Posts Tagged parenting
The Hippy and I bonded a lot as two divorced people who had also been thrown into an initially unwanted and thoroughly unplanned parenthood.
Don’t get the wrong idea, there is a decade or so of age difference and the sentiment I have towards both her and her boyfriend is more of a sibling who wants to see them succeed.
Her boyfriend I dub Big Ron the pornstar, due to his epic pornstache that never ceased to be a focal point when he came up as a topic, whether he was present to hear it or not. Neither Tom Selleck nor Burt Reynolds have anything on this guy.
At one point that pornstache was going to be the theme of the entire baby shower that Hippy’s coworkers were planning out for her. Sadly, Yankee Heather hijacked their plans and took over. I found this out from the other department much later.
He is one of two adopted children of a well off couple, his sister a complete mess gunning for a fat wallet to marry. He was spoiled in a lot of all the wrong ways and yes, I see a lot in which he needs to grow the fuck up and be more honest with both himself and the Hippy before he loses her over something stupid, like his dumbfuck machismo bullshit pride and his absolute compulsion to treat all women like his mother, whom he kind of despises.
However the mom… from the stories I’ve heard from both, tries to firmly entrench herself into her son’s life despite his intense objections to the contrary. Its almost as though the more firmly he fights her presence, the more committed she is to being constantly around. She’s also prone to using the Hippy as a means to manipulate them. With Hippy’s desire to people please, this has been a struggle for both of them to establish boundaries.
Even more strangely, he was recently given the news that mom, specifically his mom, has blown through his inheritance. This is casually remarked upon by his father.
His sister’s though, is still intact. Apparently, this has been a part of her character while he was growing up as well. He would hide money he made from jobs he worked only to find it gone, mom having stolen and spent it.
She was the typical stay-at-home socialite with a well-off husband who seemed little interested in his wife’s activities, while still being one of the only people who could put her on a leash when she was going overboard. Dad’s involvement was to push his son to excel and be a man in all aspects.
The mom would call his girlfriends and tell them he had been cheating, was out with someone, tell them wild stories of various nefarious activities involving drugs, alcohol or whatever topic she thought might work to send them running. The Hippy told me she’d tried the same with her, but since they were in different states and living together, it wasn’t exactly plausible and thankfully died out quickly.
It all seems very Oedipal rather than maternal.
When the Hippy was telling me this, I suddenly asked “so how long has mom wanted to fuck her own son?”
She was a bit stunned by my remark (I was too) and I just said if he had no money to spend taking out his girlfriend or using it on gas to visit any of them, then maybe he would have to stay home and spend time with mom instead.
Getting rid of the girlfriend was usually a tactic only done by a person scheming to be the replacement. The way she behaves toward the Hippy sounds more like jealousy of the jilted than a mother.
Hippy told me it scarily made sense. I think we both shared an “Ew.”
I’m kind of surprised that was my take on it. Sometimes shit comes out of my mouth before I’ve had a chance to process what it is.
With the baby now completely given the full ahead by both parents, they are working on moving back to their home state up north, both to be closer to their familial support network as well as better enable Big Ron to streamline himself up the ladder since they will be on one income for a while. This would put them closer to both sets of their parents, which creates concerns for both of them for very different reasons.
This mom though. I’ve never come across one like this outside a Greek tragedy.
Even when he was small he was large.
He slept with such content that even the angels envied his peace.
My eyes held his every breath with such closeness
that his breaths became mine.
As he grew, so did I.
I’ve usually spent a great amount of time trying to sign up Spawn for an epic series of adventures every summer. The afterschool place they used to go to years back would promise a lot, and deliver little to nothing. It wasn’t even the ones running it that were the problem, oddly enough it was the owner. He felt it “cost too much,” even though that cost was passed onto the parents and a lot of the activities they tried to schedule were free.
You don’t know frugal until to you see caregivers who quit over a .13/hour raise… yeah, 13 cents. You also don’t see “dickhead” quite like a guy who drives a Mercedes and talks about things that cost too much to people who work for a .13/hour raise.
That was my breaking point.
