Advertisements

Blog Archives

Dear Neighbor

Dear neighbor,

It was brought to my attention that you are a regular visitor to my page, so I figured that warranted your very own post.  I discovered that you enjoy reading my material after my young son notified me.  How did he know?  Well, it turns out you enjoy gossiping with your own young child about people you don’t know and things you don’t understand, telling your child Lord knows what about me.  Very mature of you to teach a child that talking poorly about people so openly, especially people you don’t know, is an acceptable thing to do.  And before you call me a hypocrite, this is my page where I get to say what I want, and the things here aren’t shared with my ten-year-old, because I’m a good parent.

It’s a bit confusing how you can dislike someone you’ve never bothered to speak to and who has never done anything to you.  We gave up waving and saying hello to you a few months after moving in because your phone and/or cigarettes always seemed to hold your attention better than the world around you.  Even though you ignored our attempts to be friendly, we still waved here and there.  I can only assume that the reason you decided to act like a bratty teenager was because of my personal nightmare neighbor who has nothing better to do than call the police on me for parking in my driveway, threaten me with physical violence, and then spread nonsense down the street to make herself look like a wounded princess.  It would make sense that two weak-minded people would band together though, so I can’t say that I’m surprised.

download

I have never complained to you or elsewhere when your kids are screaming at each other at all hours, nor have I complained to you or elsewhere when your dog gets loose in surrounding yards.  I don’t “have it out” for people I live near, spending all my free time plotting ways to make their lives miserable.  You want to know why that fragile Princess is complaining about me?  Because she’s wrong, I am right, and she can’t stand it.  She hates being proved wrong.  She hates the fact that I enjoy my privacy and don’t want her kids using my yard and driveway as a playground, or bouncing balls off of my house.  She hates the fact that she failed as a pet owner and we weren’t afraid to call her on it (I mean, who leaves a dog out in the cold, freezing rain with the lights off? That’s just cruel).  She hates that I don’t buy her “charming victim” act like so many other people do.  She hates that her boyfriend’s “we were here first” argument is bullshit that I’m not standing for.  If complaining about me makes her feel better about her miserable existence, I say go for it.  And you too!

Should I feel honored that you come here to read my page day after day?  I’ve personally never been so curious about a stranger, especially one who lives in such close proximity that I could pop my head outside at any moment if I had a question, that I’ve hopped on Google to find them.  I’ve certainly never been so obsessed that I’ve found said stranger’s online information and then proceeded to spend hours upon hours reading through it.  And I’ve definitely been so crazed about that stranger that I’ve discussed them with my young child, teaching that child that being a petty gossiping fool is a good way to live life.  If you haven’t noticed, I enjoy keeping to myself.  It’s only when provoked, I have to come out of my cozy little world and set things straight.

I tried my best with that little Princess who thinks I’m the devil.  I let a lot of things slide, telling myself that it’s not worth bringing up and to let it go.  That was until Princess accused me of yelling at her kid, approaching me by saying “did we do something to offend you?” and refusing to listen to anything I had to say because her precious children would never lie when they are caught doing something wrong.  The other shoe dropped when Princess and her Knight in Shining Hoodie had their drunk party guests on my property, leaving cigarette butts and other trash in my yard.  Quite honestly, I should have called the police, considering how loud they were and how many new colorful words my son could hear through the closed window, but I let it go.  It was a learning experience; I learned that it was in my best interest to stop trying to be nice to someone who has zero respect for other people if they aren’t interested in kissing her entitled prissy ass.

liar_liar_pants_on_fire

There are many differences between you and I, but one key difference is that I am minding my own business as best as I can.  I’m not seeking out people to annoy, I’m not teaching my children to be dicks to others, and I’m not posting petty nonsense on a neighborhood website.  I’m not the one allowing her children to bother other neighbors.  I’m not the one having loud parties.  I’m not the one littering my cigarette butts and beer bottles everywhere.  I’m not the one letting her dog bark outside unattended while I update my Facebook.  I’m not the one blocking mailboxes or parking in front of other people’s homes.  I’m not the one acting like a pathetic unpopular high school girl by spreading lies like a disease throughout the neighborhood in a sad attempt to make myself feel better.  I’m not the one obsessing over other people, staring at my phone or laptop for hours as I try to delve into their lives through whatever I can find online.  If you come into my personal space without permission, I take steps to remove you and then I go about my business.  Simple as that.

Thankfully, my child is wise enough to recognize stupidity when he sees it and isn’t about to buy into your crap.  Your decision to involve your child, and in effect involve mine, fortunately managed to slide right off of his back because he is smart enough to see how petty and childish your behavior is.  Getting a preteen to fight an imaginary battle for you?  Come on now.  Taking sides in an imaginary battle for the street?  Ridiculous.  I can only imagine how you must live the rest of your life if this is how you act towards someone you don’t even know.  Looking back, I’m grateful you never waved back to us or engaged us, because I would not be caught dead associating with someone on your level.  I prefer to stay out of the dirt.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I hope it encourages you to find a healthier hobby and get the fuck off of my website.  Perhaps you get a library card and find some good books to read?  Maybe take up crocheting?  Go on a nice long walk?  Find something better to do with your time than discuss my family and poison your child’s mind.  Mind your own damn business, because that’s what I’ve been doing and it works wonders.  You are barely a blip on my radar, and once I post this, you will again cease to exist in my world.  You are less than a gnat to me.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Neighbors don’t all have to be best friends, we just have to respect the laws and boundaries and personal space of others.  Stay out of my orbit and I stay out of yours.  Simple.  Oh, and next time you see your privileged princess friend, blow her a kiss for me, will you?

