Friday, April 6, 2012

Current location: Tantrumville. Apparently the sister city to Hotel California where you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.

**This was a draft from about a year and a half ago that I never posted. Dunno why. I was going through my draft folder and discarding anything not finished with abandonment when I found this finished but not posted entry. So I posted it, not even thinking about the fact that it would post with a current date. Sorry 'bout that guys!**

Well! (Imagine that said all huffily)

I would greatly appreciate it if the person or persons that smacked me in the back of the head with the bitchy stick would take that stick and stuff it up their nose. And? I hope you get splinters.

Let me give you the background. Last night, right before bed, T was rolling around in the living room. I have no idea why. All of a sudden, he looks up at me and says, "Mom? Are you having another baby next week?"


About a hundred things race through my mind. After I said no, I asked T why he asked me that. More rolling around and smirking and avoiding the question followed, but he finally said something in bits and pieces that amounted to this - because my belly is 'big and round', that should mean I'm having a baby.

Fair enough.

But with the look on his face, I was wondering where that question came from. My concern was that T was being made fun of for having an overweight Mom...which really, would just kill me. I mean, life is hard enough without having to carry someone else's burdens, no matter what that burden might be.

Before we got a chance to talk about it, R ushers him up to bed quickly, mistaking the look on my face for being hurt and upset at T for asking that question rather than being worried that my issues were already causing trouble for someone in my family. I hid for months in Germany from others because R was a PT leader and a pretty relentless one, and back then when you saw R and I side by side? To borrow a phrase from my friend MaryBeth - we made a perfect 10. He was the 1 and I? I was the 0. I didn't want to be the zero. And I didn't want people making fun of my husband because his wife was fat.

So this morning, S was dragging her feet about everything, and when it was time for us to leave to go to T's bus stop, S was sitting completely naked on the potty singing what I think was Jesus Loves Me. For my own mental preservation, sometimes I tune S out so that all that registers with my ears is just sound in general instead of specific, separate sounds.

I walk outside with T to watch him walk to the bus stop, but try to stay as close to the house as possible because I did not want S walking outside naked (she was having a fit over not wanting to dress herself), I didn't want to walk T all the way to the bus stop in case he was being made fun about my weight.

I end up standing on the sidewalk at the edge of our yard, a little less than halfway between the house and bus stop. T is now at the bus stop and is behaving. Then I hear a sound. S is now standing outside the front door in only her underwear. I mean, at least she's wearing underwear, but for the love of pete! Can't anyone in this house just freakin' listen to me and do what I ask every now and then without debate, tantrums, or eye rolling? I should also mention that S refuses to learn how to open the screen door. She can push the button on the handle and she can pull the door open, but she refuses -- refuses -- to push the button while pulling on the handle. I don't know. This has been an issue since we moved into this house. Whateva!

So now I've got one kid at the bus stop, one kid in skivvies at my front door making a LOT of noise, so I edge towards the front door. It's chilly outside this morning, and S is quite unhappy that she's outside and she's cold and she can't open the door herself. Which, honestly? I think she most certainly can open the door, she just wants someone to do it for her.

Oh good, here comes the bus. I start backing up towards S and the door so that by the time T is on the bus, I'm almost to S. And hopefully my babyless belly is blocking the neighbors view of her. Have I mentioned yet that it's only 7:30? In the morning?

I usher S back inside and get us ready to go. We get back home around noon, and everything is fine. Then S decides she's not going to take a nap even though she is tired and needs one. I knew the napping habit from a few weeks ago was a fluke, especially when she ended up getting sick, but a mom can hope, right?

T gets home from school, we leave to do some errands, and the kids both have a huge meltdown at the commissary. Over nothing. By the time we get home, I'm frustrated and tired of silly fights, no time to myself, and honestly? I'm tired of toddlers. This does not bode well for me for the teen age years.

R gets home and mows the yard. The kids are in and out, in and out, in and out. And they are yelling to R over the noise of the mower and trimmer. This frustrates R and he snaps at them. More kiddo tears. I, still wrapped in my bitchy attitude, am not sympathetic to either side. Yes, it's frustrating that S seems to be stuck in perma meltdown, wailing, crying mode. Yes, it's frustrating that T is so used to it that he just tries to talk over her adding to the noise and chaos. Yes, it's frustrating that our frustration and attempts at reasonable resolution conflict are more often than not ineffective so we are mostly just adding to the situation rather than improving it. And yes, it's frustrating that parenting is this hard, this often. Where is our easy button?!?

As we try to decide on dinner, more melting down happens. And I've just had enough. I need a break, so I tell R that I'm going to go for a drive. He, seeing the look on my face, says no problem. "See you when you get back."

So I get in the car and drive. Just drive. Within 10 minutes of total alone time, I totally relax. This helps me to see the situation objectively. And what I see? Is that I'm making a huge deal out of things that really aren't. Which is all well and good and sunshine and rainbows until I get back home and it starts all over and all those good feelings are buried at the bottom of tantrumville, population me.

Sometimes I really wonder if there shouldn't be a program where kids who think they've got SUCH a hard life could spend a weekend with kids who ACTUALLY have a hard life to get some perspective. Because on days like today? I'd totally sign mine up for it. 

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