Posts Filed Under bitching about the kids I chose to have.

Family vacation is a barrel of lies except for the overpriced Junior Ranger vest.

by renegademama

“Family vacation.” It has such a nice ring to it.

But what it actually means is: Spend money on tiny hungry humans who complain too much, get tired by 4pm, and probably won’t remember any of your valiant efforts at family bonding.

I don’t mean that.

I may have meant that.

Stop shaming me for my lack of gratitude.

Seriously, why do we bring them?

Don’t tell me about “education” or “lived experience” or whatever other helpful thing you’re about to say. I am clearly not interested in that at the moment.

 

Vacation with kids is like regular life with kids only it costs more and there’s an added layer of THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AMAZING. IT WAS SO AMAZING IN MY HEAD BEFORE WE LEFT.

How many times a day on vacation do Mac and I look at each other and say: “We’re never bringing them again?”

Well, that depends on how many hours we’re awake.

Twelve hours? Twelve times.

Fourteen? Fourteen.

Eighteen hours? 27 times because after 14 hours it triples in frequency (Don’t check my math. I did not calculate.)

In the past three weeks, we’ve taken our kids to a wedding in Port Townsend, Washington, which required a FLIGHT, on an AIRPLANE, and we took them camping in an RV for three days.

As a reminder, my kids are ages: 4, 8, 12, and 16. One might think the older ones are super chill on vacation, and one would be correct if measuring them solely against the total-body-mind-spirit-breakdown of the toddler by 6pm since naps apparently don’t happen on vacation and when they do, they don’t count.

They’re like tiny refueling sessions so the kid can arise more batshit than before.

But if gauging from basic attitude and mercurial emotions and bickering over stupid shit that does not matter ever at all ever, teenagers rank pretty fucking high on the “WTF ARE YOU DOING HERE WITH ME ON VACATION” meter.

Between arguments over who sits where everywhere we go – restaurants, planes, cars, the ferry, benches, the ground – to all four kids simultaneously losing it by hour two in Washington traffic (seriously, Washington, fix your infrastructure), poking each other in the car like a goddamn stereotypical sitcom, there are just so many moments when I truly, at the bottom of my soul, cannot understand why we bring kids with us on vacation.

Other fun pastimes:

  • Trying not to lose them in public places
  • Trying not to let them drown
  • Trying to find public bathrooms because somebody has to pee even though we just left the pee place
  • Trying to navigate new roads, ferries, and drivers in an unfamiliar car while the kids throw punches and wail about Cheez Its
  • Trying to pack
  • Trying to unpack
  • Trying to pack and unpack and then pack again and unpack once you get home which will either happen immediately or 2-4 weeks later
  • Trying to hike
  • Trying to not let them get sunburned while hiking
  • Trying to keep caring if they get sunburned
  • Trying to keep caring if you lose them
  • Trying to keep caring at all, about anything
  • Trying not to micromanage them to the point of uselessness for all (“Let them be happy, free children!” BUT DO NOT LET THEM GET HARMED IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.)
  • Spending so much goddamn money on food at every meal you resort to buying loaves of sourdough at grocery stores and throwing it at them
  • Sticking the toddler in a car at 3pm and flailing about hysterically trying to keep him awake until you’re back to the actual bed because god knows those 20-minute car naps that somehow replace the 2-hour ones create a Satan death child for the rest of the day
  • Trying to talk a teenager out of a random, nondescript tantrum
  • Trying to talk a toddler out of a random, nondescript tantrum
  • Trying to talk yourself out of a random, nondescript tantrum

At one point, I simply screamed: “EVERYBODY STOP SPEAKING.” Oddly, it worked. It was one of my more successful moments, in fact.

I could go on. Should I? Nah.

Truly. Why the fuck do we do it? And more importantly, why do we keep doing it?

Well, I’ll tell you why.

 

We do it for the goddamn junior ranger vest.

We were in the gift shop at Olympic National Park when my eye landed on an adorable, overpriced little green vest situation that said “Junior Ranger” on it. It was covered in pockets, and I knew our four-year-old, Arlo, would lose his shit for that thing, so I showed Mac and he was like, “Um, yes,” so we bought it, and told Arlo he was now The Junior Ranger and must fearlessly lead us on our hike.

