Revenge is a dish best served cold.

January 2009 I lost my job. In brief, it wasn’t necessarily an amicable parting. I actually went to the website that promotes hair plugs and clicked on the “send me more info!” button and keyed in my ex-boss’s name and work address.

I chickened out and didn’t submit. There are days, many, many days, I’m still tempted.

Yeah. I’m still really angry.

So yesterday when I got a letter in the mail from my employer’s fundraising committee thanking me for my contribution (the one I gave just weeks before the untimely torching of my employment) to the new addition being constructed, and as part of that thank you, each contributing employee will have their name added to a brick and displayed on a wall in the addition. The letter gave me the option to decline, accept the offer with the name indicated, or to edit the name. You know, in case you got divorced or married or you want your full name or not full name, etc.

Sparring Partner was reading the letter over my shoulder. What are you going to do, he asked? I said, do you know how tempting it would be to return the form with my name changed to “F. U. Formremplyr”??

He then said I should blog it and see what great names you all might recommend if you were me. I’ve also ruled out “Faith Sukkit”, a dig based the company name.

Ramp those thongs up and give it your best shot: what would be a great “name” given the situation? Oh, and don’t worry, I won’t actually do it, but hearing your ideas will distract me from going to the website for the little blue pill and submitting a request for more information and a free sample.

Halo or Horns

I’m a whiner, complainer, Negative Nellie, belly-acher. I bitch, piss and moan. About everything and anything. 90% of the time, I do all of it on-line.

Let’s call it Literary Farts, shall we? Not so silent and OH so deadly.

It’s then quite fascinating to read the updates of some of my friends, whether it’s through their blog, Facebook or Twitter, who are shiny happy people. Yes, they fart shafts of sunshine. So much so, I squint.

(say SQUINT several times…it doesn’t even look or sound like a real word, does it)

So, which one are you? A Whiner or a Wonderer? A Negative Nellie or a Sunshine Sally? Why do you think you are one over the other?

No, you cannot say you’re a little of both. If you’re waffling, pick what you are today.

Latecomers

Sparring Partner and I are what some would refer to Latecomers as it applies to starting a family. He was over 35 when our oldest was born. I was over 40 with the youngest.

The situation is not all that unfamiliar to either of us since my mom was in her late 30s when she had me and Sparring Partner’s mother was 40. And while not unfamiliar, it has created a bit of fission within my husband’s family. My in-laws have great-grandchildren OLDER than Aitch, who is their youngest grandchild. Their second-to-youngest grandchild? That honor is bestowed yet again on our family as that would be Doodicus.

To put it another way, out of the 11 grandchildren, only two are under the voting age. Obviously they are our two.

Sparring Partner has a couple of siblings who seem to think that since he lives the closest to his parents that he should be at their side at a moment’s notice. They don’t understand when they come in from out of town, why we don’t want to go out to dinner every night they are here, which means getting home from work in time to put everyone back into one vehicle and getting home later that night just in time to put everyone to bed. Forget about baths or homework or laundry or cleaning up.

Just this past week Thursday we went out; Friday they all came to our house for supper; Saturday night we went out. Last night? They were going to do supper at the SIL’s home. We told them thanks, but no thanks. I’m sure that by declining the invitation, we were criticized our seeming ungratefulness.

I have to give props to Sparring Partner, who when on the receiving end of an eye-roll from one of his siblings after a similar incident, responded, “You had your turn to raise your children. It’s my turn now.” I think they forget that while he’s the youngest in the family, he most certainly isn’t their boot-scraper and going to take their shit anymore.

We both love our families, extended and otherwise, but right now our priorities lie with who we tuck into OUR beds under OUR roof. And if we feel we are being spread a bit thin in trying to make EVERY one happy, we know that while there’s other family around to take care of our parents, no one else is there except Sparring Partner and me to PARENT our children.

Set the table, please.

Well. I guess this means that as long as Aitch (My daughter’s blogname from now on. I’m sorry if you think I’m blatantly ripping off another “H”‘s nickname, but I’m not. I’ve been calling my daughter Aitch long enough now that sometimes it’s the only thing she’ll respond to.) is awake, I can’t be hiding away tap-tapping on my laptop’s keyboard.

Don’t you love how ambivalent Doodicus is to it all? “A baby crawling on the table? Where? Oh that…that goes on ALL the time around here…”

2009 034s

2009 035s

2009 036s

2009 037s

2009 038s

There are times when it really is OK to turn your back on your kid.

