Can I Bitch?

Well I’m going to anyway.

So, I’ve been a mother for what feels like forever a long time. I have been single-mothering-it for a few years now. Not as long as some, but more than enough for me.

I am getting married in October. Yeah! To this amazing, awesome guy who says to me, “You should really try to spend more time by yourself. Get out of the house and do something for YOU.” And he really means it. I know, awesome.

However, finding something to do for me, that fits around the rest of the family’s schedules is like threading a pool noodle through a needle. But I did my part and thought of something I’d LIKE to do for myself. Tai Chi.

Not only does it get me out of the house, it’s great for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis who need to stay active without hurting themselves. Bonus! Problem is…scheduling. There are 3 places that teach Tai Chi here. ALL THREE of them have their beginner classes on the same days, at the same time. Really people? Seriously? Of the 2 offered nights, only 1 is good for me. But it coincides with the fiancés martial arts class. So now I have to hire a babysitter.

I didn’t really have the money for the class, much less the money for a weekly babysitter. But this will be GOOD for me, right? Today’s the first class. And youuuuu guessed it. I have a sick kid. Luckily she isn’t all that sick (tummy ache, no vomiting.) So it’s still a go.

Then the babysitter calls and says she is puking. OK. Now I text another babysitter. And wait. She says yes. But I have to pick this one up. OK.

I call the pediatrician and schedule an appointment for the girl on the couch to make sure her tummy ache (which really has been coming and going for 3 weeks) isn’t something more serious. But it’s at 4:00 pm.

So, I will grab the boy off the bus at 3:40 and pack the sickie and the boy in the van to go to the appointment. Hopefully I don’t have to hit the pharmacy after. We should be home 4:45? 5:00? Just enough time to get everyone home and settled on the couch. Then I need to cook something for dinner. Something for dinner…dinner…I forgot I needed more oodles of noodles for the girl for dinner. So I have to add a trip to the store. Also need cat litter.

OK, dinner is cooking, noodles have been purchased…now to pack everyone BACK into the van to get the babysitter by 5:30. Get back home and instruct sitter to feed everyone the dinner(s) I cooked. Then RUN out the door to go to my new, stress-reducing, calming, soal-centering class without getting a speeding ticket by 6:00.

Isn’t it great to do something for myself?

My New Year Started with a Slap

OKSlapShot

I’m back from 10 days off from work and I’ll tell ya…vacations with children don’t always seem like vacations to me. Sometimes I need a vacation from my vacation.

We had a great time seeing family. My kids played with 2 soon-to-be-cousins and had a great time. The parents of said children were also great. It’s nice to meet other parents who actually supervise their children. That being said, coming home was a tad rough.

I don’t spank my kids. I was never spanked (truly.) My brother raised his 3 without spanking. But my son…he REALLY tests my boundaries. Like…a lot. My daughter has always been a rule-follower. A side-eye glance from me and she usually toed the line. But my son, God love him.

So, while on vacation I witnesses some very consistent parenting and was really jealous. I know what my faults are in parenting, but I don’t always know how to fix them. Consistency is a problem that my son capitalizes on frequently. While watching these parents in action I learned a few other things like: following through with discipline. A kid who realizes you are going to follow-through might not be tempted to act up again. Especially when they use spanking. Therefore spanking might only need to be used a few times.

Here’s why I mention spanking: because it’s something I haven’t tried yet. When we created the new house rules, one of the rules was No Hitting. My son usually doesn’t hit on purpose but somehow he hits his sister about 1x a week. He will more likely be playing, get riled up and fling something that hits you. Or he will be happily dancing with his sister, being silly, she will shake her booty at him and he will decide to tap her on the butt with a plastic wand. Only, it’s not a tap. Yes, this is what happened last night.
I heard the *snap* from 2 rooms away.

Luckily his sister didn’t cry but I. Had. Had It.

So the No Hitting consequences changed that minute. I calmly told him to go to his room. I calmly went in and talked to him about what he did. How do you think your sister feels? Does she like being hit? How does it feel to be hit? Is it nice even if it’s an accident? And so on…He admitted he didn’t know what it felt like to be hit. So I spanked him 5 times, fairly hard, with my hand. He laughed afterward and said it didn’t hurt. So I got the wand and asked him if he thought this would hurt worse. He didn’t know. So I spanked him with it and you could tell it stung. His eyes welled up (insert sound of my heart breaking).

