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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ain't nobody happy.

I noticed that I have been losing my cool a lot lately. Frankly, the boys have really been pissing me off.  Is it ok to say that about your kids? I know they are cute, but cuteness only gets you so far, trust me.
Last night I asked the oldest to do something, (now I can't even remember what it was).  He ignored me, so I did the logical thing. I yelled it at the top of my lungs.  Brace yourself for this, he walked away and said "shut up".  And if that isn't bad enough, I said "excuse me, what did you say?" and he repeated "shut up". Before my eyes my little boy, turned into a smart mouth asshole.  Sorry again, that is totally not appropriate, but accurate.
I stood there shocked. I had memories of my mom slapping me across the face, for my smart mouth.  I wasn't about to do that, but what is the befitting punishment for this?  I resorted to the only thing I could think of, I sent him to the naughty chair.
The naughty chair is a tiny black chair in the corner of our hallway.  I got it at Ikea and it is about to collapse from over use.  He made a bee line for the chair knowing he had really crossed the line.  I walked away and saw my oldest, 4 years too old for that chair sitting with his head down.  I decided I was going to leave him there until I cooled off.
Ten minutes later I was ready to talk.  Not in these exact words, but basically I asked him WTF?  His answer, not in these words was "stop busting my balls".  *See previous post for origination of this phrase.  He said that I didn't need to yell. I agreed. He apologized. I apologized. We hugged. We ate ice cream.
I hate it when I lose control like that.  Some days that would have gotten less of a dramatic reaction from me, but unfortunately today was not one of those days.
The phrase when "mama aint happy, aint nobody happy" besides from being a grammatical disaster, has a lot of pressure attached to it. Sometimes Mama just isn't happy and sometimes she doesn't have the energy to pretend that she is.
We have started a new school this year.  So far it has gone well, but because it is a private school, more of our time is required. Since Don is teaching there, I feel like the boys should be on their best behavior.  Mainly because I know if the boys act out at a school function he is not going to discipline them in front of his students and especially not in front of his student's parents. I guess its his way of keeping his "private life private" or something like that.  At the class pot luck we decided to be the only family at a Montessori school to bring styrofoam plates. Being a "waste-free environment" I should have known. Leave it to me to bring the most un- planet friendly plate ever created, I don't even think they make these plates anymore and now that I think of it, I think my mom found them in my Grandparents house and thought we could use them. My grandparents died over 12 years ago.  Don was mortified, I offered to wash them but he didn't take me up on that.  As the prayer was being said, our two year old was on the run.  We should have named him Forrest because if we let him loose he would run across the country and back without a second thought, just like Forest Gump.
Maybe he had had a bad day at pre-pre-pre-school, who knows,  but he was not in the mood to behave.  He took off right across the room near the table with the crock pots on it.  I envisioned him pulling a power cord and lentils falling on top of him scalding his entire body.  I tried to run after him without being obvious, which looks more like the pink panther running and draws even more attention. I scooped him up and not only did he scream, he slapped me across the face, hard.  In any other situation I probably would have been a little bit more forceful, but I could feel eyes upon me and I cooly growled "noooooo" and gave him my angry pack master face and walked outside.  Once outside I let him loose like a greyhound from the starting gates.
This school is nothing but friendly, and I thought I was over reacting and nobody probably noticed anyway.  Except today when I took my son on a field trip, a mother said, "Oh, were you the one chasing your boy at the potluck? Was he hungry or tired or something? " I felt like I had been slapped in the face yet again.  I felt like I needed to explain that he is  2. He is a big kid and most people thing he is 3, but he is in fact 2.  After a few minutes of incoherently babbling I walked away.  There really isn't a good answer to that question.
There are two places that I really want the boys to act a certain way,
1.in public and
2. in my in-laws presence.
It is clear that this is an unreasonable request.
Perhaps my expectation is that they actually act like little adults.  How can I have that expectation when just last night they were farting in the freezer to see if it would make fog.
Plus, what kid should act like an adult? You are only a kid for 12 years.  I must admit, some of my best memories are between the ages of 6 and 11.  Before I became self conscious.  Before I cared what other people thought of me as I pretended to be an GI Joe in the woods.
Perhaps I have it backwards. I need to spend more time being a kid and less like an adult and less time striving for my kids to be adults.