My husband, Sparring Partner, is an easy mark for door-to-door salesmen. Before we got married, an Electrolux salesman came to our tiny 900 sqft house, which had nothing but refinished hardwood floors, and sold him a horribly expensive canister vacuum (which we do still have as a matter of fact, and prefer to the more recently purchased Kirby – again via a door-to-door salesman).

Stick a lollie on that man’s forehead, please, and lick. When you get to the center, you’ll probably find yourself a gooey blob of a tootsie roll.

So I wasn’t surprised, albeit a bit pissed, when he bought into The Total Transformation. You know, the one that advertises with, “Are you struggling with a child who is disrespectful, obnoxious, or even abusive towards you?”

Do children actually come in other flavor but disrespectful and obnoxious once they reach a certain age?

One of the discs we got was 5 different ways to stop an argument.

First, let me interject, I’m not trying to sell you on anything, OK? Don’t click the red “X” yet.

Doodicus is a master argurer. It’s exasperating! Some of the things he says would be cute if he were still three, but now? He’s a flippin’ know-it-all. For example, he asked me this morning what time was it in China. Hell if I know, so I said that would be a good question to ask his teacher. However, he might want to look at the globe in his room for the name of a city in China since China is a large country, as big as the US, I told him.

No, he said, it’s larger.

How do you know, I ask.

I just do.

*silent screaming in my head*

Maybe you’re still thinking, that’s kinda’ cute. It’s not when this is the type of crap he pulls on us allllllll dayyyyyy.

Or how about this one. You’ll love it since it’s a return of the bath-argument.

Me: “It’s getting late, you need to get in the bath.”

Him: “I’m going to take a shower,” as he heads to our bathroom.

Me: “Dad’s in the shower, you need to use your bathroom.”

Him: “I don’t want to use my bathroom. I’ll just use your tub.”

Me: “No. You will use YOUR bathroom,” and I turned my back on him.

Him: I don’t want to! I’m going to use YOUR bathroom, not mine!”

*silence* *back still turned*

Him: “OK…I’ll use mine…*”

(*Hand to God, that’s what he said.)

See what I did there? I turned my back on him, or “escaped”, the term the CD uses. Doodicus isn’t stupid. I was clear about what he needed to do and where. I could have let him continue to drag me into an argument, and thus giving him the upper hand in it since he was clearly leading me deeper into his nonsense.

It’s a simple tip I’m sharing with you. I know some of you have your own little Caesar Doodicus on your hands. Give this a try (tell him/her what their responsibility is at that moment and walk away – escape. Do NOT re-engage!), and see what happens.

So far, it’s been one sales pitch that Sparring Partner has bought into that hasn’t bitten us squarely right on the ass. That’s not to say I don’t have a lovely story to tell you about a more recent purchase that I will hold over his head for at least the next 30 years, since it clearly has been one of his worst.

Gun Shy

(My son’s name here on out on this blog will be “Doodicus”, the second half of his nickname at home of which the first half is Maximus (actually, it should be Dudicus, but that looks like Dud- instead of Dude-.))

After last year’s encounters with Doodicus’s 1st grade teacher, we have become pretty gun-shy. “What were we going to find out THIS time…?” we would ask ourselves before the appointed time of the witch hunt. Especially fun when we hear how he shanked a girl in his class with a safety pin. Ah, the memories.

We had our first PTC this week with his 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Pied Piper. I sat down on the tiny chair at the tiny desk , my knees snuggled into my boobs, and watched as she brought up Doodicus’s marks on her tiny laptop, and waited.

“He has shown tremendous interest in the Butterfly Project.”

“We have a veteran come in and read to the class, and Doodicus always has the best questions to ask him. You know that when the veteran goes back to the Veteran’s Home and talks about Doodicus, he’s made quite a positive impression.”

“He shares songs that he makes up on the piano with the music class.”

“He’s a wonderful singer, did you know?”

“Of all my boys, he easily has the neatest handwriting.”

She continues on, but I’m looking at the screen of the laptop. Yep, it says Doodicus right there and there’s only one Doodicus in 2nd grade. Maybe her notes got mixed up with the kid scheduled before us? Or after us? I peek at her notes: “Doodicus.”

Just then Doodicus comes in the room after playing with a couple of classmates in the commons area.

“We were just talking about you!” his teacher exclaims excitedly, “…and what a good job you are doing in participation in the class. However,…”

Oh. Heeere we go.