 

p.s. if you’re thinking of retaliating on the neighborhood page, think again.  The site is VERY clear on what constitutes harassment and I will not hesitate to report you and contact the proper authorities in order to shut you down. You want to have a say? Say it right here or grow a pair and come say it to my face. 

Advertisements

Friendly Neighbors

My husband and I have been in our new home for a little over a year now, and I couldn’t be happier about leaving the world of renting far behind me.  The downside to home ownership is that, unlike apartments, your neighbors remain pretty consistent.  Move in next to a lovely family, and you’ll have an easy ride.  Get stuck by a bad neighbor and you can expect to deal with nonstop nonsense for the next 30 years.

While our home was being built, I was excited about the existing neighbors, who had a child around the same age as my own.  He was a very polite and well-spoken boy who lived there part time (divorce/separation having half his time with his bio-dad).  Other than seeing some pretty ugly drama between the woman next door and her ex, things were pretty quiet.  Even the first time they threw a party, the gentleman next door came over to let us know there would be noise and cars, and I really appreciated that.

The second time they had a party, there was no friendly warming before the bouncy house was inflated.  There were drunk people sitting in our front yard, littering cigarette butts everywhere. There were kids in our driveway.  The man of the house (who I christen Pussy Whipped) blocked off the entire street with flashing lights so the dozens upon dozens of kids could run around screaming.  Their house is at the end of the street next to an empty cul-de-sac and giant field, yet they HAD to play cornhole right at the edge of our property, resulting in people all over our yard.  Not cool.

In the spirit of neighborly love, we let it go.  When one of their children was standing in our driveway, shooting darts at cars, we let it go.  When they lost their baby in our yard because the lady of the house (who I’ve named HorseFace) was too busy Facebooking on her phone, we let it go.  When their new puppy continuously got loose and came scratching at our back door, we let it go.  When their child started picking on my kid and stole his toy, we let it go.  When HorseFace confronted me about “kicking her kid out” of my yard, asking me if she did something to offend me, I let it go.  I didn’t want to let it go, seeing as how her stupid kid was standing in the middle of my yard to play catch and upsetting my dog, not just retrieving a ball like she said he was, but I did.

Things got to be too much when HorseFace and Pussy Whipped suddenly decided that having a dog was too much work.  They began chaining the puppy outside around 6:30am and leaving her outside for most of the day.  The puppy would be outside in the pitch dark and cold until nearly 10pm, barking nonstop while my kid tries to sleep.  On the weekends, we would be woken up early by the barking.  Just like the postal service, that puppy would be outside in rain or shine.  Alone.  A couple weeks ago, they moved the puppy’s chain so she’d be further away from the back door (which also meant she would be in two yards that didn’t belong to her)  After hearing the poor dog bark to be let inside for NINETY MINUTES STRAIGHT IN 50 DEGREE WEATHER AND POURING RAIN, I contacted animal services so they could do a wellness check.  I don’t care who you are or what you have going on, there is no excuse for neglecting your dog.  And that is exactly what leaving your dog out in the rain while you’re comfy inside would be called.  Neglect.

Yesterday, we saw a message on NextDoor, a community message board for my neighborhood.  It was titled “Friendly Neighbors” and read:  “Don’t we all feel like if a neighbor has an issue with a pet in the neighborhood that for whatever reason is bothering someone as a community they should be an adult and go and talk to the other neighbor before they call animal management for instance?  Just really annoyed that we have neighbors make complaints on a puppy for barking but they have a dog as well that barks as well!”  HorseFace’s strong suit is not the English language.  Or punctuation.  Now, I do agree that talking to a neighbor should be the way to go if it’s an issue of noise.  This was not.  This was an issue of neglect.  A puppy needs attention and direction, not a chain and alone time for hours upon hours.  I would never call animal management out of spite.  I called because that dog needed help.  As far as MY dog barking, of course my dog barks!  Every time their puppy comes by our door, my dog barks.  What my dog does not do is get left outside unsupervised to bark his head off until someone gives a damn.  Idiot.

An awesome person on NextDoor replied to HorseFace saying:  “If a dog is barking that much, that means that it wants attention and the owner is not taking responsibility for it.  Yes, no owner is perfect, my dog barks too, but when a dog is left outside barking non-stop, that means the owner is being ignorant.  People also have to remember to be responsible pet owners.”  This is my new favorite neighbor.  HorseFace replied:  “Well barking was not the complaint and she only barks when she is wanting back in.  We pay plenty of attention to her as well as play with her.  The people even make it a point to park across the sidewalk so my kids can’t ride their toys in front of their house so I don’t believe there is a true issue except they are simply being childish.”  At this point, we are enraged.  I park my car at the end of my driveway not to spite her kids (honestly, who they hell accuses someone of doing that??) but to stop cars from turning around in my driveway.  The cul-de-sac is not paved, so people use my driveway, resulting in headlights shining through our windows at all hours and people leaving skid marks everywhere.  We had drunk people leave tire tracks all over our drive as they peeled out after a party, and we had a motorcycle do donuts in the street and our drive, marking it up.  That aside, HorseFace (and half my street) parks in the exact same fashion, completely blocking the sidewalk.

My husband has had it at this point, so he says we need to go over there and talk to them face to face (I recorded this conversation so they couldn’t try and spin it later).  As he rings the doorbell, HorseFace says “it’s them, I know it’s them” before opening the door.  My husband greets them calmly and asks if there is anything we need to talk about.  HorseFace says “I don’t know, you guys seem all of a sudden, don’t seem to wave, don’t seem to care, we have a complaint on the dog, you’re our only neighbor.”  Pussy Whipped is standing behind her, holding their baby.  My husband let them know that of course we filed a complaint on the dog because she was out in the rain for an hour and a half.  HorseFace says BULL!  My husband says it’s definitely not bull, as we live right next door and can see/hear everything.  At this point, they’re talking over each other, HorseFace saying we should have come and talked to them, my husband saying it’s not his job to convince people to be good pet owners.  Pussy Whipped and HorseFace both then tell us to go right ahead and call the police/animal control/etc.  So I guess now it’s okay to call?  It’s hard to keep track.

