Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sketchers. *sigh*

     Last week was PMS week, which just happened to fall on Gage's first week of homeschool and me finally getting accounting software and learning how to run the family business (both of which I have never done before), Bug's early intervention evaluation, and then her deciding to go back to two naps a day, with the last one lasting until dinnertime, which means she then stays up until 9:00pm. Ohmyfuckinggod. I barely remember it. I think it was too traumatic to retain the memory. What I DO know, is that I was so out of my mind that Friend noticed just from the tone of my FB messages, and apparently I was so bad that she had to suggest I drink more. Dude. Pour me another....

     Everything is cool now though. Homeschool is going great so far, and I'm wondering why I never tried it before. It seriously eliminates all of the problems I had with Gage's previous educational issues. He HAS TO be accountable. There is no hiding in the back of the class. There is no, "I didn't know I had to do that assignment", or, "The teacher doesn't have time to help me", or "There aren't enough books for me to take one home to do homework". There are no excuses. I am able to review everything he does. His teachers have our cell numbers and we text each other as needed. If he didn't "get" a lecture, he can watch it over and over again. He can work ahead as far as he wants. We make our own hours. He doesn't have to dodge sleepy drivers on the walk to school in the morning. We can go to the beach in the middle of the day. He doesn't have to eat crap-tastic school food. I could go on forever. The point is, it's awesome, and Bug will be educated the same way.

     Bug is suspected of having Childhood Apraxia of Speech, although it's too early to determine that definitively at her age. Basically that would mean that it is taking her brain longer to learn how to go from knowing the word she wants to say, to executing the muscle movements necessary for actually SAYING the word. Understanding more language than you can speak is a normal part of development, but with CAS, that time period is much longer, and if severe enough, can affect her speech forever. The good news is that early, intensive therapy is VERY effective.
     The early intervention team told me to get her into speech therapy even without the diagnosis, because it can only help her. So we will. They also tested her cognitive, social and motor skills as a standard part of the evaluation. That was interesting...they said she tests as a 2 1/2 - 3 year old in every area except speech. She is 18 months old. For speech she is at the lower percentage of 12 month olds. The psychologist said he's never seen such a huge discrepancy between scores, and that if she COULD talk, she'd be a brilliant orator, and we'd be having full conversations. They also told me not to worry too much, because she won't be 20 and unable to say "Mama". That was reassuring :)

     The other day I was in one of my super fashionable at-home ensembles, and Gage gave me the once over and said, "Oh look. You've got your Mom shoes on." I was wearing these stupid ugly white sneakers that the guys make fun of me constantly for. I try never to wear them, but my feet hurt so bad from the Mardi-Gras bead incident that I needed something comfy to wear! I told Gage to shut it because I stepped on Bug's beads and twisted my ankle and bruised my heel, so I needed something comfortable on my feet. He laughed at me, because he's a jerk. Oh, and days later he walked by and whispered, "A whale's vagina" in my ear and scarred me for life. An hour ago he walked by me again and whispered, "Poopsicles"... WHO DOES THAT??? Why would you do that to your mother?! UGH! Who is raising that thing??

     Oh yeah, my point was about the shoes. Husband got home and heard that Gage was making fun of my shoes, and so he got a few jabs in himself before he offered to get me some new, less dorky sneaks. Awesome!
     We get to the mall, and I quickly discovered that walking/running shoes are retarded. They are so fucking ugly. They are NOT comfortable, and the more expensive the brand, the less comfy they are. WTF. The Nike's and Reebok's were the worst. Who the fuck wears neon orange and electric purple shoes? Why are there rubber bubble looking thingies on the soles? I looked longingly at the Vans and DC's, and contemplated putting two sets of insoles in them instead of one....sigh...But no. I was here to get super comfy sneaks that were good enough to be on my feet all day. That's priority one. I ended up with these:

     They're alright looking, but for comfort, they rock. Gage says they're still Mom shoes because they LOOK comfortable. That when you LOOK comfortable, you look like a Mom. Then he asked me if I was ready for soccer practice... Little.Shit.