“…when he doesn’t like the hot lunch, he won’t eat since he doesn’t like the PB&Js we offer as an option. He once indicated he brought his own lunch when they were serving something he didn’t like, but I changed it back to a hot lunch. I’ve told him that there has to be something on the tray that he’ll eat.”

There it was. THE Bomb. My son is a picky eater.

Considering that last year we were talking expulsion, this is a bit of an improvement, wouldn’t you say?

Shelli

One (of many) reasons I decided to take up blogging again was so I can be a better blogger. No, not “better” as in improved literary skills, because that would just end up being a comical waste of not only my time, but yours; but better as in not being so self-absorbed.

In that vein, would you please make sure to stop over and see my friend Shelli over at Bag Momma to wish her a pinchless frozen donor-egg transfer coming up on Tuesday.

Every time I read about someone doing a FET, I think of meat-on-a-stick. No link, but if you know OvaGirl, you know Meat-on-a-Stick.

(Good luck, Shelli. Much love, my Lady-in-Waiting!)

Patience Vampires

Catherine from Everything is Under Control has a post about how it would seem that older children – elementary aged in this case – are a bit harder to maintain. As the parent to an elementary aged child, if I were to be brief, I would shout, “Amen, Sister!”

If my daughter tries to run away when it’s time to get dressed after her bath, it only takes me a couple of steps before I scoop her up, take her to her room, and while it may be like trying to stuff a cat in a sock, she’s quickly dressed.

An older child, on the other hand, while he may not run from you (but don’t bet on it), he will most certainly try to take you down in an argument of nonsense.

Parent: “It’s time for a bath.”

Child: “Why?”

Patient Parent: “You didn’t have one last night and you stink.” (My god, little boys really DO stink!)

Belligerent Child: “I had one last night.”

Patience-Waning Parent: “No, you didn’t.”

Obnoxious Child: “Yes, I did. YOU just don’t remember. I DO!”

Frazzled Parent: “I know for a fact, you did NOT have a bath. Get going before I fill the tub with cold water and throw you in that!”

It seems that many arguments were ending with the threat of bodily discomfort, including my husband’s ultimate threat: “…before I spank your butt!” While I’m not against spanking, we haven’t spanked in our house in a couple years now, at least since we had so many incidents of our son not being able to keep his hands to himself at school. Can’t hardly tell him to control himself if we can’t, right?

Frankly, I don’t see how the arguing will improve as my son gets older. It’s not like he’ll grow stupid and won’t be able to figure out that you did indeed buy Double-Stuff Oreos because he can see the crumbs on your face whereas now he might believe that you wiped your face after messing with some potting soil; or that you really don’t have any money in the bank and you can’t afford the set of Bakugans/Pokemons/Stupidkans cards he found at the Target check-out counter while buying aforementioned Oreo cookies in Halloween Orange.

Just heed what Catherine and I are telling you. If your baby isn’t sleeping well, or not eating well, or they refuse sippy cups, or even as toddlers won’t dress themselves, or still suck their thumbs, or won’t brush their teeth…oh, honey, I would give anything for you to be able to experience that child in 6 or 7 years for just a day so you can know that the ages infant to four are really just walks in the park.

So when I see a post from someone who is struggling with their younger child and they ask, “It’ll get better, right? It has to! (they add – almost convincingly)” I say, yes, because whatever you are dealing with DOES indeed get better. Breath a sigh of relief, wipe your brow, but make sure to learn the fine art of How to Influence Your Adolescent Child by occasionally getting into an argument with a house plant, the random rock or even the cat. While it probably won’t help, it can’t hurt to act a little crazy around your child. He or she may be less likely to get into a war of words with you later.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

I have found that there are actually blogs out there that don’t blog about infertility.

*collective gasp*

I know!

The following list of blogs will help give you a little self-check if you’re ever in doubt about the way to act in almost any socially unacceptable situation:

Ugliest Tattoos (NSFW) is full of (what do the cool chicks say?), the AWESOME! but certainly not what I would consider safe for work, hence the NSFW.

Sidenote: It wasn’t until I clicked on a NSFW site that I realized what NSFW meant. Not awesome. That’s why I read everything through a reader.

Lamebook. You will feel much better about your own Facebook updates, trust me.

Awkward Family Photos. Good clean fun.

