Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nixon and I are on a break....for now.

   As I'm writing this, coffee cup next to me half empty, Nixon is upstairs in the spare bedroom watching  a Dinosaur Train DVD. Turns out parenting is just like any other relationship I've ever been in and sometimes, you just need a little space from each other.

   We've been having a battle of the wills all weekend, over everything and nothing at all. I say the sky is blue Nixon will scream that the sky is purple. I'm exaggerating here, but you catch my drift. He's hellbent on being independent but at the same time will demand I help him do something like clean up his toys or wipe his butt. It's total madness!

  This morning was the final straw. I know he's tired, he was up until almost 11pm last night because we did a movie night in my bed together. Then he woke up around his usual time of 7:30am, losing at least 2 hours of sleep from the get-go. He started demands for candy as soon as my feet hit carpet, not going to happen. Let the scream of displeasure begin. Breakfast distracted him for a little while.

  Then he started throwing toys into the front door and at the wall! ARE YOU INSANE?!?! That's never been okay! He stomps upstairs because I take those toys away! He comes back downstairs calm, sweet and all apologies....and asks for candy. Promptly gets denied, since this was less than 30 minutes from the last time I had told him "no". An offering of water distracts him this time.

   The final straw, the one that led to the realization that we need some alone time...or at least a little space from each other, was his screaming in my face because his lunchable didn't include a piece of candy. Oh the horror! He had crackers, turkey and 4 slices of cheese, plus a pouch of applesauce, which he knows he likes. If he'd eaten all of that without a fight, he'd have gotten a piece of candy, since I still have some leftover Valentine's Day candy hidden. But no, he has to throw a fit and try to wake up his sleeping father. Not okay.

   It ends with him in tears, me very close to losing my temper and us in the spare room barely holding it all together. And then...he sees it. The Dinosaur Train DVD. And he asks to watch it, upstairs, in the spare room, by himself. And I say....sure. Did he deserve it? No. But the TV is small and we both need some time apart, to regroup and decompress from the events of the entire weekend. It's only 1:15pm and I feel like it should be the end of the day I've been butting heads with him so much my head hurts.

   Sometimes, to be a good parent, I've learned its best to take a break. I can't leave right now because Mac is sleeping (he's not lazy, he's working midnights this weekend and still has to work tonight). So setting Nixon up in the spare room with a DVD while I get to read a book on my kindle while drinking a cup of coffee...well, that's the closest thing to a break as I'll get. It's not perfect, but we're not screaming at each other and my tension headache is going away. It's good when you know your limits and accept them. I'm not the world's most perfect mother. But I'm trying to be a good one.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Maternal Deafness....it saved my son's life today


 Dear Nixon,
         I promise, I am not ignoring you because I can not hear you. Believe me my love, I can hear you whine just fine. I'm ignoring you because of the whining. I am currently refusing to acknowledge your whining ways.
        I'm calling it "maternal deafness" and it is currently saving your life. When you stop speaking in a whining tone, I start lavishing you with attention once again.

Sincerely,
your maternally deaf mother

*In all seriousness, if my son does not stop whining I'm going on vacation without him. Ignoring him right now is the only thing keeping me from yelling at him. I've sent him to his room, he whines louder. I've taken things away, he whines about what I've taken away. Finally, I've decided to fight noise with silence. My silence is the strongest and scariest weapon in my mommy arsenal. When Nixon knows he's done something wrong and I'm not saying a word to him, he is deathly afraid of me at that moment. Not because I've ever done anything horrible to him without saying a word to him, but because it's such an uncharacteristic behavior for me. I'm always talking or singing or making some kind of noise, so pure silence is odd.
I hope this is just a phase, because I'm going nuts with all the voices in my head plotting against my son while I ignore him!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

the day my son turned into teenage girl

   Today, Nixon was a monster. Maybe it was because I'm coming down with a cold and have zero tolerance for his BS when I'm getting sick. Maybe it's because I didn't have my morning coffee. Or maybe it's because we were spending Sunday morning grocery shopping.
   Nope, it's definitely all on Nixon and his totally epic tantrum and sudden diva behavior.

