Monday, November 19, 2007

What a shitty cup of coffee.

I made just one cup. It's hard to get that right, for me anyhow. I got it wrong this morning.

The only thing I don't like about pancakes is that they get cold so fast. Just after you sit to eat the, they are already showing signs of chill. Good thing the micro is close to the kitchen table.

I think a lot somtimes. Not always about rational things, either. I watch a lot of true crime shit on tv. The First 48 on A&E, Cold Case Files, Forensic Files, 48 Hours Hard Evidence or Mystery repeats on Discovery Times channel. Watching them sometimes heightens irrational thoughts about what could happen. Most often I can keep the wild ones at bay - like maybe I should keep a knife under my mattress or my pillow. Thinking that it would stop someone who might want to murder me. The dude that scared me the most was BTK. He was very random, no rhyme or reason to his victims, just someone who struck his fancy, without consequence to anyone else who might be in the household. Also - one guy, Tommy Lynn Sells...creeps me out, all the things he did & how indifferent he is to have done such horrible shit. Always when I think of being killed horribly, the thing that sets me off the most is thinking about having to watch my children go or them having to endure watching me being killed. It is absolutely terrifying. I do have an active imagination, but at least I can keep most of this from terrorizing me to the point of illness. It could, if I let it.

At the same time, I think of all these kids today who are killing. Not so much the under priveledged kids, even though that is epidemic, but the ones who are raised in a good home, with good families. They just snap. Some of these serial killers come from good families. I'm hoping our family is warped enough to produce enough dysfunction, while providing goodness to even out the temperment and/or brain function of my kids. I do have the fear that creeps up that one day I may be face to face with one of my kids, holding a knife or gun ready to fuck me up dead. Irrational fear - who knows. It's happened too often in society for it not to creep in on me.

I have seen posted in message boards about the warped ideas behind some nursery ryhmes. Some of them are rather twisted. A good friend of mine made a point about those twisted ideas - how the darkness and events of the original stories helped prepare children's psyches for the world around them. They learn more about separation and death and social structures. A book references this, the book is "The Uses of Enchantment" by Bruno Bettelheim. He mentions that since disinfecting these old stories, the rates of societal bad things have climbed. I have to agree.

And I sit & ponder this all. While I consider my 13 year olds behavior. He is a good kid. He has the talk back syndrome. I honestly don't remember that I ever talked to my parents this way. I could have, though - it is probably more likely that I did than that I didn't. It's not so much cussing or anything- it's arguing. Having the last word. Not knowing when to quit. On Friday, this boy is grounded. As much as I think restriction is good to try to correct behavior issues, keeping them doing the things they are supposed to be doing & the like, I think we did go too long with this one. I just got so pissed, pissed about the attitude & the arguing & the endless stooping. He seems to forget how old he is & goes into bicker mode with the little 2. I preach, literally, about how insane it is to argue with a 3 year old or a 6 year old. There is no sensibility in it. I hope one day the kid will get it. He is also a prominent under achiever. This kid is highly intelligent. I am always irritated when he brings home a D because he is being lazy. A GPA of 2.4 is so under what he is capable of. We talk about this and I don't push like some parents do. SInce this has been going on for 3 years, the endless 3 quarters of grades that speak of someone who isn't all that bright, I put my foot down. With a compilation of unwell picked arguments, sassing, needing to be right and the D...I grounded him until he brings the grade up. Not in progress report, but in a report card. He is claiming today that he only has one C & the rest of his grades are better than that. I will be excited to see this. On to the meaning of this, on Friday, he asked if he could go to our neighbor's house to play Guitar Hero III. I have been known to give a break here or there. There isn't any consistency in giving breaks here - if he does something to earn it - like do all the things he is supposed to without being told or asked, keeps his attitude in check, etc., once in a while he will ask for one. He's been in the house, aside from school, since the last week in October. Cabin fever. He tries more to keep his attitude on an even keel. He still doesn't do his chores without being told, most often. How much of this is forgivable? I have run the gamut on reward strategies, consequences for not doing what is expected, etc. Charts, graphs, poker chips, paying for game time...ah, lots of things. I find the thing that works is changing it up every few months or the strategy becomes ineffective. This just fucking blows as part of parenting. I get tired of being creative with punishments & rewards. Why can't one thing just work ... forever?! Sidetracked again - on Friday, he pushed his dad one too many times. He has more of an evil tongue against his father. He doens't back down, but the man has brought this on himself. I always remind the kid to watch better with his dad, but he seems to allow those reminders to slip from his mind. 13 is less happy with his dad than he is with me. So, 13 did all the things he was supposed to do - did a good job cleaning up his room, started his laundry, everything I asked about. I told him he could go for an hour if he did this. I know he has been inside for far too long. I find that type of seclusion from outdoors & friends kind of cruel. I had to live through it. The kid pissed me off way too often & far too badly. So he loses his hour, briefly. When he does, he goes into such a tyraid, like I've never seen before. He is crying, not unusual, yelling, not unusual. Then he proceeds to hit himself. In the head, in the legs. Just an awful thing. It stunned me. He keeps saying why don't you guys ever listen to me...I didn't do anything!

