Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parenting books or childhood books?

My girlfriend emailed me the other day that she was reading a parenting book called Scream-Free Parenting. Good for you I said, not me. I can't do it. The whole reason I scream as much as I do is my damn kids. All they do is scream.

Case in point: we are staying at my sisters house with her her family and my parents. There are now 10 people in this house 5 of those people are under the age of 13. Night before last my four year-old threw a fit in the restaurant because he wanted a toothpick. Last night it was because I cut off his lucky hangnail. Tonight it was because I made him get out of the bathtub - two hours I spent trying to shut the kid up without giving in the the steady stream of commands, demands, and ultimatums.

My dad has absolutely had it with the screaming, not to mention my sisters dog -he ran and hid it was so distraught over the screaming. Everyone in the house just wanted to know what was wrong and how to stop it. There is no stopping it once it starts you just have to ride the wave.

What would my parenting book say about stopping a fit that your child is throwing on front of your entire family? Insert child into car seat. Drive to the nearest Wal-Mart. Put them into a cart and take them around the store. No one will notice the child or you behaving badly should you choose to use corporal punishment. Should you choose not to use corporal punishment yourself, the child will have a birds eye view of how lucky they are to have you for a mother.

Proceed to the nearest checkout with the subdued child and three bottles of wine.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I love my parents I really do. They gave me life, and food, and shelter, and private school, and dance lessons. But they can truly drive a person mad. MAD I tell you!

I loved my husband at one point, more than anything else in this world. I would have robbed a bank, should my soul, swam the ocean. Now, well, I would need a few days to plan.

Why I am I ranting this morning like a lunatic? Because all of these people are driving me totally over the edge. My husband is leaving on an 8 day (Yes Ladies- 8 day!) boys trip and my parents are thinking of driving to Boston and want to take us along. That doesn't sound bad, perhaps.

We are in the midst of refinancing the house and the mortgage company wants 720 different documents-in triplicate-today. The appraisal needs to be scheduled, the house needs to be cleaned, someone has a birthday party tonight and no gift, my dad's wants me to run to Target, I'm getting the insurance re-quoted, the landscape is still not finished, the pre-school needs pre-payment, I haven't been to my once a week job in three weeks and my parents are thinking we could leave for Boston this Friday, maybe?

Are you people insane! My husband's only concerned about his bike being under the plane and whether or not he's going to get a little something something before he leaves on his trip and so after fighting last night because I felt a fever and sore throat coming on and "SO?" I slept on the couch, but didn't really sleep and finally drifted off at 4:00 a.m. and now he's not talking to me.

I just called my Mom and asked if we were or were not going-ON FRIDAY- because I really had to know to plan things like getting the lawn mowed and the house looked after, and the fridge cleaned out, and a Dr. apt scheduled and she said, "We're just not talking about it because it will make your Dad anxious and then his back will flair up so we'll just wait and see." Meanwhile the boys are too quiet and when I go to check on them they immediately start beating on each other and now I have to take the 7 year-olds birthday party away for beating on his brother but I still have to get the bleeping gift and...


When I am locked in the bathroom huddled in a warm tub dressed in my robe singing Cum by Yah will you please look after the children? and tell them their mother loved them very much.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Am I really doing my kids a favor?

I am starting to wonder, Am I truly doing my kids a favor by denying them Mario Bros., McDonald's, Sponge Bob, silly bandz, itunes, and Zilladog, blah blah blah

It's not like they don't have access to these things and when they do - Katy Bar the door! It's like watching monkey's on crack. They get so overstimulated it's almost painful to watch. Not to mention tearing them away.

But what am I really saving them from? Nothing! I'm just making them those goofy kids whose parents won't shell out the money for cable, video games, and the latest toys. And really, that's what it comes down to. If I want to continue to stay at home with my kids, we have to make sacrifices, and I can't stay within a budget and afford all the games, lessons, fads.

But if I went back to work, not only would there be a little more income - I hope, Lord knows childcare is an arm and a leg - but there would be the "G" factor. Women I know that work full-time say that try as they might, they still feel guilty for all the time that you are not there and make up for it with the "cool" stuff.

My husband grew up poor, and not American poor. They went for many years after the war living in the basement storage unit of an apartment building, it wasn't really an apartment. They had no phone, electricity, TV, heat, air, furniture, and many times no food. They've never had a VCR, or a car and sometimes the only appliance was a stove. They sent him to the US as an exchange student and he couldn't call home - they still had no phone. They called him once a week from a pay phone and could only talk for 10 minutes. I could go on, and on...

Needless to say, my husband is overwhelmed with all that we have and what is available to our children. A big house with heat and air, a well stocked fridge, a safe yard, lots of toys, computer, sports teams, etc...and does not think twice about what they do not have. I wish I could be so confident in that decision. I, however, am swayed by the advertisements, neighbors who "have more", and tantrums when they get a glimpse of what they are missing. Ultimately, the American Way.

If only I could fast forward 20 years - It's a bright beautiful June day, not a cloud in the sky and a tall handsome gentlemen steps up to the podium. "Today fellow graduates as we leave these hallowed halls and begin our careers we must look behind and thank all of those people who made this possible. I have to thanks my parents. For never buying into the commercialism, consumerism, and gluttony- Thank you for all those years without cable, video games, and electronics. Thank you and making me use my mind and my own resources to get the technology of the twenty-first century. I wouldn't be where I am today without your help and example!"

Doth a lady ask to much??

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reunited and it feels so...wrong!

You can't make me! You can't make me! You can't make me!

Anyone? Gilligan's Island, remember. Gilligan always said this before they put him in a dress and sent him up a tree to seduce a monkey that held a key part to the radio the Professor was constructing out of a coconut.

In this case it is my 20 year class reunion. Why am I not going you may ask? Because I hated High School as much as it hated me. There was nothing good about it, not even a first love. High school was awful, the people were awful, I was awful.

We can all look back at our teenage angst with more perspective, but it wasn't just angst. There were other bigger issues that made for a very unhappy, unhealthy person. Can't we just leave it there in the past with things like bad perms, big hair, and puffy sleeved prom dresses?

I've read some great books about packs of friends that weather the storms through thick and thin. High school, college, marriage. And even funnier books about high school reunions and what happens there. On second thought, that may have just been my friend Amy's report on her 20 year high school reunion, it was a doozie!

Any way, I can say without an ounce of regret I will not be attending, but I do wish most all of them well. Let's face it, there are a couple of girls I'd like to see humiliated in front of the entire class. But if anyone gets sick on the chicken just remember I wasn't even there!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy 4th!!

It is almost the 4th of July, the corn is knee high, and I can smell summer. We are at my parents house for the weekend and I awoke this morning to the sound of a tractor and the smell of fresh alfalfa. The weekend will be filled with fireworks, food, family, and fun. Hey, look at that, I do remember something from English class - alliteration.

I've also been thinking about my Grandparents a lot lately and today, July 1st- 10 years ago- my grandfather died of cancer. We buried him on July 4th. It was bittersweet considering the cancer was ravaging his body. My sister was pregnant with the first grandchild who would be born 7 days later.

My kids are really excited about staying up to watch the fireworks on the 4th. I have not done that since Papa died. I just couldn't. Everyone was tired after the funeral and my father and I went out alone to watch, cry, and say goodbye. I'm not sure how I will feel this year, but I do know that I won't get through the fireworks without a few tears.