Getting Kicked When You’re Already Down…A Series of Rants

Work/College

I’ve been having quite the time lately. I can’t find a damn job worth a shit! You’d think having a bachelor’s degree would make some sort of difference in the land of job searching, but really all it does is throw another wrench into the mix. Do you have a BA? Rad! How about 2 years of experience in the field? Ummm, no. No I don’t. How in the exact shit am I supposed to have experience in a field where I just earned the credentials to get a job in the field?! I don’t want a dead end job…I’m 38 years old, and I just spent 4 years and thousands of dollars on my college education, only to find that it isn’t benefitting me much at the moment. I’m frustrated, angry, defeated and ashamed that I didn’t start this journey forever-and-a-day ago.

I decided to apply to grad school this last week and have spent the last 3 days getting everything done and submitted so that my application can be reviewed ASAP. As if college isn’t expensive enough, it has already set me back $67.25 just applying and ordering transcripts. Once my transcripts come in and the last two letters of recommendation are submitted, it’s a wait and see process.

Parenting

My teenage daughters decided it would be a swell idea to have a knock down, drag out fight with one another yesterday, on my eldest’s 16th birthday, over fixing a chair. They slapped the crap out of one another’s faces, caused a giant disturbance in the house and just about caused me to scalp myself while attempting to clean up the kitchen after dinner. I didn’t HAVE to clean the kitchen, it’s the eldest’s job, after all. Since it was her birthday, I was being nice and doing it for her, but as I’m sure you’ve either learned or heard, parenting sure can be a thankless job.

My youngest does ok at home, but has been being an absolute nightmare when it comes to school. He’s been the only boy in his class for a number or years now, and since there is now another boy in his class, all hell broke loose. They both have issues with “blurting out” in class, my son especially has to get the last word in when it comes to ANYTHING. He will contest any criticism he gets from anyone by challenging them that he wasn’t arguing to begin with. I’m at the end of my rope with these kids at this point. I’ve talked to his teachers a few times now and even had a conference with them to discuss strategies. I realize that parenting is full of challenges, but I’m desperately hoping that he will pull through this because he’s close to suspension at this point. I’ve already informed him that if I get ANY negative contact from his teachers or administration tomorrow (Friday), he will not be allowed to play video games at my boyfriends this weekend. He’s already lost those privileges at home, so maybe that will be incentive for him to get his act together. At least for tomorrow. I feel like a failure and a piece of shit parent at this point. Between the three kids, I never seem to do anything right. I’m a selfish, petty warden in their all-knowing little lives. When people tell me that they’ll grow out of it and thank me later in life, I laugh and sway “I sure hope so.” At this point I’d just like to survive the day and put faith in the fact that my kids aren’t incapable of greatness.

 

 

 

Parenting: Am I Protecting My Kids Or Punishing Them

There’s nothing like a teenager or two to make you doubt yourself and feel like an unsuitable parent on a daily basis. I have plenty of friends who assure me that it doesn’t just happen within my household, that it happens in theirs too. Sure, I can be stubborn and set in my ways at times, I’ll admit to that. I’ll also admit that when my kids piss me off with incessant whining and arguing, I will say “No.” just to spite them. And don’t you sit there and act like you’ve never done it yourself!

A situation came up over the last couple of days that required me to make a very difficult decision in a short amount of time, and it wasn’t without tears, yelling and screaming from the kids. Normally that behavior would have resulted in “Excuse me?! I gave you my answer and I even explained to you why I chose that answer. You will not speak to me that way, so you’d better calm down and watch your mouths, because I’m not going to put up with it!” But this time it was different and I wasn’t entirely confident in my reasoning to begin with, so I actually let them argue with me about it. To better explain, I need to divulge some personal information regarding the situation.

