Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Pissing me off this Week.

So the list might be small, but I feel veeeeeeeerrrrry strongly pissed off about them, so...ya...
1.  Uhhh, I called my cable company today because they were robbing me blind just so I can watch "Say yes to the Dress" and "Doc Martin" on Friday night.  And this is so cliché, but of course, I was put on hold and they said the approximate wait time was 4 to 8 minutes.  Ya.  It was 22.  22 minutes.  That's like triple the time.  Anyone who lies about stuff like time cannot be trusted.  Anyways, by the time I got off the phone (44 minutes later) I had shaved almost $75 off my bill per month.  PER MONTH.  That means they were uber gouging me.  That pisses me off.
2.  Miley Cyrus' little stunt at the VMA's.  It wasn't just was ridiculous.  She looked like she was having a seizure, a dirty, nasty seizure, but a seizure none the less.  Okay, we get it.  You don't care.  About anything.  Not your family, not yourself, certainly not your self respect.  Women around the world get thrown in jail for exposing their faces and not wearing burqas.  Women around the world have fought for basic rights like education and voting.  Women around the world are survivors of abuse - sexual, emotional and physical - but Miley, instead of using her status in life to promote and protect women less fortunate than her, decides to wear a nude suit and use a foam finger for purposes other than those intended, I'm sure.  I get that she's a performer.  I get that she is young and trying to 'find herself'.  But there are millions of girls out there trying to find themselves.  And they don't feel the need to do whatever it is she thought she was doing.  Her little act didn't just show she doesn't respect herself...I think it was a disgusting slap in the face to women everywhere.
3.  Justin Trudeau.  Okay, okay, okay...I get it.  Everyone thinks that Marijuana is not bad for you.  Everyone thinks it should be legal.  Everyone thinks that alcohol is just as *dangerous*.  Everyone does it.  Here's the's still illegal.  Let's argue semantics because oh. that. is. super. fun. right???  The 'law' says that possession is illegal, smoking it is not.  Hmmmmm, if you're smoking it, your holding it in your hand or your mouth which means you're in possession of it, okay?  But ohhhhhhh, Mr. Trudeau is above the law, because his father used to be the Prime Minister and he has great hair.  Ohhhhhh, and he's honest about it, so that's okay, right?  It's so refreshing that a politician is so honest about his drug habits.  And you know, everyone says such horrible things about Stephen Harper.  I have one thing to say about that - the WORLD ( the whole wide world....) was in a GLOBAL recession...the worst anyone had ever seen since the great depression.  Countries declared bankruptcy, hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs, had no way to support their families...and their countries were too poor to bail them out.  Everyone in the world, except for...oh. what. country. was. that?????  Oh that's right, CANADA.  We excelled.  Our dollar went crazy.  I didn't lose my job.  Did you?  Did you have to stand in a line with your food stamps, hoping food was left when you got there?  I bet not.  I think I'd rather vote for a guy who can successfully keep our economy running instead of a guy who tells everyone he smokes pot because it gets him popular with the 'in' crowd.  We're not in high school anymore people.  Do you want to belong to a frat or live in a country?  How about - you want to smoke pot, you make it legal and then do it.  Then it won't bother me in the least.
I am so glad I got that off my chest. 
It was driving me crazy.
Seriously.  I feel so much better now. 
I'm almost not annoyed by...
4.  One Direction (or 1D).  Was I really as ridiculous over the Backstreet Boys as girls these days are over 1D?  These are boys who do not have facial hair yet singing songs with stupid lyrics.  Ugh.  Talking about stupid lyrics...Katy Perry just wrote the most fabulous song for victimized women everywhere with the most over used clichés if you stand for nothing, you'll fall for many millions of times have you heard that?  And then, let's use the eye of the tiger phrase from another song...and say I'm the eye of the tiger and you're going to hear me roar.  Eyes don't roar.  Mouths do.  Lions do.  The eye of the tiger can refer to emotion and passion, but cannot reference vocal sounds.  Idiots.  And this is at the top of the charts right now, so the radio plays it all. the. time.


I feel so much better.

I'm not even going to start on my ex because he's just not worth it...

(And also, that list was a little longer than I thought it would be!)

What's pissing you off this week???