   It started with Nixon whining and pouting about putting on his shirt. How on earth does child hit the exact wrong tone with mom when she's not feeling well? Seriously, whining and screeching that he "can't find the right hole!" He had his head in the right hole, but had the shirt twisted so the armholes were in the front and back of the shirt, instead of st his sides. Honest-to-gods, this was end of the world type shit!

   At the store he was pretty good, munching on his little bag of snacks most of the time, until he decided he wanted to get out. I normally don't have an issue with him helping me, but when he won't stay with me and it's stupid crowded, he's better sitting in that fucking beeping car-cart he begged for as we walked into the store than getting out and driving everyone (including dad and I) nuts. He did get back in and was content for the final few minutes of the shopping trip, with the assistance of the PSP. Yeah, judge me, I'd judge me too if I weren't trying to get out of the store with my sanity and dignity intact.

   All was good...until we were placing items on the belt at the register. Nixon decided he had enough and wanted to run around the store. Look, I get it. Shopping is really boring. I can only do so much to keep him entertained while I'm trying to compare prices and find items on my list and coupons. Plus Mac isn't great with crowds but he did let me sleep in and I hadn't finished the lists last night because I needed him to go over them with me.
   My final straw was Nixon telling me no he wasn't going to listen to me. I left the club card and coupons with Mac, grabbed my mouthy little boy and headed out of the store...right into a Matchbox cars display. Seriously, who at Safeway hates me?! Nixon stopped in his tracks, said "Mommy, I want a new car. It's so lovely" and then yelled "NO!" when I told him we were going to the car without a new car. On the way out, he did a lovely move. He dropped to his ass, and spun on the floor just lying there looking up at me like "I won, now what?!" Now what, turned out to be: me stopping, grabbing the PSP from his hand and putting it into my jacket pocket, picking Nixon up off the floor and carrying him out of the store. All in less than 10 seconds after he dropped to the floor. *a special thank you to the asshole that decided to park right on the line next to my car. I had to put Nixon in on the passengers side which is the side Mac sits on so there is not much room. with a child in mid-tantrum I don't exactly have time to move the seat up and get more room to maneuver.* Nixon was finally in his seat and he says "Mommy, you need to tell my you are sorry, because you made me cry." I asked him "Are you going to tell me you are sorry for acting out and lying down in the store?" He says "NO because you should have bought me the car" and that was when I said "NO, my little love, you are wrong. You need to listen to "no" and just accept it. Not throw a tantrum and think that you will get your way" He decided to stop talking to me after that.

   Later in the afternoon he started his dramatic ways again. More tears, more demands, more foot stomping and mood swings. I swear to gods, somehow my son changed from a 4-year-old boy to a teenage girl and I'm not happy about it. There's only room for one moody bitch in this house and I claim that honor! I have the vagina I get to be the moody bitch!

   I love him, but today was a rough one.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Family is forever...gods I hope I'm not lying to him about this.

....ah, Amber. I love to hate this damned cat! Here we are, a month later and we are still dealing with her nasty fits. We've done everything from get a pheromone plug-in for Nixon's room to keeping his door closed at all times to adding extra food and water dishes and most recently, adding a new litter box. Nothing seems to help!
   We'll get a break, where it'll seem like she's moved past it all, and then like tonight I'll walk into Nixon's bedroom and find a pile of cat shit on his bed waiting for us. The thing of it is, today, his bedroom door was closed! I had to open the door to get in! So now she's closing doors behind herself?!?! That doesn't make sense, right?
   Of course, I lose my damn cool! I'm so tired of washing Nixon's sheets, blankets, comforters.

*sigh* Not my best or brightest moment as a mom.