We talked about what it was like for his sister. Everything was going along nicely then all of a sudden she gets HIT with this wand and it HURTS. Suddenly the fun vanishes. And this happens to her weekly. How must she feel? I reminded him that I always love him even when he makes poor choices. I reminded him that he is a good boy who sometimes makes poor choices. But he had to stay in his room for the night and no electronics that night or the next day.

You want to know something? His reaction to being separated from the rest of us was worse than the spanking. Very interesting. Let’s hope this helps. I just don’t know. He’s 7 and even if he seems old enough to control his actions, he clearly can’t or won’t do it. Disciplining children who don’t have the capacity to do as you ask seems silly. It’s like slapping a cat for not being a dog.

I’ll update as news unfolds.

The Power of The Simpson’s Compels You

I have been trying to get out to get my custom shoe inserts for a while now. My feet hurt again, even though the cortizone shots were suppose to work for 6 months. But I haven’t had a free lunch hour in weeks. It’s either this appt for the girl, or that appt for the boy, or grocery shopping. Today was suppose to be the day.
Then work happened.
{{I’m not 100% sure I can grip about work here}}

So I square everything away only to realize I still cannot go! I won’t be back in time to get the kids from the bus. So now I have to get the kids FROM school and bring them with me. Then the boy drops a toy under the back seat, into some floor vent and is hysterical. It’s a part of his Ninjago set.
REALLY!?

Now I am dismantling the car, in the cold, and my ARRGGG meter has already blown up. How do I stop myself from throttling the boy like Homer does to Bart? I think back to 20 minutes before, when we were riding in the car and the kids were quoting lines from “The Simpson Movie.” Yes, yes. It’s PG-13 and inappropriate for kids. Much of it goes over their head. But you know it’s funny…really funny…

“We have a great life here in Alaska, and we’re never going back to America again!”

___________

Marge: Homer, you have to go out there, face that mob, and apologize for what you did.
Homer: I would, but I’m afraid if I open the door, they’ll take all of you!
Carl: No we won’t. We just want Homer!
Homer: Well, maybe not you, but they’ll kill Grandpa!
Grandpa: I’m part of the mob!

______________

[Bart claps]
Lisa: What are you doing, Bart?
Bart: Eh, just passing the time.
[Bart claps, snow repeatedly falls on Homer]
Homer: Aw, my boy loves Alaska so much, he’s applauding it. Lisa, why aren’t you clapping?
Lisa: But Dad!
Homer: [sternly] Clap for Alaska!
[Lisa claps along with Bart]
Homer: [Homer is buried under an avalanche]

__________

…and then I smile again.

Calendars

Does having 4 separate calendars make me a more organized person?

Yes. Yes it does.

  1. Weekly home calendar on desk
  2. Monthly work calendar under keyboard
  3. Monthly home calendar in purse
  4. Weekly home/kid/dinner schedule calendar near fridge

I figure, if I am reading the same appointment 3 times a day (DENTIST APPOINTMENT) how can I forget it? My brain loves to take on this challenge sometimes and raise its finger at all 4 calendars and say, “Oh YEAH!?” Then obliterate any mention of dentists or teeth from my memory. BAZINGA!

10 Things I’m Thankful for & Reasons to Bitch this Thanksgiving

  1. I only had bronchitis and not pneumonia
  2. The dealership I bought a used minivan from began shuddering 20 miles into the first leg of a 1,600 mile trip
  3. During the first leg I had to stop for kid pee breaks 8 times.
  4. We were able to keep the shudder to a minimum by staying under 70 mph during the 2nd leg of the trip
  5. The tire shop I brought the van to told me, “This is a MUCH bigger problem than just wheel balancing. Go to a dealership”
  6. The in-town (not my hometown) dealership told me I needed wheel balancing.
  7. After paying for the 2nd wheel balancing of the day I was told I actually needed a new transmission.
  8. Due to hurricane Sandy the only rental car agency that HAD cars was 1 hour north at the airport.
  9. Driving home from the airport we hit a freak snow storm but the rental did pretty good.
  10. After the 4th leg of the trip was finished I got a call saying it was NOT the transmission but the tire was full of WATER (long explanation). Axle repaired, tire repaired, car ready. But I am 2.5 hours from where the car resides and it’s Wednesday.

Sick Kids

The girl often has stomach trouble. It might be stress, it might be that she doesn’t drink enough water, it might be a bug. You never know with her. And of course the ONE day I decide to take a stand, to MAKE her go to school because she isn’t acting sick enough—I get a call from the nurse saying she has spewed her lunch all over the floor.

{{smacking my forehead}}

Do you have a kid like this? Do you make them power through or let them stay home? How do you decide?

Discuss.