My True Career

This is not truly a conversation with myself but a friend this morning. We were talking about my post from last evening and he was congratulating me on how I had handled the situation. That most would have shied away from touching on such a difficult subject with a prepubescent child.

I responded with:

There was no point in pulling any punches. With all that kids these days are seeing, hearing, watching and reading, how so much violence and pain is sensationalized and we become inured to it. I will not be party to making my child complacent. He needs to be horrified by violence, pained by the trials of the world that we are living in. (I added in a little more to clarify and paint a picture of what I meant)

It is my job to show him that the world is not always going to be kind but his kindness and his goodness will make a difference.

That is my job as his mom.

 

 

Advertisements

We will be ok (Better Than)

After our conversation regarding rape last evening T and me, we went on to have several more conversations. I was and am intrigued to discover, in hindsight, that due to our discussion about the aforementioned r talk, T now feels like he can ask me questions and I am not going to get angry about them.

He asked for the definition of bitch. A female dog, wolf, fox or otter. A difficult situation or person. If he really wanted to tick people off, ask them why they thought he was a female dog? Stymies them like crazy. (Someone had called him a bitch)

What about the f bomb mom? Is that also sex? Well, if you look up the definition that is the first one; having sexual intercourse with someone. So I tersely explained that it was more of a rough term. Than there is the situation aspect.

This morning he asked me about a**hole? What did that mean? So I said well, a mean or nasty person. But no mom, what does it really mean? Well your butt hole, also properly known as the anus. We also looked this one up.

Those of you who have been following T and me for awhile, know my frustration that T does not like to read. Well, he decided to take his Dog Man 3 book home to his dad’s with him to finish. Is looking forward to the new one coming out. Maybe I am being too optimistic in thinking that our conversation last night is having some effect here. Also that given his nature, I think deep down T is horrified that they used this word. Being cruel is abhorrent to his true self. So, he may be trying to educate himself on words and their meanings. (When you know the root meaning of words sometimes they can take the sting out of them when parsed that way)

We sat at the dinner table and talked while we ate. There was a lot of talking going on last night. And this morning. He is in awe of how fast I can type and the fact that I do not need to look at the keyboard. Ha, I was trying to show off to him and this is basically what I type: Txhyyyyyy llmgtw oooot yeah mom you so smrt. T asked where I had learned and how long it had taken. And how did I know where every letter was on the keyboard.

But the best conversation of all was our conversation about Mexico and Chichi (mom) and myself maybe retiring down there. Not likely at the moment but a woman can have dreams. I cannot even afford a two week holiday there lol, never mind move. But T was full of questions. How old had I been when Chichi moved? Had it been hard? And that was when I dropped the bomb on him that I might want to move there.

The look on his sweet 9 year old face was one of hell no, uh huh you are not going anywhere mom. And thus the list of reasons why I cannot move to Mexico:

  1. It is a poor country
  2. It is too hot
  3. They have nothing new
  4. The cars are very old
  5. Why would I want to live in an area that meteorite are known to frequent.
  6. He could not go 10 months without seeing me

Counter arguments:

  1. The area that Chichi lives in has some of the richest homes that are only used 2 months out of the year, like Chichi and the beach, well that was their beach.
  2. You do not have to come and see me
  3. Of course they do. Chichi had a flat screen t.v. before we did. (That was due to money though T insisted and I pointed out that this was 2 years ago)
  4. He had to take into account that they were a coastal area and the sea salt did damage to the vehicles.
  5. Not since the last one 65,000,000 years ago
  6. There was skype and whatsapp

And he looked at me and said No mom, I could not go 10 months without seeing you in person every day. Now this might be a stretch because you have to remember that he does go 14 days out of the month without seeing me. Okay save for when he and his dad come shopping and I always get a hug and kiss. But still. My heart melted and I looked at my little boy. I love him so much.

He than farted. 🙂

 

 

Challenge Time

I have been through a recent creative outpouring of poetry. Not a whole lot of introspection or how y’all doin? posts. But this last week and a bit have been a bit of an odd one for me and I needed to look at, peer, poke and prod the happenings before I felt able to write about them. A couple of things have been just awesome for me, making me smile. Cheering my heart and making me realize that I am still growing and getting stronger with each passing day. The other began as armageddon and ended with peace on earth as I know it for the time being.

First I should tell you what I have challenged myself to this week. I turned the television off at 2 p.m. on Sunday and do not intend to turn it back on until T comes back Monday. So far so good. Everyone I have told this to always looks at me like I am crazy at first and than to a tee they have all said ‘Oh but you like to read that will take the place of the t.v.’