My nephew Zack had been very ill for the last couple of weeks, and after making a couple turns for the better, ended up making even more turns for the worse. I received the phone call Tuesday morning that he was to be taken off of life support later that day. I was going to keep this news to myself, as my kids were still home due to a delay from school because of inclement weather. I ended up deciding to tell my oldest first, and we commiserated on how terrible it was. She continued to get ready for school and my other daughter came in a few minutes later asking what her dad was talking about on Facebook. She had seen his post about Zack and I told her what was told me an hour or so earlier. “He is being taken off of life support and has a less than 5% chance of surviving….” She asked a few questions regarding who was there and who would be there and I told her I wasn’t sure. She went back to her room and started a conversation on Facebook messenger with her dad. They found out that he was driving across state to go and say goodbye and to be there with the rest of the family, and they really wanted to go. I called their dad and asked him what he was saying to them and he assured me that it was them begging to go, not the other way around. He said he would come and get them if I wanted them to go, but neither of us were sure if it was a good idea or not. He was stressed out, emotional and trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends before he was able to leave town for the 7+ hour drive, so he told me to tell them that we’d decided it wasn’t a good idea and to quit messaging him so he could finish getting ready. I called them down from their room and calmly explained that after having a conversation, we didn’t think it was the best idea for them to tag along. I understood that they wanted to go and pay their respects, but I also didn’t want to subject them to such an extreme situation. I was instantly the bad guy. My oldest was yelling. bawling and telling me it wasn’t fair…that she deserves to go and be there with him and be with the family and my other daughter said she wanted to be there too. I again explained that it wasn’t going to be a peaceful, happy time and that it would be extremely sad, emotional and overwhelming for them and everyone else involved. Their dad called me back before I had finished my argument and said he felt horrible for not letting them go. I had to agree that I felt like an asshole, but I was trying to protect them from experiencing death and heartache.

The truth of the matter is, they would be affected either way…directly and indirectly no matter which path was chosen. I told them they could go if they could manage to not fight with one another on the ridiculously long car ride and to take things with them to keep themselves occupied. They packed their things and waited to be picked up and begin the uncomfortable journey across state.

They arrived at the hospital around 9:30pm last night and gathered with the rest of the family. I received a phone call around 12:15am Wednesday morning saying that Zack had passed… I paid my respects to my ex and inquired how the girls were doing; he said they were very shaken up and upset. Understandably.

I hate that they are all the way across the state. I hate that they are teenagers that aren’t too keen on calling or messaging me to let me know how they are doing. I hate that their dad doesn’t bother to tell me how things are going and to just give me general updates about the well-being of my children. At least I don’t have to live with the guilt that I am the one who prevented them from seeing their cousin one last time and saying goodbye. The long term effects are yet to be known, but I can only hope that they will process it as a learning experience and a lesson in life and death. I love my kids and don’t want to see them hurting…I’m still questioning whether or not I made the right decision. I can’t change it now.

Where I’m From

I am from a place where kids stay out after the streetlights come on, from crackers and Easy Cheese and butter smothered popcorn.

I am from the country…a two-story house, water from a well and acres of land.  I am from honeysuckle and buttercups, scotch broom and thistle.  I am from bales of hay and saddles.  I am from tire swings and slip-n-slides, from wedges of watermelon and bike rides without helmets.  I am from sunburns and jelly shoes, from apple trees and snow boots.  I am from animal lovers and rescuers, from garden grown vegetables and home canned fruit.

I am from Lundquist, McDougall and Fahey, from card games and Super Bowl parties, from 50 cent pieces and scratchy beards.  I am from blue eyes and olive skin, from rules and consequences.  I am from lemon drops and cups of tea.  I am from banana milkshakes and late night conversations.  I am from educators and enforcers, from salesmen and laborers. I am from stubborn and meek, from passive and proactive.  I am from submarines and ships, from newspapers and books.

I am from the fort under the card table and the branch on the big tree in the front yard.  From record players and eight-track cassettes, from Polariods and negatives.  I am from bowling alleys and virgin Shirley Temples, from truck beds and swimming pools.  I am from bleachers indoor and out, from band and volleyball, from music and art.

From Strawberry Shortcake pillows, a canopy bed and albums full of Garbage Pail Kids, from Cabbage Patch Kids and Care Bears.  I am from Saturday morning cartoons and heaped bowls of Golden Grahams.  I am from family road trips and The Bodyguard soundtrack.  I am from emergency room visits and a broken arm, from aunts, uncles and cousins.  I am from wood cutting with Grandpa and dessert baking with Grannie.  I am from yarn and handmade afghans, from fabric and sewing machines.

I am from The Holy Trinity, The Torah, confusion, spirituality.

I’m from the Bear Festival, The Evergreen State and The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah.  From the ocean, blueberry bushes, homemade jam and pillowcases full of Halloween candy.  From the catchy jingles at Christmas time, the tar from the middle of the street, and the dad I finally had the courage to contact.