Spawn and I had to suffer the place during the school year, but I would be damned if we would to do it during the summer. Of course, now Spawn is of an age they can actually stay home, but I don’t like the idea of them just sitting at home without stimulation that doesn’t involve a screen. I had to ban YouTube for a month because of their addiction to play-throughs. They even stopped drawing and usually that is akin to breathing.
Spawn knows that staying home also involves a honey-do list a mile long with a tight schedule as to when it should be completed. So they are not exactly thrilled by the idea either.
I have to schedule their chore list, you want to know what my kid is like doing chores? Watch this:
There it is! Yep, I spend a lot of time wanting to pull my hair out.
This year, Spawn also got really into cello as well and wishes to pursue it. This is really interfering with the school’s rules on PE requirements, since Spawn wants to go to a weird school in the future with the weird kids who like to do other creative shit, art being their focus. I support this completely, so I figure to nip the school’s gripes in the bud, I need to make sure some physical stuff is on the menu this summer.
The choices are sucking major ass though. Either the camps are beginners with the bulk being vastly younger than Spawn. Considering Spawn is giant for their age, this is a concern. Or they are the perfect age range, but for experienced kids. Or its 50 miles away, and they are only running from 9:47 – 3:26 and you have to pick them up within 10 minutes after or its a bagillion dollars extra.
Those of you parents ever notice this? For a bulk of us, we work 8a-9am to about 5-6pm… who the fuck came up with the hours of these summer camps? It’s couldn’t possible be anyone who actually procreated, right? Because if they are parents… they are either fucktards or their reproducing genitalia is so past used and fossilised, it caused their brain to rot to dust with it.
What are some of the more creative things you did with your kids during the summer (stories involving duct tape especially welcome)?
For those who may not be able to answer on the parent end, what kind of things did you do during the summer that you liked/hated/make you blow chunks? I’m game for anything.
Spawn has just me.
I have no siblings, a cousin whom I only get along with for three day or less periods, an absent dad I flipped off once over thirty years ago, a dead mom, no living grandparents.
On the other end, there is a shitty biological donor with mental and drug-related problems, one dead sibling, an absent dad, absent half-siblings, a dead mom, no living grandparents.
Don’t get me wrong, if you dig past that, I have a couple aunts and some more cousins, but we don’t see each other much since we aren’t close. I’m the evil black sheep of the family and I’m to be kept away from the straights lest some of my bohemian lifestyle wear off on their offspring.
My BFG is like the only second parent to Spawn. They seem to be kindred souls in many ways, they both have an addiction to bacon and pasta that is unmatched and often, BFG’s presents to Spawn kick mine’s ass. They just “get” my kid.
Spawn’s other donor and I met in art class in high school actually. Then we parted for years because, life, and when I met them again, they were able to put on a reasonable facade of the person they used to be, but the cracks showed up pretty quickly and the whole thing ended.
When Spawn became exclusively mine, legally and otherwise, I figured that the questions about the other donor would be better if I made them up. We split a long time before either of us knew Spawn was a factor and its a miracle they came so healthy.
However, the other donor actually asked if they could be a part of Spawn’s life. I told them the door was open but if they pulled any shit, I reserved the right to end it immediately.
At first, this was a weekly pick-up from daycare and they would go for a walk at a park or something until dinner. It dwindled over the course of a year or so and then it would be nothing.
Almost annually, usually around their birthday (they couldn’t be bothered to remember Spawn’s), they popped up for a little while, want to see Spawn, then disappear like a bad dream. Once they decided popping pills and driving were a good combination, Spawn was no longer allowed to be alone with them, much less in a car.
I tried very hard to work things in such a way that Spawn had a great memory of their other donor without becoming aware of just how messed up they were. I would pick them up, schedule a “them” focused day and kind of linger in the background. Spawn had a great time, the other donor earned some points, and I didn’t have to deal with the shit for another year.
Example: Spawn wanted donor to watch them at karate class, I dropped them off, went down the road to run a load of laundry, to come back and find out donor has taken off across the street to a place that, not an hour before, they told me they used to buy drugs.