   Nixon was already upset that he didn't get a shower tonight. He was told it was shower time, he decided to tell me he wanted to wait. SO I let him wait...until it was bedtime. Then I told him it was bedtime and he flipped his shit because he suddenly wanted a shower. I'm picking my battles with him and he's not liking that I'm not on his ass 15,000 times to get in the shower. I told him once, twice and then when he still said "No, mommy, later" I decided that was cool. He can not take one tonight. He's going to learn.

   So, when I lost my shit over Amber's pile of shit on the bed Nixon lost his mind because he thought I was so mad I really meant all the mean and angry things I was saying about Amber.
 *deep breath*
  It took about fifteen minutes to get him calmed down and in bed. Our bed. Once he was calm, I talked to him. I told him that, even though I say mean things about Amber and even though she's still pooping on his bed, she's family and family is forever. We're not getting rid of Amber. The relief in his eyes, paired with his whimpering "Really?" said it all. I went too far and he really thought he'd wake up and Amber would be gone.
   I explained to him that just like him and Mac, Arwen and Amber are very important to me and part of our family. I told him my top loves went like this: Nixon & Mac, then Arwen, than Amber...no Bebe's after Arwen, then Amber. Nixon chuckled and asked me "Mommy, you love me and Daddy more than Arwen?" I told him "I do now." And I meant it.

   Family, this family I've made for myself, really is forever. I'm not always going to be madly in love with Mac or Nixon every minute of every day, but I don't see myself ever not loving either of them. Nixon is a no-brainer. He's my son, a piece of me, I'll always love him. Mac is more complicated. Our cats have been to Japan and back with us, they are our family. As much as Nixon and Mac can drive me nuts, Amber and Arwen can do the same thing just different ways, but they're in this family until they're no longer on this earth.
 Apparently Amber has decided to really test this motto.

  I don't know what else I can do to "fix" Amber's issues. I do know flipping out when Nixon is around isn't going to help any of us.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Like-minded parents DO exist!

  First, did you know that Baltimore has this completely huge and totally free, used bookstore? No? Well, neither did I but today we went and checked it out...it's totally legit!
   The Book Thing of Baltimore was worth the drive, unless you have Mac's OCD for neat and orderly bookshelves and my desire to look at every book minus a little boy cute though he is with his constant "Mommy, I love you", makes it very hard to focus on all the happy books that need love. We brought Mac's big backpack to fill with books. We didn't stuff it, but it was put to good use.

   The point of the blog isn't to give a total love fest to the Book Thing, well maybe a little, but more to share the awesomeness of the interaction I had with another mother while looking through the bins of children's books. This mother was there with her husband and 9month- year old daughter. She was picking out books for her daughter while I was searching for books for Nixon.
   She had come across a Star Wars book with sound!! and opened it, Nixon ran over and was "Star Wars Mommy, may I have the Star Wars book?" I, very jokingly, said "Well, thanks for that" and before she could decide if I was seriously a bitch or not I went on to say "NO, really, thanks for that (she had handed the book to Nixon, who gleefully ran off with it to show Mac), just yesterday he was working on his Darth Vader voice while building a tie-fighter with his Lego's. His dad and I are so proud of him!" She laughed and her husband said "That's so awesome, he's a pretty cool kid." I, of course, did not dispute that claim and thanked them.
   We continued looking for books and (unbeknownst to each other) were becoming equally disappointed by the overwhelming amount of child-friendly religious books. The other mom finally mentions it "Well, here's another religion-based book. But that's not for you" she said to her adorable little one. I kind of smirked, because an older lady behind her looked like the mom just spit on her child, and said "Oh thank gods I'm not the only one trying in vain to wade through all of those!" This time her husband chuckled and said "Nope, you are not alone today."
   I got ready to explore the rest of the store and the husband said to his wife "She was a really cool parent. Those are hard to find."

   Why yes, yes I am. Thank you for noticing. It was pretty nice to have such a chill conversation, over FREE books. So here's to you, Book Thing, for letting me have that moment today!