Category Archives: bad parenting

Welcome To The Haunted Tinderbox

When I was a child, my friend Patty told me a story that changed my life forever.

Pigtailed and bracefaced, I sat there with my gaping maw hanging  open enough to catch one of the many passing flies as she spun the tale of the young revolutionary war soldier that was now a ghost  who  wandered the grounds of her impressive home, threw shit around her bedroom and slammed doors when annoyed. To further cement my sidewalk of unspeakable terror she brought in her mother to corroborate the long list of paranormal happenings as I sat wide-eyed while marinating in the puddle of urine that now soaked my underoos.

What kind of parent was this? It’s completely unfathomable to me as an adult that a grown woman would sit there and compound the terror of two small idiots grasping for some sort of normal, reasonable intervention. “Now girls, you know there’s no such thing as ghosts!” as opposed to “Yes, and he likes to wrap the chains that bound his hands together for eternity around the necks of young children.” If I had been Patty I would have demanded to be handed over to social services immediately.

Compounding the difficulty of being friends with a person who came with an angry ghost and a haunted house was the fact that I was the only person in the entire school who she wanted to sleepover her home on a weekly basis. She once sat in a tree and cried, refusing to come down until I agreed to spend the night the following Friday.

“But Patty..” I’d protested ” I’m scared of haunted houses and your sister tried to force me to drink Drano the last time I was there!”

Tears streaked her dirty face as she yelled between sobs, “I’m not coming down until you say YES!”

The expectant crowd that had gathered to watch her potentially break a limb if she decided to jump became hushed as it waited for my answer.

Hanging my head to fight the fear, I managed to mumble “okay.” Completely defeated, I failed to recognize this as a class A act of emotional blackmail. All I knew was that I felt screwed and guilty all at once.

Every built-in mechanism that exists for the sake of self-preservation was vibrating at full tilt while I packed my bags to spend the evening with a ghostly spectre that was as freshly pissed off about the revolutionary war as he had been the day he  last fought it, and my very clingy & manipulative friend.

That night was not one I’d soon forget. Nor would I be able to erase the year and a half of sleepovers that followed. Thursday would come around and my stomach would curl into painful knots in anticipation of whatever bizarre shenanigans Patty would dream up for getting me to hang out. Weekends felt like the end of the world.

Finally, after one spectacularly disastrous evening where I stayed up all night because I was convinced I heard heavy military style boots dragging down the stone pathway that ran outside the long line of picture windows in Patty’s bedroom, I’d had enough. The following morning, delirious from lack of sleep and after a particularly bad round of Space Invaders played on her own private entertainment system, I put my foot down.  It was one of those conversations I would only have in my head but it didn’t matter. Patty, my passive aggressive tormentor, was dead to me.

I didn’t fuck around.  Patty smelled trouble the moment she stepped out of her Dad’s Lincoln and began chasing me down trying to sniff out the root of the problem. What she couldn’t have known was that she had ceased to exist.  As far as she was concerned, it was something that could be remedied with gifts or bribery.

“Hey, how about Broadway tickets?”

“What do you think of ice skating?”

” I’M NOT COMING OUT OF THIS TREE UNTIL YOU COME OVER!”

Sadly, the legacy of Patty and the disgruntled revolutionary war ghost didn’t end when I cast her off into the gutter of discarded friends. For years afterward I’d wake up, in my bed, covered in sweat, worried that the restless spirits surrounding my own two hundred year old farm-house were plotting my demise by way of knocking over a carelessly left candle or misplacing an ember from the eternally burning fireplaces.

Even in adulthood, when asked to return to the place I grew up to house sit for a week and watch the dog, I slept under my bed with a fire extinguisher, my faithful canine and one of the industrial staple guns my mom used to upholster old furniture.

So the legacy of Patty lives on……

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Filed under bad parenting, blackmailing your friends, halloween, haunted houses, I hear chains!, I'm scared, scary ghosts, why the paranormal isn't for children

This Is The Speech I Want To Hear Someday

 

Like I’ve said before, there are times when doing the emperors bidding wears you down and makes you long for a two week vacation to Tahiti.

Il Duce was especially demanding today when his needs were not getting met within milliseconds of the request going out so it should  come as  no surprise that I’m wrapped up tightly  in a blanket on the second floor of my house typing quietly so he cannot find me using the powers of his super human ears.

Nobody told me there would be days like these. Strange days indeed.