     My most recent driver's license picture from California had me pictured with pink hair and a labret piercing. That picture was taken in 2006, and by the time it was 2012, I looked as normal as a Rockwell painting. I had a regular job and had to look professional, and I hated it. I missed my pink hair, and I swore that the second I was able to, I'd start dying my hair again and re-pierce my lip. And then I went through enormous changes in my personal life, finished college, got pregnant, got remarried, and totally didn't give a shit about pink hair, until very recently. I've been feeling kind of dull, kind of...uninteresting. I remembered how much I loved looking different. How COMFORTABLE I was representing myself that way. I thought about doing it. Would I still like it? Would that make me feel attractive? I'm pretty sure the answer is no. It's an answer I'm not ready to fully accept, because I think it means more than I'm willing to admit at the moment, but yeah. I think it's a no.

     So what then? Buy yoga pants and wear my stupid Sketchers to soccer practice? Probably. I thought at 36 I would be more solid in who I am. But that's the thing, I KNOW who I am, I just don't care to represent myself visually the same way other women in my position do. You know, stay at home moms with two kids, who homeschool, run their husband's business and live in the South. THAT is NOT me. So what is me? Fuck if I know. But it's time to start playing with some ideas.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Walmart. Ohhh, Walmart....

     Today was fucking nuts. I have experienced so many different emotions, but due to the PMS that has developed after this last kid, most of it has been a roller coaster of crazy. You know when everything you try to do just doesn't work out right? That's my day. But to my surprise I handled it all with relative grace. Until I got to Walmart.

DUN DUN DUN....Walmart.

     I go to the ghetto-est Walmart because it's the closest to me. I don't give a shit if it's dirty or the patrons barely got dressed to go there, as long as I don't have to drive too far. I used to care about that shit. But now my life is run by this toddler's nap and meal schedule, so my time for shopping and driving is limited. Convenience is key.

     The back-story is: Our month was all tight and planned out as far as moneys go. And then some unexpected shit came up, as it often does but I apparently forgot. Specialized tools had to be purchased to finish jobs. Our truck is old and eats A TON of gas. Product was not ordered when it should have been. Blah blah blah... we ended up broke 3 days before payday. So, I got our change jars and headed to the Coinstar at Walmart to see what we could get. We've been able to pay utility bills with the change jar before, so I was hopeful we'd at least have some gas and dinner money.

     So I find the Coinstar machine and start pouring the change in, and after about $15 it tells me to slow down so it can catch up. Okay....waiting, waiting....and then a big CLUNK and the machine stops. The screen says to get a manager. UGH. I asked the clerk nearby for a manager, who comes over and takes the machine apart and cleans it for about 20 minutes. The nastiest, sickest shit came out of that thing, it was seriously nauseating. But she finally fixed it and I was able to finish pouring in my change, which turned out to be twice as much as I had hoped for. Score!

     During that long 20 minutes, I tried the best I could to entertain Bug and keep her from flipping out. I stood near the Coinstar, but out of the way of the main walkway and the line for customer service. I must remind you that people who are in line at Walmart's customer service desk are generally pissed off people. So I REALLY tried to stay away from them while being as close as possible to my coins.
     Apparently I wasn't far enough away from the line though, because this grumpy bitch kept rolling her fat eyes at me (No really. they were like, Grave's disease fat), and scooting her fat ass closer to us, to the point of hanging her cheeks over the side of my cart! All so I would get the hint and move out of her (perceived) way. Bug was waving at her kids, and even her kids were too grumpy to wave back! At my adorable baby! WTF is wrong with you children?! Bug is all super cute, waving and saying, "babababa.." in her tiny little sweet voice that is normally irresistible, and these little shits were totally unmoved. Clearly they were grumpy bitches like their grumpy bitch Mom. Dude! That pissed me off...
Grave's disease

     So for 20 minutes I had a passive aggressive bitch fight with this woman and her 3 kids, over personal space in a check out line. She puts her ass cheek on my cart, I 'accidentally' run over her foot...First world problems, right? Whenever me or Husband start complaining about something petty, we have a go-to retort to make that person shut the fuck up. The correct response to complaints about first world problems is: "HELEN KELLER". Fuck right off. Please tell me you know who that is? Oh for fucks sake..
     Helen Keller was born in 1880, contracted like, meningitis or something at 19 months old which took her hearing and sight, and in effect prevented her from speaking as well. And as a blind and deaf woman unable to communicate other than through rudimentary signs, she was the first of anyone with her disabilities to earn a bachelor of arts degree. And she was a WOMAN which would have been a feat in itself. She's a fucking badass, and unless you are blind, deaf and dumb, and a member of the most distressed minority...shut up.

     I got off track. Basically, I ran over this bitch's foot and that wasn't classy. I kind of got scared when I did it too, cuz I couldn't have backed myself up in that situation if she has chosen to jump me. But whatever. I knew she was full of shit. I win.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It looks like a hooker.