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I Have a Tween

(which is nowhere near as inspirational as "I have a Dream...")
I've always thought boys are waaaaaaaaaaay easier than girls to raise.  Boys are a little more difficult during the toddler years because they're so active and have so much energy, but once you find a way to channel that little something extra, you're golden.  Easy sailing for the next 15 years.  I've also been so blessed because Q has been such an easy kid.  I mean, I can count on one hand the number of out of control temper tantrums he's had.  He's always been very active - he started walking (and by walking, I mean running) at 9 months -  but by keeping him busy in soccer and hockey, parenting him has been a breeze.  He's polite, remembers his pleases and thank yous, does what he's asked (usually with me only having to ask twice...haha), and he has a very strong sense of right and wrong. 
This whole tween thing has knocked me over on my ass
At first I thought there was some sort of outside source that was influencing my sweet little angel.  Then I thought he needed a nap.  Or maybe he was just hungry.  I thought of blaming his dad.
But this nasty attitude is just not going away.
So, I googled the symptoms....
...and I found out I have a tween.
And that this is...
(pause for effect)
I feel sick to my stomach.  My heart actually physically hurts.  I do not recognize this mopey, insolent, miserable person living in my house.  I mean, don't get me wrong - sometimes, I see the kid that I know and love and we have some really great times.  But other times, he's a monster.  Last night, during a calm spell, I said to him..."Q, be the kind, funny kid that you are deep inside, the kid that everyone wants to be around.  Don't be the mean, grumpy kid."  To which he responded, "I know, but I just don't think twice.  It just comes out."
I get that he's starting to *find himself* and that can be a daunting task for anyone, let alone a 9 year old boy.  I get that the testosterone is starting to flow, and he doesn't know what to do with all that man-ness yet because he's...well...9.
Is there a solution?  Because I seriously don't think I can handle this attitude 24/7.
There bloody better be.  I think there is...
First of all, we had a visit recently with Nana and Grandpa.  Grandpa tried everything to cheer Q up and when nothing else worked, he put him to work.  After Q moved firewood for about 15 minutes, it was like he was a different kid.  He was talkative (no grunting), he was smiling (no perma-frown) and his eyes weren't rolling at everything I said.
Secondly, I am giving Q more responsibility around the house.  He wants to act like a moody teenager, well then I'm going to give him moody teenager chores.  Active chores like taking out the garbage and organizing the recycling...
Actually, I'm kind of at a loss for some more active manly if anyone has any ideas, throw them my way, please!!
Hand in hand with more responsibility comes more serious consequences.  I've explained to Q that he's the man of the family and men need to take care of their household.  There are no more time outs as punishment - there are privileges that get taken away, there are video games that disappear. 
We are going to be more structured.  We're going to have routines around here so Q knows what to expect and what is expected of him and for him. 
Of course, sports start up in the next few weeks and that will help his energy levels.  He's going to busy almost every day with some sporting event or another, and this will help channel that wayward testosterone.
To Re-Cap:
1.  Put him to work
2. Give him more responsibility
3. Give him more serious consequences
4. Create structure and routine
5. Lots and lots of organized sports
I'll keep you updated.  Hopefully, we'll both make it through this phase without going me mad myself.
Now if I could just figure out how to stay on top of him eating me out of house and home, because oh. my. goodness. the kid is hungry all. the. time. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to Q

My little bug turned nine last week.  Nine whole years of wonderfulness filled with Q.  I cannot imagine my life without him.  He makes everything better in a million different ways.
I'm having a really hard time with Q turning 9. 
And going into grade 4.
I'm mourning the loss of my baby.  My toddler.  My little boy.
Because now he is 9.
His feet smell (worse than before)...
He'd rather hang out with his friends than with his momma.
He says I'm weird.  There was a time when he wanted to marry me - I guess it's a good thing he doesn't want to do that anymore - but still how do you go from that to *weird*?
He has opinions on everything from his hair (it's long) to his clothes (baggy). 
I'm flooded with memories of him being a baby lately, and it makes me so sad that I can barely remember the smell of his sweet skin, his new voice, his soft skin.  I miss holding him in my arms and rocking him to sleep.
Plus, he's going through this really annoying phase (Eeps, at least I hope it's a phase...).  It's like his goal every day is to annoy me.  He sass talks me.  He's loud. 
I guess that he's going through this little thing called...growing up.  Whether he or I like it or not, this is a process we cannot ignore or think won't happen.  I read somewhere that boys go through a testosterone surge at 2 (sooooo funny, my friends son started grunting everything at 2 - like from "owwww, I stubbed my toe" to "hi! how are you?") so maybe they go through another one at 9?
I am no longer the center of my son's universe.  I know it's normal for this to happen.  It's even really good for this to happen.  I knew it was coming all along.  But nothing could prepare me for it.  Especially because he is still the center of my universe. 
I am so dreading the teen years. 
At least I cannot legally leave him alone yet.
At least he can't drive.
Or drink.
Or do long division...
I guess we've got a while to go yet. 
And he still sleeps with his favourite blanket...
So, no matter what, he'll always be my baby.  Even though he can't see through his hair...
Happy Birthday to my beautiful (baby) boy!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Parenting - The Trouble with Growing up