My god the seriousness of that child while receiving his charge. Very official.

I AM JUNIOR RANGER ARLO.

We clipped some sunscreen on it. He went around fastidiously asking if anyone needed it. We were a party of about 11, and every single one of us needed it. Twice.

We get on the trail and there he runs, straight to the front. George tried to get ahead of him, but never fear, unbridled earth-shattering shrieks from Jr. Ranger Arlo soon deterred her.

“I AM LEADING!” Okay, tiny human with a day-old man bun. We get it.

He walked and walked, until he needed daddy to carry him uphill. Which daddy did. Junior Rangers sometimes need carrying.

At one point, Uncle Cedric asked Arlo, who was stomping along in front of him, “What’s in your vest?”

Without breaking his stride, from over his shoulder, with an air of dismissive superiority, Arlo said, “Junior Ranger stuff.”

Like, you moron. Fuck off. This is top-secret information.

He wore it the whole hike, occasionally picking up rocks and beer bottle caps and sticks and flowers to stick in the pockets. He wore it later at the beach, where he collected shells. All the other kids brought it up constantly, praising his ranger skills, exploring the vest, suggesting he add this and that.

I think it may have been the cutest fucking thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

He slept with it that night.

And when we got home, when all the vacation shit was covering the kitchen table, entryway, and living room, Mac said, “You know, all we’re going to remember from this shitshow is the fucking Junior Ranger vest.”

And he is right. And it will be worth it.

The most expensive Junior Ranger vest in the history of humanity, and yet, somehow, it’s alright. It’s what we needed with our whole, broke, bickering hearts.

 

Junior Ranger does not find you amusing.

UPDATE: In looking for photos for this post, scrolled through all vacation shots. Now crying at the unending beauty of it all. I want to go back I LOVE ALL THE CHILDREN.

****

Have you had a chance to read my book? If so, would you leave me a quick review on Amazon and Goodreads? I’d be immensely grateful. It’s very helpful to authors.

And if you haven’t, did you know that it’s also “wickedly funny?” Somebody official who knows a lot about literature said that.

Or maybe it was some dude on Twitter. Your call.

But yeah, we talk a lot about the seriousness of the topic – motherhood & addiction – but my strongly held belief is that we absolutely must laugh, a lot, even at really fucked up things. Amazon editors even said it was “one of the best books of 2018 so far” in the humor category.

Also, a few people have been asking me about the audiobook. Yes, I narrated that shit! At a recording studio in Sacramento with half-naked women all over the walls. It was lovely. They were motivating.

 

Hey also one more thing: I made a brand new writing workshop for people who don’t know where the fuck to begin in revising their first draft. Check it out

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“Not doing shit about it” is a viable parenting approach

by renegademama

In the past two weeks, I’ve received two messages from mothers who are fed the fuck up with their baby’s sleep situations.

Or, perhaps better said, lack thereof.

They are tired, overwrought, and at an absolute loss for how to go forward. They tried sleep training, realized it wasn’t for them, while also realizing their current situation of, um, not sleep training, is also “not for them.”

A motherfucking quandary indeed.

They asked me how I survived it, and I started thinking about how I endured that exact situation. And I mean exact. I have been precisely there, multiple times, for months. Years?

 

And I’ll tell you what I did: Nothing.

Well, no, I tried shit occasionally and then returned to the “fuck it” place.

Eventually, I gave up the fight – the methods, the approaches – and accepted that some aspects of parenting simply suck ass, and we don’t have to do anything about it.

We can just let it suck until it passes.

We can not love it and take no particular action to fix it.

Incidentally, I believe the enjoyment of my parenting is in direct correlation to my acceptance of the bullshit I cannot change. OMG I sound like a 12-step meeting.

And holy shitballs does this disturb and appall the parenting expert brigade.

YOU DO WHAT? NOTHING? THAT’S NOT PARENTING. IT’S LAZINESS.

Maybe.