Okay, so I’m being melodramatic but every once in a while I imagine that all the backbreaking work yields spectacular results and he goes supernova during adulthood.

Supernova enough to get mommy a beach house and a jet.

So it is with this in mind that I let myself pretend that I’m sitting in the back of a lavishly furnished hall filled to capacity while my son gives his retirement speech at 25 years of age after selling his gazillion dollar company to some shmuck who REALLY  wanted it.

*Tap* *Tap*

“Is this thing on?”

(muffled laughter)

 

Wow thank you Bill , for those kind words.

It was indeed four years ago that I came into this building through the creaky industrial metal front door. If I had known then what a roller coaster ride we were in for I might have turned tail and run my motherfucking ass RIGHT back out into the street but thankfully for all of us, I did NOT.

 Ignorance was bliss in those days and we forged ahead with this radical new plan, completely chuffed that we were getting a chance to spread this new groundbreaking technology throughout the world.

I’ll keep it brief but I do want to tell you how much I have appreciated some of the things that make this company so special – not just the business end of things but the people as well.

Comrades, I am leaving but I will be watching your mind-blowing progress with interest from afar. And by “afar” I mean the beach of an uncharted tropical island I’ve purchased.  I am certain you will all go on to achieve far better things than I did. If my legacy to you was time spent building this place up, your legacy to me is one of friendship, loyalty and promise.

I have just one final point to make – that is to thank the only person who is 100% responsible for everything I have achieved in my life, my beloved mother.

There were times that I drove her completely insane, screamed, yelled demanded of her and she never gave up on me. It is by some kind of divine intervention that she did not leave me on a highway overpass after four mind melding hours in traffic that I spent loudly mimicking  the noise  made by the creepy dead child from The Grudge.

I consider myself lucky to never have tasted the punishing tang of soap for the string of jaw dropping profanities that came so fast and furious out of my small mouth from the moment I could speak and the fact that I was never tied up outside on a dog leash to work off excess energy is a testament to her superior parenting.

Those threats I made to throw my siblings into a lava pit that I would purchase when I grew up and got rich were clearly never acted upon and I send my love to my sister and brother who couldn’t be here today.

So here’s to you mom and that sparkling new glass and steel structure I built you overlooking the clear crystal blue sea.

I now raise my glass to you and say farewell.

Get in! I'll drive you to my lava pit!

 

 

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Filed under am I doing anything right?, bad parenting, beach house, boys with serious attitude, can I have a normal day, difficult child, disasters, failure, il duce is five, inability to think on my feet

We’re Making Plans For Nigel

 

At some point I’m going to get a phone call from various defunct 80’s bands demanding some sort of restitution for all the titles I’ve stolen after a morning listening to Sirius XM’s First Wave.

I like to use the drive back from drop off to think about what needs to be done during the day and to formulate a plan of attack for whatever bizarre circumstances or unforseen disasters will fall in my lap thanks to my smallest child.

You see, despite the best laid plans and extensive help from all the most expensive professionals he still has some issues that prevent him from being ready for prime time.

Like the Saturday Night Live players but with less parody and more physical pratfalls.

So here I am, the grown up, struggling to hack my way through the thick brush surrounding the path back to normality for this kid.

Never have I been so confounded by another human being.

I lie in wait for the ramifications of each decision I’ve made on his behalf  dreading the large casualty laden explosion that is clearly imminent. Nothing is clear-cut and never have the stakes been so high.

Imagine if laid before you are a deck of a thousand cards and you must pick five or six to determine the path that someone takes at various important crossroads in their life.

Now take a look at the possible outcomes.

Steven Hawking or the Unibomber.

Churchill or Mussolini.

Yes, perhaps I’m exaggerating his potential but his propensity for extremes is legendary and being in his service for these long five years has taken its toll on the staff here.

It would be accurate to say we live in fear.

Fear of the next step.

Fear that the wrong choice will cause everything to go up in flames (don’t laugh, it’s happened)

Usually I have these things set up far in advance of the actual decision-making event but I happen to be in the middle of a long period of wait and see fence-sitting that’s really starting to hurt my ass.

And so, as I perch here and think about making plans for Nigel I’m still frozen with doubt and remorse over things I’ve not even done yet.