Then there’s STFU, Parents. I wince. A lot. I’m pretty sure it’s out of sheer luck that I haven’t found myself there. If YOU do end up on there, I promise* not to hide your updates out of embarrassment.

But it’s this last one that I just. can’t. look. away! For whatever reason, there is no title to the blog, just a URL (NSFW, either) http://whythefuckdoyouhaveakid.com/

I’ll warn you that some of the posts make me alternate between almost crying, queasy, and very, VERY, angry.

The following photo example is a rather tame one (in comparison to the majority of what’s posted):

"becuz you need someone to spot the bargains on the bottom shelf"
"becuz you need someone to spot the bargains on the bottom shelf"

See the kid in the circle pitching a fit and mom just ignoring him? Yeah, been there, done that.

But WHOA! *double take* The hell?! Let’s take another look, shall we?

why a kida

Is that wo/man undressing? Maybe flashing a computer video camera?! Especially full of the WTF-titude considering that if you cropped the picture to just the woman in the foreground, it looks like a commercial shot.

* crossing fingers

Bottles Up

I’m pretty sure that by the time my son was 15 mos old, we had him completely weaned from the bottle. Completely. Not even before bedtime.

The reason I tell you this is because I’m sitting here right now in front of my laptop while my daughter is next to me on the couch having a bottle. It’s not her only one, either. She has one first thing in the morning and two, sometimes three, during the rest of the day.

Of course it’s easier than sippy cups. I don’t care what the packaging says, those damn cups all leak. So do bottles for that matter, but I will get about 15 minutes of pure blissful silence when she has a bottle. The only thing I ever hear when she has a bottle is the gasps for air in between sucks. A cup she drinks from, a couple of swallows, and then off she goes to play. Lord knows where that stupid sippy cup goes in the mean time.

Is it laziness? Maybe I’m clinging to that last remnant of babydom. Except for diapers…

Some mothers nurse their babies until they are two or three? Why can’t she have a bottle until she’s 18 months? Plus, she says ba-ba. She doesn’t say cu.

And my 15 minutes of silence is just about up. Now hit me: should I cut her cold turkey at this point or keep trying to fade one bottle at a time out of her schedule?

Don’t Call This a Come Back

Oh, aren’t I so witty?? I wish I could take credit for the title, but I can’t. You know who you are…

So here you are and you’re probably wondering what’s up with the change. Nothing, really. Too much baggage at that other place (which shall go unmentioned, please).

Everything’s fine, so no need to wonder if I’ve secretly been carrying on an affair with Hugh Jackman or if I’ve struck an evil alliance with Octomom and am now gestating my own litter. Nope, just felt like writing more. More about what? Why, about my son, who is almost all of 8 years old and who was diagnosed with ADHD almost a year ago and how we as a family work with that. Then there’s my wee, little daughter, a gift through the marvels of medical technology, who really is quite cheeky for not even being 18 months old. Yes, I did say “cheeky” and no, I am not British.

Let’s not forget my husband, who I’ve been married to for an eternal 12 years. I say let’s not forget, because sometimes he does drop off the family radar unless I’m peeved.

So I’ve selfishly snatched up the blog name that was dropped over at my other unmentioned blog (that we shall not mention), but now I need to come up with some nicknames for the main characters I discussed above. Any suggestions?

As for what’s next? Probably a lot of the same ole’ same ole’ that you’ve grown to love over the years. Let’s get this party started, shall we?

WHAT MATTERS

I will honestly admit that I forgot that today was THAT day, THE day set aside by someone who like me – and tragically – like too many others, felt more awareness was needed. Today, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

And while I forgot that today was that day, I wake up every morning knowing that something is missing from my life. Would I have smiled more, cried more, loved more? Would I have found peace sooner, stopped blogging sooner?

I am reminded of a little trick I use to deal with things that hurt or irritate or anger me in which I ask myself, will it matter in 5 minutes? Will it matter in 5 days? Will it matter in 5 months?

How about in 5 years? I can tell you that for me, it has been 5 years come this November. It still matters. It always will.

  1. Pregnancy #2: Vivienne Elise – Death November 2004 at 15wks GA, EDD May 2005
  2. Pregnancy #3: Death December 2005, chemical, EDD September 2006
  3. Pregnancy #4: Wolf – Death October 2006 at 8wks GA, EDD June 2007
  4. Pregnancy #5: Death May 2007, EDD February 2008

I don’t light a candle. The small flames flicker in my heart and they will never, ever be extinguished.