But is it laziness? Or is it a realization that all relationships involve a level of bullshit we cannot eliminate, and our misery only increases when we fight it, fruitlessly, for years, running ourselves ragged for the silver bullet, the key, the Thing That Will Solve the Problem Once and For All.

Anybody ever, oh, I don’t know, tried to be married?

Mmmmkay, you see my point.

 

I have one kid, George, who liked sleeping alone in cribs. One. And I mean she preferred that shit. It was very weird.

But the other three? They were somewhere on the spectrum between “I prefer to sleep next to you” to “IF YOUR NIPPLE IS NOT RESTING ON MY LOWER LIP I FEAR I MAY DIE.”

Human pacifier? I’ve been it. Arm numb from baby head on it? Yes. Lying there feeling like I’d give my left lung to not touch a small sweaty baby? Nailed it.

I have slept in a bunk bed. On a couch. My husband has slept in other beds, or on a couch, so I could have a night with some space from the baby. We’d have a kid on the floor, two in the bed, him on the couch, me pissed off in the bed. One kid with us, two in a twin somewhere else. We have created all sorts of ridiculous arrangements to get some sleep and not go insane.

Were they shitty solutions? Of course they were. Did I know they were shitty solutions while we were doing them? Of course I did. Were they not actually solutions at all, but instead, sad bandaids? Um duh.

And of course I didn’t adore it. I’d wake up with the exhaustion like lead across my cheekbones, my frustration gathering in a knot at the base of my skull, pain from the tension pulsing behind my eyeballs. I’ve felt delusional. I’ve felt insane. I’ve felt defeated and hopeless.

“We have to do something!” I’d scream into the cold, dark night. I’d text friends. I’d read blog posts. I’d read books. We’d set out with great determination to sleep train. But at some point, quite early on, I would hear the wails of my baby and know it was not for me. It just wasn’t. It can be for you. I truly don’t give a fuck what you do with your baby, and we all need to do what we need to do in the context of our lives.

Ultimately, I accepted that my disdain of sleep training was greater than my disdain for my exhaustion.

And when I finally let that settle, when I settled into the fact that I would not sleep train, AND I would be fucking tired, I got happier. The fight was gone, and thus, a lot of the suffering.

I knew it would pass someday, and I knew that it could just be kinda shitty until it did.

I gave myself permission to not fix it.

 

Because really, that’s the mental torture, isn’t it? The idea that we have to “fix” it, that we have to read and work and strategize and get it under control, that there is some holy grail out there that will make infant parenting and kid parenting and teenager parenting smooth and chill and uniformly successful. Or at least manageable.

It’s a lie. It’s a sales tactic. At least it has been in my experience. What I’ve learned is that my power is limited, and I am in a relationship with an autonomous human being, and I can discipline and support and love and teach, but there will always be something occurring between us that I cannot manage, cannot perfectly comprehend, and, by God, CANNOT FIX.

We do our best, we learn and try, but some things will just be hard, really hard, until they’re gone.

The truly irritating thing here, friends, is that I sleep as little now as I did when I had infants in my bed. My four-year-old comes in at 3 or 4 in the morning some nights, but most of the time, I’m on my own, just me and insomnia, thinking about things and solving the world’s problems.

Annoying, right?

 

I’m not saying we check out of our parenting lives, that we say “Meh, not my job” or “Can’t fix this,” or whatever the hell as soon as a problem presents itself.

What I’m saying is that I think we (or “they”) really try to convey parenthood as a thing that can be contained, managed, and organized if we just read enough books, buy the right gear, listen to the right teachers.

And they sell this idea of the way things “should be,” of the way families “should look,” and we work and work and work and work and it never fucking looks like that, so we figure we need to work harder, try harder, buy more shit, read more books to get the outcomes they promise.

What happens if that messy bullshit IS the way it’s supposed to look? If my husband and I playing musical beds is, well, what mostly works for us? What if it just ain’t that big of a deal? If sleeping next to a baby for a year or two is not that big of a problem when taken in the context of the 80 or so years of our lives?

I want to punch myself in the face for just saying that, because I know how those years feel like eternity when you’re in them, and I sure as fuck ain’t over here going “Oh, honey, it passes so fast, enjoy every moment.”

