Monday, September 19, 2011

Guess What?? You're kids aren't fu*king perfect!!

I've been wanting to write about this one for some time now, but never really knew how I wanted to phrase it. That is, until this week. I've been thinking a lot lately about why, after moving from conservative Barrington to ULTRA liberal Alameda, I still have no Mommy friends. Now, don't get me wrong. Go to Lucky 13 any night of the week and ask the people on the back patio of they know Mark and Dia and guaranteed you'll get several takers. The issue is not that I don't have friends. i just still lack Mommy friends. I think I've now nailed down the "why".

After 8 kids some things that were once your fear in terms of raising kids just become truths.

Truth: Your kids will lie.
Truth: your kids will steal at least once
Truth: Your kids are capable of falling to peer pressure and trying any and/or every drug under the sun.
Truth: Your kids will hate you for a good portion of their childhood.
Truth: It's likely your teenager is having sex.
Truth: When he says "It's not my weed, I was holding it for a buddy." It's his.
Truth: The kid with the chocolate on his face not only ate it, but he blamed his little brother and planted the wrapper under his pillow.
Truth: You are going to fuck your kids up over and over. They will need therapy, acupuncture, Prozac and possibly a helper monkey just to get over the damage you caused. This, my friends, is the truth.

This, people, is why I have no mommy friends. Because SOME (not all... I have 3 best girlfriends each with 1 child- oh wait, one has 2 now, at any rate, these woman all just kinda get it...so I'm not generalizing) SOME moms have this mentality that "My kid is right, just, truthful and kind". To which I say...


"AMATEUR!"

Let me now share with you how this all came to light. It was this past Wednesday and I wanted to take the kids to the park, so I told Taren and Declan to meet me on the playground of their school (super nice park with a small park for younger kids completely enclosed with one small opening) I guess I should back this up just a moment.

Last year Taren had a girlfriend she was super close to. Let's call her "Lessie" and let's call her mother "Manet". As you can see, I thoughtfully changed the names to protect the not-so-innocent. So Lessie and Taren are friend. Manet is a complete weirdo, but I'm game. i live in NorCal, after all. She's kinda a space cadet but seems nice enough. She was really cool to my family and had Taren over often last year. Then, the talent show was happening. Lessie decides she and Taren should do a duet. Taren agrees. This is where my kid was a fuck up. The DAY BEFORE she decides Lessie is a shit singer and she won't perform with her. Now, maybe some moms would force their kid to do it, but I didn't. What I did was tell her the consequences of her choices either way she went and gave her the option to make that choice. She decided Lessie was still a shit singer and so Taren opted out, learned a new song that night on her own and sang the next day. Well, this pissed off Manet and that was the last I knew of their friendship. No call to me, no conversation just "See ya!" and I was ok with it. Again, consequences, right? So this year Taren and Lessie are in class together. In fact, they sit at the same table. As a result, they've mended bridges and are friends once more. DO I care? No! It happens. For you women out there, I'm sure you relate to a time when you had a falling out and then built the bridge again. It's not uncommon. Girls are like that. So then I start hearing things from Taren like "I can't go to this after school program because if I got Lessie can't." Of course I ask why. "Lessie's mom hates me." This goes on and on for a bit and then.... this last Wednesday....

I show up at the park at 2. The kids had been out for 10 minutes but they knew to wait for me there. On this day I had Taren, Declan, Shaylon, Camber, Cian and Avion. Not an easy group, but we went to the small playground and everyone knew they had to stay put. I sat down in the sandbox with Avion and Taren comes over to me, a little sad as far as I can tell.

"What's wrong?"
"Nothing."
"Babe. Tell me. I can see something is wrong."
(Big sigh) "Lessie's mom said that she can't believe we're having another baby because you can't even take care of the ones you have."


I BEG YOUR PARDON? EXCUSE ME??? AWWWWWW HELLLLLLL NO!


