Posts Filed Under …..I make bad decisions…

The Guinea Pig Post.

by renegademama

 

As I mentioned in my last post, apparently I was really bad last year, because Santa brought my kids guinea pigs.

Okay, fine. We got the kids guinea pigs. But let me explain. Rocket and Ava have been haranguing us for at least 8 months for a pet rodent of some sort – they started with hamsters and moved to guinea pigs – and like any rational mother, I denied their pleas with unswerving resolve, citing various reasons (all valid, I might add), regarding their uniformly inconsistent interest levels, which inevitably result in ME taking on the no-longer-amusing item, which in this case would be a rodent and therefore, not happening.

After a few weeks of this discussion, they suddenly ceased bringing it up. Instead, they started quietly plotting, together. All the sudden they were all into doing extra chores (for which I give them a little cash) and the next thing I knew they had SAVED THEIR MONEY and almost had enough for freaking guinea pigs. They saved for like 6 months. Uncool. Though impressive focus, I must admit.

It was precisely this focus which led me to consider that perhaps those kids meant business, and maybe, perhaps, actually wanted them. This realization came around Christmas, when I was already trying to figure out their “big” gift, and the whole guinea pig package really isn’t that expensive…soooo…yeah. Now we have two guinea pigs.

Ava’s is “Button.” Rocket’s is “Gus Gus.” They are both female.

So they were super happy on Christmas morning and we were all in love and whatnot AND I gotta admit, those things are damn cute. Like super cute.

And they don’t really make too much noise. They don’t eat or scratch my couch. And they’re cute.

So I didn’t hate them.

Until a couple days ago.

Now I kind of hate them.

So a week or so ago Rocket brings Gus Gus into the living room and puts her on the ground. She immediately runs under the couch. Luckily, I was doing something critically important and consequently didn’t have to deal with the guinea-pig-retrieval process. Mac did.

I heard various expletives coming from the living room area as he tried to get the little bastard out from under the couch, along with “ROCKET! You better not EVER LET THAT GUINEA PIG ON THE GROUND AGAIN!!!!”

Expletive.

Pause.

Expletive.

Twenty minutes later the guinea pig is in her cage and Rocket promises with a solemn oath that he will never, EVER leave Gus Gus alone on the living room floor.

And he didn’t, until the next morning.

When he left Gus Gus alone on the living room floor. And she ran under the couch.

Just.Like.Before.

Only this time, Mac was not here to handle it. I was though, so that’s good.

Fucking shoot me.

This is precisely the kind of shit that solidifies my suspicions that I lack a critical mothering gene, namely the one that brings patience and poise and tolerance to moments like this.

When your son tells you he let his guinea pig get under the couch again and you realize you have to handle it.

So I get the broom. I lie on the ground and start sweeping the broom under the couch. Ava has positioned herself on the other side with a flashlight, telling me where the guinea pig is at any given moment. At her word, I sweep in the appropriate direction, at which time the bastard furry fucker scrambles over the broom to the other side of the couch and I yell something derogatory.

Rocket’s contribution is to jump on the couch and squeal.

This, of course, scares the shit out of the guinea pig, increasing her terror and scrambling. My annoyance is reaching peak levels.

Georgia found the whole thing utterly hysterical – everybody on the ground like that, the broom, the jumping. She particularly liked the fact that I was wearing elastic-wasted flannel pajama pants and squatting down, resulting in a prime opportunity to PINCH MY ASS as I attempt to retrieve this guinea pig.

So there I was, on my knees with my butt up in the air, trying to sweep this guinea pig out, with Rocket body-slamming the couch, Ava yelling “she’s here! Quick!” and Georgia with her hand down my pants trying to pinch my butt cheeks.

Please, somebody.

Fucking shoot me.

After an hour of this, I got up and said “Done, children. The guinea pig can live under there or die under there or a little of both.”

Luckily, my 10-year-old has more patience than I do, and apparently better broom skills, since she got the damn guinea pig, eventually.

I’m sorry, Santa. Whatever it is, I’m sorry. Now take ‘em away!

Santa turned my kid into a crackhead!

by renegademama

 

So…you know what’s worse than disagreeing with somebody’s opinion on the latest parenting controversy?

Realizing you don’t have an opinion on the issue because it never occurred to you to give a shit.

Um, yes.

That’s where I stand with the whole Santa controversy.

[And yes, there is a controversy, friends. And it’s a big one.]

Well, maybe not that big, you know, compared to like world hunger or something, but still. It’s pretty big. Big enough to warrant at least 9 thousand blog posts and Facebook discussions.

Some people, evidently, think he’s creepy. Like pedophile creepy. Something about old man, kids on laps, bribing, etc. Mmmmkay. I’m not going into this. Next topic.