What I’m saying is that now, 16 years later, with no babies in my bed, I still face “problems” every day that baffle me, that take my breath away with the weight of their complexity. One child’s tantrums and my questionable reactions. Another’s schooling and dyslexia. Another’s gender presentation. They’re massive. They’re bigger than me. I feel like I’m scrambling up the face of a rock wall sometimes, a panic to get to the top, to do it right, to fix it.

I think sometimes we just have to sit down, look around, and love – because from there, the way becomes clearer, and maybe we remember we have what we need, and always have, to parent the children who were meant to be ours.

A pic Mac sent me once when I was gone for a night. I believe his face says it all.

*****

DID YOU KNOW I SPENT A GOOD PORTION OF MY LIFE

NOT DOING SHIT?

I have not always been the shining star of humanity I am now.

I realize this may be hard to imagine.

And I definitely give a shit about you reading this book.

I’m going to set up a live Q&A discussion FB situation next month, so get the book and read it and ask me anything. I shit in a bag and kept it.

I will talk to you about anything you want. The shame ship has fucking sailed.

Also, HEY! I have four author events coming up, the first one is tonight. Hope you join us so I’m not sitting there speaking to myself and maybe my mom at the local ones. Yay!

Kramerbooks, Washington DC, 7/11 at 6:30pm (tonight!)

BookPeople, Austin, Texas, 7/13 at 7pm (Friday!)

Books On Stage, Cloverdale, CA, 7/19 at 7pm (I sorta grew up here!)

Barnes & Noble, Folsom, CA, 7/20 at 6:00pm (Why can’t I stop with the fuckin parentheticals!)

 

 

Motherhood is driving around in circles.

by renegademama

And in today’s episode of “shit nobody tells you about parenthood,” let’s talk about the amount of driving involved with this endeavor.

Could also be called, “If this is sacred, why am I so bored?”

I mean, I get it. Motherhood is a really beautiful thing. At least 14 seconds of it each day take my fuckin’ breath away.

But the rest of it feels a little more like vapid routine blended with odd smells and existential crisis.

The good news is, my sense of the hyperbolic remains intact.

So, our kids’ school is about 15 minutes away from our house. It’s a long story involving schools and where we can afford to live and blah blah blah, but the point is: My daily driving routine is something along the lines of unbridled bullshit.

For two years, I had to leave my office at 2:15pm to get my kid at 2:30pm, at which time I would sit in my car with said child or run to the store because Rocket didn’t get out until 3:05 – who the fuck invented that plan? – then I would drive across town to pick up the teenager and her carpool, circle back to my house, drop off two kids, drive back near my house to pick up the toddler, then go home.

The process took two full hours.

Then I brilliantly learned about an after-school sibling program (that’s always been around, FYI) for $40/month where your little kid can dart around a gym for 35 minutes, guarded by teenagers, waiting for their older sibling to get out of school.

The discovery was perhaps the happiest moment of my life.

So now my driving is 1.5 hours. Sometimes Mac and I share it. Those are the good days. Sometimes he does it himself. Those are the orgasmic days.

Sometimes he’s working so far away he can’t get there at all. Sometimes he’s doing that for ten months at a time.

Those are not orgasmic days.

By the time I get home after that drive, I feel like I’ve run a marathon naked in the snow. But even that would be more rewarding since at least I’d be burning calories and it’s at least weird. You know, a good story.

In between road rage, car line pick-ups, double-parked motherfuckers, the mess of my minivan – partnered with the fact that I, in fact, drive a minivan – back pain from sitting so long, bickering children, spilled milk products when I can’t even figure out where they got the fucking milk, whining demands for what music is played and WHO GOT TO PICK THE LAST SONG, the list of paperwork I’m supposed to sign as well as the shit we were supposed to turn in yesterday that I was also supposed to sign – there’s me, wondering if perhaps there was going to be more.

Or was there? I kind of signed up for this, didn’t I?

Our life is the way it is because we constructed it this way, so why am I complaining?

First, because it feels good.