I'm sure my super secret bunker made of twigs is still behind my parents house, I may need to retreat for awhile to remember how important just being a kid is.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Be Happy.

This morning may have taken the cake as the all time dysfunctional ways to get your kids out of the door in our history. Its a Friday which is weird because usually these things happen on Mondays.  I had everything laid out just like every other day. It seems like our family was hit with a snack tornado because every single boy had to bring snack to his class this week.  So I was feeding not only my broad but the entire nations.  I went to the store last night to pick up snacks to make and ended up getting a bag of pretzels. When I returned home I was reminded that in addition to snack, my oldest son also needed something for school. I went back to the store.  When I returned and was cleaning out the fridge of food that has gone bad (i.e. carrots, celery, anything remotely healthy). That is when I discovered that we were out of trash bags.  That is one thing that we cannot go with out or by the time tomorrow rolls around we will have a counter full of garbage. So in the mini van I went, BACK to the store to pick up stupid trash bags and while I was at it I even drove through Dairy Queen.  I guess its better then smoking or drinking or taking the first flight to Vegas. DQ takes me back to my roots.
I have my brother to thank for this one. On one particularly bad day he was having he asked me to go to Dairy Queen with him. Of course I went. He was 16 and I was 9. We sat on the curb eating dilly bars and listening to "Don't Worry, be Happy" on the radio. Now whenever I am having a bad day a magnet is activated in my belly that pulls me towards a blizzard.
By all accounts everything should be going well.  I am the first one to recognize that I have nothing (ligitimate)  to complain about. I have a job, I have a husband, I have money in the bank, I have healthy kids, I have shelter. But those are all the things that I'm not happy with right now.
Yes, I have a job but some co-workers are unbearable at times.  I have a husband but at this moment even he is unbearable, I have money, but not enough, I have healthy enough kids that eat too much and I have a house that needs to be cleaned constantly.
By the time I arrived home everyone seemed to be sleeping.  We have elected to go screen free two days a week. The reasoning behind this was to disconnect technology and reconnect with each other. As soon as we knew the boys were asleep, the laptops were open, and the tv was on.  Yes, it is important to communicate but on this particular night, that would have caused more harm then good.  It is no secret that I love my husband but sometimes I want to kill him.  I hope this doesn't come up as evidence in a trial someday. I want to kill him so much that I tell him I do. And I even tell him how, and he listens, and responds with the fact that he is sorry to hear that, and reminds me that I'm not the only one who would like to kill their spouse.  At least we can agree on that.  If you have never played this game, its really fun.  We even discuss how we would dispose of each others bodies.  If I ever come up missing be sure to check for new concrete in the basement, just FYI. But then those darn kids come up, and we both realize that we would not only hate to raise them alone, we probably couldn't and it would be sad to have them lose a parent.  I guess we are stuck with each other.
In school I read a short story by Edgar Allen Poe called The Tell-Tail Heart. It follows a man who murders and old man and puts him under the floor boards in his home.  Ultimately, the guy goes crazy because he thinks he can hear the mans beating heart and his guilt slowly makes him go insane.
I mention this because our bad energy is the dead man and as much as we try to it ignore it, it lingers into the next day and its beating heart rattles everyone, even the next day.
Hence, this morning.  I only have myself to blame, well, and Don.
If I would have woken up in a better mood, I would have politely asked them to get dressed rather then using threats to get them dressed. But to my credit, I slept with Jack's elbow penetrating my jugular all night.   I would have just poured their cereal rather then having them pour it themselves and spill enough on the floor that our dogs could never eat again and still not starve.  I would have persuaded them into the car rather than push, carry or pull them.  I would have ignored their fighting.
But alas, I didn't.  I sent them to school with a thorn in their side.  They may be angry and they don't even know why.  I must remember that you are always responsible for the energy you bring into a room. You can choose for it to be positive, or you can chose for it to be negative and cast a cloud  that will follow whoever it touches.
Don't worry. Be Happy.  Perhaps I missed the lesson when my brother took me to Dairy Queen. Naturally, what I took away from that experience was when you are stressed, eat ice cream.
Like Bobby McFerrin said, in every life you have some trouble, when you worry you make it double, or  in my case quintuple.