I was trying to take a nap with 3 while 13 & his dad exchanged words. I heard 13 say/do something to 6. That was what got his dad up his ass. 6 tends to screech & squeal when he is wronged - whatever way it may be, as simple as a backwards glance can set this squealing machine to power up. After watching 13 go into a self bashing episode and listening to him say we never listen & we never believe him, I felt really bad. We do listen, well, I do - often. I do think he lies a lot because he does. I often explain to him that if he is more honest, tells the truth more often, rebuilds the trust factor, he will see results from our end. When does 13's end become manipulation. They learn to do that early. They get good at it. I know I was an expert. 21, my odlest, was also very good at it. 21 hated if I brought it up, too, hated if I verbally exposed him. Fuck, as an adult, I so get it. I remember thinking my parents were clueless (mine were more than others!), but damn if I don't spend a lifetime of breath talking about how I do get it. How much I remember about how I was & how to be different than me.

After really listening to what he had to say, I explained about the role he has here. I explained that if there are issues between he & his brother (or his siter), he needs to allow us to do the dirty work. Let us be the ones to correct his little bro. Again, I come into conflict. What do our siblings teach us? Temperance, problem solving, working out disagreements. 6, though - he's not your average 6. He's a very young 6. His maturity level is much below the average 6 year old. I think there will come a time when they are better able to resolve with each other, they are doing better at it already, at times. So, I let him go for his hour. He calmed down & after he got back, was an angel for the rest of the night.

13 is a really good kid. I keep my kids on a short leash. I have talked about drugs & drinking with 13. I have talked to him about sex, but that was quite uncomfortable for him. He sin't into any of those things & I know this because I honestly know him. I know what he's doing & where he is at. I have talked to him about the societal dangers & how easy it would be for someone to murder him, & that we wouldn't ever know it was going to happen unless it did. I taught him to take precautions against those nice strangers. I always only hope he does the right things. SO far, he seems to be.

I love it when he talks about other kids in school. As much as we cuss around this house, and we really do, he doesn't much away from here. We always say the words are for use when you are an adult. We use them as adults & respected our parents not to use them (ha..ha..ha). He will tell me of kids we would least suspect of using the language of adults. One of his friends comes from a very strict religious background. This boy cusses a lot. I ask 13 if he himself does & he says he does sometimes.

Another thing I wonder, is 13 a popular kid? He claims to have many friends. He feels like he fits in. At least this is the impression he gives me, because I often ask about other kids, to get a feel for his friendships. I find myself watching for him after I drop him off, to see where he is hanging, who is there talking to him & such. Because he doesn't seek these friednships out, outside of school, I wonder if they are real or imagined. Again, I think I often analyze everything too much. 13 has had some really fucked up gross habits as a kid. Habits I don't understand that worried me, too (okay - only 2 really weirded me out, but one was odd - something I'd never heard of, I don't even think I can mention it here - it's embarrassing to me and maybe even a little frightening as to future things).