Second, because I think so much of motherhood is this really vapid shit nobody talks about, tasks and routines that are so heavy and dry, just the same thing each and every day – and it’s rarely fun, and it’s not particularly rewarding, and yeah, I’ll say it, it doesn’t feel “meaningful.”

The feeling I get in these beats of motherhood – in the daily uniformity and yet never consistency because who the fuck knows what mood the toddler or teenager will be in today?

The feeling I get sometimes is that my life has become nothing.

And by extension, I have become nothing.

 

I don’t feel this way now, as in, this very moment. I just published a book. I just got back from a book tour.

But I began writing this blog post in March, just a couple of months ago, then abandoned it, probably because I had to drive somewhere.

How quickly things change.

How quickly things return to the same.

I’m riding the high of your messages to me, your comments that you see yourself in the book, in the depiction of motherhood I explored and worked on for two years. I worked my ass off, away from my children. I gave it everything I had, much of it alone. I worry about book sales and I’m hustling to get this book into the world’s hands, and it’s hard, and it’s all-consuming, and terrifying, but in between, I drive. I drive around in circles, and come home to a thrashed house and dinner to be made.

I drive and drive and drive.

 

I know that when this all dies down, I’ll find myself there, again. Back on the same old track. Wondering where I went. Wondering if I’m gone.

I think this is how it goes, back and forth, looking for ourselves in these tiny moments, often drowned out by the roar of 2 hours in a messy car, again, listening to bickering and searching for that paper we lost and realizing one kid forgot his instrument and the toddler is somehow lacking a shoe, and me, knowing somewhere this what I wanted, though I get to hate it, too, now, and maybe forever.

Thank god it’s almost summer. Thank god we just keep rolling on. Surely right around the corner it will all feel synthesized, right?

No.

It will feel the same, but I’m glad I get to talk to you, and when you see me in my fucking minivan, you’ll know what I’m thinking. And if we see each other, we can’t be disappeared.

Maybe that’s the story I’m writing now.

Maybe that’s the story we’re all writing.

***

Have you checked out that book I wrote?

I wrote it for you,

that’s for damn sure. 

The three-year-old explains how to do mornings without pissing him off

by renegademama

Hey, Mama.

Look, I know you raised three toddlers before me, and I’m sorry it’s come to this – truly, what is wrong with you – but I’ve noticed you really suck at meeting my needs in the morning. I’m a giver, though, so I’m going to tell you how to stop being awful.

I’ve broken this down by topic so your questionable brain can comprehend it better, and you can use it as a sort of reference sheet when you grow confused, which, as far as I can tell, is often.

Waking up:

Thanks for letting me crawl into your bed at 2am to use daddy as a pillow and you as a footrest. I like that. Please don’t wake me up, though. I don’t like that. If you wake me up, I will either be so fucking adorable you could cry, or I’ll behave like a weeping squirrel on methamphetamine.

I like to wake up when I wake up, which is usually 6am, unless you have to be somewhere, in which case I like to sleep longer than I’ve ever slept in the entirety of my life.

Getting dressed:

I like pants with “soft stuff” inside. Nobody knows what that means but me. I hate some clothes, a lot. Which clothes I hate changes daily, but you’ll know if I hate it because when you try to put it on me, I will throw myself onto the ground with my face on the carpet and bottom in the air. This is because your sartorial choices are so awful they cause me physical pain.

Like bowel cramps. That’s why I’m writhing.

Also, the person I want to get me dressed is whoever isn’t available. Daddy is at work, you say? Well, he’s who I want to dress me. Since he’s not around, I will refuse to get dressed.

If not him, I want the teenager who already left for school.

Third-tier choice: The 7-year-old, because at least with her I get to laugh a lot and everything takes nine times longer than it should.

Lot of motion, no progress. That’s the way I like it.

Basically I want anyone in the world other than you to dress me because I hate you and you’re always rushing on account of your shitty planning skills, which aren’t my problem. I hate rushing. I AM THREE.

Brushing my hair:

I will never know who’s fucking idea it was to grow my hair out. What are you? Hippies? Hipsters? You’re almost 40. Pull it together. I hate my hair. I hate that you think you need to brush it. I only like daddy’s beard brush. I can’t believe my father has a beard brush.

