Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Being at your worst...or is it best?

Happier, and considerably warmer days

Sooooo, today I had kinda what some people would label a "bad morning".

To give you a little background, I am now working part-time/feels like full time in today's technologically advanced culture.  I'm such an asshole I am sure that there is a more hip catchphrase, but because I am OLD, I'm gonna go with "technologically advanced culture".

What I mean by this, is that YOU ARE ACCESSIBLE.  I thought that I had constant interruptions, technologically speaking, when I didn't work, wellit is an entirely different ball of wax to work in this decade (yes, I said DECADE, now go relieve yourselves).

Okay...let me break it down for you.  My husband works almost two hours away ALL WEEK, he has his own apartment there, and I am basically working part-time/feels like full time and raising three girls by myself.

Allllright, go relieve yourselves once again.  And by "relieve", I mean, take another long drink of wine.

Oh, did you think pee... or poop?  You obviously need to stop reading my blog, because you are a straight man.

Ok.  Carrying on.  Wow, she still goes off on tangents...It's her.

ANYWAY, I am super stressed out, but I conquer my days, and then relieve myself, and then I evaluate.

Today's evaluation needed a support group, so I thought I'd take the thoughts in my head LIVE for a change.  YOU'RE WELCOME.

Oh my Gawd, I have so much to tell you.  Okay, so here goes.

Wait, I need to qualify some more.  I BUST MY ASS ALL DAY LONG.  There.  I said it.  I now have a larger audience than my three young children.  Oh, yeah, that's a new development.  I have started actively cussing in front of my kids.

I don't cuss AT them yet, which is clearly a future rite of passage for me, in my eyes.  But, I say Gawdddammit so much that I actually had to explain to them that MY version didn't really have anything to do with Gawd so much as it was that I was just "expressing frustration" and that it happened to be my new "go to" phrase.

That seemed to go over well with my two older ones (they are 8, almost 9 & a solid 11), until I happened to scan the backseat to discover my little Eva, who is FIVE (ok, six... Feb.8) who blinked her big brown eyes twice at me, and began singing some fairy song she made up about the fairy and our dog, Scarlett.

NICCCCCE.  Well done, Mommy.

Ok, I am supposed to be qualifying, not condemning myself before I tell my story.

 I probably spend no less than three hours every night making sure everyone has their clothes laid out for the next day, making lunches & coffee, making sure everyone bathes, dinner, dinner clean up, laundry....on and on.  I am being rather conservative with my time consumption here, considering I cart them everywhere to their pointless activities, check/help with homework, whatever.  Who cares?  Have I made my point, though? I am preaching to the choir with working single moms, and working Moms are stiffening their backs and raising their chalices.  Solidarity, beeeeaaaaachhhes.  Okay, now I'll tell my story.

I wake up, go down and get a cup of premeditated coffee, take 5 minutes to read my new US Magazine's "Stars... they're just like us" page and that page where they dissect the purse of some starlet/random TV star.

I wake up the girls.

Mills starts wailing about how the Tooth Fairy didn't come and I offer up some bullshit about how she texted me and her wings froze in the "Arctic Blast," and then when she drags herself downstairs I replace the tooth with three dollars and call her back up to check.

This scenario (the one where I make them do this lame double take) has been acted out in my house, ooohhhhh, about five times.  Per kid.

I am not going to even TRY to explain why my kids still believe in the Tooth Fairy, or Santa for that matter, but they ALL do.  Even Hallie, my 11-year-old.  Someone told me it is because they think if they stop believing, then they will stop receiving.  I concur.

I digress.... So my two eldest princesses fight over the front seat of my car EVERY FUCKING MORNING.  It escalates into pinching, biting, pulling hair.  Little Eves just bats those big brown eyes with those freakishly long, thick lashes and impending bushy unibrow (btw...spell check has unibrow as two words...ironic), and sings all the way through it.  When I die, I want to go to the planet she lives on.

So it's the second coldest day in the history of Columbus or some bullshit.  I say to them as they are beginning to fight on the way to the car that "if you are fighting when I get back with Eva, YOU WILL WALK TO SCHOOL.  I DON"T CARE HOW COLD IT IS.  I MEAN IT!"

"I mean, I spend HOURS each night before I have to go into work, preparing for the following morning so that it can run as smoothly as possible.  I stayed up until 11:30 working, so I could watch Dance Moms with Hallie, and this is how I am repaid?" I think to myself, or maybe I said it aloud to no one.  I can't discern anymore.

One of my favorite pics of Mills.  Those are not the teeth she lost last night.
 I am sure the Tooth Fairy was ON TASK for those!

I go back in the house to assist Eves.  She's frantically getting her shit together because Mills (8, almost 9) has morphed into this bizarre drill sergeant who is positively obsessed with the time that we leave the house, and what time we hit the drop off line, and how long the light takes to change, yada yada, she makes me insane. But, then again, in Mills' defense, she prides herself on laying out her clothes the night before, and has herself entirely prepared for school, without prompting, I might add, well before anyone else in the house, so who can blame her?) has her all verclempt and she is excitedly searching the coat/hat/boot/glove pile the girls left for her, for her "puple uggs she got for Kistmas that aur hur favoite, and she needs to be waauum when she walks from KClub to Baurrrrrinton".