I am from nicotine outlined frames on the living room wall, scrapbooks and wallets with picture inserts.  I am from yearbooks and wedding pictures, from grade school stories and awards and ceramic handprints.

Me & Grandpa, 1981-82ish

The Tooth Fairy Is A Generous Asshole…

Austin accidentally punched Kalayah in the mouth when he fell off the bed yesterday while watching tv.  She came running to the kitchen holding her hand under her mouth, looking like she’d just feasted on someones throat.  We pulled the tooth out that was really loose and the other one was wiggly but not quite ready to come out.  After we got back from town, (I took her to her doctors appt., sinus infection and we’re trying out nasal spray for allergies…oy!)  my BFF Jason and I took turns with the remaining tooth and in the end, I had the winning tug.  She was super happy to have it out!

Now, let me just say that when you’re young and thinking about having kids, you don’t think of all the little things you’re going to have to do once they are older.  You don’t think about playing Tooth Fairy and how you’re going to have to: #1, Remember to play the part of the Tooth Fairy, #2, Have enough change/$1 bills, #3, Have sweet skills.

I decided last night that I was going to drink wine with my BFF and watch movies.  Which we did, but in turn I FORGOT that I had to play the role of  TOOTH FAIRY EXTRAORDINAIRE!  Plus the wine might have made me a little goofy and sleepy.  Then comes morning…

Kalayah: “Mom, the Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night!”

Me: “What?  I wonder why!” *sideways “Oh shit!” glance towards Shea who was making toast, completely ignoring me*

Shea: “Well it’s probably because you put your teeth under your piiiiink pillow, but you slept on the white one!  I remember I did that once and she didn’t come then either.”

Kalayah:  “Oh geeze, I didn’t know you couldn’t do that!”

Me: “Hahaha, you silly goose Kalayah!”

Kalayah: *hehehrrrrrrrrr”

My 9 year old daughter totally saved my ass…

The funny part is, I think the jury is still out on whether or not she believes in the whole Tooth Fairy ordeal.

Thanks Shea, *Booyah!*

This evening I put a reminder on my phone’s calendar to remind me at 11pm to Play Tooth Fairy…which would have worked great, had I not somehow put it for the 2nd.  I’m such an idiot sometimes I swear.

I remembered about 12:15 to get off my ass, so I grabbed a $5 bill out of my wallet and snuck up the stairs.  I turned the bathroom light on to give myself a glimmer of light as I carefully avoided stepping on random Barbie shoes, toys that contain batteries, and anything that crumples, wrinkles or makes noise of any sort when you step on it.  I was just beside Kalayah’s bed when she suddenly flung the blanket off of herself, rolled over towards me and started to fall back asleep.  I was frozen in mid motion.  What would she think if she opened her eyes and saw me standing there all ninja-like, hovering over the top of her as if I were going to attack.  The thought of it made me laugh….but I couldn’t laugh because, Ninja+Tooth Fairy=A Really Bad Outcome.  I crept further into the corner where I just stood and breathed a sigh of relief…about to begin searching for the sandwich sized Ziploc with 2 little teefers inside.  I approached the pillow from the headboard….thankfully there are spindles and it’s not a solid headboard!  I slid my hand in and slowly felt around and then I moved down towards the other side.  Nothing.  I squint and see that there is, yet again, 2 pillows.  Just as I made contact with Mr. Ziploc, Kalayah rambled off some gibberish mumbojumbo and my eyes got huge and I hurried and made the switch with the $5 and then Shea rolled over in her bed, also facing me.

I was sure I was doomed.  That they were both going to wake up and be scared shitless as to why I was lurking around in their room in the middle of the night….standing awkwardly in the corner, clutching a baggy with teeth inside.

I got the hell out of there and laughed about it once I got back downstairs.  I guess that’s what the Tooth Fairy gets for thinking she could drink a couple of glasses of wine and watch a movie!

Love, Me.

Dear Life,

Do you think you could please give me a slight break in the cold/allergy department, because seriously, this is getting old now.  Kalayah has had a cough for a good 3 weeks now and it’s already cycled through the rest of us, but it’s lingering with her.  She has an appointment tomorrow and personally I think it’s allergies.  Here’s an advanced thank you to her dad for that wonderful inheritance.