Wait what? Because I like to read I am not going to miss t.v?

And you know what? They are so right.

I am reading blogs I follow. I am immersing myself in others poetry, stories and find myself crying and laughing as well. There is this rich world in front of me that is way more lively than what I can find on the t.v. set.

I am writing. A lot. Everywhere  I turn I am finding myself inspired. Words come together in a way that resonates and I am off and running. I am being more patient as I write as well. I am willing to set aside the poem and come back to it. Once I have mulled it over out on the back porch of my mind.

Not that the writing has to do with the not watching television. That was happening before. I have had a creative outpouring that is for sure. Love poems, Heartbreak, Depression, Happiness, the words pour forth and at times I feel unworthy to be their Champion. I have even had an idea for a story. That one is way out in the back field being mulled over although it is slowly taking form.

I have been working at reading the same book for the last two weeks. It has really been a struggle for me. This is book 4 is a series that I began a year and a half ago. The first three books I devoured while I was down in Mexico visiting mom. And than I had to wait more than a year for this book. Began to read it. Read the recap so that I could remember what was going on. I am at 81%. At some point there was a major shift, like suddenly a huge chunk of the book, the one that seamlessly melds part one to part two, was gone. There are characters I have no idea who they are. I have no clue how something has come about. I am being oblique because there are people who might read or be reading this series and I do not want to knock it. Also I really like this author, her work is amazing, so there.

I am at the point though where I am seriously considering giving up. On that book. Time to move forward.

I am having one of my meandering conversations with myself. Hope you don’t mind and are enjoying the ride.

Compliments have been reigning down on me all over the place. I have been in the best place in the last little while. Me, mentally, doing fabulously. I am pumped about this. So I have been smiling and laughing a lot. Customers have told me they look to come through my line when I am in a till. Lately that has not been often. One of my staff told me she thought that things would fall apart if I was not as organized as I am. I know everything. Gosh she just makes my heart hurt she is so sweet. And not once but twice I was told that I in no way look my age.

T was here last week. His room still a disaster that I had been trying to get him to clean since July. I was and will not do it. He is 9. That is more than old enough that he can keep his own room clean. All week I let it slide. He was doing the basics so I was taking that as a win. Little did I know that we were headed for an epic battle.

Saturday rolled around and it all started out okay. T and me were getting along. Laughing and talking. He went out to play with his friends. No problem. Than he came inside with his friend and the attitude started. I asked him to clean up his room. That I was tired of the way that it looked and if he didn’t I was going to take a garbage bag and go in there and clean house.

Words were exchanged. T became snarkier and snarkier and my anger was reaching roiling point. When his friend’s mom got home, I sent him out and T tried to leave as well. I said no it was time to clean his room, that there were consequences to his actions and these were them in play. I only have one child. There was no practice kid for me so I am winging it as I go along. And I get frustrated really easily and annoyed. A lot of this is my own fault because I am the one raising him. Some of it is just him being a boy who can be a bit of a twit at times.

T tried to leave and I stood in front of him asking okay yelling at him to go back into his room. We ended up in a grappling match with myself pushing him back into his room so that I could close his door. He was pushing back staring up at me when suddenly he screamed at me:

‘Get the f*** off me! Get the f*** off me!’

I stared at him, my brain reeling from the fact that my 9 year old had just dropped the f bomb on me. Not once but twice. I stepped back and looked at him and he screamed angrily ‘Why are you like this?’

My response was ‘Why are you like this? I told you there were consequences to your actions T.’

I walked out of his room and closed the door.  I was shaking. I shot a text off to the ex which in hindsight I should not have done. I paced the living room a little bit, deep breathing as I went, calming myself. T was pitching things at his door, I was ignoring him. I looked over and realized that his door was open and walked over to close it. T was sitting on the floor putting things away. I asked him what he was doing because I could really not fathom what I was seeing. His snide reply was I am cleaning my room. Okay not gonna fight and I walked away.

He came out to the living room and I again asked what he was doing. He snapped I am going to the storage room what do you think I am doing. Ahhhhhh he is getting the vacuum out. A little annoyed at the tone but I will not respond. Let him go about his business. I washed the dishes and he came to me and asked if he could go outside. His room was cleaned.

I looked down well almost down at him and asked him if he thought he should really be allowed to go outside. He stared down at his feet and whispered that he was sorry. I asked for what? He whispered for dropping the f bomb on you.

I asked T if he thought that he was really old enough to be using the f word with me? He shook his head dejectedly and said no. We talked a little more and I checked his room. Made him vacuum a little more and said he could play outside for a little while.