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Filed under adhd, am I doing anything right?, average is so much easier, bad parenting, behavior problems in kids, better skills, boys with serious attitude, can I have a normal day, crazy ramblings, delinquints, difficult child, difficult kids, discipline, failure, fight or flight response, foul language in preschool, four year old love, getting it together, here we go, I have 3, I have HOW many kids?, I'm not as effective in a bad situation as I thought I would be, I'm all over the map, il duce is five, It's embarassing when you suck at something, keep the expectations low okay?, kids, kids and parenting, kids that don't fit the mold, kids that like cursewords, kids with warped minds, kindergarten options

The Horrifying Incident Involving the Boy, His Mouth, a 44 Minute Wait on Line, The Word Vagina and Fifty Scandalized, Hungry Patrons

Hey, remember me?

Super freewheeling summertime girl with the wind in her hair, not a care in the world and the family that looked like it jumped off the J. Crew end of summer catalog?

 Yeah, well she shriveled up into a ball and fucking vaporized in a puff of smoke this evening while trying to exert what little parental authority she was still clinging to during a mortifying incident at the jam-packed Friendship Heights Chipotle.

The scene opens with a sun-kissed, seemingly relaxed mother and her cute tanned energetic child engaging in playful banter  and games to bide the time at the end of a very long slow-moving line.

Area power outages have taken out the restaurant computer system and they seem to be processing transactions on some sort of Fred Flintstone rock and chisel credit card contraption.

Mother: Sam, get off the ledge, you might fall.

Sam: This line is long and I’m going to cut it. Let’s walk up there and just give the stupid order. This is terrible AND boring.

Mother: I know, but all these people are waiting just like us so that’s not fair.

Sam: Life is not fair. You say that to your kids all the time so I’m saying it to you now. (sing songy voice) Gonna drive my steamroller over all these stupid people and make them flat, then I’m gonna walk right over them and get my rice, la, la, la…

Mother: Sam! That’s not nice. Stop.

Sam: (under breath) It’s what we really need to do. Make pancake people and less line.

Fifteen more agonizing minutes pass with the levels of buffoonery increasing exponentially.

Mother: (sensing danger) Sam, you want me to pick you up?

Sam: (smiling) sure!

Sam: Hey, I can see your boobs from up here!

Mother: Okay, it’s time for me to put you down now.

Sam: (now rolling on the concrete floor and swatting at the bottom of his mothers sundress) Hey! I can see your vagina if I lift up your dress right?  Gavan taught me that girls penises are called vaginas! You have a vagina (then looking around and pointing to the surrounding women) and you have one, and you too. All ladies do!

Mother smashes her hand over Sam’s mouth

Sam: HEY! mrphh, machina, shtop, I CNTBREAFFFF!!!!!!!!

Mother: Shut it or you will NOT get a Mr. Pibb you fucking deviant animal, hiss.

Mother: (to employee) yea, I’d like three chicken…

Sam: VAGINAS!!!!

Mother: Burritos and one..

Sam: Lady vaginas! We want lady vagina on our burritos.

Mother: (covering Sam’s mouth with the iron force of a thousand livid parents) Just give me four burritos!

Employee:(quizzical look, cartoon question mark over head) burritos?

Mother: YES! Four of them, please hurry for the love of Christ!

Sam: (tearing at his mother’s fingers) pah chinas!!!!!

Mother: throwing cash at the checkout girl) QUICKLY! These four and a small Dr. Pibb.

Sam: Mr. Pibb doesn’t have a vagina cause he’s a boy and he’s got a penis. Mom, don’t you wish you could pee standing up?

Mother: no.

Defeated, she leaves the Chipotle with her head hanging in shame and her small son singing a remarkably catchy song about penises and why they are much more fun than vaginas.

Fade to black, end scene.

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Filed under Adventure, adversity, am I doing anything right?, bad parenting, buffoonery, can I have a normal day, delinquints, difficult kids, disasters

Starts With B, Rhymes With Witch

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

What do you get when one and three go to war? Lot’s of flying fists, hurt feelings and exhausted referees.
 

Into every new year a little profanity must fall and who better to give it to you than Il Duce? The shock value of naughty words spilling forth from tiny lips never lessens, but  even I drew a sharp breath upon hearing his newly acquired profane utterance. 

If you want an extreme reaction, make sure to call me a bitch. 

If you want to make me cry watch my five-year old learn and use that word. 

Number one and number three are forces of nature that suck the air out of every room they enter creating a vacuum that few escape. Sandwiched between these two is my gentle sweet heart who has learned to weather the storm and keep his head down. 

Powerful personalities battle it out over Tokyo

Today I listened to all three call each other that word and waited for the piss poor parenting paddy wagon to pull up and cart me off. 

