Lately our kids fights have been getting more “spirited.” And I don’t mean that in a “vibrant” “vivacious” kind of way, more like a “Look out, your brother’s about to stab you with a Ticonderoga pencil in the neck.”
One brother says to the other, “I hate you. I wish I didn’t have a bwother. I want you to live somewhere else.”
“Can I live somewhere else?” I ask, hopefully.
I give time-outs, reason with them about how important their brother is, and yell like the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket… Nope. I threaten them with juvie camp in Utah. Military school in Pennsylvania. Gulag in Kazakhstan. Nothing. Continue reading →
Every afternoon there comes a time when I am positive I will not make it through the night. The time the realization hits varies, but not the feeling. I know I’m mentally ill (and the fact that I know that might make me less so) but surely I am not the only parent, barricaded in my domicile, that feels so overwhelmed by this collection of tasks that seem so deceptively simple – after school activities, dinner, homework, shower, wash hair, story, bed. It’s not rocket science for fuck’s sake (and lucky it isn’t because I would suck even worse at it.)
I like penises as much as the next girl. Probably more. But I’m so sick of elementary school penis jokes. The nine-year old is in a phase, and I know I should be more patient, but the eight-year old giggles and eggs him on and eventually I start to feel like I’m on the set of the Benny Hill Show. I’m grateful that my kids are funny, they both have great senses of humor, but I constantly have to stop them from pole-vaulting over the line of taste, decency and respect. There’s only so many times you can hear the popular trope “Yo Momma” before you start to wonder where you went wrong as a parent.
Who’s raising these kids? I fume. And then I remember, Oh yeah, it’s me.
I remember the first time I was called a slut. I had been sleeping around a group of friends at our “brother” high school, including the boy with whom I lost my virginity, and the “body count” was piling up faster than a John Wayne Gacy biopic. I was fifteen, horny and thrilled to finally be getting male attention. They liked me they really liked me. Once they slept with me, they didn’t seem to like me as much, but I was remarkably unfazed by this. Ah teenage love… One fine day another kid from the aforementioned boys’ high school came up to me at the train station. He had light red hair and I thought he liked me so I talked to him, although he had kind of a weird vibe. Apropos of nothing, he said, “Why are you such a slut?”
I walked away, my heart pounding in humiliation, but resolute I wasn’t going to let him see me sweat. Even then I wondered why there wasn’t a word for a promiscuous boy? Calling a boy “Casanova,” “Don Juan,” or even “man whore” just didn’t seem insulting enough. The Sluts at my school and I were having a competition to add notches to the bedpost, even collecting ties from boys from the other school, and yet other girls would label them disparagingly. Where was the female James Bond, with a dude ready to roll around the sheets with in every port? Continue reading →
For some parents this wouldn’t be a big deal. We all know that kids say the darnedest things don’t they? Yet somehow I can’t see this on the eponymous Bill Cosby hosted show. But for someone who has struggled with suicidal ideation since I was seven this is extremely disturbing. In the interests of protecting his anonymity on this sprawling TMI zone we call the Internet, I’m not going to tell you which of my sons said this. I will tell you that just as my suicidal ideation is finally starting to die away in my consciousness, it seems to have been passed on to my son by osmosis. Life. What a riot.
Since I am still living with my ex, we are parenting together and it has been relatively easy. We share the weeknight bedtimes and mornings, and on weekends he takes Saturday and I take Sunday, unless either of us has another specific event. It’s all been very organic, and above all, very adult, but I guess that’s what happens when a breakup doesn’t involve lies or deception, and features two people who are jointly committed to putting the kids first. Putting the kids ahead of my own needs? Wow, that is so un-Borderline-y.Continue reading →
And they are supposed to be. Just don’t tell them that because children have no sense of irony and would probably take it personally. Maybe they are oversensitive due to how recently they were still in the womb. I’ve been out of the womb for almost four decades so what’s my excuse?
When I was a child I gave little thought as to how much was being done for me by my parents. I took it for granted that I would be ferried from place to place, fed and entertained. The whole yelling thing I could have done without, but I certainly never stopped to consider how annoying it was to be in a precocious child’s company. No wonder they lost it sometimes.
Like my younger son, I suspect I could twist an adult’s words to make myself into a pretty convincing victim, even when I wasn’t. Hanging out with my eight year old is like facing off to a master lawyer in a courtroom – he remembers every piece of evidence of my wrongdoing, exaggerates circumstantial evidence (I had my period that day, Your Honor) and has an overdeveloped sense of injustice. Sadly, I don’t get to escape to a nice cozy prison cell, which sometimes seems like a better alternative. If I were in solitary confinement at least they would leave me alone. Continue reading →
This is all that I can find right now. From someone who picked them up at 12:40 from school with all the best intentions (including a stockpile of food necessary for two boys who grow a couple of inches every hour) I find myself at 3:15 contemplating whether crushing up some Xanax into their dinner is illegal, and if so, why?
The problem is that I never had siblings, so I don’t know what’s normal. I’ve never hung out with eight and nine year old boys either, and maybe they’re all like this? Hypersensitive, dramatic and think farting is hilarious. I’m pretty sure it’s a tick on the third one, but I suspect that the first two may be a case of nurture vs. nature.
An example of things Samson says to me about his brother:
“Mommy, I’ve been taking his crap for years, and I can’t take anymore. I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.” Continue reading →
People love to tell you that it is, but how is parenting a reward? And what is it a reward for, fertility? When you put your kids to bed at night, what’s the prize? They’re just going to get up again in the morning, and they will probably be hungry. For a person as emotionally immature as myself, this is not what I have in mind as fair compensation for a hard day’s work as a parent. No wonder I masturbate so much.
Today when I close my eyes all I can hear is the building cacophony of the word “Mommy?” Every time I leave the room, “Mommy?” When I try to text someone “Mommy?” In the bathroom “Mommy?” It feels more like a punishment; a sensory overload I am plagued with because of a couple of shaky decisions a decade or so ago involving my uterus and sperm. Continue reading →