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.



Yesterday, while getting ready for a shower, one of my daughters asked me “Why did you and dad split up?”  I was taken aback some since it’s been close to 3 years since we’ve split.  I asked her to repeat the question and was of course asked the same… “Why did you and dad split up?”

I had a few choices.  I could play the victim, I could play the pissed off and bitter parent, I could change the subject or I could face it head on.  I chose to face it.  Before you get judgmental on me and think that I haven’t yet talked to my children about this period in my life, let me assure you, it’s been talked about.  Now that my daughter is a little bit older and more understanding, I’m assuming she just wants to process this for herself which is perfectly healthy and okay with me.  While my mind raced a mile a minute, the words gingerly came out of my mouth, “Your dad just…he just decided that he wanted to go out and see the world…and see what else there was out there.”  She then asked if we’d been fighting a lot or arguing during that time.  I told her “No, we weren’t fighting, sometimes things like this just happen.”  She pressed on, “And you were okay with that?” to which I replied, “No, I wasn’t okay with it, but I wasn’t going to make him stay somewhere that he didn’t want to be…”

That was the extent of our conversation about splitting up with her father.  She knows that I care for him and wish him well, but she has also been able to see that life moved on when things didn’t go my way.

Sometimes my kids surprise me with the questions and topics they bring up, who knows what will be next. :]

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!