Parenting gets harder as Q gets older. I thought it would get easier, and I suppose in some ways it has.

There are no midnight feedings or messy diapers. There are no temper tantrums or toddlers with boundless energy. Babies and toddlers are just sooooo needy. I mean, Q can feed himself and dress himself. He can go *potty* without assistance. 

So that’s something, right? 

The thing about the younger years that I like is the amount of control you have over the circumstances and events surrounding your child. You can protect them from outside forces. You can control who has influence over them, by limiting/screening what T.V. they watch, who they hang out with. Even so called “un-controllable” temper tantrums are really within control, because you can shut them away in their bedroom until they stop being ridiculous. You can control their behaviour with consequences and discipline. 

I think I used control at least 5 times in that paragraph…do you think I have control issues? 

No. Me neither. (I think by *control*, I mean *protect*…that sounds better…) 

The point I’m getting at is that as your children get older, I’m finding, you begin to lose control over their lives. And I guess this is the natural progression of aging. I suppose it’s healthy. I’m just not sure how much I like it. 

Q has a new friend, a neighbourhood boy. This boy I do not like. At all. But he’s 8. How do you tell an 8 year old he cannot play with your child because he’s a rotten little shit? It’s kind of impossible. He yells at his parents (they lead by example, always yelling at him…), he’s rude to his little brother (“Move your fat head”), he’s impolite and mean. 

He comes to play video games with Q – I would much rather they play in my house than theirs – so I can….uhhhh….supervise… While playing video games, his dialog with my son is much similar to this, “Awww, what are you doing? You’re so dumb. Do you even know how to play this game? That was a stupid move. This is so boring. I hate this.” And on and on and on it goes. When he goes home, I tell Q he needs to stand up for himself when this kid says these things. I don’t really know how he does this. Admittedly, ‘don’t say mean things to me, it hurts my feelings,’ sounds lame, even to me. I’m torn between refusing to let this kid play with my beloved son and acknowledging that as an only child, Q needs other kids to play with. This one just happens to be the only one we can find… 

Not wanting to appear to be an uber-controlling mom and in an attempt to try not to embarrass my child, I keep my mouth shut. Most of the time. Occasionally, I cannot bite my tongue any longer and have to say something. Like in this instance: 

Neighbourhood kid: Q!! You’re such a PUSSY. 

Say what, now? Are you effing kidding me? This child is 8. 8. Eight!!!! While I’m sure he didn’t know what the word really meant because he looked at me like “what’s your problem, lady? I called him a cat…” I’m still so shocked that this word was even in his vocabulary. Q just the other week stuck up his pointer finger and asked me if that meant he was giving someone the finger, by pointing at them. (Yes, yes, it is…by the way…).

What is going on in this child’s life that he knows words like this exist? I’m still shocked. 

Me: (Internal Dialog…) Listen here, you little shit. A word like that comes out of your mouth again towards my son and I will kick you so hard, you’ll land in next Friday. Got it? 

ME: (External Dialog…) Excuse me? We DO NOT use words like that in our home. Do you understand me? You use it again, and you’re going home. Got it?

The kid just looked at me. The thing is, I kept my voice low and calm. He’s so used to being yelled at, he didn’t know how to react. He kept his mouth shut after that, and each subsequent time he’s been in the house. He keeps looking at me too. So I stare him down. That’s okay, right?? 

After he left, my kid says, “I think you should write a letter to his parents. He shouldn’t say things like that!!” Oh, how I love Q. So eager, just like me, to make sure everything in life is put right, with no loose ends. I did consider it, but what were his parents going to do? Yell at him? Give him a pat on the back? Chances are this horrible word came from them. In the end, I figured my method was much more effective. 

