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...
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.
"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!