But, in the event self-induced delusions don’t work, try taking drugs for that feeling of serenity.
You can choose from the following:
or NEW Extra Strength
You’re right! It works! Gee, I feel better already.
Mark and I received a call from a popular baby supply store late during my first pregnancy telling us that the rocker we had ordered had come in. So we drove to the store to pick up the chair.
Now at this point I was HUGELY pregnant due to polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid). I was like a human weeble-wobble, or an engorged tick and my moods were….volatile.
So we get to the store and present the receipt to the employee, Matt, whose name I still remember 10 years later because of the inhuman amount of rage I soon felt toward him.
Us: We’re here to pick up this chair we ordered *handing over receipt marked PAID from THIS store*
Matt: Ok. Wait right here *disappearing into back of store*
Matt: *returning* I couldn’t find it. Did you order it from us?
Us: Uh, yeah. It’s on the receipt *pointing to the receipt he is holding*
Matt: Ok, hold on. Let me check again.
*after returning* I can’t find it. Did anyone tell you it had come in?
Us: Yes, we are here because we received a call from an employee at this store.
Matt: Huh, ok, I’ll check again.
Me: Mark, I swear to God, I’m starting to get a contact high from this guy. (Matt is obviously so freaking high I can’t believe he can walk).
Matt: *returning again* Ok, I found it. It’s going to be $_______.
Us: We already paid for it.
Matt: Do you have the receipt?
Us: Through clenched teeth: It. is. in. your. hand.
Matt: Oh. Hold on a second. *disappearing into back*
Matt: *coming back* Are you sure you paid for it.
Us: *blank stare* (thinking “Is this guy for real?”)
Me: Matt, give me the receipt. *showing him receipt* You see where it says PAID in big red letters?
Matt: Ok, I’ll be right back. I need the receipt.
Me: No. No, you don’t.
Me to Mark: I can’t believe Matt hasn’t used the receipt as a rolling paper and smoked it yet.
Matt: *having returned* It says you didn’t pay yet.
Mark: WHAT says we didn’t pay yet?
Matt: The computer.
Me to Mark (in front of Matt): You need to take care of this because I am fixin’ to kill this asshole (I have no censor during late pregnancy). *stalking off to calm down*
Mark (slowly) to Matt: Matt, I have the receipt. Let’s go in the back together and get the chair. Quickly.
So, Mark found a supervisor afterwards to file a complaint about Matt’s ineptitude and mind-blowingly obvious recent drug use. Apparently, there had been several complaints about Matt before, but the store kept Matt employed because ”he shows up on time every shift.” That seems to be a rather dangerous policy as Matt works with pregnant customers everyday, one of whom might just eventually beat him senseless in a hormone-induced freakout.
So, my husband and I were sitting down on the couch to watch Spartacus after the kids were in bed for the evening. He found the recording on the DVR and cued it up. The volume was too low so we looked around for the other remote to turn it up (we have three remotes for the tv). Without getting up from the couch we finally noticed it across the room on a shelf. Neither one of us wanted to get up to go get it. Let the negotiations begin:
Mark: Go get the remote so we can turn the volume up.
Me: Uh uh. You get it.
Mark: I’m too tired.
Me: I’m too short and it’s really high (I am, but it’s not).
Mark: I’m old.
Me: I cleaned the house.
Mark: I helped.
Me: Doing what?
Mark: I brought the laundry down.
Me: I cleaned the house for two hours.
Mark: I put the kids to bed.
Me: I bathed them.
Mark: I love you.
Me: I barely tolerate you. You win. *going to get the remote*
To my kids, my body is a wonderland. Okay, so, maybe not a wonderland. Maybe, my body is more like the old park down the street that could use some major repairs, but that’s not really the point. The point is that since my boys were little they have insisted on using my body as a jungle gym.
It started off innocently enough. A little bounce on the knee accompanied by a rendition of “To Market, To Market”. A careful horsey ride around the living room, though my children insisted it was a piggy ride. (I’m not sure if that is because they love me as much as they love bacon, or because on all fours I resemble a pig more than I do a horse. Some questions are just best left unanswered.)
As they got older, though, a simple bounce on the knee would no longer do. They graduated to spinning. Only, spinning on their own wasn’t fun enough. No, mom needed to lift them and whirl them around the room until one of us (usually me) was sure to puke. But it didn’t stop there. Crashing into mommy, climbing on mommy, yes, even sliding down mommy were more exciting pastimes than actually going to the playground. And, this was just yesterday.
My boys are not little. Young, yes, but not little. Nic at age 8 is nearly 5 feet tall and Aaron is over 4 feet. I try to tell them that they have out grown the equipment but they just come up with new ways to play. Like lately, I’ve become a scratching post. Apparently, the stubble on my legs is just what little arms and backs need to calm an itch.
At least, I have finally found an excuse to not shave every day.
My oldest son, who is in the fourth grade, has made his first good friend this year. He has had difficulty making friends because he is on the autism spectrum and he doesn’t seem to get all the social cues and rules that guide neurotypical folks in their personal interactions. That being said, I truly enjoy his company. He has a fantastic sense of humor and a real knack for word play and sarcasm. A chip off the old block.