It's just after 7:00 am on Monday morning....what's more to say. Grumble.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Getting ready for dinner & then some

So - I was cleaning today. Got most of the vacuuming done before I had to finish up getting dinner on the table. I have my eight hands all around the kitchen & my daughter wakes from her nap - runs up to me & does her little happy noise to signify her awakening. I acknowledge it. Then the 2 of my younger ones go ahead & sit - they proceed to bicker & annoy one another. By the time I have mashed the taters, gotten the gravy ready, sliced the beef, microed the corn & made up the plates (yes, I do this) I am nearly at the end of my rope from the repeated tellings of stop, cut it out, leave your sister/brother alone....etc.

Cue the husband. He is a silly one, most of the time. He comes on up and as he's getting ready to sit, he announces he will be kicking ass if it continues. It stops momentarily. I really wish I had a tape recorder running so I could relay the conversations. Dinner in this house (prolly as in many others as well) is quite the adventure.

I'm wiped & irritated. Our 6 year old son is grinning. The husband lets him no that he will kick the 6 year old's butt, if he needs to. The boy retorts with "I will kick yours then." (common, we let the little stuff go, as most of the time it is metioned with the silliness - if serious, we get serious). We tell my daughter she has to eat all on her plate (because she is only having corn & bread...) or she will not get any treats. She says she will.

In the meantime, the oldest one here (13) comments on the larger than the boy can handle bites the 6 year old is taking, because everytime the 6 kid opens his mouth, those little food mash noises escape. I remind 6 kid that if he shovels his food in, he will get to be a cow. If he always shovels, he will be a very big, fat man. I told him that he has to take smaller bites to enjoy the flavor and to get full slowly. My daughter mentions that "if you don't you will be a cow." He is a skinny little dude. I am no skinny mini (nor am I huge, though) - not by any stretch to either - so the hub points to my gut. Yeah, I say - "so what are you implying?" He grins - we don't have issues with this - he was simply teasing & I understand it.

The 6 kid says he won't be a cow, but rather a pig. Then 13 tells him if he continues to eat this way, he will lose all the mac n' cheese that is in his head, serving as his brain (old inside thing - 6 is all heart & gets the joking. 6 was the one that said he had mac'n cheese for brains...). The mac n' cheese will become mashed potatoes. 6 is happy with this. 13 grins. Then asks what dad wants to be when he grows up. I say dad will never grow up. 13 says he will be in college until he's 120.

Ahhhh, family fun stuff. Is this what life is about? I was already out of my pissy ass mood by the time I took my first bite.

We also did some family shopping today - I hate shopping with family & the weekend before Thanksgiving is awful. I kept telling the little ones not to talk to me. See, this is where I question my parenting - what the hell were other people probably thinking? It's just that the children are incessant with the questions and can I haves. So instead of really responding, I resort to "Just don't talk to me..." They can bug their dad with it - I do everything else. "But mom....."GAH! I think I heard "can I have" about 45 times in 25 minutes. "Stop talking."

Friday, November 16, 2007

For years

I have been in a constant quarrel with myself. On one hand, I do believe I have some talent for writing. On the other sits the irrefutable doubt that exists always, right in the palm always dissecting every word, nudging the belief I can do this better than many. I haven't ever taken any course to better my writing or to learn how to perfect it. I haven't ever allowed anyone other than friends or family to see some of what I have written, yet I continue to write... I have been writing since the age of 8. Even though it started small, it started.

Technically, I am not creatively constipated. It's much more than that, but not a creative stultification. I have a lot of creativity. Ask me to write a poem about anything & I can whip one out for you. It might not take me more than 2 minutes. It also may not have lots of big difficult words. I don't have as vast a vocab as many writers do - but I think that comes with time. How does any of us know that Stephen King, or Sandra Brown, or Maeve Binchy didn't have a thesaurus sitting next to them for their first few novels, or all of them?

I don't read enough. I read a lot, but to really know what is being published, well - I think I need to read more. For me - a lot of what is written doesn't hold my interest - doesn't even attract it. With young kids in my house, I tend to look into what's good for me to read to them. There is a multitude of shit by kids authors. Lots & lots to mire in. There are many gems to be dug from the manure, though.

I have the spiked tongue of the devil as a truck driver. I try not to use so much of it when I write, but in certain things, especially things I am passionate or pissed off about, it comes out with teeth. Will I need to use it for the blog, restraint? Maybe.

