it home with me. You still owe me $4.00 though for the cream.’

And so on and so forth. Shaking my head.

Act Four: Answering the phone, giving my spiel and realizing that a) there was no one there and b) the phone had not even rung. Thank goodness I have a great sense of humor with myself and laughed hard.

These are the type of days I have. They make great fodder for the imagination. Today’s though, they were too special to keep to myself. I love talking to people, and while there are those who would prefer to remain silent, the majority like to talk. Which leads me to this gem.

I was checking through a little old lady. She was about 90/92 I believe, she did tell me so that is how I know that it was in the 90’s. We were chatting away and I was explaining to her that sometimes I talk so much (shocker there) that I am not aware of what I am doing.

Case in point: I was chatting away with my customer and trying to scan a product. I kept moving it back and forth and finally looked down to see why I was not getting a beep. Well, it only works when you scan it with the laser, not over the deactivator. The customer and I roared.

By the time I was done, my little old lady was laughing so hard. I handed her back her change and wished her a good day.

She said to me: ‘You are good for my heart and soul. Thank you for making me laugh today.’

And that folks is how I am leaving it. I am good for the heart and soul.

Advertisements

He kills me……

So this morning, not a good morning for T and me. There was a bit of attitude. There was a bit of a smart mouth. There was a bit of threatening to take away the fishing trip next Thursday and Friday. After all it is my week, I can put my foot down.

Not sure why T thought he could act as he did this morning and there not be any repercussions. I am so tired of it. Tired of cajoling. Tired of threatening. Tired of having to be the mean parent. And that is what I am, the mean parent who puts her foot down so he can become a reasonable adult.

I finally had had enough of it. I was so annoyed with him that I pulled out a line that my own mom used ‘I love you but right now I really do not like you at all.’  He stared at me and said that if I loved him I had to like him too. I assured him that I did not. That I was so sick and tired of listening to him backtalk and be sassy. I deserve to be respected.

When he left for school he gave me a hug and kiss. Told me that he loved me. I locked the door behind him only to have him knock on it a few seconds later. It was cold out and he wanted his sweater. I took the time to adjust his backpack straps and again sent him on his way.

I felt horrible after he left. I do not want to be a bitch all the time. I do not want to always be telling him that he has a smart mouth. That he needs to respect me. I wish and as mom also use to say ‘if wishes were horses beggers would ride’ that it would be easy. But it is never easy raising a child alone. No matter the fact that I have the Ex who is suppose to be helping but he chooses to be a friend more so than a parent. I see that and I know that.

This whole post is suppose to be about laughter.  Yet it is more of a dark depressing post.

T and me for the most part, do have a good time together. We laugh a lot. He tells me the corniest jokes ever. And I snort at them while trying not to. He gets my silly sense of humor because his is much like my own. I read him Little Fears when it makes me snort giggle or go pshaw and he chortles along with me.

The picture I chose is from yesterday. He is doing a Fortnite dance for me. Wearing his shorts that had only moments before been pulled up to his armpits. Due to his growth I bought him men’s small on the weekend. And I was giggling away while also trying to maintain a straight face because he was suppose to be getting ready for school. That is what our mornings are suppose to be like. Him telling me stupid jokes and us laughing together.

What is Beethoven’s favorite fruit? 

Banananana Banananana (Every time that he tells me that one I groan and laugh at the same time.)