Halloween wasn’t too bad, we didn’t get rained on and we didn’t freeze to death, so thank you for not making it an all around shitty experience.

This week is conference week and luckily I got that out of the way this afternoon.  Good reports for the most part, the whole “Less talk, more work!” quote is always applicable, along with “needs to pay more attention in class.”  I was the same way when I was in school, my report cards always said “Tirzah is a pleasure to have in class, but she needs to work on talking less in class.”  Maybe that’s a trait I passed along, or maybe it’s just a girl thing.  Regardless, my girls are doing well in school and we’ll work on the “Less talk, more work” lesson at home.

While we’re on the topic of things Tirzah needs to stop doing, can we please oh please omit the drama for a bit?!  I would greatly appreciate it.  The past couple weeks have been fairly good but I’ve felt like I’m on the verge of a breakdown, so let’s not let it be over something ridiculous when it finally happens.  I want it to feel worth while if that’s possible.  Does that even make sense or do I sound like a lunatic?  I know what I mean, so I guess that’s the important part.

I adore my friends and family and I am even more thankful for them than I have been in the past.  Sometimes it takes a jolt to make you realize what potential is right under your nose.  I’m thankful for heart to heart conversations between best friends and dreams that wrench your insides and bring tears to your eyes because you’re still able to truly feel emotion.  I’m thankful that I have my kids to drive me up the wall and keep me sane all in the same breath.  I’m grateful that the people that mean the most to me tell me they love me no matter what kind of day I’m having and no matter what day the calendar says it is. Thank you for making it all so bearable!

Love, Me.

Purging.

Lately things have managed to clusterfuck in ways that only clusterfuckishness can.

First of all, I feel like I’m the glue holding a few issues together these days…that’s not an abnormal thing for me to do, but this time it feels like work and not just part of my being.  This time I want to scream and yell and throw things at one of my best friends that just can’t stop drinking.  I know it’s a disease and I know that he wants to get better, but I feel myself losing patience during his weak moments.  I can’t, and won’t throw my hands in the air and walk away though, I love him far too much to allow that to happen.

I’m worried about my sister-in-law who recently had a heart attack.  After waiting a few days to see if the blood clot would dissolve, she found that the medicine hadn’t helped at all.  This means open heart surgery, which scares the hell out of me.  She’s 5 hours away and if I can manage to go and be there for her before, during and after surgery, I will.

On an unrelated note, be careful who you talk to or console and understand that in doing so, there might be a World War on your hands.  Oy.  I don’t understand why someone elses decision became my problem and why the gavel fell on my turf.  I suppose it is easier to place blame rather than to look at the facts.

Guess what!!!

My BFF is moving back from Pennsylvania and I absolutely cannot wait!  If there’s anyone that can kick my ass into gear, it’s probably him.  Probably.  I’ve certainly missed him and I can’t wait to open some wine, kick back and let the ridiculousness roll!  We get pretty goofy when we’re together, which might be why I’m so excited!

Ohhh, Pretty!

Today was the last day of school for my …

Today was the last day of school for my kids and that means that for the next couple months I get to go to bed late and not sleep in like I’ve been doing lately.  This won’t be a terrible thing for me, as it makes me horribly lazy throughout the day, but oh sleep, how I love thee.

I’m wondering just where on Earth our summer is, because rain, clouds and thunder don’t really strike me as good ole vacation time.  I’m really looking forward to some road trips this summer.  Day trips to friends houses, camping, playing at the park, taking hundreds of pictures in one sitting.  I love summertime.

I’d love to go to the zoo, to the museum, to all the things that they don’t normally get to do during the year.  Don (boyfriend) lives on Hood Canal and wants me to go crabbing with him….not sure that I want to, but damn, it sure is beautiful out there.

Photo Credit

I wish I could say that the kids would have more time spent with their dad this summer, but I’m not sure how feasible that is.  The girls are just about booked solid for the month of July.  The only time I don’t have them down for something is the week of the 11th.  Other than that it’s camp, camp, camp and Vacation Bible School.  Weeeeeeee!

I still haven’t decided what we’re going to do for the 4th, I’m used to spending it with my ex-husbands family and of course AS a family, but this time around things are gonna be different.  As long as we’re having fun, the kids don’t kill one another and no one is lit on fire…then I’m sure all will be well.