So I took a deep breath and looked at Je.. I mean Lessie and asked very calmly. "Did your mom say....."
She shrugs. I breathe. Lowere tone, firm tone but under my breath. "Did she say that?" She nods her head.

My next moment was like my life with Ja.. I mean Manet flashing before my eyes. Has she ever even been in my house? Have we ever hung out together with my kids? IS THERE ANY BASIS TO THIS? No, no and NO! So I calmly look back at Lessie and say "I'm calling your mother tonight. This is unacceptable and you cannot say those hurtful things to my daughter about her family. Lessie runs off crying. A mother sitting about 3 feet from me asks "What was that about?" to which I responded that I have a very large family and some people, for whatever reason, just can't handle it. This mother, again 3 feet away, didn't even hear the conversation between Lessie and myself. Fast forward 7 minutes.

I'm swinging Camber in the bucket swing. Shay is jumping in the sand, Cian is running in circles, Dec is nowhere to be found and Taren is at my side. Manet comes STORMING into the small playground. My kids are right there as well as other parents. She is LITERALLY SCREAMING and wagging her finger at me. "DIA!!!! Don't you dare yell at my child ever again. You are a goddamn mother and you should know better!!!!" Had she not said my name I would have thought she was a crazy person in the park. I look at her and said quietly. "I didn't yell at her." To which, of course, she insisted I did. Remember, friends. Perfect child. I then said "Would you like to go talk over there (private place) so we can have an adult conversation?" Manet screams "NOOOOOOO! I don't ever want to talk to you!" I then say " so why are you here then? You won't listen, your screaming at me in front of my kids, God and whole fucking park (oh yes, I said fucking) so are you done? She then continues with her assessment of the situation that just occurred.  Again I say " I never yelled at her." She then starts in on how horrible Taren was last year and how she made Lessie cry. i'm now putting the pieces together. Lessie cries, mom comes running, Lessie's story is the only one that's true. So I then tell her I'd like to talk to her off to the side so she hears why I "Layed into her kid" because at this point we've agreed I didn't yell but that I "Layed into her. I know, I know, but what do I care??? Is it Layed or Laid? Eh. On with the story. So I get her off to the side and finally have a chance to tell her what happened:

Me: Do you know what your child said to mine?
Manet: It doesn't matter.
Me: It really should!
Manet: You should never speak to a child the way you did
Me: You weren't here, and when you hear what your child said, maybe you'll understand.
Manet: Fine, What did she say?
Me: SHe told Taren that when she told YOU that I was having another baby, you told her that I should not be doing so because I can't even care for the ones I have..
Manet: (Interrupting) Taren lied.
Me: Well, that's the funny thing. I actually turned to ask Lessie if you said that and she told me to my face that you did. To which my response was that I was offended, that it was inappropriate for her to say such things to my daughter about her family, and that I was calling you (her mother) that night.

Ok kids, this is th emoment of the big apology, right? "God, Dia. I really had this wrong. i'm so sorry for coming at you like this and being a crazy fucking whack job who needs meds... I will talk to my daughter about her little lying mouth."

NOPE! I got: "Well, Lessie must have misunderstood something. I want you and your daughter to stay the hell away from us." My only logical response was "Gladly."

This is my BIGGEST PET PEEVE. You are an IDIOT if you think your child is perfect, never lies and is the fucking victim every single time she comes crying to you. Again, you are an idiot. This is why I have no mommy friends. I've learned what pieces of shit kids can be because I've had 8!!!! I'm not the mom with a diaper bag full of goldfish and apples and some organic crap in a squeezy tube that you paid a dollar nine for which you could have put in a ziploc and cut a hole in with the jar of applesauce you got from costco to the tune of 6 cents a bag. I don't own "your baby can read" because I seriously need them to shut the fuck up for as long as possible. So yeah, I have friends and they're mostly childless.. because they kinda get me and where I'm coming from. And I think they appreciate the honesty. As I'm sure you good people that read this do as well. Parenting is hard, stressful, rewarding and beautiful all at once. If your child comes to you and says "She did __________" You might want to calmly look at your kid, assess the situation and then decide whether to pursue things or not. And should you pursue things, try talking with other parents. Looking like a crazy bitch never bodes well..... just saying :)

Oh, and for whatever reason I can no longer edit posts, so this is raw and probably riddled with typos. Enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh Baby!