My husband says “if you have something to say, don’t go online and say it.”  Pussy Whipped then says “I tell you what, get your fucking car out of the way, how ‘bout that?”  Cute how he grew a pair while not noticing that his car is blocking the sidewalk as we speak.  Pussy Whipped then accuses us of blocking the sideway to keep kids away.  My husband explains it’s because our driveway is the go-to for cars to turn around in because they don’t want to use the pile of rocks that is our temporary cul-de-sac.  HorseFace starts complaining about her kids having to go out in the street, seeming to forget the countless times her kids are playing in the middle of the road, ignoring cars that come through, while unsupervised.  Pussy Whipped brings the topic back to our dog barking, where I step in and say the reason he barks is because they moved their dog’s chain so that the puppy can come into our yard.  Pussy Whipped then says he can’t go outside without my dog sounding like he’s going to tear through the wall and attack him.  For those of you who have seen my dog, do you see him capable of breaking through the walls of our house and attacking our retarded neighbor?  No?  Me either.

HorseFace continues to deny that their puppy was outside in the rain for so long, or that they neglect her at all.  I need to stress that this puppy is continuously left outside along in godawful weather and/or in the dark.  Not once have we ever seen this dog be taken for a walk; she’s just thrown in the backyard.  I guess to their credit, they do have a dog bowl sitting out there for her, which is helpful when she’s left alone for hours on end, barking her little head off.  HorseFace THEN says that animal management never even came out, which is strange considering her post about animal management coming out.  At this point, my husband gives up and we walk away while HorseFace yells out the door about how childish we are.  Pussy Whipped comes out of the house now; my husband is on the other side of our driveway and I am barely in my own yard at this point.  She’s still yelling at us, so I lose it a bit and call her out on having drunk idiots in my yard and driveway.  She yells back about me being mean to her poor little angel boy (because saying verbatim “hey, can you please get out of my yard, you’re upsetting my dog” is PURE EVIL).  The same boy who crushed another neighbors young tree while playing in their yard.

So NOW, Pussy Whipped says “we were here first, bitch.”  I start walking back to my house, saying “fucking asshole” as I turn around.  He THEN says “Yeah, do something!”  I point out that he is holding a baby while trying to antagonize me.  Idiot.  He yells “yeah, you’re so tough!” and accused me of starting shit.  While holding a baby, Pussy Whipped keeps trying to  get me to “do something.”  Me, not my husband; the guy wants to fight a chick.  As much as I want to punch this bald asshat square in the face, I go back inside my house instead so we can laugh at them in private.  Big shocker as well; for the rest of the day on Sunday, they let their puppy back in the house as soon as she started barking.  Weird how that works.

I don’t regret calling animal management for one second because the end result seems to be that now the puppy will be let back in when she barks instead of left outside for hours unattended.  With winter coming and the temperature dropping, I’m happy that she won’t be suffering.  I mean, her owners are idiots, but outside of that, she will be fine.  Now, I might have been more willing to go and speak to her about the puppy if her reaction to the whole kid in the yard thing had been more positive.  Not once did she acknowledge that the kid shouldn’t have been in someone else’s yard; her first reaction was to accuse me of having a problem with her family.  That isn’t what a rational adult does.

Since I’m not dealing with a rational adult, talking is pointless.  The three minutes we spent “talking” to them yesterday proved that even more.  There is no reasoning with HorseFace, a woman convinced her children are so charming, anyone would be honored to have them running around in their yard.  There is no reasoning with Pussy Whipped either, a man who hides behind his wife and child, threatens a woman, and thinks that being somewhere first means you own the entire block.  The air being let out of two of my tires this morning could be a weird coincidence, but I’m getting as much as possible on record now because people who use the “we were here first” argument are the same people petty enough to damage someone’s property.  I need a lawyer.  And a shotgun.  And a ten foot fence.

Boobs

Yesterday, a random woman on Twitter felt the need to educate me on my hypocrisy regarding breastfeeding in public.  According to her, moms should be allowed to do it wherever and however they see fit.  This stemmed from a comment I made earlier in the day on Twitter.  It was not directed at her or hashtagged, so I assume she was just bored and searching for people to annoy.

What I said was “This whole right to breastfeed in public thing drives me nuts thanks to moms who have no respect for others & think they’re entitled.  Yes, you should be able to breastfeed in public, but YES you should cover up your jugs & not be an obnoxious twat about it.”  This was in reaction to a news story about mothers who harassed a business owner after he had requested a mother cover herself in his restaurant while breastfeeding.  The mother in question, according to all accounts, made no effort to hide her bare breast in full view of the patrons.

time-magazine-breast-feeding

There is a big difference between a mother trying to feed her child and a woman using her child to make a point to whoever happens to be watching.  Just because you are still breastfeeding your child doesn’t mean you are entitled to be disrespectful to others.  Having your breast fully exposed in public, especially in places with a captive audience such as a restaurant, is not okay.  I’m not suggesting moms go hide in the restrooms or in their cars to breastfeed, but I do feel they should make an effort to cover up.

My sister-in-law used one of those massive tent-like covers that completely masked everything.  I’ve seen other moms carefully use a blanket to hide certain areas so you can tell what is going on but it’s not in your face.  My issue is with the women who feel that breastfeeding is something that needs to be announced to the world.  A child should not be used as part of some twisted statement.  Even if a business owner wrongly shoos you away while you rightfully feed your child, you should have enough decency to not react by turning your child into a tool for revenge.

