Nonparent

You lie to me
with a straight face
not knowing that I already know
the truth has been presented
via text
bet you wish she didn’t talk to me.
I ask you
nay plead with you
to help me parent
to have my back
to help enforce bedtimes
and electronic time
only to find out
that you think I am unreasonable.
Let us call into question
the parenting style of each
and tell me true….
who is the parent?
who is the friend?
My anger is not unexpected
nor is your response
I thought you could parent
yet I find
that the will is not there.
Stuck in your head as a teenager
you cannot see the damage you have done
he will not follow your parenting style
I will see to that.
He will learn respect
he will learn responsibility
he will learn how to be an adult
with help from me.
Keep it up
I am warning you now
time will be lost
when he realizes the game you play
deciding that you are not worth the time
or energy to stay.
Disappointment oozes in his voice
his eyes shatter with tears
you really are nothing more
than a bastard……dear.
Aug. 19/18
Photo is one of my own.
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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.)

The Ex and Me

The Ex and me, we don’t always see eye to eye. Different parenting styles, different people, different lives all around.

Last evening one of the girls was over at his place for an evening of drinks and relaxation. And this was what she overheard. All I can say is that I am sure that this is the sweetest thing bar none that he has ever said about me:

‘She is a great mom. We have an amazing relationship and parent so well together. But she speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back. But that is okay.’

Now it has taken us a long time to get here. When first we split up and then when I moved out there was so much animosity. We could not tolerate one another and when we did have to interact World War III was simmering beneath the surface. There were a few times where I nearly stabbed him with a fork I was so angry however was able to maintain a level head. I really did not want to go to jail for stabbing him.

I am sure that there are things that I do that he does not agree with. I tend to be more open with T about things. I explain. My parenting is not about ‘do this because I said so’. My actions speak so much louder than my words do and if I want T to be l00x better than I am or ever was, I had better be providing him with a damn good example to follow.

I do have language issues. T is forever telling me to watch it. I have to laugh because he also tells characters in the t.v. shows we watch and any singers with explicit language in their songs, to watch their language. I have heard him a few times use shit or hell. As one of his dad’s siblings is married to someone who was once a farmer, I watched their three kids grow up and using the word shit as young as 5. I cringed but as it was explained to me, they heard it all day long. It was used to fertilize the fields.  So on and so forth. At least T waited until he was 9 before I heard him.

It is also important to me that he treats everyone the same. When he does not say good morning, or thank you, or please with others (i.e. school crossing guard, someone holding the door open for him/him holding doors for others and so on and so forth) I lecture. And I will do so until it becomes second nature.

T is an amazing kid. He is smart. Funny. Has a sarcastic sense of humor much like my own. He is fast to quip.

We were discussing how I needed to ensure that he was properly equipped for school. Jacket, that is a big one a) because at 9 he is too cool to wear proper winter attire and b) because it is March and who wears winter coats in March? Well if you live in Manitoba, you may well be wearing your winter coat until June. As we are going back and forth T looks at me and says if I am to make sure he is properly equipped for school where were his rubber boots? I admit, I barked with laughter before attempting to school my face into a disgruntled mom look, it did not work.

I also see his dad in there too. He is great with his hands. The designs he creates in Scrap Mechanic and Minecraft amaze me. Mechanically inclined as he has been helping his dad in the shop since he was 2. He can fold clothes from the dryer better than I can. (Which is why I hang everything up that can be hung up)

While there are times that I wonder what the Ex is thinking he is a good dad. He loves T with every fiber of his being. And when they have the time to hang out together, they have a blast.

As always this ended up being more about me and T than my thanking the Ex for the kind things he said about me. But I can only take the idea and go with it, the rest flows to my fingers and onto the page.

While neither the Ex nor I were good partners for one another, we are great parents together for T. And really at the end of it, is that not the best example that we both can provide him? He saw the fights between us and now he sees that we talk to one another. That we are friends. These last few months, the Ex helped me with food and lunches for T. He let me keep his share of the baby bonus each month so I could ensure that my bills were paid and I could buy groceries.

He really is not a bad man. And I hope that he is with the woman that is going to make him happy forever. Because I do want him to be happy. I want him to have a love that fills him from head to toes with light and laughter and songs. I was not that person and it is okay. We had a good life together and we have an amazing son. And now we are friends. And I can turn to him for help whenever I need it.