Others “can’t stand lying to their kids that way.” Oh come the fuck on. You don’t lie to your kids? Whatever. YOU DO TOO. “Mommy, what were you and daddy doing last night after we went to bed and I heard those sounds coming from your room?” “Um, uh…we were…um…reading the Communist Manifesto. Loudly. In intervals.”

Shiiiiit.

Some people hate the materialistic part of it all. You know. Gifts and crap and whatnot and rewarding good behavior with stuff and bad behavior with, well, stuff. I suppose I can sort of get behind that one except that I can’t, because I like showering my kids in crap from Walmart and I often resort to bribing them. I mean I try not to, cause that’s some seriously shitty parenting (so they say), but when I’m in a bind, I’ll go there. I will.

And we’re all still breathing.

And then other people love the fantasy and play of Santa and think it’s all magical and shit.

But check this out. The only thing that crossed my mind as I read all these passionate diatribes for or against the fat gift-wielding man was “Uhhhhhhhhhhhh…(blank space and stares)….oopsy! Forgot to think about that one!” And…Guess that’s one more parenting approach I haven’t considered at all and thanks A LOT for making me wonder if I have damaged my kids ONE MORE TIME in ONE NEW WAY because I didn’t make a conscious decision about Christmas traditions but pretty much just continued the traditions of my family with no forethought, insight or contemplation.

Yes, I admit it.

I have not deconstructed Santa.

I have not considered the implications, insinuations, assumptions or underlying messages contained in the gift-giving crap extravaganza that is our Christmas. I like it. It’s fun. That’s as far as I’ve gotten.

I did not consider the long-term effects of my lying about who deposits stuff under the tree. I pretty much just did it.

Oops.

My bad.

But I’m gonna level with ya. If my kids end up hating me for being a crap parent with poor ideals and pitiable execution, I can promise you it won’t be over the whole Santa thing. I have done so much worse than that.

My yelling alone pales the threat of any long-term Santa-induced trauma.

Easily 5 years of therapy material right there.

And then there’s my mouth and the incredibly poor decision-making surrounding it. For example, last summer I told my (then) 5-year-old son about bears and “friendly” ghosts (look, it’s a long story and it’s complicated.). But really. Who the hell does that? That was a baaaadddd choice.

I didn’t think about it beforehand. I MADE A MISTAKE.

So you can see why I’m just gonna let the whole Santa thing go.  Other people can worry about that sort of thing.

I have much bigger fucking fish to fry.

For example, figuring out how to not tell my kids stories that scare the crap out of them for a year.

Or really, thinking before I talk at all would be nice.

Now THAT would be a gift.

And I don’t care who fucking brings it. Incidentally, I don’t think my kids would either.

Maybe Santa will hook that up next year. He is real, isn’t he? He better be. My mama told me he was. And she never lies! She said he WAS REAL! HE MUST BE REAL! Why are you looking at me like that? Did she lie? Did the evil bitch LIE TO ME ALL THESE YEARS about Santa Claus? Oh agony! Oh pain! I CAN’T FACE MY LIFE NOW THAT I KNOW MY MOM TOLD ME A STORY ABOUT AN IMAGINARY MAN, CHIMNEYS AND GIFTS.

I shall not recover!

My inner child is weeping.

 

Okay that was fun.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

8 things I do pretty much daily that I NEVER would have done with my first kid

by renegademama

So that last post I wrote about waking Georgia up for no reason made me think of the many things I now do that I NEVER would have done with my first kid.

It’s funny. Sometimes when people ask for my advice on something parenting related (okay admittedly this doesn’t happen very often), I feel like responding, “Sorry, you should have asked me when I only had one kid and knew everything.”

Don’t get me wrong. I was still confused. I’ve always been confused.

The difference is, I guess, that I used to think there were really right ways to parent and other ways were really WRONG no matter what. Now I realize it’s all basically one giant crap shoot and we do the best we can in the circumstances we’re facing and just as soon as you think you’ve got it figured out, you get your brilliant ideas handed to you on a silver platter, all chewed up and spit out and useless.

In other words, I’ve fucking relaxed my Captain Justice parenting approach. Out of necessity. Life made me do it.

Or maybe I’ve just lost my ethics.

Or gotten lazy.

I dunno.

You decide.