49740210992499640360no

Feeding your child does not make you special.  Providing the most basic of needs doesn’t make you better than anyone else or entitled to receive all sorts of special treatment at the expense of others.  Why should I have to hide my son’s eyes because some woman decides to whip out her breast at Applebee’s?  Why can’t she have respect for those around her and do it discreetly?  Why am I wrong for wanting mothers to make an attempt to not flash their milk jugs to the world?

I’m not a prude, but I’m also not okay with seeing random tits everywhere.  The “it’s natural” argument is lost on me, as a lot of things are “natural” but shouldn’t be blatantly done/performed in public.  If your true goal is to feed your baby in the best possible way, then do it.  But when your breastfeeding becomes not only an inappropriate public display, but a tool to shame mothers who choose formula and a tool to harass businesses, you’ve crossed a line.  Your baby is not a prop.

29th April 2014 PHOTO CREDIT SHOULD READ: MATTHEW PAGE Sports Direct Clumber Street, Nottingham.  Mums held a protest at Sports Direct after a woman was asked to leave the shop for breastfeeding her child.

I suppose I was called a hypocrite by random Twitter lady because I support breastfeeding in public, but I don’t support certain ways it is done.  What needs to exist is a mutual respect for each other by mothers and business owners/patrons/etc.  Mothers need to make an effort to cover so we’re not seeing nipples galore and everyone else needs to be understanding about the fact that babies need to eat on their schedule, not anyone else’s.  Moms should not be forced to hide in a dirty public restroom to breastfeed and I should not have to see nipples and giant engorged bare breasts while shopping at Target.  It’s give and take on both sides.

According to my new Twitter BFF, covering hinders lactation.  So because a small percentage of babies don’t like any type of cover whatsoever, all mothers should be able to skip using it?  I have yet to hear a good argument as to why I shouldn’t demand a bit of modesty from nursing moms.  I have yet to hear a rational reason why this angry group of breastfeeding mothers insists that frontal exposure is not only necessary to properly breastfeed, but is something the rest of us should simply deal with.  I have yet to hear a good reason why breastfeeding has to be an odd political statement instead of an act of providing nourishment to a baby.

Breastfeeding alone does not make you more woman or more mother than anyone else.  You might be the loudest person in the room but volume has nothing to do with your value.  If you want to be a good mother, be a good mother.  If you want to be respected when you feed your child in public, do so in a way that doesn’t also make you a public nuisance.  If you just want to get your knockers out and yell at passerby, no one is going to respect you or listen to a damn thing you say.  There is a way to make this whole thing a nonissue, once people get off their soapboxes, quit using babies as protest signs, stop shaming mothers, and start acting like decent human beings.

Mother Of The Year

My parents and I don’t exactly see eye to eye on much.  My relationship with my father has improved over the years, but my mother refuses to make any effort to reconcile with me and seems content in acting as if she does not have a daughter.  Unfortunately for me, I don’t have the luxury of severing ties completely, as they have grandparent visitation rights to see my nearly eight year old son.  This is generally not an issue, as most visits are local ones with just my father, but two or three times a year, my son goes down to Georgia to visit with them both for an extended time.  Recently, they had their two week summer visit in Georgia and my son came back with quite a few stories.

kid-in-story

The first story was one I’ve heard before.  My mother has been telling my boy that I am going to hell.  My mother was never big into church until my little brother got very religious and started playing drums in the church band.  Since then, she began reading religious texts and talking about God quite frequently.  A few Christmases ago, she sent me a letter with a bit of scripture and notes describing what a terrible person I am.  It was something she also did before I moved away; highlighted bible verses with notes on why those words meant I was a bad person.  It was something I just had to get used to and learn to ignore.

My son recently let me know about her now telling him that his mother will be going to hell.  In his words, “Grammy said that you’re going to the bad place downstairs because you’re not a nice person.”  I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was.  For a grown woman to tell this to an impressionable child simply blew my mind.  This is the same woman who gave me all my baby photos and memorabilia about a year ago with a note about how she didn’t “need this stuff” anymore, so I definitely get that she despises me, but I could not believe that she stooped so low as to bring my child into this.  This resulted in a very uncomfortable conversation with my boy.

uncomfortable-man

Thankfully he understands (I think) that she is talking nonsense.  My mother-in-law is very religious and by comparing her to my mother, my boy was able to see that no one who believes in God should be talking in that way.  He was able to see the difference between a loving person and one who is just confused and bitter.  I hope that he truly does get it and isn’t walking about thinking that his own mother is doomed to burn for all eternity.  At this point, he is old enough to see that she isn’t the nicest person in the world and he has expressed freely that he doesn’t enjoy his time with her; he prefers visits with just my father where he doesn’t have to listen to poisonous words about his parents.

This morning, my boy let me in on a bit more of what my mother says when I’m not around.  According to him, my mother says that I “stole him from her while she was at work” when he was a baby.  It’s pretty damn difficult for me to steal my own child, but I know that she is referring to the time when I decided to leave Georgia in order to begin a life with my husband in Indiana.  We packed up my belongings and hit the road while my mother was at work in order to avoid her interference.  The stealing part is odd, as both my parents knew about my husband and my plans and knew exactly where I was headed.  They simply didn’t like it.

2191404675_53b2efeb3e_o

I didn’t leave them behind due to some selfish reason or out of spite.  I left because my son and I needed to be in a healthy environment so we could flourish.  I needed to get my child away from the woman who tried multiple times to get my son to call HER mother instead of me.  The woman who physically abused me and might do the same to my son.  The woman who fights with poisonous words as she seeks to make others as miserable as she is.  The woman who refuses to take medication to fix whatever is mentally wrong with her as she falsely accuses me of being bipolar.  My life has been fantastic since leaving and she hates that.