 

Schooled

We all think about ourselves first and foremost. What benefits us. What irritates us. What we love and what we dislike. And in doing so are really selfish. When we only consider how things affect us and us alone, is how we come to live in a society of ‘It’s not my fault.’ ‘I didn’t do it.” ‘Well he did it to me so I had to do it back.’  And it is hard to think beyond ourselves, our families, our little world to the world at large.
Once upon a time I only did what I had to do. I never looked beyond that. Garbage not quite full, well leave it for the next person. Sink full of dishes as I did not have time to wash them. A load of product to be tended to, they don’t do anything anyways. Selfish. What was easiest for me. And I have to be honest I am not sure what changed me or when, I only know that I made a switch in the way that I was thinking.
I went from it being all about me to being about the life around me. I began to think how the things I did affected people long after I have gone. How when I left unfinished work, garbage, dishes to be done, I was putting others behind in their tasks. When I didn’t clean up after myself, the person coming behind me would have to clean up my mess. And how was that even right? Why on earth should I be leaving tasks undone? I had more than enough time. I needed to structure better.
Now I am working to ensure that T is learning this. How his actions affect not only himself and me but his friends, his dad, even our neighbors. He still does not quite get it, after all he is 9, but he will.
I have so many things that I want to teach T about being a good person. How we should not lie. How we need to be polite and say please and thank you. To be pleasant and kind. To help others. To be respectful. To stand up for others. To not bully.
T schooled me this week. We had a small incident with the neighbor boy. He made a comment about me that was not appreciated. T decided that he no longer wanted to play with this boy. And I was giving him excuses to use. Little white fibs to make this boy feel better that T did not want to play with him. Because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings even if they have hurt ours.
Finally T looked at me and said ‘mom I will just tell him that I do not want to play with him. I don’t need to lie.’ Okay, have to admit that I was a little embarassed when I realized what I was doing. I was perpetuating this idea of not wanting to hurt someone so tell a little white fib. This is the only time that it is alright to lie. Yet, on the other hand, I was preaching to T that he should not lie. He needed to be truthful. I was not acting the way I was speaking.
The doorbell rang and T went up the stairs. I heard the low hum of voices but could not make out what was said. T came back down into the apartment and I looked at him. Asked what that was all about. Sure enough the boy had come to ask T if he wanted to play with him. T told him no he did not want to play with him. The boy asked why.
This is where my child schooled me. This is his response to the boy:
“You were disrespectful towards my mom. And that is not right.”
I stared at my little boy and my heart nigh on burst with pride. I had tears in my eyes. I repeated over and over to him that I was so proud and his little cheeks flamed red. He came over and gave me a huge hug. I text the Ex to tell him what T had done. He responded with ‘Tell him I am proud to be his dad.’
My 9 year old son has more courage than I do. He saw a situation that he felt was wrong and he dealt with it. Not by fibbing to spare the other person’s feelings, but spearing directly to the reason why.
Not teling someone that you think the dress they are wearing or the hair color they have is not your cup of tea, you will hedge how you say it. For the most part I can find a compliment as the person feels good about themselves and it is not up to us to tell them that they are wrong. The other times I can’t I fall back on the tried and true momism: ‘If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.’
The pride I feel for T and how he handled the situation is indescribable. The maturity he showed and the fact that he stuck to his guns about not fibbing. And is that not what I want? Do I not want T to have these attributes? I do. Having boundaries that he is not willing to compromise. (See yesterday’s reblog about when to compromise and when not to by Grateful Single Moms.) Truth and respect. Bravery and strength of conviction. It is not my actions that T needs to mimic, it is I who needs to implement his.

Why you won’t want to date me

What one can expect to find if they continue after reading and understanding the rules:

My heart enclosed. The gates locked. Bridge is up and the moat is full. With vicious crocodiles. And piranhas.

As I sit here, pouting like a petulant toddler who’s discovered she has to share her candy, I realize how hard I am to please. I have always been the caretaker. That role, after doing it for years becomes exhaustive.

Every single relationship I have been in I end up being in total control. I am the one making all the plans, paying all the bills and ensuring that life continues along tickety-boo. And now I have independence and the only ones I need to worry about are T and myself.

So I have come up with 10 things I need to warn the opposite sex of. About me. And my requirements. For my non- relationship. With a man who can take care of himself.

1) I do not want a relationship. However I do not want to share you. So get use to it.

2) I want a text. Not a thousand times a day but a good morning, a hey in the afternoon and a good night. So I know I have flitted across your mind.

4) I want to hang out with you. But I don’t. So just sit there until you figure it out. I will continue to read my Kindle.