Anyway, here’s my list. Oh, 22-year-old self, if only you could see me now as I…

  1. Feed her formula. Wah? Huh? No she DIDN’T. Yes, she did. Apparently, babies do not die from formula. And apparently, I can’t quite swing the fulltime breast-pumping extravaganza and YES I felt a little guilty about it and YES I am now over it. The baby still nurses AND she takes a bottle when I’m not around AND the sky has not come crashing down on my formula-feeding sinner head, thus far. As an added bonus, I do not yet see signs of brain damage or emotional distress. Obviously, there’s still time.
  2. Let her cry in her crib for 5 minutes. I don’t do the cry-it-out thing. Nope no way. Not my deal. However, when the Georgia has been asleep for an hour or two or five and suddenly starts that irritated “wahhhhh-ahhhhhh” half-awake thing, or is just too tired to sleep (you know what I’m talking about…) I leave her for a few minutes, usually 5 or so. If she gets amped up, I go in there. But sometimes, I’ll be damned the kid goes to sleep. This never would have happened with my first, cause at the FIRST faint whimper I would have darted in and grabbed her up. Oh wait. That wouldn’t have happened because my first never left my bed until she was 2. Guess that’s another one for the list.
  3. Let her eat sugar. Ava didn’t have any processed sugar until she was three. Rocket didn’t have any until two. Georgia had some on her first birthday and now eats it, well, sometimes. Not candy or juice or soda…but the occasional nibble of ice cream, cake or cookies? Yes. I admit it. It just makes her SO HAPPY – and you try keeping your two older kids from passing her bites when you’re not looking.
  4. Let a nine-year-old watch her for 30 minutes. Oh come ON, I don’t leave the house – it’s only to catch a few extra ZZZZZs in the morning, when I’m particularly exhausted. Can that get me arrested? Let’s talk about something else.
  5. Not bathe her every day. Or every two. Or week. No we do more than that. Every week at least. For sure. I think.
  6. Feed her the same thing every day for a week because it’s the only thing she’ll eat and I’m too lazy to force feed or explore other items. Pretty self explanatory.
  7. Stay home to let her get a long morning nap. With three kids, that nap is the most important event of the day. All cleaning happens during that nap. All chatty phone calls with friends. All carefree blog writing. All peace. All joy. All meaning. You think I’m exaggerating. But I’m not.
  8. Put on lame shows from Netflix in the distant hope it will amuse her for 5 straight minutes so I can get something done. With my first kid, if somebody turned a television on IN THE SAME HOUSE MY BABY WAS IN, I’D LEAVE. Okay not that bad, but I was definitely what you’d call a no-television extremist. I thought T.V. exposure would like fry her brain cells on the spot. Like you could watch them sizzle right there in front of you – “boom!” – dumber, one cell at a time…now? I put on Sesame Street and dance around trying (in VAIN) to get Georgia to even glance at the damn T.V. Incidentally, she hates it.

What about you? What sort of sins do you commit that you’d SWORE you’d never do?

Come on. Hook it up. Make me feel better.

Somebody come up with a title for this post, please.

by renegademama

I am so tired.

Okay so I don’t want to say I made a mistake.

But I think I made a mistake.

I am too tired.

FOR.MY.LIFE.

If I wake up at 5am, clean, make breakfast, get Rocket up, get Ava ready for school, start homeschool by 8am, put baby down at 9 or 10am, continue homeschool, take a shower, leave for grad school at 11, go to classes, study between them, race home, make phone calls on the way home that I’ve been neglecting for too long, get home, see kids, feed kids, bathe kids if they stink, put kids to bed, read, study, work from home (oh yeah, I’m doing that too), write, get to bed by 11pm – and actually SLEEP, I can usually manage to get up the next day and start all over again.

BUT, as you know from this post, most of the time it’s “go to bed at 11pm and realize you can’t freaking sleep because there is too much on your mind and you can’t stop reflecting on how you’re totally not meeting any of your kid’s needs on any level in any way and pretty soon the ball is going to drop and Ava is 9 which is almost 10 which is almost 12 and everybody knows 12 is the beginning of prepubescent insanity (so you’ve lost her) and Rocket and Georgia and AND…it’s pretty much all going to hell in a handbasket. The end.”

Irrational nutjob am I.

Seriously, people. What the hell was I thinking?

I want to go back to the office, where it’s safe.

I want to drop my kids off at school where they become somebody else’s problem (did I just say that out loud?).

I want to sleep at night like I did when I was a kid and my head would hit the pillow and immediately. I’m gone.

I want to not suck fear all the time. Like air. Fear of failing. Of letting kids down. Of missing my life. Of bad grades. Of regretting. Of not getting a job. Of totally and completely blowing it for real.

I want I want I want I want.

I sound like a spoiled kid.

Because the truth is, I’m living the damn dream. I’ve never had it so good. My fears are inventions of an overtired brain. The death-and-doom scenarios concoctions of a hyperactive ego.

Shit, I’ve already totally and completely blown it. And YET, I’m fine.

[Of course I’m using that term loosely.]

Which reminds me, I heard this woman say she has two prayers: one for the morning and one for the night. In the morning it’s “Whatever;” in the night it’s “Oh well.”

Now that’s some spirituality I can get behind. Bring it on, life. Whatever you got. And then, at the end of the day, acceptance that nothing ever goes as anticipated. Oh well. Over it. Movin’ the hell on.