The last one was about five years ago or so when the other donor, who is currently ordered to pay a pittance in child support (seriously, $40/week is the order, I agreed to whatever would get me out of there fastest since they originally ordered $80) decided that in order to get out of this monetary infringement so they could pool their resources for better prescription drugs, they needed to get married. Apparently, they assumed that being married would automatically grant them half-custody and they would not longer have to pay child support.
So the other donor decided to disappear for a month and brought back a spouse from… god knows where. They lived like a recluse so none of us could figure out where they found this person. The donor has a house (paid for) and car (paid for) they inherited when their mom died, plus some actual monetary inheritance. I don’t know the last time they actually had a job, so I have no clue what the hell they thought they were doing. Usually I get a fat lump check whenever the court threatens to toss them in jail, since they’d already done so once.
The marriage didn’t last a month, despite the fact the spouse was apparently at least slightly crazy too. Friending me and Spawn on facebook and gushing about the “happy family” and “fast friends” they hope will be kind of made my stomach lurch. I ran interference before Spawn saw any of it often.
I watched the crazy sort of run its course, talked to a lawyer, found they didn’t have a leg to stand on, and just waited to let them run it to exhaustion. The only thing I had to say about it was to keep their crap away from me and Spawn. There would be no further visits for now.
This was the catalyst for them to release apparently a lot of pent up vile they have been holding onto against me. They couldn’t have their way, so I was the monster. I won’t get into it too much, it makes me rather ill, but when they decided in their drug-addled brain, to send my grade school kid this long facebook message about how I raped them and that was the only reason they existed,and I also apparently orchestrated the goings-on of the entire world with my genitals, being nothing more than a devious puppet-master.
I saved it. I blocked them, blocked their number, and sent everything to social services and family court, along with my only response. I told them if they thought they had a leg to stand on, they were welcome to take me to court, that they had no visitation rights, I had full custody and they had nothing, including the three bottles of prescriptions meds they ordered online, which I listed by name, by quantity and how many were left during the 10 days they had been in their possession before they had their stomach pumped (I was friends with their mom, and their mom’s best friend. The last time donor went to the ER for a stomach pump, the friend did some housecleaning and gave them to me as a backup plan).
That the true problem could be known quite clearly by simply pulling their medical records for the last twenty years and talking to the only person(s) who would still have anything to do with them, since they only did so in honor of their mother.
I told them if they ever wanted to see Spawn again they would have to submit to a mental exam and a rehab program, and only after an extended time of passing both, with court supervision.
It wasn’t long, a couple months, for the silence to end and I get a text from a number I don’t recognize with an apology. I respond with “too late” and block that one too. So far, they have tried to reconnect only twice. A few days ago, marks the third. Spawn and I both got a friend request from yet another account they have created, since I blocked all the others. They are convinced I’m just going to forget and forgive just because they play nice for now.
I only know because Spawn asked if I wanted them to block it. Spawn remembers when I told them the donor was no longer to be around us, that they had gone too far but I wanted them to keep the few good memories they had so I would not be getting into the details of why, but to please trust me that I was doing it for good reason. Spawn cried of course, but eventually figured out over the years that I wouldn’t do something like that with half-assed feelings.
Donor gave Spawn a ball once, one they’d shoplifted. Other than that, the other donor spends their time inhaling copious amounts of prescriptions and alcohol, spewing word salad and trying to pass it off as poetry and making shitty art. Even Spawn said “all there is on their facebook is badly taken photos and crappy poetry.”
The donor’s birthday is a little over a month away. I had always tried to acknowledge the big gift-giving occasions on behalf of Spawn. Of course, that stopped years ago when I noticed that the reciprocation was never there. As usual, this is a test to see if they can eek back in. I don’t know if selfish acknowledgement is the only motivation.
I’d like to think there is one tiny speck of humanity in there that realizes Spawn is their only living family left. Unfortunately, my very next thought is the only reason why any of this would matter to this particular piece societal garbage is for what exploiting Spawn would get them. They are a taker, they give nothing.
So my response was simple “pull something like this again and I will involve the police.”
Is it bad to wish they’d just die?
After all the long months of planning our daughter is now a married woman, and in spite of of all the details of the event I managed to remain deeply present in every moment. My fear was never about her choice of who she was marrying, my fear was of being so involved in executing every detail of her wedding that I would not be fully present in the moments.