I don’t consider myself to be a bad person, especially not in the way my own mother views me.  Yes, I’m an atheist, but I’m not trying to mold my son into a godless person as well.  He believes in God and likes the idea that we go to heaven when we die, and I don’t try to break that belief, I simply tell him about all the various things that people choose to believe in so he can make his own decision.  I’m not on drugs or drinking to excess, wasting my life away on substance abuse.  I sure as hell am not bipolar and “off my medication” as she claims.  I’m not damaging my son, who is at the top of his class, incredibly curious and eager to learn, and one of the sweetest kids you will ever meet.  I’m not the best mom, but I’m a damn good one and my son knows it and loves me for it.

IMG_20121123_102759

Every child needs to choose their own path once they reach adulthood, and there is a pretty good chance that the path won’t be one that the parents imagined.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  If my mom had her way, I’d be married to this little shrimp of a guy (because his parents are rich as all get out), living in Georgia as a housewife and raising two or three children, going to the salon weekly, and prancing around town like a little princess with my gorgeous children and my wealthy husband.  The fact that I passed up Mr. Money Bags in favor of a man I love who doesn’t make six figures is incredibly confusing to her.  The improvements I’ve made in my life mean nothing to her because I didn’t do things her way.

Right now, I’m not sure what my next course of action is in order to get her to stop trying to confuse my child and make him think his parents are terrible people.  Reasoning with this woman is next to impossible and due to her health issues, my father is reluctant to interfere and stress her out.  Going back to court is definitely an idea in order to get visitation reduced so that he has less time around her, but that is complicated and timely and sure as hell didn’t go my way the first go round.  I just know I’m going to have to do some serious thinking to solve this because I do not want my son caught in the middle and forced to listen to lies out of the mouth of a broken woman.

Growing Up

There comes a time in every child’s life where they have to step away from their parents, leave the safe haven under their wing, and truly become an adult.  It doesn’t happen when you graduate high school and turn 18; leaving the big yellow bus behind and acquiring the ability to buy cigarettes does not make an adult.  It doesn’t happen when you move out; one can get their bills paid and hold down a job while still relying heavily on good ol’ mom and dad.  It doesn’t happen when you snag a highly successful and well paying job; money and success are both great, but they don’t always go hand in hand with growing up.  In order to fully enter adulthood, one has to stop using mom and/or dad as a crutch to lean on for every little problem that comes their way.

121116013711-boomers-mom-daughter-computer-story-top

That isn’t to say that a child must cease to rely on their parent(s) for everything ranging from a bit of emotional support to getting a ride to the airport before a vacation.  Grandmas are great babysitters, moms are fantastic listeners, and dads are incredible problem solvers; it makes sense to go home and get help when needed.  The problem arises when you’re picking up the phone every single time your car breaks down and calling only one number:  mom and/or dad.  Because you know they will not hesitate to help, they become the solution to your problem of having a junker for a car.  You don’t see a reason to repair the vehicle because mom is a few button pushes away and she’s 100% reliable.

As a teenager or a broke college student, it’s perfectly fine to take advantage of your parents a bit and let them bail you out of bad situations.  As an adult, you need to be able to bail yourself out.  Dad should not have to “loan” you gas money every time you come to visit because you forgot your wallet, overdrafted your account, or forgot to factor the cost into your weekend budget.  Mom shouldn’t be used as your personal (and free) daycare service while you work your night shift.  They shouldn’t be doing your laundry, packing your lunches, running your errands, or paying your bills.  When you reach adulthood, you have to stop using your parents as the solution for all that ails you, and you definitely have to stop with the “poor me” routine that makes every soft-hearted parent cave to your wishes.

draft_lens1406097module157004845photo_1329379129

It makes me sad to see someone I care about get taken advantage of by their child, who is older than me and who carries themselves as a very mature and well-adjusted individual.  I’ll be 32 soon and I spent quite a few of my earlier post-18 years relying heavily on my parents for certain things.  I put my first car in my father’s name to keep payments low and stayed on his insurance so my rate was low as well; even though I made the payments, I was still being carried.  I didn’t start paying my own cell phone bill until I was 20, then got back on my parent’s plan after I had my son and couldn’t afford a plan on my own.  I let them buy me groceries, gas, and other things I either couldn’t afford or didn’t want to spend my “fun” money on.  But eventually, as it always should, the time came to cut myself off and learn to live without using their help as a backup plan for everything.

I got criticized for putting my son in daycare when he was slightly over a year old because it was “too soon,” but it was necessary.  Not only did it help him socialize, but it allowed me to stop waiting tables and bartending at night and go out to get a real job with the normal schedule I would need when he eventually started school.  Having him in daycare meant I was no longer relying on my mother to play babysitter while I was away.  My husband and I currently ask his mother to take the boy here and there (we have a three day Chicago trip upcoming where she will be watching him) but we would never ask her to become a scheduled caretaker for him, be it full or part-time, because it’s unfair, inconvenient, and not something a responsible adult would put on a parent’s shoulders.

weight of the world

Most people would put their foot down after a while and tell their kid to knock it off and deal with it on their own.  Unfortunately for the person in my life, she is far too kind to even consider this so she is at the mercy of her demanding child.  Today, she was making phone calls and doing research for her child (who is sitting at her house and doing nothing) days after her child screwed up royally and had her chauffeuring her around town to deal with some other nonsense brought on herself.  She has been sleeping on the couch for over a week so her child can have her bed.  While her child’s spouse is at work (working 24/7 apparently), she is bending over backwards and then some for her child and has been working double overtime for nearly two years now.  She does her child’s laundry, packs lunches, cares for the kid, does the grocery shopping, cooks every dinner, loans out her cars, and caters to every whim (be it as small as wanting chicken for dinner or as large as fixing a legal situation for her child).  It bothers me tremendously.