Good work mom. 

One too many viewings of the housewives of whatever county happen to be on and the word became legend over here where potty mouth is far too prevalent and three bars of lye soap are in demand now. 

Little assholes.

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Filed under 1, am I doing anything right?, assholes, Bad cable shows, bad catholics, bad parenting, behavior problems in kids, buffoonery, crazy ramblings, discipline, kids and parenting, kids that like cursewords, parenting, parenting badly, please let him grow up to be normal

I Suspect the Kids Might Actually Be Doing These Things On Purpose

 

Probably the last thing I'll ever see.

Sometimes I get the unnerving feeling that my kids are out to get me.

Not the usual my kids are sucking the marrow from my bones and I have not one iota of energy or sense of self left to keep me alive type of getting me.

This is malice aforethought.

I’ll site you some random examples from the last few days.

1) When a pollster for Adrian Fenty arrived at my door to ask me if he could count on my support during the upcoming election, I felt a gentle shove from behind pushing me over the threshold onto the front porch. Then I heard the distinct dreaded sound of the door locking behind me. No matter how hard I smashed on the windows or how loud I screamed, I wasn’t getting in.

2) They spent the better part of an hour-long road trip  throwing dangerous projectiles inside the car. Several times I thought they had enough velocity to smash out the front windshield. After a dressing down they decided to make the sound of the little boy from The Grudge for the rest of the ride fraying what was left of my two very unstable nerves.

3) My boys were playing whack a mole with bowling pins and various household objects until we refocused them on something less destructive where they sent a small furry stuffed animal back and forth on the floor. Much better right?

Wrong.

They decided this furry mammal was a beaver and kept smashing it with the bowling pins screaming “BEAVER SHOT!” at the top of their lungs. My husband and I were paralyzed with fear unsure if we were being baited or if it really was an innocent mistake.

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Filed under afternoon time wasters, am I doing anything right?, bad parenting, I don't know how to end a blog post, i don't like mondays, I have 3, i love kids, I REALLY DO, il duce is five, interesting things I saw today, kids, kids and parenting, kids growing up, kids that don't fit the mold, kids that like cursewords, kids with potty mouth, monday blahs

Things are Not as They Appear.

This Sunday I had myself a true Judas Iscariot moment.

I denied knowing my own children at the grocery store.

Then I stopped after reading that last line and asked myself  “Hey girl who spent her whole life chained to a pew in parochial school! WHO was it now that denied Jesus three times?” “Why YES you moron that would be Peter.”

Judas sounds so much more theatrical though, so I’m keeping it even thought it is not historically accurate.

While waiting patiently in the checkout line my two boys began to act a little squirrely.

They were redirected to the front of the store near the exits brought there by my beleaguered mother who was lacking her usual sharp tongue and was hanging there like a limp dishrag due to a debilitating migraine.

 This means that the boys were running in circles, screaming about having a girlfriend, punching each other, jumping off the bench my mother was passing out on, smashing the video machine with the dollar rentals and accosting the automatic lotto dispenser.

Two über uptight couples with pursed thin lips were starting to shake their heads in disbelief and exchanging disgusted looks with each other at the volume and sheer audacity of the two unruly boys and their comatose caretaker.

“So rude and disrespectful” noted one.

“Why isn’t she doing anything to control them?” asked the other.

Then Il Duce let loose with a rank profanity followed by a roaring hysterical cackle and I watched them gasp with horror.

They were truly disgusted.

“CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!” they croaked, looking at me.

I thought for a moment. There were thousands of ways I could go here but I opted for betrayal.

“I know!” I commiserated, as I lugged the rest of my fresh produce onto the belt.

I didn’t feel nearly as bad as I know I should have but it was just so much easier to cut and run regarding knowing this lot than to try to explain them to someone who wouldn’t care.

After scooping my mother up off the bench and driving her back home so she could suffer her mind exploding agony alone on her couch I spoke briefly to the boys about minding their behavior in public. But my pleas fell on deaf ears as they were both fast asleep in the back.

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Filed under 1, adversity, am I doing anything right?, bad manners, bad parenting, being shallow and crass, boys with serious attitude, buffoonery, can I have a normal day, cowards, crazy ramblings, disasters, discipline, giving up, I complain too much, I don't know how to end a blog post, i don't like mondays, i love kids, I REALLY DO, I'm not as effective in a bad situation as I thought I would be, kids, kids and parenting, kids that like cursewords, random observations