That evening he swept the kitchen floor without my asking and fed the cats. We talked a little more and off he went to bed.

The next day we discussed the limits that were going to be imposed re computer time. That there was going to be more play time than watching youtube time. And that was when I realized that if I want him to spend more time at play, than I could not be zoned out in front of the television. Which lead to my challenge this week to not watch any t.v.

Wow, I totally just brought the whole thing home without even meaning to. Have no idea how so I am going to end it right here folks. I cannot get a better close. And I will glory in it for a few because never again will I be able to bring everything into a nice neat package.

As an aside, when the ex showed up to pick up T, he was told he would have to wait a minute while T cleaned the lego up off the floor in his room. He needed to keep it clean. Parenting win to add to my weekly tally. 🙂

 

Mommy knows best

***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.

Parent=Antithesis of Cool

***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.

 

 

Was he a girl?

This picture is the only one I have of my dad as a child. I once had more but they became water damaged and I had to dispose of them. My dad is the one on the left. With the blonde curls. He kinda looks like a girl.

My Amma (Icelandic for grandma) really wanted a girl. She had my dad and my Uncle. Did she try to hide my dad’s masculinity for the formative years of his life? Or at least some twisted boy-girl version?

The only children my Amma bore were her two sons. And she so desperately wanted a daughter. Ironically my Uncle had two daughters. My dad had me. And my brother.

I have a couple of stories about my Amma from my uncle. My Aunt was not a fan of her mother-in-law. My mom has different stories and me, well I was her favorite so my glasses are rose colored.

Every time I have a thought regarding this character I am building I write it down. Thus far I have only had the two but I am beginning to view my dad differently. Or rather the fictional version I am building of him.

I must not paint my Amma as an evil villianess. I can only speculate as to what happened in her earlier life. We have no real on her.

My Afi (Icelandic for grandpa) is but a shadow to me. He passed away 1 month and 6 days before I was born. Came home drunk and fell down the basement stairs. Broke his back. Died of pneumonia.

My Amma and Afi shaped my dad.

Were one to look at my Uncle, respectable, looked after his family, never abandoning them to fate, you would never guess the family connection.

My dad? He is not an enigma. Not when I take my own reality of him, my mom’s and my brother’s and meld them.

He was a drunk. He left his family to fend for themselves. Never did he think how his actions affected his children. His wife.

Even as I worked to lower my expectations of him I was continually disappointed. The once sympathetic character I saw is now evolving into one you would most likely disdain.

This challenge I have set for myself is intriguing. I originally thought this was going to be a tale of a father who abandoned his children. Who chose alcohol to be his companion.

And with the turn of a phrase I suddenly found sympathy. Today as I wrote I may have had a small pain in my heart because I do believe my Amma may have treated my dad as a girl for the first while. And she babied him.

The great thing about this….I get to make it all up. But at the same time I am going to pluck my mind, my mom’s and my brother’s for memories and stories. For I realize that I need a clearer picture of the man who was my dad.

Friday Sept. 8

T began school on Wednesday. The above picture was taken before we left for school. He was grinning when he came out of his class and I was there to greet him. He said he had had a good day. I was encouraged given that T is not a huge fan of the education process. He read 51 pages in his new Dogman book Wednesday evening. Even more encouraging. And he went to bed like a champ.

Thursday did not have an auspicious beginning. I was up and down all night long. My hips and lower back were killing me. (I have since discovered the reason why) And so finally at 4 a.m. or so I rolled out of bed. Made a pot of coffee and sat down to try and be productive. But I could not focus. My head felt woozy and I ached everywhere. It got to such a point that I went and laid down on the couch curled into myself as I tried to get warm.

T had wanted me to walk him to school but that was not going to happen. I felt like I could not walk all the way to his school, as I was hobbling around my hips screaming in agony and my lower back felt as though something was reaching in and twisting all the muscles upside down and knotted. I took two extra strength Motrin and began to have some mobility in my legs. I hopped in the car to do my grocery shopping and a Wal-mart run.

By the time I got home it (and at this time I was still not sure what it was) my good feeling had worn off. I unpacked the groceries and left off portioning out the meat until today. Laid down on the couch and hauled the blanket over top of me. And fell asleep. I did awaken once but still tired, went back to sleep. The next time I woke up I was freezing. Ice cold. My teeth were chattering, my body shaking. I could not believe I had the flu but there you have it, I did.

T came home Thursday and dropped off his bag and went out to play with his friends. A good time was had by all and T even came inside and spent the majority of his evening with me. Went to bed without an problems. And than it began.