An adult doesn’t ask these things of their parent.  An adult may take up their mom’s offer to provide full time help when a baby is born, but they must say enough is enough after a couple of weeks and give their mom a break.  Dad can treat you to lunch once in a while, but he shouldn’t be your go-to meal ticket.  As an adult, YOU should be treating your parents here and there; pay for their lunch, cut their grass, get the oil changed in their car, or offer to buy on the next shopping trip when they try and pay for the whole purchase.  Growing up means a lot of different things, but one of those things must be to let go of the dependence on mommy and daddy and truly become your own person.

Riled Up And Rowdy

On Tuesdays, my mother-in-law usually picks up our boy from school so he can have some fun quality time with grandma before coming home to his boring parents.  This past Tuesday, he talked her into a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese for pizza and games.  After insisting he had behaved beautifully in school to both her and to us over the phone, we agreed that the trip sounded like a great idea and off they went as my husband and I went in search of sushi.  The boy came home with goodies won with tickets, got his bath and some playtime, and went to bed with a smile.

Chuck-E-Cheeses-Tulsa-OK-535

The next morning, I drove the boy to school minus the husband who stayed home to telework, and went to work in an attempt to get through those eight hours as quickly as as smoothly as possible.  Shortly before noon, I got a phone call from my son’s elementary school.  From the principal, to be more specific.  She had my son sitting in her office while she explained to me the reasons he had landed himself there.  First, he stomped on a boy’s foot at recess on Tuesday before telling him “if you tell on me, I’ll beat you up.”  Then, after the child’s mom called the school to complain, my boy was called down to the office.  Once he realized he was in trouble, he proceeded to throw a fit so violent that he had to be restrained.  Once he calmed, she told him that she would get me on the phone.  He was still agitated as we spoke, learning that he would lose his recess for the rest of the week and possibly longer if he didn’t reign it in.

When I picked him up Wednesday afternoon, he knew he was busted and made no effort to hide it from me, although he did ask me to hide it from daddy.  He knew I was upset, especially since two weeks ago, he got in trouble on a field trip for bullying 3 and 4 year olds.  I wish I could say he learned his lesson, but he has been a disaster the past couple of days, breaking the rules and coming up with ridiculous lies to try to save himself from getting in trouble.  He knows from experience that we always find things out (mainly because he’s a terrible liar) and knows that he gets in less trouble if he comes clean in the beginning, but he still keeps lying about the smallest and stupidest things imaginable.  He’s been grounded from TV, video games, and most of his toys, but the lesson is still lost on him.

kid_07

What frustrates me is that my boy knows right from wrong and knows it well.  He’s one of the smartest kids in his class and has been in previous years as well.  His teachers always comment on how sweet he is, and they’re absolutely right.  There’s just something in his 7-year-old brain that pushes him to jump into action even when he knows that nothing good will come of what he’s about to do.  He will bully other children, knowing full well how awful it feels to get bullied since he went through it.  He’ll lie about what he did even if you saw him do it.  The thing that bothers me the most though is that he just doesn’t seem to care sometimes.  He doesn’t seem to understand the effect his actions have and the stress it puts on his parents.  His only concern seems to be how things affect him and how soon he can get his privileges back.

There are quite a few moments where I take a step back and try to see what I’ve done wrong.  What did I do wrong, what did I miss, where did I screw up?  He knows darn well that we didn’t teach him to bully people or lie, and he even admitted that to my husband on Wednesday night.  The awful things he does are not things he learns at home, through us or through television.  We don’t spank him, so he’s not learning that it’s okay to hit as long as you have a good reason for doing so.  We don’t BS him about things and he’s not witnessing us lie to each other or anyone else.  Try as I might, I can’t see where I’ve slipped up or what I can do in order to have my words sink in and for him to finally come around.

trouble-maker

I know, I know; he’s just a kid and this is what kids do and I need to get used to it because it’s just going to get worse.  I just cannot stand this careless attitude combined with the silly lies.  I want the best for him and he’s not going to get the best unless he fixes himself up and quits beating on kids in school before he’s old enough for them to throw him out or lock him up.  I want to rid him of the habit of lying to get out of a bind so he doesn’t grow up to be a totally dishonest and untrustworthy person.  This kid is incredibly smart and lovable, and he can do great things.  I just want the best for my son and I want him to be able to come to me with his problems without instantly assuming that I’ll be angry and that his behavior must be masked or downplayed with lies.

The boy is grounded again today and on his way to having a very uneventful weekend.  The goal of my husband is to make him hate losing his things so much that he will never misbehave like this again.  I usually give in after feeling bad and return some forbidden toys to him early, so I’ll have to be tough this time around and stick it out.  I’m very hopeful that he can bounce back, stop the crazy lies, and knock of the bullying before he pushes the wrong kid and gets knocked out.  I’m trying to remember what it was like to be 7 and trying to understand that he still has so much learning and growing to do.  I think he has a pretty good support system in my husband and I, plus an amazing grandma and fantastic extended family, so I hope that between us all, we can keep him on the right path and get that little punk in line.  Meanwhile, I think a beer is in order for the stress of this week.  Cheers.

F#%! Yeah, Man!

Tuesday night, my husband, son and myself went to WWE Smackdown Live in Indianapolis.  Blog on the specifics to follow, as I don’t want to post spoilers.  Our seats were pretty great, right on the aisle so my vertically challenged child would be able to see all right.  As the arena began to fill, a group of friends took their seat directly behind us while my husband was out by concessions.  The female was already intoxicated, slurring her speech and being loud.  Her male companions both seemed to be sober, but the one directly behind my son had a problem with his mouth.  Specifically, dropping the F-Bomb about ten times in two minutes.  Loudly.