I got to experience it this time, but what about the next time…when I’m not there? What happens then? I know that I have to trust that the parenting I’ve done thus far will sustain my child through these events. How? 

• My son knows what’s right and what’s wrong: He knows. I’ve modelled it. I’ve guided him when he’s been wrong. He has had to endure consequences when he steps out of line. And while a conscience isn’t built into children, a strong knowledge of right and wrong somehow helps one grow. I need to remember this. 
• We’ve built the communication lines: Q can tell me anything. We’ve built this road over the past almost 9 years. He tells me the little things, the big things and everything in between. There is no filter. And truly, for an 8 year old, there are no little things, are there? Everything is pretty significant. We talk things through. We rationalize, we debate, we come to a resolution. Every time. 
• I’m a safe haven: Well, first of all…I’m his momma, so you would think it obvious that I’m a safe haven, but is it? I’ve created a non-judgemental environment for Q. We have no gender bias, no race bias. We have guidelines and routines and rules. This allows him to bring home new/different ideas and share them with me, without fear of my reaction. This way, we get to figure things out together. He doesn’t have to go to his friends to find out what this means or that means. He can come to me and KNOW he’s getting the truth. And, he know I love him. Always have, alway will NO MATTER WHAT. I tell him often. Like, all the time how much I love him. 
• I have fear on my side: Seriously, I use everything I can to my advantage. We’re watching COPS – see, cops catch you every time. This is why you don’t do anything illegal. They will catch you. We’re reading the news, and someone has died of a drug overdose – see, this is why you only take drugs that come from a doctor for a specific reason. Otherwise, you die. 

And then I remind myself that a mustard seed is soooooo veeeeeeeeeryyyyy tiny, but once planted it grows and grows and grows. I believe it’s much the same with Q. I have planted the seed of goodness, and I know it will grow and he will grow into someone amazing. I also hope, that by allowing this boy into our home, I am planting a seed in him as well and one day good will prevail over evil. 

How do you sleep at night, knowing that this is just the beginning? What are we going to do, once they’re teenagers in high school or they move away for college? 

How do we control them then????

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I will say this:  Before you have children, make sure you can see yourself raising them with the person you choose to procreate with for at least 18 years.

(well that's a loaded first sentence, isn't it??)
Seriously, take a look at that person sitting beside you.  With those annoying little quirks that you think are so lovable.  With that ridiculous habit/hobby/nervous tic that you tolerate right now.  With those questionable (at least to you) values and/or morals that don't really matter, right now.  With his aloofness, his baggage.  Because right now, you love him (or you think you do...) and these things don't really matter right now.  They're tolerable right now...they might even be endearing. 
I know they were for me...
So fast forward 5 years.  10 years. 
 Now you can't stand the sight of him.  You can't figure out why this guy won't grow up.  But guess're stuck with him in your life because you ignored that inner voice and you had a baby with him. 
This man has equal influence in your child's life.  He takes equal time. 
And so, okay maybe you've made peace with this guy in your life and in your child's life for the next 18+ years.  You tolerate him.  You have found a way of explaining away his broken promises to your child in a way you almost believe.  He's there, at least, for his son.  A male role model is a male role model, right? 
But then, he brings another woman into your son's life.
You can't do anything about it.  In fact, you don't even know about it until after your child tells you *daddy's moving in with C and they're going to buy a big house with a pool in the back yard!!!*
So much fun, right??
Now not one, but two people are in your life.  They're at your son's play at school.  They're at his graduation.  They're at his wedding.  At the hospital for the birth of your first grand child.  These people are in your life forever.
You need to think about that.  Because I didn't give it enough thought.

In my life right now, the *thing* I struggle with the most is co-parenting Q with Mr. Ex.  The biggest problem for me is the loss of control I feel over the influences others have over my child.  There is half of his life I know nothing of, unless he tells me.  For now, he does tell me, because he's 8 and he tells his mommy everything.  What about when he's older?  Will he tell me about the dinner party where some weirdo named *sing* reads his palm and tells him he was a tree in his past life? 
Decisions regarding his education, his extra-curricular, his future - all of those need to be made with someone who's opinion I do not respect. 
You know, it's not just that.  It's the fact that I can't offer my child the life I always expected I would give him.  I can't give him a home with two loving (towards him and each other) parents.  I can't give him a home with a pool in the back yard. 
I get that in the end it probably won't matter about the pool. 
I get that.
It's just taking a little while for everything to sink in.