‘Mom, do I have to go to school tomorrow?’

‘Yes you do.’

‘But I want to stay home with you. I don’t want to go to school.’

‘Why not? What is going on tomorrow you don’t want to do?’

‘Nothing I just need a long weekend.’

‘No, you are going to school.’

And the crying began. I am positive that he cried himself to sleep. I too fell asleep. And began the night from a really bad place. It was not hell like but it was not good. I was up and down, freezing and hot. My body was still all achy. The cats finally had enough of my tossing and turning and moved to the other side of the bed. At 3ish or so, I awoke and thought I can’t handle this any more. I reached down and pulled up the fluffy blanket that I have at the foot of the bed. I never use it. Still aching I decided on more Motrin and hobbled to the kitchen for them and a swig of Pepsi. I had a sugar craving. When I went to get back in bed I realized how cold it was and turned on the heat. Yes I turned on the heat, pulled on a sweat jacket and crawled back into bed.

At 6 a.m. T’s alarm went off and I rolled over. I was coated in flu sweat, my sweat jack sodden, my hair was even wet. I rolled out of bed and turned the heat off. Went in and shook T to get up. Turned his alarm off as it was still blaring. He got up and was in a great mood. Right up until 8 a.m. when I made him get off computer and brush his teeth. I realized that I did not hear the water and told T to get in there. That is when he said he was not going to school today.

I did not handle the situation well. I could say it is because I am tired, I have the flu, I am a million and one things, but pissed off for this one. T kept saying he wanted to spend the day with me. Why did I not want to spend the day with him? I tried the explanation thing, to no avail. And than he began to cry and whine. He did not want to go to school. He wanted to spend the day with me. All in a whiney voice as he snorted back his snot his eyes kinda shiny with tears.

I told him I did not take kindly to the manipulative tactic he was  attempting to use on me. I told him to get his sweater on. More crying. More whining. I told him to get his shoes on. More crying. More whining. Are you sensing the theme here?

We walked down to the garbage and T was insisting that I walk him to school. So he could spend as much time with me as possible. I said fine but we had to go back home so I could change and get the keys. He cried the entire way back. And while he sat on the stairs. And than again when we got outside. He kept saying he would miss me. He needed to be with me today.

T cried all the way to school. Holding my hand. I was short with him because well, he had been using that whining now for almost 45 minutes. He kept asking me to turn around and go back home. I was so angry. I informed him that we were going to go and talk to his teacher. We walked up there and at first I figured it would be okay, he would see his friends and that would be end of it. But no.

At his hut I told him to leave his bag there and go play with his friends. He refused. And than proceeded to tell me he was going home. He was not going into the classroom. That is when I lost all semblance of even trying for the nonchalant I have it all together type of mom. I grabbed him by his school bag and dragged him over to the stairs. He slipped and there I was dragging him up the stairs to the door.

Knocked on door and went in to talk to his teacher. T cried the whole time. I was short and to the point with his teacher.  I really had no idea where this was coming from. He felt as though he could get nothing right in class. Math was awful and he was struggling with it already. I did not tell him that T did not like him because well T did tell me that one in confidence. So I am sharing in a blog, on the internet, that is not breaking confidence clause is it?

To top it off I look like crap because of the rough night. I am coated in and smell of flu sweat, my hair is barely combed and I had not brushed my teeth yet so was really in no position to even initiate adult like conversation.

I gave T one last hug and had to unwrap his arms from around my waist. I promised I would be back at 3:45 to meet him. I would be standing right outside the classroom. And than I walked out the door. Coldly, callously, T’s little staring after me with betrayal written all over his face.

Did I want to comfort him? Yes. Wrap my arms around him and tell him that it would all be okay? Yes. That I want to pull out my magic wand and fix all that is wrong in his life? Yes.

Instead I had to be a mean mom. I had to harden my heart and walk away. T is not going to hate me forever and ever, although at this point and time I am sure I am his least favorite person, next to the teacher. And the reason I had to do this was because I need to set limits and boundaries with T.

I know he is growing up and out, he is wanting his independence and his safety blanket mom waiting in the wings. I know that he will push me to see what point he can actually get away to before I order the cease and desist. And also because not everything in life is about fun and games.

I will go pick T up after school. We will take a slow walk home and I will get him some ice cream too. We will have a conversation about his behaviour and mine. I will apologize for some of the things I said. And hopefully I have established a new boundary that T will respect. Otherwise it is going to be a long winter for T with reading as his only occupation.