"I feel sorry for women who say that being a mother was their life long goal. Like, isn't there anything else you'd like to accomplish? Travel to Italy? Get an education and a career that brings you satisfaction? Learn another language?"

     This post in a Mommy forum set me off this morning. Sigh....I probably already covered this, but WHAT'S WRONG WITH MOTHERHOOD BEING A LIFE LONG GOAL?????? Please sit your feminist ass down and listen for a minute. Being a good Mother is not a "less than" endeavor. Choosing Motherhood does not mean you're too stupid to do something else. Wanting to be good at it, and striving for it, is honorable. Dreaming about being a Mommy when you're just a little girl is as normal as dreaming about being a doctor when you grow up, or a chef, or a truck driver, or anything else! STOP attributing the role of Motherhood to the brainwashed fundamentalist cultures, because those are not the only women who's greatest goal in life was to be a Mom. 

     God this pisses me off so much. I wonder if the women who say this kind of stuff might be the same ones who harbor guilt over their own performance in the role of Mom, and pass off their negative feelings onto other people to take the heat off themselves. That's not to say that I don't feel guilty about my own performance in one instance or another. I do. I have not always done the best, right thing, and I feel terrible over it sometimes. But then I realize that those emotions are not useful, to me or my kids, and so I let them go and try to be better the next day. But yes, it WAS my main goal in life to be a Mom. My other goals changed, but wanting to be a Mom never changed. I think I have gotten better at it as I have grown older and more aware, and I'm really proud of that. THAT is enough for me right now. I am totally fulfilled in my role as Mother, and going to Italy, learning a language or gaining a career wouldn't even TOUCH the satisfaction I get out of being a Mom. If my daughter wants the same thing, good for her! If she would rather spend her life under the hood of a car as a mechanic, that's fucking peachy too! But whatever she is, she better be a good one, because that is what I'm trying to teach these kids above all else. Have integrity.

     Here's the thing. People get so bent over gender roles. As if not buying your daughter dolls will make her more of a powerful woman. Or buying your son a toy tool belt will make him more masculine. That isn't how it works. Kids, especially young ones, try on different gender roles as a means of understanding the world around them. That means they want to push a baby in the stroller just like their Mommy does to them, or twirl the screwdriver because that's what daddy does, or vice-verse. Gage would try on my clothes and shoes, just as often as he would pretend to shave like his dad.
     I agree that forcing any gender role on your child is harmful, and encouraging negative gender roles is even worse. It is for this reason that my daughter will never own a Bratz doll. My little cousin LOVED these dolls when she was small, but they always creeped me out.
It looks like a hooker. With a cat.

     But is Motherhood negative? Of course not. Don't discourage your daughters from wanting to be a Mom just because you have some kind of fear that they won't do anything else. Of course she will, she will accomplish all kinds of things, because that's how you will raise her. But don't make her feel stupid or less than for striving to be a Mommy. The same goes for boys that want to be fathers. Gage has always wanted his own kids, and nobody ever discouraged that. I hope if he still wants to be a father as an adult, he is able to do it. 
     Another thing that bears mention is that even if you do everything possible to steer your baby girl away from anything "typically female/male" or your son away from everything "typically male/female", they will still do whatever the fuck they want one day. My Mother never allowed me to play with Barbies, and I ended up working in a strip club for ten years. And now I'm a stay at home Mom. There ya go.

     In the end, you just do the best you can, and whatever you think is right, and you will rarely consider anyone else's opinion when it comes to how you raise your kids. So whatever. I may as well be talking to the wall. I think everyone just needs to calm the fuck down, though. Myself included. A Bratz or a Barbie doll won't turn Bug into a hooker. I just don't like them and don't want them in my house. I also don't allow Dora the Explorer or fucking Barney to ever play on the TV. *shudder* I HATE them. Gage didn't know who Barney was until he was grown. Here's a list of other things my daughter will have to live with:

1. No bikini's or makeup until she's in high school.
2. No slumber parties or sleepovers unless they are at my house, or I am very close with the parents and I am sure the Mom will be up checking on them all night. 
3. No dating until she's old enough to drive herself away from a bad situation.
4. She will learn to drive a stick before an automatic.
5. She will have to be involved in at least one sport, and at least one arts class every year. (This one we are working on for Gage too).
6. She will dress to her age. No off the shoulder shirts bedazzled with "Wild One" or "Bad Kitty" or any other stupid shit.
7. When she does start dating, she will get on the pill immediately. Because hormones are a bitch to ignore when you're young and in love, and I'm not trying to raise another kid when I'm almost 50.
8. She must learn how to fight. Like a man.