She makes me STOP to take the time to soften and help her, because she is FIVE (almost 6) and it's not her fault that she is stuck in this rat race because when they were her age, her fighting, spitting sistas were watching half hour after half hour of the Disney channel while they ate snacks, or ran errands with Mommy who bought them anything pacifying in order achieve her daily goals.

Hallie took this.  Ethereal is the only way to describe this pic.  One of my favs.

Don't you feel sorry for Eeever Beaver (aka The Beav), though.  If lovin' the KClub is wrong, (where she goes three mornings a week), Eves dounwannaberight.

I don't blame her, though, she needs time away from Fantasy Land.  That shit's GOT TA' BE exhausting.

So I get back to the car with Eves in tow, and sureenough, there they are fighting...pulling hair...pinching.  Stunning, really.  Arms are flying between the back and the front seat and I can hear screams from inside the car that I have TURNED ON for them, including the booty warmers, five minutes ago, so they won't be cold going to school.

"GET OUUUUT!"  I scream in my driveway as I help Eva into the car.  They both turn and Eves' mouth drops because she thinks she might get grandfathered in, and I scream it again, go around to their side of the car, open their respective doors, and pull them out of the car.

They have good coats and boots on, but no gloves or hats.  It's like 11 degrees.  I watch other families walk by, and I am registering that they are staring at me, mimicking Eva's expression.

Hallie starts to run away from Mills and Mills starts crying and screaming (middle child), and I scream down the street after Hallie that she "better wait up for her sister or ELSE!"

I run back into the house, get hats and gloves for them both, and bolt to the corner where they now are. As I roll up, a simultaneous expression of relief washes over their faces. They approach the vehicle and reach for the handle.  (Wait for it.)  I, then, roll down the window and throw their gloves and hats at them and tell them to "GO TO SCHOOL!"and that "I AM DONE!"

I was literally seeing RED, peeps.  I watched Hallie cry on the corner waiting for the light to change while I ignored the pile up of SUV's behind me that are witnessing this whole thing and drive Eves to KClub.

I get through the drop off there and keep my hands in my pockets so Eve's teacher won't notice them shaking and return to my car, grab my phone to call my best friend, who is also on her way to work, and I see "Missed Call & Voicemail from Barrington", my children's school.

"This outta be good," I say to myself, as my car idles alone in a church parking lot with the radio blasting, and fog is steaming up the windows.

The voicemail is from Hallie, my 11-year-old.  It went as follows, "Mom.  We have an Open House this morning.  I hope you can come.  Bye."

FUUUUUCCCCCCKKKK.  Are you kidding me?  Perfect.

I go to the school.  I am not late.  There are a ton of parents in the doorway and hall signing in.  I tell two Moms I know about my morning.  They didn't seem too judgemental.  But, it was all too fresh.  Who cares?  I didn't.  I needed to VENT.

Hallie spots me as I lean against the wall outside of her classroom.  We embrace.  We've been through Hell...lived a lifetime in the last 20 minutes.  Hallie tells me she's sorry and that she loves me and whispers in my ear that she is glad I am there.

I almost start to cry, which I did on the way to work later, during work, and after I got home.

We had a great time at Open House, Hallie and I, and our relationship has the depth that only a first child has with their Mother, that I cannot begin to explain.  She was so proud as she walked me around and showed me all of the things she had been working on in the last three months.

I mean, one could argue either side.  You know, for or against putting your children in harm's way because you are angry and exasperated and STRUNG OUT.  But, I am not going to do that.

I am going to take the high road for myself. I am going to give myself a break.  You can call it justification.  You can label it rationalization (I have a Minor in that, by the way).  But, I choose to see it as being at my best.  I choose this because I was teaching my children to be suffer consequences for their actions...and I was following through, which we all know, if we are honest with ourselves, is the most difficult requirement of parenting.  If you are going to threaten, then follow through.  Because if you don't, then your kids will have your number because they are passive aggressive, manipulative little buggers, who are looking to you to set the boundaries.

Granted, it will take years of intensive therapy for them to get over the psychological trauma of today, and I plan on totally being there to blur their memories and distort the facts during family visitation.

I had a friend in Dallas (and still do, thank Gawd),  who once told me that, "As a parent, I see it as my job to break their little spirits.  I OWE it to them.  My grandmother did it to my Mom, my Mom did it to me, and now IIIIIII'm passing the torch to my own offspring."

We were talking about our two-year-olds at the time, but WHATEVER.  It's aaaallllll relative.

I love you, AAAnnnngggiiiieeee, and I can't wait to see you next week.

My recommendation today is to follow through when you threaten to punish your child.  DO what you SAAAYYYY you are going to do, because you are a sucker if you don't.

Make no mistake, though, I signed up Mills for a gymnastics meet this weekend and surprised her at pick up this afternoon, and Hallie had a playdate.  Their after school snack looked like something out of Parent Magazine.

Just because you do the best thing for them, doesn't mean your heart isn't going to hurt.