Double Sleepover Part Deux

Well last evening was an adventure and a half in our household. The boys were a little wild. I made farmer sausage for dinner. Now, since mom had her stroke three years ago and my own struggle with high blood pressure, I have pretty much eliminated the use of salt. I use Mrs. Dash products and if I am using salt it will be a small dash of Pink Himalayan. Well I ended up eating salad and T went for the corn only. The amount of salt was overwhelming. And though this would be an normal amount to most, it was as though we had dumped a box of salt on it before eating. As I am discovering that T does not want to eat the farmer sausage K-T pipes up that he too does not like farmer sausge. Now, I had just finished texting with M who said he would never leave here because he loves farmer sausage. I looked at him and told him exactly that. His response, oh yeah that is right as he pops another piece in his mouth. The kid cleaned his plate leaving veggies behind but eating all the farmer sausage.
The boys spent the majoirty of the evening rowing their boats, racing their cars, playing with lego. A few times I hollered out at them from my perch on my bed to watch it they were going to hit their heads on a) the floor in the kitchen b) the coffee table in the living room. I informed them that I was not going to spend my whole night in the ER because one or both of them have cracked their heads open. This only cut down on the shenanigans for a brief moment but they are boys. Incapable of thinking about the pain until it happens to them.
They disappeared into the bathroom and I heard giggling and splashing. I was not too alarmed as T often does this. Goes in and mixes a bunch of colognes, hand soap and Axe bodywash in the sink. Than he puts his boats or cars in there. Not entirely sure what that is all about as I try very hard to not go in there when he does this. The reason being that the cloying smell of the three mixed Axe colognes coat my tongue and the back of my throat. It is horrendous as it lingers there for an incredibly long time. Both boys are suddenly standing in the doorway to my bedroom (this is my sanctuary little boys are not allowed over the threshold) asking if they can have a bath. I inform them that this is totally inappropriate at their age and they trump me with ‘but we are going to wear swimming trunks.’
Okay so what harm could it cause if I were to say yes? I can see you all shaking your heads and asking if I have gone insane. Why on earth would I allow them to take a bath? Well for one they would be clean, cleared of all the chocolate smeared on their faces and they would not stink. Unless they reapplied the Axe. I was hopeful. A mother can wish can’t she?
I can hear them banging around in there and a few times I poked my head in to make sure all was good. The last time I realized they had taken two
St. Ives face washes (full) and used them in the bathtub. All of them. I may have had a small flip out. Did not raise my voice but informed T that his money was going to be used to replace them. I was a little harsher than I should have been. I can only use the banishment to my bedroom as an excuse. Lastly when I went into the bathroom once they were out, I realized that my brand new bottle of Wild Honeysuckle cream that I had not used yet was missing some. I stuck my head out of the bathroom waving the bottle and asking if they used it. Both boys adamently denied it.
We were all in bed by 10:30. I turned my phone off which is rare for me but I figured that nothing important would happen over night. Boy was I wrong. K was having a small issue and I awoke at 6 a.m. to discover 6 1 minute voice texts on messenger. You would be surprised what a woman could say in 6 minutes. I groggily sent a return message and said I would respond more coherently when I had some coffee in me. (As an aside the Ex sent me an apology last night which made me cry)
I am in brushing my teeth when I realize that there is a blob of cream in the bathroom sink so I go out with toothbrush in the corner of my mouth and the bottle of body cream in the other. I explained to the boys that I had them. There was a clump in the bottom of the sink. T looks at me and says but we did not use in the sink, we used it in the bathtub. I stared at him incredulously. Did he really try to get out of this on a technicality? Because I said sink and not bathtub? I laughed. (I had taken the toothbrush out of my mouth so they weren’t only hearing a mumble of words). I told T that he should be a lawyer if he was going to do that. And than I said that they should never lie to me. Stretch the truth. Twist it on a technicality. I will always find out. And as my son and adopted son I am always going to know when they are lying. Our relationship will be much happier without the lies.
I am busy pouring my coffee when I notice K-T searching in his bag of chocolates. I look over and ask what he is doing? He looks at me like I have grown two heads and says having chocolate. Like hell you are having chocolate at 6:30 a.m. your mother will never allow you to come and spend the night again! (My head words not what came out of my mouth) I said no way jose. In this household we do not consume pop or chocolate prior to noon. Than I asked if M would allow him to eat chocolate at such an early hour. To which (and I will hear all of you groan) his reply was well not if she doesn’t notice. I explained that that was sneaky and we don’t do sneaky. M hide the chocolate from now on. LOL  He tried again at 9 a.m., I have to give the kid credit for being persistent.
I love these boys I do. They have had another bath with swimming trunks on. Much slipping and sliding all over the tub. I could hear it. Finally went in and told them that they needed to stop it. Someone was going to crack their head on the faucet and that would mean a day spent in the ER while they awaited stitches. And once more I was not going to spend my day doing so. Are you catching onto the theme here? I do not want to spend my time in the ER because they are not thinking.   And once more  according to the law and M I would not be allowed to just dump them and run.
We will be going for a walk at some point today. Once it warms up. At the moment it is -13 Celsius and the real feel is -22. For you Southerners that is 8.6 Fahrenheit  with a real feel of -7.6. Also the boys will be learning to wash dishes. Clean the living room. Well maybe I’ll let the living room slide because they want to build a blanket fort and that is way more cooler than cleaning it.

Cake for Breakfast

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.