The reason I like it is because it’s boar bristle and therefore does absolutely nothing against the wads of dried whatever the fuck is in my hair.

The best thing for you to do would be to NOT TOUCH MY HEAD EVER but look, I’m reasonable, so I’ll settle for an iPad in front of me and unbridled wailing while you attack my head with small, ineffective bristles.

Breakfast:

I hate breakfast, unless you don’t feed me breakfast, in which case I feel starving, downtrodden, and abandoned, even though daycare feeds me breakfast. Once you feed me breakfast, though, I remember I hate it.

So what’s best is that you make me food then let it sit at the table so I can reject it.

Shoes:

I prefer shoes that do not fit the season. In the winter, I like sandals. In the summer, I like rain boots. I’ve observed you’ve gotten on board with the summer rain boots but really hold fast to this “your feet are going to get cold, honey” nonsense.

Fine, I’ll wear closed-toed shoes, but only the pair that has one missing. Oh, you can’t find it? Look harder. I NEED THE ONES THAT ONLY HAVE ONE, Mother. And I need to put them on myself, which I don’t know how to do.

Jackets:

Fuck jackets.

Carseats:

Fuck those too.

Lunches:

I need a lunch like the other kids even though a wonderful woman named Amanda makes me home-cooked lunches every single day and you pay for it. And I need three items in that lunch. If I spot sweets, I need three sweets. You never let me do this. This enrages me. If you would just give me the three sugary items in my lunch, I wouldn’t have to remove the shoes that just took me ninety minutes to put on the wrong feet.

Walking:

Sometimes I will walk to the car or up to the door at daycare. Sometimes I will tell you, “My legs deflated,” and collapse in a pile on the sidewalk.

I ain’t mad. My legs just deflated.

The car ride:

I like to listen to The Greatest Showman soundtrack with my lunch in my lap, or I like to scream about how you fucked up my morning again. There are just so many details you forget. Stick to this reference sheet, JANELLE, and I’ll just sing, okay? I’ll sing show tunes and be the cutest little ratty-headed toddler in the world.

Like God intended.

You’re welcome.

Love,
Arlo

what sort of bullshit you gonna serve up today?

***

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29 Comments | Posted in bitching about the kids I chose to have. | February 28, 2018

My life is a wall of indecipherable sound.

by renegademama

Hi, my name is Janelle, and I barely like sound. For many years, I thought I was simply an asshole. While this is undeniably true, my condition apparently goes beyond an irrationally low tolerance for people trying to chew food.

You see, I have “misophonia.”

Apparently this is a real brain thing. Whew.

I’m the person who visualizes stabbing strangers for eating Corn Nuts across from me at the library, or my husband when he has the audacity to eat a chip. I feel actual rage. It starts in my toes and runs all the way to my forehead, where it gathers into helpful ideas like, “Maybe I can kill this person and run out real quick and get away with it.”

I’m being 15% hyperbolic.

And yet, I have seventy-five children.

Fine, I have four.

Do they have a term for the inability to handle the wall of indecipherable sound known as “children?”

 

All they do is talk. Well, no. One of them, Rocket, the twelve-year-old, evidently adopted the quieter demeanor of his father.

While Rocket doesn’t talk incessantly, he does make some seriously odd squealing noises pretty regularly, sounds I imagine a goat would make were he being held over flames, but he doesn’t chatter on endlessly requiring the undivided attention of his mother. Interestingly, he is the one kid I TRY to make talk, and he barely will, and even when he tries, his words are drowned out by the raging torrent of his siblings’.

That’s because my other three children basically never cease speaking, no matter what, or when, or what the topic, and I just need to say this out loud: I CANNOT LISTEN TO ALL THIS TALKING.

There seems to be an expectation of me, as a mother, to exist in a state of rapt attention, endlessly interested in the yammering of small humans, in the barrage of stories regarding this and that, in the 800 billion questions regarding Peppa Pig and the nature of existence, in the dreams.

Oh God. The dreams.

NOBODY GIVES A FUCK ABOUT YOUR DREAMS.