And then, perhaps, rather than my panties getting’ all knotted up and keeping me awake all night, I could let go and my head would hit the pillow and immediately. I’d be gone.

Because seriously people, nobody respects my visions. And they aren’t even big.

Take this evening, for example. I made carnitas. Wow. Real food, at dinner. Mac was coming home from work – I was home – I was not doing something more pressing. Soooo, being the superstar mother that I am, I decided that we would, for a change, eat a real meal at the table together as a family (this used to be something I was adamant had to occur every day – but now, I’m lucky to get it twice a week, which I’m sure will contribute to the early degeneration of my offspring, a theory that torments me, nightly, at approximately 1am) – and, back on track – so I’m making this dinner and puttin’ in the effort and being cheerful and whatnot and the 9-year-old, well, she decided to have one of her 9-year-old episodes.

She was horrendous. Full of drama and self-pity and nobody can say anything right and she’s about to slaughter her brother and me in fury (for some reason) but then it’s tears and I’m trying trying trying to fix it but I cannot.  I attempt jokes, fail. Strong hand, fail. Fail. Fail. So when Mac gets home I’ve quit trying, everybody’s pissed and the baby’s crying and I’m about to chuck carnitas at the cat and Rocket’s putting his Legos in his milk (my attention was on Ava, remember?), so we sit and eat our food in irritated small-talk and all I want is to get it over with so I can read the 75 pages I’ve got looming. For tomorrow.

NOW.

Do you see the beauty of those two simple words?

OH fucking WELL.

(Okay fine, three.)

Actually, I can think of three more: We will survive.

The end.

We’re going to be featured on Hoarders!

by renegademama

We’re going to be featured on Hoarders!

No, we are not.

That was a lie.

[But you probably knew that already, because who the hell would excitedly announce online “We’re gonna be on a show featuring sociopaths who collect shit!”? Okay, I know. I know. It’s a mental illness. It’s serious, very sad, what a shame, etc. But it’s a damn funny mental illness. And a weird one. And I make fun of everybody, including myself. Plus, I’m rude. The end.]

Though we didn’t actually get invited to Hoarders, I bet if we sent them pictures of our hallways, living room and kitchen, we might get the green light.

Now you may ask, “Why does your house suddenly appear like one of those whack-job homes on Hoarders?”

Let me lay it out for you in plain English: because my husband and I are fucking psychos.

That was not a lie.

So you all know what my life has been lately, right? Okay, perfect. So the full gravity of the following story will hopefully sink in appropriately: on Tuesday the husband and I went to Ikea (swoon – so much crap! Most of which I can afford! And it looks only like semi-crap once it’s installed in the home! Yay!). No seriously I love that place. Don’t judge.

ANYWAY, so we get there and we’re buying a few organizational items for what will become the homeschool room, and Mac sees these fake wood floors for very, very cheap and announces “Dude, let’s put this in the homeschool room, TODAY.” And since I’ve been asking for non-carpet in there and we’re poor and I’m a total and complete lunatic, I say “for real? Yeah. Good idea.”

Holy fuck why can’t we just  be like normal people? You know, the kind who plan shit?

Why isn’t there a little voice in my head that says “MAYDAY JANELLE MAYDAY!! – redoing the floors requires moving everything out of the room in question and all that furniture and stuff will be in your hallways and living areas and it NEVER takes one day to do projects like this you steaming pile of idiot! SAY NO SAY NO!”

 But I say “yes.” Because there is something wrong with me.

So for the last 5 days you have to walk sideways down my hall and there’s a piano in my entryway and we’ve all been eating in little huddles on the floor, where there’s space. The best part is trying to carry the baby down the hall, sideways, so she’s facing the photos hung on the walls…and grabbing for them. So you have to like DART quickly sideways down the hall.

Somebody please shoot me.

Because it’s even worse than previously indicated. Once we got the floors down I realized I hate the wall color with the floors. So.we.painted.  But while at Home Depot buying the paint for the walls I saw crown moulding and said to myself “well now looky there! Ain’t that pretty?!” So we bought some. But it had to match the base boards. So we painted all.of.that.too.

And now? We’re running like hell to put this together and I ask you, from the bottom of my heart, “WHY DO I DO SHIT LIKE THIS?”

Perhaps more importantly, “Why do I never LEARN from doing shit like this?”
Because I can guarantee you the next time we do work on our house, the circumstances will be just like this time.

And it will suck just as bad.

Though in our defense, it looks damn good (I’ll post pics when it’s done). Plus, we’re having a really good time making up “caulking” jokes [read: “cock-ing”]. Yes, we’re classy.

 

[To cheer me up, please CLICK HERE (or on the badge on the right) to vote for me for CBS Sacramento’s Most Valuable Blogger Award. I’ve never been nominated for anything, let alone won anything. So please. Hook it up, friends.]