Before I was a parent, my YCS (Younger, cooler self) was an idealistic young thang. She had very lofty plans for her future children and her role as a mother. Everything would be perfect. She would go above and beyond to be the best mom she could be. In her mind was a list of rules to which she would adhere and use to raise the healthiest, most well behaved and well adjusted children in the neighborhood. Of course, as you can guess from my previous posts, those rules all died vicious, horrendous deaths. The following is an account of how one of those rules went down in flames.
Rule #178- I Will Never Buy My Children a Portable DVD Player.
My rationale behind the rule was solid. I thought that kids should be able to entertain themselves on a road trip (OK, maybe it was an “if I had to do it you can do it too” mentality, sue me!). There are plenty of things to occupy a kid during a road trip. There are books, toys even hand-held video games (another rule; different dreadful end; we’ll talk about that one later). Looking back, my rule and the ideas that spawned it were based on a delusional idea of what it was like to have kids. I also overestimated my ability to withstand torture.
It was the middle of summer. We were embarking on our yearly trip to our state’s capital. Essentially we take the kids to the zoo so that we can see how real animals behave and feel better about our parenting skills. Plus, the boys get to see animals pooping and humping in a simulated “natural” environment. Everybody wins!
The car was packed, we hit the road and before we got off the ramp and onto the interstate the kids had been through every book, toy and snack I had packed for the 4 ½ hour drive. The Oldest was only four at the time. Now, we knew he talked a lot at home. He had developed a continuous stream of conversation that lasted throughout the day. An RSS feed, if you will, of every thought that entered his mind. And believe me, this kid has thoughts ricocheting through his brain at an unbelievable rate. We never thought about how that chatter would translate to an even smaller, enclosed environment.
Another unfortunate decision on the part of me and the Hubbin’—we chose to take the scenic route over a gorgeous pass that is so mountainous it is impassable during any other time of year. How were we to know that the road was under construction in several areas and that most of the pass was down to one lane. The trip took 5 ½ hours and that kid talked THE ENTIRE TIME! I found myself bouncing my head against my window as I fantasized about biting off a piece of the glass and chewing on it. You know, just to ease the pain I was feeling. That boy talked so much that I was actually worried about his oxygenation level. All that talking, combined with the high elevation, it couldn’t be healthy!
Before we even made it to our destination, the Hubbin’ and I looked at each other and, with a shrug of resignation, I asked, “So, we’ll get a DVD player before we head home, right?” RIP Rule #178
I was up to my elbows in dishwater and Gerber Peas. The Baby and The Oldest were laughing in the living room, The Middle was screaming in his bedroom (he was there for his own safety; bad day, long story, never mind that), and the dog was panting and cowering at my feet (thunder storm!). The phone rang and I knew when I had to say, “Hello?” the second time that some telemarketer on the other end was scrambling for the line and about to spew a pitch at me. The call wasn’t actually for me though.
Now, I know enough Spanish to know who the telemarketers are calling for. They call for my and The Hubbin all the time. But, I was a little shocked that they were already calling for my son. How did they get his name?
I politely informed the caller, “he doesn’t speak Spanish.” That usually sends them away. Not this time. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he said “may I please speak to Mr. (The Oldest)?” I peaked into the living room in time to see his Sponge Bob underwear get snagged by the handle of the rocking horse as he ran by. The ricochet effect threw him to the floor and his baby brother immediately belly flopped onto his head. “Alright,” I said. “Telephone,” I held the phone to The Oldest and he looked at me with a mixture of fear and awe. In all fairness, he had a reason to be concerned about the phone in my hand. I’ve been promising for years to call Santa…and the police. “It’s for you,” I told him and snuck into the kitchen to the extension.
Needless to say, it didn’t go as well as the caller had hoped. My son didn’t quite get the low APR and cash back on certain purchases offer. The dud eventually hung up and The Oldest is back to the “Do Your Chores and Save Your Money” plan for making new purchases. Is it wrong for me to have denied him his 1st credit card offer? Especially now, when his credit rating is the best it will ever be. He does have Plan B- as in Beg Mommy and Daddy until they give in.
You can’t put Sour Skittles on a tuna sandwich
You can’t wash the cat in the toilet
You can’t spread butter with a stick
You can’t cut through the screen on your bedroom window just to beat your brother to the swing
Don’t handcuff the dog
That should get us through the next week or so. I hope
I couldn’t help it. He hurt my baby (okay, DMS is 5 yo, but still…).
He came into my yard, and he attacked my child. I heard DMS screaming and before I heard the entire story, I knew I was going to kill him. Not only did he attack my child but he brought his friends with him. Now, I don’t know how old he was or even if he had a rational explanation for what he did, I only reacted. The way any other sleep-deprived mother would. I went after him.
I found him at home. At least, I think that was him. I took DMS (the victim) and his older brother with me to do a witness identification. They led me right to him. Him and his posse. They were hanging out, buzzed, acting like they had been busy all day and had no time to assault my child. Whatever! I aimed and shot and then I watched as they writhed around, dying yet still trying to escape. There was no escape. I even invited the boys to come and watch. They wouldn’t, they were too scared. But now they know, Mommy gets things done.
And then, I’ll be damned if that kid (DMS) didn’t go to the other side of the yard and get stung again! I swear, I’m running out of wasp spray. And my relationship with the Buddha is in the crapper now too.
OK, here I am. Ready to lay it all out on the line. (For future reference…this is probably where the court transcripts will someday start.)
Am I a disgruntled mom? I can say that I am 100%, definitely, entirely, kind of, a little bit disgruntled…I think.
What is disgruntled? The definition I have of disgruntled is, “one who is angry or dissatisfied.” Based on that–yes- I am disgruntled. I should clarify though that I’m not “angry or dissatisfied” with being a mom or with my kids. That’s just my general state of being. I’ve never been one of those people who are naturally chipper and exuberant. I had rose colored glasses once; I traded them for a pack of cigarettes.
My being disgruntled has more to do with having a humorous disgust with things that happen in my life now. My younger, cooler self (YCS) would be horrified if she could look at what her life will be like. There are no more random, last minute cross-country road trips to catch Metallica in concert. No more Trans Ams with T-tops and kick-ass Pioneer stereos. No more trying to decide whether a shopping spree or rent should come out of this pay check. Nope, my life is full of responsibility now. I gave up fighting, I gave up cigarettes, I even gave up the f-word. Now I’m responsible for shaping impressionable young minds and enlightening them with the lessons that will allow them to be productive members of society. It isn’t easy. My YCS would never have thought that she’d one day have to actually tell someone, “you are not allowed to pee on your brother!”
Sometimes I wish I was like the warm, happy, approachable mothers I see all around me. The kind who join mommy support groups and trade recipes and scrapbooking tips. The fact is, I don’t fit in and I’m fine with that. I view the world from a slightly skewed perspective. But I know I’m not alone. There are other moms out there who don’t fit the mold. And if I had a drink, I’d raise a toast to you.