Allow me to be the first to admit that I have a potty mouth.  I cuss a lot.  I cuss in public, in private, and on social media.  I have zero problem with other people cussing to their heart’s content, especially at sporting events.  That being said, I’m calling this guy out of line because he was cussing thirty minutes before the event began, when the arena was mostly empty and fairly quiet in our section.  He could clearly see a small child in front of him and didn’t make any attempt to keep his voice down.  Thankfully, once my husband returned to his seat, the cussing redhead quieted down and not a single “fuck” escaped his lips.  His drunk companion, on the other hand, said “shit” quite often and was met with glares from my little boy as he got annoyed with her screeches.

For me, it should be a matter of common courtesy to refrain from using profanity and vulgarity around children.  If you must cuss, keep your voice down to attempt to keep your filthy words out of innocent ears.  Don’t hang out in the toy section at Meijer or any other child-specific area and call your buddy a douchebag asshole; surrounding kids don’t need to expand their vocabulary based off of your juvenile insults and stupid behavior.  Sure, you’re allowed to cuss and say what you want in most places, but the right to do it doesn’t make doing it right.

Our boy has picked up some naughty words here and there.  Possibly from overhearing us, possibly from overhearing others, definitely from certain kids in school and certain adults in public.  It’s a part of life; you learn these forbidden words, you have a blast throwing them into conversations, and then (hopefully) you grow up and curb your cussing to an appropriate level.  As a parent though, I would simply appreciate not having to cover my son’s ears at the State Fair or avoid aisles at Target due to idiot adults and thoughtless teenagers who can’t stop flapping their lips.  I am trying to teach my son that cussing isn’t something you do in certain places and it’s hard when people are cussing in the places I’ve told him are not all right.

Even before I had a kid, I would step far away and hide my cigarette (back when I smoked) when I saw a child so they wouldn’t learn by my bad example.  I would tell my friends to zip it when they were getting too rowdy and children were near.  I would definitely watch my language and do my best to cover it up when I slipped.  Taking “fuck” out of my vocabulary for a few moments isn’t going to kill me or anyone else.  What it does do is make you into a decent person for a little while.  You’re doing a service to the parent(s) and to the child, albeit a small one, and I promise that any decent parent out there greatly appreciates it.

Daddy Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!  I hope your child(ren) treat you wonderfully and spare you the awful neckties, tacky t-shirts, and cheap BBQ accessories.  I’m writing this blog a few days before Sunday and postdating it to automatically throw itself onto WordPress because I plan to be busy with my husband and son all day.  This weekend will be filled with picnics in the park, bowling some great games, possibly a WWE Pay Per View and pizza, and gifts that I hope he’ll enjoy.

I have the boy making a card because to me, a handmade card from an almost 7 year old is more personal than a Hallmark card that I pick out and my almost 7 year old signs and hands over with little idea of what it says.  I also printed out a coupon book for him to write favors in; he’ll be choosing what to write so I expect quite a few will have to do with being good and not destroying the house.  I’ll also be letting him hand over most of the gifts I purchased.  Hopefully he’s excited.  The husband has a few things coming, such as a Shark Attack mug I wasn’t able to get for Christmas, the soundtrack for the movie Drive, some random items from a British food supplier, and a pack of ginger beer that he became a fan of when we went out for my birthday.  What I’m most excited about though are the three tickets to WWE Smackdown on July 31st and the t-shirt from WWE.com that hopefully gets here by Saturday!

My husband is a hell of a dad and I could do three times what I’m doing for him for Father’s Day and not have it be enough.  He loves our boy and has gone above and beyond to provide for him and teach him what it is to be a man.  He’s a tough guy, but my son respects him and highly values his opinion.  I’m the pushover and Daddy is king; the boy knows he’s the boss, the protector, and the guy with all the answers.  He is the opposite of his own father, which makes him the greatest dad on Earth.

For me, Father’s Day is also a time for me to show that I appreciate him being an amazing husband.  We’ve been together for about 4 ½ years now, married for slightly less than that, and I love the guy more every single passing day.  He drives me insane at times, but he supports me like no other, is strong for me when I have weak moments, loves me unconditionally, and knows me in a way that no one else in this world possibly could.  I hit the damn jackpot when I said “I Do” to this man and while I know I don’t tell him that enough, I hope he knows it.

Father’s Day shouldn’t be a forgotten holiday where kids raid the holiday sections in Walmart and CVS on Saturday night to grab dad a gift out of obligation, getting whatever happens to be leftover or cheapest.  It shouldn’t be a day where mom buys a few gifts and the kids do nothing more than slap their name on it and hand it over.  It should be a day where you thank dad for all that he has done for the family and all that you know he’ll keep on doing.  It should be a day where you take over some of his responsibilities (dog walking, lawn care, etc) instead of just giving him a break until tomorrow.  It should be a day about family and a day where he knows you love him and he can feel like all his hard work is worth it and is appreciated.  Take time out today and give dad all the thanks that you missed out on giving him on the other 364 days of the year.

Baby Crazy

A friend of mine posted a comment on Twitter the other day about women who announce their pregnancy as soon as they find out and then proceed to fill the next nine months of YOUR life with updates and comments and ultrasound photos and all things baby.  It reminded me of my sister-in-law, who was fairly non communicative with me until she got pregnant, and once she had her daughter has been texting me more in a week than she did in the entire pre-baby time we’ve known each other.  In some people’s cases, they just want to brag and show off.  Others are simply oblivious to the fact that you don’t care as much about their bundle of joy as they do.  A few are delusional enough to think they are the first person to create life.  And in general, most people who give you way too much information about their personal lives just don’t give a damn whether you want to hear it or not.