I am pissed off at society. Flaky ass people - ho, ,ho, ho! And the cell phones... OH .. MY .. FUCKING .. GOD! Since when does an 8 year old need to have a cell phone? I am a child of the 80s and we got along perfectly fine with the whistle. When dad wanted us home, he whistled, loud & obnoxious out our front door. Plus, if you know where your kids are, teach them to call from wherever they're going or to check in at an established time & have consequences if they don't - they learn. With the crazies out in this world, and there does seem to be many more than when I was a kid, I tend not to let mine venture outside without me until they are much older & understand what can happen to them if they don't take precautions. Maybe a bad thing, maybe I am too protective, but I would rather they have more questions when they get older than get dead when they are young.

I am a bad Catholic, not a good Christian. I was simply baptised. No type of organized religion was ever practiced in my house. I know my parents tried to attempt to add faith in our lives when I was around 12 or 13. By then, with all that happened to me & with their own religious cynicism, I couldn't have found faith if it bit me on the ass. I had nothing to believe in, nothing but what I did. Who thinks of anything else but what they do at the age of 13 anyhow? Of course, the church thing only lasted a few weeks before the thought of it dwindled out of their minds. To them, going was a waste of a good Sunday morning. I am sure it didn't help that their 2 older kids did nothing but complain about having to get up so early on a Sunday.

As far as being a parent goes, sometimes I really suck at it & other times I know I am exceeding all of my expectations. It depends on my mood & their behavior. I really believe there is much to be taught about parenting & how to go about it. So many so called experts leave so much out of the everyday grind that is child rearing. Many of these so called experts are fucking fruitcakes, too. All soft in the middle like a rotten apple. Children need disciplne. Most often, the firmest hands get better results. There is also the fact that no matter how hard we try & even if we do the best job any expert can muster, they still grow up & have their own minds, their own faults, their own hindrances & their own goodness. We provide a map for them to follow & they either plot their course or not. Our personalities do play into theirs. If we have faults for them to build on - they will do it. They will also find a time to blame, too.

I have to customize my blog - I will see what it looks like upon finishing this first entry. I f no one ever looks at this - fabulous - that will give me much more freedom of expression. If many do, well that's cool, too. I might actually get the soapbox I have desired for so long, as if I ever had anything profound to share.

I wish there were a way to relate the whole deal at dinner - but I just didn't have a tape recorder handy.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

This is who I am.

I have 4 kids - 21, 13, 7, & 4 (UPDATE: they are now 24, 16, 10 & 7). I have been married to a wonderful dude for 13 (now 16) years (together since 1991) and 3 of those kids are ours together. My oldest lives in Oregon and I rarely get to see him...makes me rather sad. When they get that old, we can't make them do things anymore. I have phone friends, basically & am rather anti-social, a leap from what I used to be like. I've moved enough in the past 10 years to be lacking in good relationships outside my home. Hopefully, my social graces won't be lost in blogging...heh. (I am becoming more social...again. It feels good!)

I originally started this blog to try to motivate myself to do some writing. Something I've been doing since I was 8 on a fairly regular basis. I figured I'd write more often...heh. Yes, I do, but not fiction! Totally went with the life & trials thing. It is becoming a great outlet for me & if I do write fiction, I will post it on the other blog. I don't have good writing technique when it comes to journal type writing. My stuff gets all jibber-jabber, so if ever you don't follow, I apologize.

Being home with the kids has been a fortunate thing. I am happy to be able to do this because I know there are many that can't do it. I really live for my family. I know I am (most often) the best person I can be because of them. Okay, maybe not even most often, just sometimes. I learn everyday. I learn because I want to be an example to my kids. Now, I hope they take away the good things because I am all about "do as I say, not as I do"...heh. If they take my bad examples (i.e. cussing, yelling, smoking) I can blame no one but myself. If they take my good examples (i.e. talking things out, getting past anger, living to be happy) I will blame no one but myself & their good sense. If they strike a good balance (less the smoking, I hope), then I will be supremely happy! I can't say that I would be uber disappointed if they were yelling & cussing around their kids - I am many things, but hypocrite isn't one of them. I wouldn't ever criticize them for it because I grew up around that & much worse, in spite of it - I am a good person. Lacking in ambition, maybe; cussing like a trucker, true; but otherwise good.


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