Monday, April 18, 2011

I hate spring today

I woke up with my eyes itching. It happens from time to time, I am used to it. What I am irritable about, though, is that my actual eyeball is swollen. Not the eyelid, like usual, but my freaking eyeball. It feels creepy and gross. I already popped a Zyrtec and I've got washcloths on hand to help sooth and hopefully make the swelling go down.

I look like some sort of alien monster. I kind of feel like one, too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Be warned.

If I hear one more person say that possible government shutdowns and no pay for troops isn't a big deal "because eventually they'll get their back pay" I will probably bitch slap them. You try raising 2-3 kids on an E2-E3 pay grade and see how happy you feel about the prospect of possibly not getting paid for God only knows how long. Back pay "eventually" doesn't help when your baby is out of diapers, you ran out of milk, and your rent is due.

Real people. Real bills. Real problems. Thank God the gov got their ass in gear at the last possible second. But for reals, had this happened so many people would have suffered. It infuriates me to see insensitive people making ignorant comments.

Rant over. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It's kind of a weird thing to sit and think about our family and acknowledge that you come from a broken home. My parents were married for 25 years before they split up, divorce becoming official a couple years later. I remember my childhood as having been "normal" in the sense that both my parents were present. I think I was probably ignorant or in denial for a long time about my dad being a tool. I have fond memories of my youth, some of them involve him, but most revolve around my siblings. My mom was stretched pretty thin but I know she tried hard and, I think, tried to shield us from the worst of what my dad was. Is. As a parent I want to avoid everything I think they did wrong, or do better where I think they could have done better.

That said, though, I know I have a lot of qualities that come from my dad. I want to be able to use those without being disgusted that it comes from him. I think I manage pretty well with that. Most of the worst of home life didn't happen until I was already grown and out of the house. It's easier for me not to think about it. I can still embrace things about myself that I know are most likely traits I inherited from my father. That's probably a little harder for some of my younger brothers and sisters.

What prompted these thoughts this evening is that my beautiful children broke my TV remote. Not such a big deal except that it makes volume control a pain in the ass. So after banging it on the edge of the table a couple times, shaking it around, swapping batteries I decided in one last ditch effort before buying a new one to take it apart. I didn't do much, didn't fiddle with any electronic junk, just popped it apart blew it off, put it back together. And it magically worked. This, I know for fact, is a trait that comes from my dad. My mother, who readily admits it, is "not mechanically inclined" (her words, not mine). Once the dishwasher was wobbly, I think she knew exactly what needed to be done (a screw was loose at the top and needed to be tightened) and just couldn't figure out how. I, 7 months pregnant, grabbed the drill and did the job. She was very appreciative. But, this is just one example of how I know any skill I have with a hammer or screwdriver does not come from her sweet blond soul. There are traits that I share with almost all of my siblings... that my mother does not possess.

I catch myself saying or doing things my mom did all the time, but there are times like tonight when I am reminded of all the things I have in common with a man I haven't seen in over 4 years, and not spoken to in at least 3. And I am not under any delusions (or is it illusions?) that it'd be nice to see him again. Frankly, there is just no desire to go there. I don't know if that makes me a bad daughter or just a disillusioned, jaded one. But that's where I stand today. I don't hate him. Sitting here talking about him I feel nothing. Maybe pity that his own actions have brought him to such a place (and worse) with his children.

I hope that never happens to me and mine. They are precious to me, it'd break my heart.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The things kids say...

I remember once when I was a little girl, no more than 7 or 8 (I actually think I may have been younger than that, but I can't recall exactly how old I was), my mom asked me what I would do if my kids were disobedient and didn't do what I told them to. I remember saying, with quite a bit of determination (because I was trying to come up with the most horrible punishment possible), "I'll beat 'em till they bleed!"

Violent little creature, wasn't I?

Well,  it so happened she asked me that question because I was being disobedient. My mother had told me to clean my room and I was out goofing around instead of cleaning. She very calmly said to me (something along the lines of, though I am pretty sure it was nearly exactly), "Well, Katie, if you don't go clean your room I'm going to have to beat you till you bleed." (I believe I may have sputtered about unfairness, but she had me cornered since the punishment was my own invention.)

I probably didn't do exactly as I was told and I probably got a spanking for it. But I know eventually that room got cleaned and I was not beaten till I bled.

No worries, I haven't and do not intend to inflict that punishment on my own children. But, remembering that conversation with my mom so many moons ago I posed the same question to my kids, just for kicks.

Adrienne resolutely said "I'd ground them!" I guess she sees that as the worst punishment possible. I think sometimes she'd rather be spanked than grounded because at least the spank is over and done with. Grounding is deprivation from all manner of fun things, most especially playing outside with friends. Which she lives for.

Genevieve said, with a big grin, "I'd send them to their room and make them clean up their messes!" (this from the kid who lets her big sister do the majority of the work!) I then asked her "What if they are naughty and don't clean their room?" "Then I would ground them!" she replied.

I asked Charlotte and she said "I don't know." Then I asked her all manner of things (including grounding, spanks, and kicking down the hall) and she replied yes to all of them. She is clueless.

Xander just hopped around on my bed.

The kids spent yesterday friendless because they were grounded because they didn't listen and obey that morning when they had work to do. Grounding is invariably the most effective disciplinary tactic for my kids because it deprives them of play-things they love the most; friends, movies, video games, playing outdoors. I feel like either way I go with this I could catch flack, but I'm going to forge ahead and say that I am not some hippy that's opposed to spankings. I utilize it when I have to. It's just not as effective for my kids. It might have to do with their personality types... probably has a lot to do with it, actually. Grounding didn't mean particularly much to me as a kid. When I was spanked I knew it was because I had done something wrong, and I always knew exactly what it was that I'd done. And I think every instance but one was totally justified (it was my brother's fault, I swear).

Today they are free to run as they please, just as soon as math is done. I suppose I am thankful that my children are not as blood thirsty as I, apparently, was. (I may have to talk to Matt about this and see how he would have reacted as a child. I feel certain they take after him the most.) Even when they are naughty they are very sweet kids. 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Signs of the times...

It's definitely time to kick potty training into high gear. Xander has been (repeatedly) stripping naked and peeing on my floor.

This evening I offered to let the kids watch a movie before bed. Genevieve got outvoted 2-1 for Tangled. (She loves that movie so I don't know why she didn't want to watch it tonight.) After the chorus of "Rapunzel!!!" from Adrienne and Charlotte Mr. Naked started shouting "Punzel! Punzel!" I don't think he really knew what he was asking but it made me decide that we need to start watching things like Cars and The Incredibles more often (forget that the last 3 movies we watched were all Megamind). This poor boy is inundated with girly crap. Granted, he's still very masculine, but there's nothing like your son calling for Rapunzel to make you switch gears and invest in some pirates and race cars.

Being a mom to a pack of girls and then having a boy is a real shock to the system. When he was born I was stunned that we had a boy. When I was alone with him that first day in the hospital I'd nurse and change him and shake my head and whisper "What the hell am I supposed to do with you? I think you were supposed to be a girl." I'd like to think I've done pretty well so far. He loves his toy balls and cars and guns. He likes to growl and punch. But every now and then I have a "Punzel!" moment and I decide that we need more manliness in our daily life.

I think tomorrow I will arrange a boxing match. And ban pink for the day.