     My womb runneth over.

     Yes, folks, it's true. Last Friday, after a night of karaoke and drunkeness, I discovered via my friend E.P.T. that I now have a baseball team. That is if we created athletes rather than artists. But still, if the Cubs wanted to play us in about 5 years we could at least cover our positions. Now I know what you all are thinking. Stupid shit like "Do you know what's causing this?" or "Don't you guys have a t.v.?" The answer to both is no. So if someone could please explain to me how babies are made and if someone else could send me a new LCD (50" + please) it would be very appreciated. The truth is that if it weren't for little things like money, a sizable house and keeping food on the table (forget college, those little shits can borrow the the US the same way I had to!) we'd have even more. The biggest challenge in all of this may be surprisingly basic to you, but it has me concerned. My car. With Ashley and Taylor out of the house (more on this later) having an 8 seater has been perfect for family trips. We are now going to either have to buy an additional car OR rent one every single time we want to go somewhere as a family that we can't reach via public transportation. This sucks. I seriously need to win the lottery! Other than that, I really couldn't be happier! It's been a long time since Mark and I lived in the same house while I was pregnant (6 years to be exact) and when he sat on the couch next to me last night watching The Office with his hand placed softly on my belly, I felt so at home. The only thing that will be horrible about this birth is pushing the head out of my vagina. That's really something I thought I'd never have to do again. It's going to take some psyching up! So how did we get here??

     Life has taken a few twists and turns since I last wrote. The first of which is the eldest son, Taylor, moving out and back to Chicago. I wholeheartedly support this decision, but unfortunately he didn't want my support. It seems that all the fights and bullshit that happened between us finally got to him and he made the decision to cut all of us out of his life. This was heartbreaking for me. I found myself spiraling back into that dark place of depression. For you mothers out there, I'm sure you can understand how hard this would be. You think about so many things. The baby you nursed, the little boy you did science projects with, the grown man that played with his little brothers. Every day I woke up with a hole in my heart and I was never truly able to seal it up. It took so much out of me and so much away from those I loved the most because it was all consuming. The worst part was I didn't know how to shut the pain off. Everyone would say "He'll come back." And Mark would remind me of how truly horrible he had been to us as well and how he is just in the blaming process and not taking any responsibility for himself, but it didn't help. To make matters worse I had taken a job.

     Now don't get me wrong, I love working. For several reasons. First of all if you had to spend 24/7 in this house with these people you'd want the hell out too! I can only take so many "Mom!!!! He hit me and called me stupid!" shouts throughout the house. School has started so getting the routine together has been a challenge. I really should just remove the Wii from my house! So getting out from time to time and chatting with grown ups is often welcome. The problem became 2 things:

1) It wasn't time-to-time. They began scheduling me 5 and 6 days a week for 6-8 hours a day. In the first 2 weeks i worked 76 hours. IN essence, I now had a full time job. I asked to cut back but was told that until they hired someone new I just had to suck it up.

2) One of the owners is a royal fucking prick to work for. Never in my life have I been treated as badly as I was at this place. Once he even grabbed me by the back of my arm and marched me through the restaurant while chastising me within earshot of about 1/3 of our customers. I cried. Unfortunately AND fortunately the money was pretty awesome so the reward was being aboe to do things with my kids on my days off that I haven't been able to do in a while. Little things like a trip to the city. We went fishing. We went out to dinner. But between the sadness of Taylor shunning me and the way I was being treated at my job i was being pushed into a dark cave and depression was creeping, no, SLAMMING back into me. My life felt a lot like it did in Chicago. I worked too much and never saw Mark or my kids. The kids were taking care of each other so I could do so and I remember thinking this can't last. I kept telling Mark that should I come home early from work one night he could just know that I had either snapped and quit or snapped and got fired. Well, it din't take long for that theory to come true!