Anyway, he and this friend share an interest in the Smosh channel which has a few videos on YouTube. These videos are created by two twenty-something guys whose target audience seems to be 13-year-old boys — mild cursing, lots of potty humor–stuff that generally adults try to ignore. I have been somewhat reluctantly allowing him to watch these videos because they are really rather harmless. I mean, he hears me use worse language at home, and between him and his two siblings, I don’t believe there is any potty humor territory that they haven’t already covered. But most importantly, his interest is a shared interest with another child. This is something they watch together and talk about, joke about, and draw pictures about. So I’ve been allowing this one. And I have watched all of the videos (again, somewhat reluctantly) with him.
And then came the Pokemon episode. It was cringe-worthy in a very frat-house-humor kind of way. In the episode the two main characters are playing live action pokemon, meaning that they are dressing up as the characters and using that character’s particular powers against the other. In one scene, the guy dressed as Jigglypuff (I kid you not) causes the other character, Pikachu, to fall asleep by singing his own name.
While Pikachu is asleep, Jigglypuff draws a penis and testicles on Pikachu’s face. The sleeping guy wakes up as himself and notices other people pointing and laughing at him. Some passerby sarcastically says, “Nice job, dickface.” And my son, full of innocence turns to me and says, “Why are they laughing at him?” So I explain. Penis drawn on face = “dickface” = haha. And he says, “Oh. I thought it (the drawing) was clouds.” Oh, just kill me.
And that is how I destroyed a bit of my son’s innocence. (I’m still letting him watch the videos, though).
There are just some days that no matter how much I try to like my children, I just don’t. Some days, I hate my children. You know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t, you either don’t have kids or I think you might be lying to yourself. We’ve all had them. (Except for you perfect moms who don’t know what I’m talking about.) Those bad-mommy days when you find yourself spending more time yelling than talking. Those days when the sight of your kids annoys you and the thought of getting in the car and never coming back gives you a secret pleasure. The days when you say things like, “If you think you can find a better mommy than me, then go find her.” Or, “You think I like this job? Well, let me tell you, the pays stinks, the hours suck and the customers don’t appreciate anything!”
And, then, you feel guilty. They are my kids. I love them. They’re a gift, a treasure, the center of my life (and today, I can’t stand them).
So, why are we so afraid to say it? Why are we so afraid to feel it?
My kids tell me that they hate me. If they don’t get what they want when they want it, if they are frustrated or tired, they don’t think twice about telling me that they hate me. All kids, at one time or another, feel like they hate their parents, even if they don’t say it out loud. It’s a way of exploring independence, of testing the limits, of letting someone know you just don’t feel too good today. It doesn’t make me feel bad. I know that they really love me.
When I was kid, I really hated my mom some days. I thought she was the worst person in the world and I never wanted to see her again. I have a good relationship with my mom and I love her even knowing there where days when felt like I didn’t.
Heck, I even my hate my husband some days. But, on the days I don’t, I love him even more.
And, that’s why I’m okay with hating my kids some days. Because, I know I really love them. Feeling like I hate them lets me be separate from them for a moment. It helps me to deal with my frustration on the days when I feel like when I am worn out and have nothing left to give. It lets me stop and think and remind myself that I don’t hate them. I hate being tired. I hate having to repeat myself a million times to get them to do one thing. I hate not having much time to myself, or privacy or quiet. And, I would miss it all if it were gone.
So, do me a favor. Don’t ever tell my kids that I hate them because I never will. It’s just our little secret.
I took the kids to an “open gym” at a gymnastics place a while ago so they could play on the equipment like the trampolines and the foam block pit. Kelly and Scott really enjoyed it and expressed an interest in gymnastics classes. So I signed both of them up for classes. So far they’ve been going for three weeks. Scott has really been enjoying the classes. Kelly….not so much. Marie and I were talking about this today:
Me: Kelly’s not really interested in gymnastics. She has asked to skip gymnastics the last two times I took her. I told her that if she doesn’t enjoy it she could quit when this session ends (in two weeks).
Marie: Maybe if they put a pole in she’d be interested.
So, several years ago I took my two older kids (then 5 and 2 years old) to StoryLand in New Hampshire. We stayed at a B&B for three nights while we were there. The first night we decided to go to the restaurant next door to get dinner. There was a relatively short path (about 100 yards) through the woods to the restaurant so we decided to walk rather than drive. The path was fairly wide and well-traveled with a slight curve so that you couldn’t stand on one end and see to the other end. As we were making our way down the path, the kids were running ahead of me but were still in my sight. A guy passed us going back to the B&B and (while grinning) said, “Hey, there’s supposed to be a bear around here. Watch the kids.” Thinking he was kidding, I smiled back and said, “Oh well, one less kid…” (my lame attempt at being witty).
It turns out THERE WAS A FREAKING BEAR ON THE PATH. I figured this out because two people with cameras ran by us just seconds later yelling, “DID YOU SEE THE BEAR!?!” OH! HELL! NO! (I like nature, but I prefer not to be within reaching distance of the kind of nature with teeth and claws and a willingness to develop a taste for human flesh).
Quickly, I gathered the kids, turned around and headed back to the B&B, carrying one child and practically dragging the other. As soon as we made it to the porch we turned around to see two Darwin award contenders chasing a small black bear. I started looking around for mama bear, thinking that she was going to make dinner of these two idiots, but apparently the young bear was old enough to be weaned because mama never showed up. The young bear climbed up a tree to get away from the photographers, who stood at the base of the tree taking pictures. Finally, the kids and I had enough of watching this fiasco so we walked around to the other side of the B&B, got into the car, and drove 100 yards to the restaurant.
(The actual bear was a bit bigger than the one pictured above. If I had to describe it I would say that it had large teeth and sharp claws and some other bear parts in between).