     I can't think of anything else right now, but there will be more. Ugh, now I feel stressed worrying about her future self. I'm soooo glad she's only one....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A legit outfit in the morning became a Down Syndrome camp uniform by 7:00pm

     I've been thinking about humor and how some people prefer it to be mild, and others prefer it to be dark. Some people easily laugh at themselves, and others get bent out of shape at the slightest jab someone takes at them, even in jest. I wonder how that happens? I know that for Gage, he grew up in a very sarcastic group of people with a dark sense of humor, and now he's the same way. I assume that he learned it from us. Does that mean that people who only like puns and knock-knock jokes grew up with really sweet, polite and mild people? I ask because I have this sweet baby girl who is a little sponge, soaking up every little thing around her. I wonder what she's getting from all of this. She's started to do this little thing when she's doing something she shouldn't, like while she's pouring milk on the floor she'll turn her head away, but squint her eyes and look toward us, as if she's trying to trick us into not seeing her. Because if she can't see us, we can't see her. Hm. I'm pretty sure when she finally does talk, it'll be a swear word.

     That reminds me. I have joked with my son about some pretty sick shit, and discussed some very adult themes, but I have never allowed him to swear in front of me. I just felt like it was disrespectful and too non-traditional. I'm not as uptight as I used to be, but I still try to hang onto SOME semblance of a normal family life here and there. But really. We all know we're not normal so who do I think I'm fooling?
     Husband doesn't care what words Gage uses as long as he's respectful to him personally. I don't know what bio-dad allows, but I'd bet there are no rules about language with him either. I thought about this over the summer and have discovered that I actually don't care if Gage swears in front of me or not. I'm not sure why I ever acted like I did care, and it bothers me that I went along with a tradition without questioning it. Why is it important to me what words he uses, when every other word out of MY mouth is foul? I'm certainly not embarrassed about using colorful language, why do I give a shit if my teenage son does? He knows to thank Grandma for the "delicious pie" and not the "best goddamn fucking pie" he's ever had. So what's the big deal? I'm over it. And plus, he's turning 15, so I have bigger fish to fry these days.

     Gage will be home in a week, so I went into nesting mode and cleaned his room, made his bed like it was a hotel, and prepared his study area for virtual school. I'm super excited!! But also really nervous about being his "learning coach" while simultaneously running Husband's business. He is already getting more work than he has time to do, and it's becoming a tad overwhelming since I've never run a business before. And of course, this little toddler thing on my hip that runs every hour of my life. I'm fairly sure it'll all be fine, it's just new so it's scary sometimes.

     Gage asked me to make him a blanket while he was gone, and when I went to buy the materials for it, the fabric store was having a big fleece sale so I got stuff to make Bug a blanket too. I think I'll just use it as the comforter for her "big girl bed", which is a transition I think we'll soon make.
The beginnings of Gage's blanket  
I tried to find a cutesy-er owl print, but whatever. It's cool.
     As I was thinking about the plan for my evening tonight, I realized it's Tuesday. That means So You Think You Can Dance and Drunk History are on!!! And then I thought, "I sure am glad I had sex LAST night, so that I can watch my shows tonight!" How sad is that?? I must be 80 years old, for fucks sake, who thinks like that?! It got worse a few minutes later when I looked down and saw this:
     Yes, I used to be cool, but now I caught myself in a fucking University of Florida T-shirt (Peter on Family Guy mistook UF for a down syndrome camp) and my scrub shoes, the shoes that got soaked in somebody's shoulder juices from a total shoulder replacement and I had to bleach out.  That's what I discovered I'm wearing. I used the word "discovered" because stay at home Mommy-hood is a messy business, and even if I start out with a legitimate outfit in the morning, by the end of the day I'm wearing bits and pieces of the first, second and third things I grabbed after the spaghetti incident, the poop smudge, the sweaty trip to the store and the booger smear she snuck in during cuddle time. UGHHHHH...

     Wait. Did somebody say, "What's Drunk History?" It's the best show ever. I want to make my own but we don't have enough friends to pull off the acting parts.

     Wow. I re-read all that and it's like I just threw up a whole bunch of random thoughts. Whatever. :)