Wednesday, August 20, 2014

There's a chance I'm doing severe mental damage to him with my sarcasm

     I've been working a lot lately. Partly because I like the overtime, partly because two of my four co-workers returned to college and now we're down to three people for 16 8-hour shifts a week. The math isn't pretty, but it's all kind of off the real issue at hand: My sarcasm is slowly breaking my son's heart!

    I don't know if my readers have noticed this, but I am quite a sarcastic person. Over the weekend, Nixon and Mac had an unfortunate incident in a parking lot during a walk to the store. I wasn't there, but as soon as I came home Nixon tattled on himself for "having a bad day". He tattles on himself a lot, I'm sure most of it is because he doesn't have any siblings and tattling is a deep-rooted, psychological need in all children, even only children.

    The story goes: Nixon and Mac were walking home from the store. It's about a half mile from our apartment so they make this walk a couple times a week when I'm at work. Mac was carrying the bags and Nixon darted into the parking lot without looking first! He wasn't hurt, thankfully no cars were in the area during this. Mac talked to Nixon about it when they got home and all was fine.
    Until I came home and Nixon tattled on himself.

   Our conversation went something like this:
me: You did what?!? Nixon, you can't do that. If someone would have hit you and you got hurt, I'd have to hunt them down and kill them. And I can't go to jail! I'm too pretty for jail, Nixon.
Nixon: *starts crying* I'm sorry, Mommy. Please don't go to jail.
me: (oh shit! I went too far this time....quick, fix it!) Oh honey, stop crying , I'm not really going to go to jail, but I'd be really sad if you got hurt.
Nixon: I know! I'm so sorry!
me: (why is he still crying, I just told him I was kidding!) *kiss his sweet face and wipe his tears* It's okay but you have to be more careful.

     He continues to cry for about 10 minutes. I finally end up going to Mac and admitting I "broke our child". Together the three of us, talk some more.
me: Nixon, Dad and I only have you to love. I mean, yeah we love each other, but it's a different kind of love than the love we give you.
Nixon: Uh huh.
me: If anything happened to you, where would all the love we give you go?
Nixon: Nowhere. It would go nowhere.
me: Exactly! So please don't make us send our love to nowhere. Be more careful, okay? Because, seriously, I can't go to jail. I'm not built for the hard life. And....I don't look good in orange! Have you ever seen me wear orange?
Nixon: No?
me: That's because I know I don't look good in it! And, if I were in jail we'd have to talk on the phone and have this super thick plastic wall between us.
Nixon: No hugs?
me: Nope, no hugs.
But, since you're going to be more careful in roads and parking lots it's not going to be an issue, right?
Nixon: Right!

    He's recovered, but this is only the latest example of my sarcasm sending Nixon into tears. You'd think I'd learn, but no, I keep doing it. It's okay though, because sometimes he responds back with his own sarcastic remark. He'll get there, I only hope he keeps it in check while in school.

Is it possible to be sarcastic without saying a word? His face makes me believe it is!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

He's 5 and he asked THE question!

    Mac, Nixon and I were in the car, after doing some back-to-school (though in Nixon's case it's more like first-to-school) shopping. I honestly have no idea what prompted him to ask this question, because he's shown zero interest in all things baby in the past, but suddenly from the backseat I hear "Mommy, how are babies made?"
    I turn to Mac and I'm pretty sure the look on my face was one of "Oh shit! You got this? No, fuck, guess I'm up!" not a word was spoken. Dead silence for a couple seconds, then I let the words flow.

   "Baby, it starts with a man and woman. They're naked and alone together. The man has sperm, and a woman has an egg inside her. The man leaves the sperm inside the woman and it joins with the egg, eventually growing into a baby. The baby stays in the woman's belly for 9 months! It takes a long time for the baby to grow. When the baby is ready, it's born, usually comes out of the mommy's vagina. Not always, sometimes the baby is removed in a surgery. You got all that?"
   Nixon says to me "So babies come out of the mommies vagina?" I say yes and Mac tells him "But you don't go around telling everyone you meet that. Not everyone is as open as we are."

   We go to Target and make a Starbucks stop. While I'm waiting for my drink to be re-made (I asked for no whipped cream and it was on there, it was remade), Nixon says to me "Mom, babies come out of the moms vagina, right?" I tell him he is correct, but most people don't like that word "vagina". I could see from the corner of my eye at least 3 people turn when he said that word.

   Look, I'm not going to use cutesy made-up words when the clinical word is a proper word. He asked a question and sure, I could have dodged it, but he deserves to know I'm going to answer his questions. I kept it simple but honest.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Laughing through his tears with me....or at me, it could go either way

   This all started because I went to the bathroom before tucking Nixon into bed. I noticed there was glittery green pieces of something in the trash can in his bathroom. I immediately know what it is and call for Nixon.

"Nixon Mathieu!" which has him scrambling out of his bed to see why I called him. I ask him what the mess is in his garbage can and he immediately says "I'm sorry.", without an explanation. I ask him for the skull that had previously been covered in the green glittery latex paint. He says he took it off because "I wanted to see the bones naked". It's a hard plastic skull, not real bones.

    The problem to all of this is: the skull is mine and NOT Nixon's. He destroyed it without asking first. As I'm explaining this to him, I fall back on my own natural ability to deadpan a sarcastic remark. While asking him how he'd feel if I ruin something of his, he says "sad". I ask him when he did it and it turns out he did it while he was supposed to be napping. (I thought maybe he'd done it when dropping a deuce, because...bored on the toilet). I tell him for a while his naps will be taken in my bedroom with the bedroom door opened (we close his door to keep the cats out of it). He starts crying, telling me "I don't want you to get rid of my bed!"
   He thought I was going to get rid of his bed! While he's still crying, I tell him he misunderstood me and that I would never get rid of hid bed....mostly because it's too big to throw out of his bedroom window! Well, to my little man this was hilarious! The thought of me tossing his bed out of the window had him from tears to laughter in a millisecond! I'm not totally sure he even comprehended that he was laughing as tears were still running down his face.
   We go back to the importance of respecting each other's belongings and Mac mentions "taking the stuffing out of BeBe". Cue the tears again. Before he gets too upset, I stop the tears and probably caused him more emotional upheaval than he knew what to do with. I reassure him that "I would throw your bed out of the window before I'd ever remove BeBe's stuffing." I may have also mentioned flushing Scoot-a-loo down the toilet, but that also caused tears, so I quickly retracted that statement!

   I'm not sure I should be allowed to parent him anymore. I think we're entering the lifelong-emotional-trauma age.