Bringing a child into the world is an amazing thing, but it’s hardly a miracle.  Tune into to 16 And Pregnant on MTV or read stories about moms dumping babies in dumpsters, and let me know where the miracle lies.  Any idiot with functioning body parts can have a child with any other moron with working plumbing.  Conception is basic science and getting the sperm to the egg is a process that is instinctual to us all (and if you’re confused, you can just watch an episode of Jersey Shore).  As simple as it is to have a kid, women will still continue to act like Beyonce and talk of their new baby as if they invented childbirth.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be excited about your pregnancy or proud of your children.  I’m also not saying you should be ashamed or reluctant to share an ultrasound picture or the news that your little boy cut his first tooth.  I’m saying that when the little plastic test gives you a positive reading, you aren’t obligated to tell every single person you know about it within an hour, then post a photo of your test on Facebook right after tweeting half a dozen times about being a mommy now.  The whole process of creating and raising a kid is exciting, but that excitement isn’t going to be shared by everyone and it’s important to remember that if you have any interest in not alienating your friends.

Part of being a good friend (or whatever relation you are to someone) is knowing the boundaries of your relationship and what you are to each other.  The guy who has never been more than a drinking buddy and who you’ve never spoken to sober will probably not be all that interested in hearing details of your weekly check-ups.  The woman down in accounting, however, with kids of her own, is probably a good place to swap stories and get advice.  You need to know your audience and make sure you’re not overloading the wrong person or people with information they don’t really care to know.

My friend who tweeted about baby-crazy ladies doesn’t have any kids of her own, so to throw information at her is to basically use her as a set of ears only; it’s not like she can trade stories back since she hasn’t popped out a kid yet.  Humans are conceited creatures, yes, but I still find it unfair to throw your baby news at someone who isn’t a parent yet (or has no intentions of becoming one) because you know damn well they won’t have any stories to come back with and you can just talk and talk and talk…. you get the idea.

 

Be happy, be excited, and be proud.  But while you’re being those things, don’t forget to be a friend, a sister, a colleague, or whatever you were pre-baby.  Don’t forget why you talk to this person in the first place and don’t let baby replace your old conversations.  Don’t overshare and end up overstaying your welcome with the people you interact with on a daily basis.  Don’t be selfish and assume that time stops for you when you have good news to share.  Be a proud parent without losing your former self and your friends.  Do you know how annoying it is to hear someone go on and on about their AMAZING vacation that you can’t afford to a place you’ll probably never go, showing you photo after photo?  Just as annoying, if not moreso, when you do it about your damn kids.

Mother’s Day The Right Way

The first mother’s day I can remember involved me getting up extra early and sneaking down the hall to our kitchen while my parents were still asleep.  I grabbed a platter from the cabinet and stacked it with napkins, a handmade card from the night before, and a fake flower I borrowed from the floral arrangement sitting on the dining room table.  With all the culinary skill of a four year old, I constructed a cheese sandwich on white bread, cut into fourths, and a cup of tap water, bringing it to my mother for breakfast in bed.  In the years following, mother’s day was always a day centered around mom with my brother and I doing the bulk of the work in order to show mom how much we love and appreciate her.  There were school projects and crafts that were brought home, allowance that was spent, and a lot of whispers of “I hope she likes it” between my brother and I.

In 2005, I became a mom and had my first real mother’s day in 2006, although my son was still too young to realize what it was.  As he got older, he began bringing home various works of art for me from school and started working on homemade cards and other cute gifts for me with the help of my husband.  This year I asked him to please behave himself at school as a gift, so hopefully I receive that for the remainder of his school year.  My husband participates as well in the gift giving, getting me little things that will be marked from my son that he’ll be able to give to me.  He never goes overboard, which I greatly appreciate, and always skips the flowers and jewelry.

Mother’s day is a day for moms to be appreciated by their children.  It’s not a day for dad to rush out and drop big bucks on diamonds and roses, not a day to make reservations at some fancy restaurant where you’re never sure of which fork to use, and not a day for the entire family to put mom on a pedestal and kiss her ass for 24 hours.  It’s a day for the kids to step up and do some chores to give mom a break, for dad to allow her to sleep in an extra hour or two, to say thank you for the countless things she does that she generally is never thanked for.  It’s not about how much cash you can drop on her gifts, but about the gestures you make throughout the day to show you care.

No holiday out there is safe from being over commercialized, especially not mother’s day, but that doesn’t mean you need to fall prey to the Jared ads and expect to receive an overpriced heart pendant to say “Hey, thanks for popping out my offspring and putting up with their nonsense.”  You don’t need to compare notes with the other moms at work or school on Monday to see who got what from their family and you definitely should not feel jealously or envy if you didn’t receive a giant bouquet like mom-of-the-decade over there or a huge diamond ring like Miss Prissy down in accounting.  If your kids woke up and hugged the hell out of you, then did their own laundry and made their beds without being asked, take that as a major victory and put a smile on your face.

Any idiot can spend money, so the dollar value of whatever you end up receiving or giving on mother’s day shouldn’t matter at all.  What matters is what you do with your day.  Treat your mom (or the mom of your kids) with love and respect, give her a break, handle the dinner preparations, keep the kids from fighting, let her do what she wants to do, and say thank you.  Don’t complain when she wants to watch her favorite movie for the hundredth time, give her some Xbox time, and walk the dog so she won’t have to.  Make her feel like the luckiest mom on the planet and make sure it’s centered on the kids doing things for their mom.  I promise it can be done without overpriced bracelets, a dozen roses, and a five course meal at some stuffy restaurant.

%d bloggers like this: