One of the Hardest Parts of the Job

Dear Blogary,

I need to vent, please. Yesterday afternoon, I told my son he had to stay in his room, because he did not follow directions. Though I repeated the directions a second time (with the ‘staying in your room’ warning), he decided to throw a toy at me and not comply with the directions.

Blogary, I haven’t a clue where he gets his temper. Oh wait. Yeah. That would be from me. Thanks.

I told my 5yr old he could come out of his room once everything was picked up and put away. Though fits could be heard through the shut door, he did complete the task. When he came out of his room, he went to the kitchen, where Daddy and Charlie were making pancakes for supper.

“Daddy, will you make me some chick’n nuggets?” Joe asked. (Point of fact: We eat soy nuggets. VeggiePatch brand. Quite tasty!)

Daddy said “No.” With Daddy’s response, down went Joe with another fit flare-up. Joe claimed we asked Charlie what he wanted for supper, but we did not ask Joe. Blah, blah, blah, Blogary. And, no, we did not ask Charlie what he wanted for supper.

While Joe is in the midst of another fit, I will share with you, Blogary – Joe misses his naps. He has not adjusted to a full day of school without a nap. Last Monday was another example of several melt-downs, triggered by exhaustion. I am quite confident, Blogary, Joe’s behavior last night was directly tied to a weekend of fun, followed by a full day on Monday with no ‘down time’.

Anyway, Joe’s fit continued. “Joe.” I said. “Get up, and go back to your room.”

“No!” He said.

“Joe. Get up now, and go to your room, or you will go to bed without supper.”

Blogary, I knew Joe was tired, but I also knew this kind of behavior needed to be addressed. This kind of behavior is – to quote Super Nanny – “Unacceptable.”

Again, Joe said ‘no’. So, I got hold of his arm, stood him up and started walking him to his room. As we passed the fridge, he took his other hand and brushed off the magnets and pictures in a huff. I stopped.

“Joe. Pick those up.” Blogary, you already know what Joe’s response was, eh?

“Joe,” I continue, because he said ‘no’. “You will pick them up now, or you will go straight to your room when you get home from school tomorrow.”

Cue Joe’s response: “No.”

“Joe. I’m setting the timer. You will pick up the mess and get to your room before the timer goes off or you will go to bed without supper tomorrow, too.” Too much perhaps, Blogary?! Meh.

Crying, Joe started to clean up and head to his room. And, he stayed in his room the rest of the day. Though, that was not the last we heard of Joe, as he continued pitching fits in the privacy of his own room.

Blogary, at one point, I went to Joe’s room, letting him know there would be consequences if he continued to slam the door on his captain’s bed. Then I went back to join Daddy and Charlie at the dinner table, with dinner already in progress.

As I sat down, I smiled at Rob and said, “Have I earned an excuse to drive to P-U-B-L-I-X?” (Publix is a grocery store chain that sells Ben &  Jerry’s S’mores ice cream. And, I spelled it, because Charlie would understand what I was wanting.)

Rob smiled back at me and said, “Not only have you earned it. Your ‘Gopher’ will gladly go get it for you.”

Now please understand, I am not trying to say that I earned ice cream because I reprimanded and punished my child. The purpose of getting the ice cream was to calm my frazzled nerves. I don’t know a Mom in the world that enjoys hearing their child pitch fits. And, in my opinion, whether the fit is warranted or not – the crying and sadness tugs at my heartstrings. I’ve heard the saying several times, “You are only as happy as your unhappiest child.” Well, my child was not happy last night, I was not happy last night, and ice cream could have served as a numbing agent (for both of us, actually).

Joe eventually calmed down and fell asleep, and I worked my way through the emotions without resorting to food. This morning, Joe and I started the day fresh. He will go straight to his room when he gets home from school. However, he will be invited to join the family at the dinner table for supper. I don’t want to go through two nights (in a row) of missed dinners.

Anyway, thanks for listening, Blogary.

Love,
Me

Let the Crying Begin

Dear Blogary,

I hadn’t a clue there was a shoe in the air. Yet, it seems the proverbial shoe has dropped. Remember when I said no tears were shed? Not one? Well, I have an update to my post from earlier this week.

Blogary, seems one has to adjust to this new life of school. Seems one has to adjust to this new life of working for a paid gig, while also working as Mom. This is not really news to me, Blogary. Rather, I preferred to sing ‘la la la’ loudly in my head, while moving along with my day.

As a child, when I came home from school, I either sat and watched TV, played inside or went outside to play. Interacting with my Mom wasn’t an option. Well, I could ask her to play Little People with me, but her answer would always be ‘no’. Instead, my Mom spent her time sewing, reading a book or enjoying an afternoon cigarette with a freshly made cup of coffee. (Though she has long since quit smoking, I can still picture her sitting at the counter, enjoying her afternoon ‘smoke’.)

Understand, my Mom worked. She took care of kids inside our house. She had about three kids at a time from infancy through Pre-K. She only worked during the school year. When Summer came, she’d head off to Nova Scotia with me in tow. Woo hoo! Ah, the good ol’ days. I digress.

Blogary, I am a working Mom. You know this. And, you know that prior to Joe starting school, my days were ‘easy’. I dropped the boys off at Suzann’s house in the AM before work, and I picked the boys up in the PM after work. My schedule allowed me the freedom to tackle household chores, as well as meet the needs of my paid gig.

And now? Now, my ‘flexibility’ ends at 1:30 when I am at my boss’ house and 2pm when I am home. Am I moaning and groaning needlessly? Yes, I suppose I am. Though I suspect there are others like me. Still, I’m not sure how my Mom managed to get things done, once the kids were home from school. Perhaps it just takes time. After all, my Mom had 6 kids – who knew how crazy she was with the first two.

After school child care is not an option for us, Blogary. I do not even want to think about Fall break in September. What is Fall break, you ask? It is a week where the kids are home from school. Hmmm . . . my child is home, while I am suppose to be working. Ack. Another need for adjustments. Fall camp is an option, though that takes money. Commence singing ‘La la la’ in head…

Blogary, due to the proverbial shoe dropping last night, we had cereal for supper. I wanted to run to the store and find some Ben & Jerry’s to console my wigged-out self, but refrained (successfully). And the tears shed? Yeah, those were mine, as the reality of adding another ball to my juggling act hit me. Many tears shed. Tons.

Love,
Me

If it looks like a duck . . .

Dear Blogary,

I did it this time. I really did it. Yesterday, I said I was a Republican. Suddenly, those who pegged me as one thing, are now thinking something else. And, those who wrote me off, have come back after learning I am a Republican.

Oh Blogary, I crack myself up. I didn’t MAKE friends by mentioning I was a Republican. That’s just crazy talk.

So, I let my political party slip;
And now I am catching some lip.
We bicker; we judge.
We refuse to budge.
With a hand on my hip,
I will now let ‘er rip.

Not all blonds are dumb and not all Republicans are like Rush Limbaugh. Well, okay, maybe what I said isn’t entirely accurate. All blonds are dumb. Blogary, I’m kidding. Though giving birth changed my hair color, I was born a blond. Not all blonds are dumb, and I hope I didn’t offend any blonds.

I’ve had people cross my path who I found to be disrespectful to various kinds of other people. And, out of respect for the other people, I distanced myself from the disrespectful ones. I’ve also had people question me and distance themselves from me, because I befriended various kinds of people. Rest assured, when someone decided not to be my friend because of their ignorant prejudices, I made sure the door hit them on their way out.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of Prejudice is “preconceived judgment or opinion : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.”

Prejudice is not an ugly word, generally speaking. We prejudge things all the time every day. And, prejudging can be used as a survival skill in some cases. However, sometimes we get it wrong, and sometimes we throw the baby out with the bath water.

One afternoon, while walking with a girlfriend at a popular park, I was spat on by someone who passed us. The person spat on me deliberately. And, the only reason(s) I could think for having been spat on by this person was that he (yes, it was a ‘he’) thought I was gay, or he did not like my AIDS awareness t-shirt.

That mystery person – aka jerk – prejudged me based on my appearance. Too bad for that jerk, because I’m a great person who makes a great friend. And Blogary, some of my friends are – Dun dun duuunnn – Democrats!!

Now Blogary, I’m not claiming to be perfect; after all, I am a Republican. I prejudge, and sometimes my snap judgments are wrong. In fact, sometimes I have prejudged people incorrectly, assumed s/he was ‘a good people’, only to find out s/he was really a bigot (“a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices” Merriam-Webster).

Blogary, with age and experience comes wisdom – you hope. When someone shows you who they are on the inside, believe them. But, try to give the person a chance to show you who they are on the inside. Don’t close the book on the person without flipping through a few pages, first. Remember, you can’t judge a book by its cover (or label).

Love,
Me, A former-blond and current recycling Republican who is heterosexual, wears AIDS awareness t-shirts, supports many charitable organizations, wears turtlenecks and socks with sandals, doesn’t like red meat, hates peaches and has family and friends in every shape, size, color, etc.