5) I want to talk to you. Sometimes I will actually want you to participate in the conversation. Wait for the extended pause and dive in there.

6) I am a little bit crazy. But just a little bit, most of my friends will tell you it is barely noticeable.

7) I have anxiety attacks. There is no rhyme or reason they strike from no where. Just talk to me calmly about anything so I can focus and ask you questions.

8) I am not certain I want overnight company. I now sleep diagonally across my king size bed. Debating if I want to share.

9) I live with depression. That means some days I am sad. There is nothing you can do about it. Give me a hug and kiss and I will be okay. Some cuddles are nice too.

10) I am extremely emotional. I cry at commercials. I get mad at stupid stuff. I feel things very differently.

Truthfully, I am forwarning most men.  I am a weird woman. I want my independence. I want to be taken care of. I want to be respected.

T and me had a conversation recently. He wanted to know when I was going to get a boyfriend. I phfft’d and said I did not need a boyfriend.That I was more than capable of doing what was needed. He looked at me and asked ‘ you just needed one to help you put together my bed, right mom?’  (I so could have put his bed together but a friend with a drill is much more helpful)

It is summer time…..

Not entirely sure who is more excited for summer. Me, T or mom? Me, I love basking in the sun. Lying on the lounger, reading, getting a tan. T, easy enough, there is no school. Mom because she is home and gets to see her grandchildren and children.

Last year was the first year that my ex and me were in different homes. Which lead to a lot of behavioural issues with T as he tested boundaries, came to grips with the different lifestyle he now had to embrace. And mom got to witness the issues which lead her to have some rather distant feelings towards her grandson.

I understand. My own grandmother and me had a relationship that did not warm until I was an adult. Why? Because mom shared a lot with her, just as I share a lot with mom. This leads to judgements because this is their child that they want to protect. And also it bugged(s) the hell out of them to see disrespect being served to their children.

This year is different. Mom again came out and spent a few days with us. During school. So she walked to meet T after school, went to his school picnic. The two of them were able to spend one on one time together and T is a very different child than he was last year.

For myself, I am more confident than I was a year ago. Between learning how to stand on my own two feet and growing into most aspects of my life, the confidence oozes out of me. I think it may be a little disconcerting for some, but since going back onto my meds and just embracing the joy of life, I am evolving into the woman I always imagined that I would be.

Which leads me to the summer break. And the desire to spend more time up at the beach with mom and T. Actually, just the desire to spend more time with the two of them, and to watch a relationship evolve between the two that I thought might not happen.

I am very close with mom. So when she and T had their differences (okay he was a little brat and mom was frustrated with his behaviour and I really was no help) it hurt me. I want them to share the type of relationship that I had with my amma when I was little, with my grandfather as a teenager and young adult and with my grandma as I became an adult. It is not anything that I can force because than the closeness was not there.

But this year. This year it is. I am watching a relationship unfold that is going to benefit both mom and T. There are no words to describe the relationship I had with my three grandparents. Each one of them treated me differently and I learned so much from them. I loved each and every one of them differently and to this day (amma died when I was 10, grandpa when I was 21 and grandma when I was 39) I still tell T stories about all three of them. Today on the way home from the city T and me, we had a great conversation about gg-my grandma, his great grandma.

There has been laughter, cheers and the two of them have started an Uno contest. I am sure it will last all summer long. So the reason that I am not sure who is more excited has to do with this fragile new relationship that is forming before my eyes. I saw mom’s eyes gleam with excitment as she told me not once but several times how different T was. I witnessed how T reacted to mom, cleaning up (his bedroom folks is walkable!!!!!) no arguing and he wanted to be with her.

As for me, well I am excited to take a week’s holiday in July. I am so excited to see mom and T talking and being together. And they are funny. This is an example (I chortled and chortled about this):

A gentleman rides by us on his bike. I had to remind mom to move over on the path. Tember watches him go by and looks at me.

‘Mom, he has man boobs.’ he whispers kinda loudly.

‘They are suppose to have bells to let us know they are coming,’ mom sighs.

‘You call them bells?’ T is very confused. (at this point I began chortling)

Both mom and T were a little confused. But they got it worked out. And I giggled.

So maybe, truth be told, I am looking forward to this summer more than mom and T. They might be looking forward to spending time together. I am looking forward to the conversations, actions and weirdness that is going to come from our spending time together. There are going to be a lot of funny blogs/ideas that come out from this.