Nessie

T and me we had a really good week this week. A small blip on the radar Thursday evening when he melted down at bedtime. Now I am not entirely sure what caused it other than T had had 2 or 3 cans of pop before coming back home from the Ex’s. He insisted that he was not tired. He screamed. He sulked. He yelled. I turned the lights out, determined to put him to bed and get to sleep myself. With much caterwauling he made his way into his bedroom. He kicked the bed. He made a lot of noise. I finally came out of my room and went into his. I told him that enough was enough. That he was  being rude and disrespectful of the upstairs neighbor. He did not care.
On Thursday I went to the city with V. Because T had been so good this week, and I had not had to nag about chores overly much I bought him a Lego Monster Truck kit and a small stuffed pig. He wants a pig as a pet. My obvious answer to a real pig is now so I thought a stuffed one might appease that desire for awhile. Well, and I am not proud of myself, but I got angry. I tried to take Mr. Piggy away from T. I told him that in the morning I was taking both the pig and the Monster Truck away from him. That I had bought them because he had been so good this week. I went back into my room and closed the door.
As I lay there I could hear T making noise. I was going to ignore it when I realized that he was calling mom. And not quietly. Understand that he is very close to the ceiling because I foolishly purchased a loft bed for him. A couple of more years before I have to replace it. So I was worried that the neighbors were going to hear him. It was now 11:30 and I was getting cranky. I climbed the ladder and stood looking at T. Whose face is tear stained and he is sniffling away. He wanted to tell me that he was sorry. That he should not have acted the way that he had. He loved me. I told him I loved him too, gave him a kiss and told him to go to sleep.
That was not our entire week. Nor was I about to let it color what had been an amazing week. We talked and laughed. Friday T once more was the voice of reason as I tried to navigate the cloverleaf. ‘Remember mom think of girly shit.’ Okay, he did not say the last part it was more kittens and unicorns but I know that that is what he was thinking. Our week was made of prisms of light and that black cloud scuttled across the sky quickly and with no lasting effects. Previously I would have been gnawing over the small blip instead of focusing on all the good. So once more I am showing growth and not bashing myself for getting angry and thinking that I was a bad mom.
Wednesday night.  I made dinner and T did not eat all of it. Decided that it was not something that he liked. I made Swanson’s Garlic Shrimp and I have always enjoyed it. When I took his bowl to the sink I told him that I would not be making him anything else to eat. He agreed. I was writing when T asked me if I could get him some more orange juice. I said sure as I was getting up to refill my water anyways. When I opened the fridge my eyes fell on the apples and I thought to myself what a nice snack. So decided to cut up the apple. Gave T his orange juice and went and sat back on the couch.
I was happily crunching away when I felt laser beams searing through my consciousness. I glanced over and T was staring at me with disbelief. I was not sure what I had done. He continued to stare at me and I swallowed the mouthful that I had.
‘What?’
‘Where’s my snack? I told you I was hungry.’
Oh yes, this than lead to my assertion that I did not hear him when he told me that he was hungry. T was positive that I had chosen to ignore him. He wanted something to eat. I kept asserting that he could get his own snack. He began to get really annoyed and fussy. And whining. I finally did begin to ignore him. Which of course made him even angrier. Of late, instead of reacting to how T is being I will give him a choice of how I am going to respond and his behaviour chooses said action. This time whining at me=me ignoring him.
Finally I could take it no more. I did not snap. I did not yell.
‘That’s it T. The kitchen is closed at 7 p.m. and it is now 7:03 p.m.’
I looked over and a smile began to grow on his face. The whining ceased. And he began to harass me about there not being a closed sign. I stuck to my guns and kept repeating that the kitchen was closed. He kept haranguing me about a closed sign. Finally in exasperation I said ‘Fine you want a closed sign. I will make a closed sign!’ I was halfway off the couch when it hit me. Once I was up and making up the sign T was going to use the ‘well seeing as how you are up’ argument and I sat right back down. When I accused him of such devious plotting he was shocked. As if the thought had never crossed his mind.
By the time we were done tears rolled down both of our faces we were laughing so hard. I did make up a closed sign. T took it down and wrote open on the other side and tried to rehang it. As he did that I got down two bowls, and the cereal. Instructed T who had no idea what I was doing to get the milk out of the fridge. Poured two bowls and handed him the milk to put back. Walked away and casually mentioned he could bring his own bowl.
Our second laugh was a complete misunderstanding. We had been talking about Lucky and how old she was. I was trying to figure it out when mom messaged me. Came up with 11-13 years old. Chatted with mom a bit when I told Tember that she was proud of him. And he looks up at me:
‘mom she is old.’
I was stunned. I mean I know that mom is old, she is my mom but really! How rude. I told T that as well. And he stared at me like I was crazy. And than it dawned on me. He was talking about Lucky.
More laughter. More tears. More good memories made. The dust up Thursday night has become a rarely seen beast, like the Lock Ness Monster.

The Man Under the Bed

Today’s blog is brought to you by a sudden winter storm that closed schools for the first time this school season
Chore time. The much dreaded, much argued time of the day. I kind of pick and chose the times when I have T his chores. Mostly because I do not remember until that moment. I have him put dishes away, change garbage bag and take garbage out to dumpster, feed the cats and the dreaded scoop the cat litter.
Yesterday he was hanging out in his room when I hollered at him that it was time to do the cat litter. He whined. I remained firm and kept repeating get out here and clean the cat litter. He whined some more before coming out into the kitchen. I am mixing the salad as he moans and gripes that it is so unfair that he has to scoop out the cat litter. Why did he have to do it? He was right in the middle of this cool video. My reply which got me that look was that there was a really neat feature that allowed you to pause the video exactly where you were and it will be there when you came back. He muttered away under his breath grabbing a plastic bag out of the plastic bag bag. I have two of them.
T asks me if there is a human being in the storage room.
My Response?
Not unless the guy I had tied up under my bed escaped.
What?
T did not understand what I meant. So I went back over it again and he stared at me like I had grown horns. I really was not being funny he informed me, all I had done was creeped him out. Now that I think of it, I should have crept after him and yelled boo into the storage room. I would have laughed, he would have screamed, I may have ended up wearing cat litter. It maybe a good thing that I did not do that.

Lessons Learned

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.