Wait. I didn’t mean that. I meant, “Aim high and dream big, kiddo!”

No but for real. Stop telling me what you dreamed last night.

Sometimes my three-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night, talking. He’s in our bed, and thus difficult to avoid. The last time he did it, he told me something about a motorcycle and tiger, and demanded to know why I was wearing a shirt.

Yes, good call. Let’s talk about that. We don’t talk enough. Let’s add 2am bedtime chats to our talking schedule.

 

Do people really expect me to give a fuck about every single word that exits the mouths of my children? I strongly believe those people have never actually been around children.

I’m being a dick in this blog post, but I usually attempt civility and feigned interest in the sound wave crashing into my face.

For example, when the dream recounting begins, I sit there staring at them with a sort of blank look on my face and my mouth possibly open, mumbling, “Oh.” And “Weird!” and “Dreams are like that.”

Later, I remind myself that kids can pick up on parental vibes and they surely know I was not exactly “riveted,” then I wonder if I’ve done irreparable damage to their self-esteem and psyches. On the other hand, shouldn’t kids learn that nobody wants to hear their self-obsessed chattering (lest they grow into mansplainers)?

I am grateful my teenager still talks to me, but the problem with the teenager (and three-year-old and seven-year-old) is that they are almost always asking for something.

So it isn’t just talking. Every word is adding a motherfucking task to the list of my life, and I already hate the list. I may have lost the list.

THE LIST IS NOT WORKING AT ALL ALREADY.

Reminding me of this or that commitment or wanting permission for something or asking for money or a ride or an outfit or some bullshit for school and I’m like For the love of god leave me alone for ten minutes so I can contemplate how I’m ruining you by trying to avoid you but also I need to avoid you.

 

Since we’re on the subject, I also don’t think kid conversations need to enter every adult conversation and I will, in fact, reject the blithering talk of my kids to enjoy an actual adult conversation and if I see my kids pummeling an adult with a wild stream of speech acts, I will make them stop.

Having hung out with many, many parents over the years, I have learned that this is not the way every one parents, and in fact, many parents make the child the center of all existence always and forever, no matter how fucking boring the kid is.

Did I just say kids are kinda boring?

Yes. Yes I did.

It’s not about “seen and not heard.” Nah, it’s about recognizing when you’re dominating the conversation, assuming you’re the only one that matters, taking over everything because it’s fun for you. I know adults like that. They only get invited to dinner once.

 

Anyway, when it’s just the five of us in the car, and my teenager is telling me about the 463 things she’s got going on in the next week and my 7-year-old is telling me about what this one kid said in line today and also when can she get horse riding lessons and the three-year-old is recounting a day when he went into the clouds on a submarine and saved his grandfather from a monster who lived in a tree, and I’m sitting there trying to drive or think or plan dinner or my inner spiritual life, what I really want to say is: EVERYBODY SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Instead, if it’s really bad, I’ll yell something like, “Everybody be quiet for 30 seconds so I can think.”

Or I turn the music way up.

Or I try to choose which kid is actually saying something that matters, and I hone in on that one and ask the others to cease and desist.

The toddler just keeps on going. Forever. NBD. Who needs an audience?

What sort of bullshit genetic defect did I inherit that I have to hear every single goddamn fucking word that exits my children’s mouths?

There should be some sort of default silencing shut-down system in every brain to allow for the muting of unending child words.

And the worst part is that sometimes they say the sweetest and deepest shit imaginable, and I’m overwhelmed by adoration for their weird little kid brains.

But truly, no more dream talk. And I’ll wear a shirt if I want to, toddler. Also, tell your future therapist it’s not my fault. I have misophonia.

I HAVE KID MISOPHONIA.

Go team.

 

***

Let’s write together in 2018.

I have three workshops running in January/February:

Write Anyway: 3 spots left (one partial scholarship available)

Renegade Writers’ Group: 1 spot just opened

Brand new workshop on effective argumentation/political writing: 2 spots left

Join us, and please email me with any questions.

 

28 Comments | Posted in bitching about the kids I chose to have. | December 13, 2017