As I stood in the dressing room watching her calmly handle every decision thrown her way, I was so proud of her graceful way of keeping everyone on task. She’s always been extraordinary in that way. I could here all the buzzing around us, but she kept looking at me in a way that let me know she was also focusing on being completely present in the moment too. She and I have always been able to speak to one another without words, we flow easily with each other.
I could see that she was happy, and that everything around her had fallen gently into place. I told her how beautiful she was, then I kissed her cheek. As I walked out of her dressing room I caught my husband’s eye, and nodded that it was time. I looked around at the wedding party. Our son was a groomsman, the four of us are extremely close so once again there was no need for words.
Then I made my way into the room where every guest was seated. The room was beautifully lit, every table perfectly set. “Little Miss Magic” was surrounded by her closest family, and friends. I looked at my son-in-law. He was so handsome, smiling, and waiting to see her in her gown. I sat, the music began, and one by one the bridal party came down the aisle. Then my husband with his baby girl entered the room. My son-in-law began to tear up, and in a matter of seconds there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. She was exquisite in every sense of the word, and his reaction to her was complete love. The kind of moment that could not have been scripted by even the world’s most prolific writer.
I looked at each of my loved ones as if time were being captured in slow motion, each of their expressions deeply embedded in my memory. I felt so much love, so much joy. There wasn’t a single thing that we would have changed about this day from the very beginning until the very end. Every single second as precious as the moment before. She and her, father danced to Jimmy Buffet’s “Little Miss Magic.” Her father chose this song for their dance.
As I watched the two of them glide across the dance floor I couldn’t help but remember their first dance around our living room the day we brought her home from the hospital. My husband had the same look of love on his face as he looked at her beautiful little face, and into her big brown eyes. Our little girl is now somebody’s wife, but the truth is she will forever be “Little Miss Magic” to her father, and me. 😉
I’m sitting at dinner with Spawn (my kid) on February 29th, when they announce that as of today they are “going with” someone at school, just “out of curiosity” and to “see where it goes.”
If you know my kid, they are an old soul that is generally unmoved by the rapid emotional fluctuations of their preteen peers and just as rapid hormonal drama, so this is pretty much admitting they are *gush* *gush* “totes in loooooove.”
It takes me a bit to don my supercool parental/friend exterior that manages to fool my kid exactly never, but it doesn’t stop me from trying. All I can muster is…
“Well… since its a leap year, you technically don’t have to cough up any anniversary gifts for another four years.”
I get a snort with the eyeroll, but they are amused.
I ask what I feel I can without whipping out a spotlight and starting the interrogation.
“So, does this mean I will need to be escorting to movies or something? I promise to sit far enough away you don’t have to claim me but still close enough to pelt anyone who gets handsy in the head.”
And this is where the true “old soul” of Spawn kind of shines.
“‘Going with’ at this age doesn’t actually mean going anywhere, you know?”
“So what does it mean? You sit together at lunch?”
“Nah, they’re too shy for that. They managed to migrate to the same table though.”
“Sounds like I have nothing to worry about, but do I get to meet Schnukums at all?”
With that I present a show that reminded me of my mom, and while she was alive, we watched together. Luke (baseball cap) is totally my totem animal.
I warn you now, my head is still filled with all the epic ways I still love Skyrim and some of the stuff that irks the crap out of me, so there may be a sequel to that one.
With that said, I asked Spawn one day “Do I troll you?”
To which Spawn responded with: “…. a little bit.”
Now if you’ve never heard of the term trolling, click the link and it will give you a bit of the internet history of it being basically a person who stirs up shit for their own amusement. That’s the very minimalist version, most true trolls are epic assholes. I don’t think I’ve hit quite that level.
Trolling my kid started from an early age, back even in diapers.
When Spawn was in the potty training stage, Spawn was perfect with toilet use at home, but always ended up in those damn pull-ups when I went to pick them up from daycare. Spawn didn’t want to stop playing to go to the bathroom and would intentionally go in their underpants to get a diaper put on.