     Ironically 2 things happened at once. After weeks of sending Taylor emails and getting nothing in reply, the thing I wanted more than anything in this world finally happened. He responded. It was short and he said he still harbored some hurt feelings but that he loved us and was happy to be on his own at last. It was all I needed. Now you would think this might make going to work a bit easier on me and raise my tolerance level enough to get by, but this isn't at all what happened. Maybe it gave me a boost of energy to stand up for myself. Or maybe I finally didn't feel like the piece of shit I had felt like before so when my boss talked to me as such I refused to take it. Nevertheless, this is the short and unbelievable story of my demise.

Boss: (Insert a tone you would use on a really horrible child who was bullying other kids on the playground) Dia. What table number is this ticket? I can't do anything if you can't remember simple things like your table numbers."

Me: "Oh. I'm sorry. That's table 45. It must have just slipped my mind.

Boss: "Jesus Christ we're in week 3 here. You need to get it together.

Me: "I have it together. It's a simple mistake."

Boss: (Now visibly aggravated at me turning to talk to me face to face in a crowded kitchen full of staff) "Listen to me. We are 3 weeks into this and these are things we went over in week one. You can't.."

Me: (Interrupting) "I got it. All you have to say is "Hey Dia, you forgot your table numbers." and I will remedy it.

Boss: (Shouting) "Don't you tell me what to do!!"

Me: "Im not telling you what to do, I'm just saying I got it. I understand and you don't need to keep going and make me feel like a child about it."

     I was sent home. The next day without even a phone call I walked in and saw that I was crossed off the schedule. When I went back tot eh car without someone even bothering to speak to me, Mark who had driven me was LIVID! He walked in, told my boss what a horrible manager he was and they began debating how to treat employees. If you've ever argued with my husband you will know he won. He runs a huge team of people and treats them all like human beings. My boss didn't stand a chance. The last thing mark said to him is "Go back inside and run your business... into the ground." LOL! It was worth all of it to see someone stand up to this asshole the way Mark did! We had a moment of stress over money, but my last check was cut for me right then and there so we would survive until Mark got paid. 4 days later I found out I was pregnant. Let's be honest folks. The last job I left when I was 4 months pregnant, I told my boss off so badly and said horrible things to him that only made Me look bad. Sure, he was an ass but assholes exist in every work place. With my new hormonal surge it would have only been a matter of time before I snapped. At least this way I still saved face. All of my fellow employees know it was him being a prick and that I shouldn't have been fired. The next day at the server meeting he told everyone that the reason I was let go is because no one is going to question the way he does things. No one. Way to run a business! So now I'm pregnant, jobless and happy as can be!!!!!

     So this is just a quicky update. I do still kinda need a job, but I really don't need one like the last one I had. I have some leads and will see what comes of things. As for the kids, Ashley is here for 3 more weeks then heads back to Germany. This is the last time we will take her back into our house since we will soon have 7 kids living under one roof. I hope she finds what she's looking for and I know I will miss her and Cian when they are gone. Taylor and I talk in short emails, but at least we talk. The weight of that situation and the enormous sadness has vanished. Winnie is trying out for volleyball and as always is my high maintenance, stong willed handfull of a daughter. Taren and Declan are doing great in school. Shay started kindergarten this year and loves it. This means that on mornings like this one, while Blue sleeps in a little and Camber is eating oatmeal watching Caillou, I get to sit here, write to all of you good people, drink a little coffee, daydream about baby names and plan what's happening for dinner. I get to just be a barefoot and pregnant Mom knowing that Mark will be home tonight and that the burden isn't mine alone. As a result it really isn't a burden at all. It's just love and joy. And I like it that way.

See you next time!