I loudly informed the teacher with Spawn in hand, that if Spawn let it go in their underpants again they were to sit it in for a few minutes, just toss a bag over them and put them in a corner that you couldn’t smell and just let them enjoy their own stench. Overhearing this, Spawn never had another “accident.”
Spawn was going through the raging tantrum stage… now, I will say I was lucky and can only recall three really major episodes, all of which ended with either a bathroom or car visit (because of course they were public) and some sensitizing of a tiny backside, however there would be days when Spawn would be manipulating all of my hot buttons. One particular day, I leaned over and very low and soft I said, “you know, I do like you a LOT better than I did my other children.” The wide-eyed realization that crossed that face still makes me laugh.
The rest of that day was very quiet.
Oh and for those against the whole spanking thing, I say… meh. I tried the timeout thing once and ended up with a metal chair almost thrown at my head (Spawn was 3). A couple smacks to the butt might sting a few seconds, but then it’s over, your position of parental authority is reinforced (for a while at least) and I’m never disengaging as a parent (Who’s that time out really for?). So if you’re counting, Spawn has had three, maybe four spankings their entire life…so far.
When Spawn started trick-or-treating, I had already heard all the parents who bemoaned all the costume accessory crap they would end up carrying around before the night even got started. So I headed that one off really early by telling Spawn to only wear what they would wear all night because I had to keep my hands free in order to fight zombies, should any show up. To this day, Spawn will still carry my keys.
Spawn was going through a stage of toddler rebellion, I realized that what they wanted was a choice. So I figured out how to give a choice without it being a choice. “Do you want to get in the tub on your own or would you like me to throw you in?” It was rude, but it gave my kid a choice and things calmed down.
I used to often teasingly say to Spawn as a toddler, “Don’t make me beat you…” This backfired when my words were teasingly tossed back at me in the local store “Please don’t beat me!” *snicker*
Guess turnabout is fairplay…
I won’t accept that.
Nowadays, I troll Spawn by giving them vivid details of bathroom visits, or offering to take a picture.
Spawn has never been embarrassed to be around me… at least yet, so threatening to black out teeth has done little to amuse me. However, dropping them off at school and calling after them with a sad “I’ll miss you” when they are halfway across the courtyard garners me at least one good glare.
I will randomly text Spawn things like “It’s been too long, I don’t remember what you look like anymore” when they’re in school.
I tease constantly about this time-space that seems to only exist for kids in which when you say “a few minutes” this seems to translate to 30 to a kid. Spawn has been cooking dinner for us lately and a 30 minute recipe will take them an hour and a half.
“Is that in your minutes or real ones?”
And actually, Spawn’s interpretation of recipe reading has a lot to be desired. I had tried one of those food delivery services during the summer. With Spawn at home, they had plenty of time to read it over and make them up. Everything came in kits. It had fucking pictures. It really could not have been easier.
There would be leftover ingredients sitting on the counter…. always!
I realized Spawn was skimming. There were assumptive sentences and wording that was tripping them up so they’d ignore it. Like “After sauteing the chopped garlic (this would be skipped because “sauteing” was not understood, garlic would be left on cutting board, unchopped), mix the blah blah…..” Basically in that beginning phrasing, it would be the first time chopping or cooking that ingredient was mentioned and it didn’t specifically say “chop this.”
Spawn needed “Chop garlic tiny, put in pan with X butter, cook for X minutes.”
I get the recipes were worded for both efficiency and to still be descriptive enough to keep pace, but I guess kids or at least Spawn needed much simpler instruction.
Last night I told Spawn to make biscuits and gravy. I went over how to 3 times in 3 different ways.
When I got home, I got cut up summer sausage wearing goopy rue jackets… in a wok.
Yeah, visualize that a minute.
The biscuits were good, but then they were frozen and only had to be baked for 20.
Spawn has seen me eat sausage gravy.
Spawn has seen me a MAKE sausage gravy.
Times like this make me wonder if I’m the one who is getting trolled.
So…with that in mind, my latest text to Spawn:
“Ever wonder why you don’t use shampoo and conditioner on your crotch too? It’s just as susceptible if not more so to breakage and split ends.”