Tag Archives: children

Don’t Tell Me How to Mother on Mother’s Day!

8 May

To all you Mothers…

Happy Mother’s Day!

This will be my first Mother’s Day without my Mom, she died 6 months ago. I miss her everyday. She was a phenomenal, feisty, loving little Irish lady. I’m not even thinking about me being a Mom this year and if my kids will do anything, I’m just missing my Mom. The first one’s always the hardest.

Me and mom

Me and my Mother celebrating her 80th birthday almost 8 years ago. I made the crown.

 

 

But for all the other Mother’s out there, I say… it’s your day, celebrate how you want. I remember reading a post last year where a guy, yes a guy was blasting all women (or one specific woman, I can’t remember) who wanted to spend Mother’s Day away from their children and have time for themselves. He was literally vehemently berating Mothers for taking time for themselves and saying they were horrible Mothers and human beings. For one, who the hell are you to tell anybody how to do anything? Secondly, you’re a guy, don’t tell Mother’s what to do, you worry about Father’s Day. Keep your testosterone-fueled mouth in check.

Here’s the thing, my experience as a Mother and with my Mother, when kids are young, Mom’s are with them all the time. All. The. Damn. Time. Often we become martyrs. We need to let Moms know you don’t have to be a martyr. We always honored my Mother in the morning, gave cards and presents, had breakfast or brunch, then we had orders from my Father to leave my Mother the hell alone the rest of the day. Same when I was married and my kids just kind of continued the tradition even without their Father around to tell them to leave me the hell alone.

I mean I don’t order them to leave me alone, they’re just kind of like “Mom, it’s your day, do what you want, have peace and quiet, whatever.” Now that doesn’t mean I don’t love my kids, I don’t run out of town for the weekend it just means they know I work hard for them and want me to have time to myself. And it usually is just taking 2 hours to go to the grocery store unencumbered. However, I’m sure when my kids are out of the house that I’ll want to spend the day with them. It will be the reverse. They won’t be around all the time, I’ll make that day about paying homage to me and wear my tiara. ūüôā As I did to my Mom when I became an adult. Except my Mom didn’t wear a tiara, she was still wearing a crown of thorns, could never really get passed that martyr stage. lol I take that back, probably by her 70s and 80s, she was like “I am not doin’ a DAYUM thing today, you people cook or order out”. See, in the picture above she did wear a nice crown. Lord I loved that woman.

However, if there are young Moms that want to be with their kids, knock yourself out. It’s your day. But don’t you dare chastise a woman for wanting some time alone, because we need it sometimes and it’s well-deserved. Most Moms work really hard and we are the nurturers and usually the first one the kids go to for anything – hungry, tired, hurt, sick, bleeding, sad, bored, happy. There were times I literally had 3 kids hanging off me at once as I was trying to cook… or just go to the bathroom.

Do you tell people how to spend their birthday? “You must have cake and see loved ones, especially your Mother ¬†who gave birth to you on that day!” Aw hell no, you can spend it locked in the bathroom, in a bar, at work, in a car wash… it’s your damn business. You can even choose to ignore it if you like. Sadly there are estranged children and Mothers that don’t speak and they choose to ignore Mother’s Day. But again, that’s their business. Yes, it makes me sad, but who am I to judge?

So enjoy the day, however… but first a brief lesson – Mother’s Day in some form or another has been celebrated all over the world for centuries. Since we learned in my last blog, May is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s month, some places decided to honor all Mothers. Other cultures had their reasons for honoring Mom too. In the U.S. Anna Jarvis of West Virginia was the one to lobby for making it a national holiday in 1908 because she had already started honoring her own Mother when she passed in 1905. So there you have it. We have Anna to thank. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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Ms. Madigan, Tear Down This Wall!

6 Aug

I’ve had a very specific pattern to my life for the past 22 years. ¬†I’ll have like one day of calm and then 29 days of slowly escalating disaster. ¬†It’s like that tick tick ticking of a roller coaster as it is going up to the top before it drops. ¬†And every so often I get stuck at the top of that hill before it drops, and I’m frozen with that panic gasp you get before the coaster takes the plunge. ¬†Imagine that feeling… and you have to sit with it for days or weeks.

Do you ever get to that state of… I just can’t try anymore? ¬†I have a quote in my head and I just can’t place it… I think it’s Eddie Murphy imitating like a singer or someone and he’s yelling “I can’t do no mo’, I can’t do no mo’!” ¬† Anyone know what I’m talking about? ¬†I’m usually so good at these useless lines… it must be because I’m at the wall.

Yea, so I’m at a wall right now. ¬†This single parenting thing never seems to right itself. ¬†There are endless finances that I need to pull out of my ass, time after time and well… I think my ass well is running dry. ¬†Yes, the book is doing well but I have a shitload of lost time to make up for (read: bills). ¬†That giant lump sum of back child support ¬†sure would come in handy right about now. (Funk soul brother, right about now… sorry that song popped into my head) ¬†Trying to find any other kind of work has been ridiculous for a couple years now. ¬†And some of the freelance work I’ve been doing… let’s just say I’d rather take a soak in a big vat of poo. ¬†No offense. ¬†But I plug away.

I hate these impasses. ¬†They are so frustrating. ¬†I know, I know “This too shall pass”, as my Mother has always said but I just hate being in this moment. ¬†It’s getting a little old. ¬†The trouble with my moments… it’s not like “Oh darn we might not be able to go on that vacation this year” ¬†My moments are like “We’re gonna’ get evicted” or “Sorry you can’t go back to school, I didn’t get the financial aid”

I think what I’m trying to say is… I’m not happy. ¬†There is so much I want to do and be and I feel like my feet are stuck in concrete. ¬†I know I can do it.

waterboy-you-can-do-it

I know I can have everything I want, but I’m stuck. ¬†It’s not like I’m a miserable human being (I know some of you think otherwise… douchetotes), I’m happy with who I am, what I’ve become, and the love I can share. ¬†But man this scraping by with 3 kids to raise by myself has gotten old. ¬†I’m tired, y’all. ¬†Not from raising the kids exactly, but the struggle for food and shelter… Jesus Christ, you’d think that would be pretty easy. ¬†I adore my kids, I wish I could be a stay at home mom again (which I was for a minute about 13 years ago). ¬†Raising children has been the biggest success and source of pure joy in my life. ¬†But man how I wish I had a medical or law degree and had the steady coin.

It’s so frustrating, because I feel like I’m on the verge of something great or success or true joy… or maybe it’s just gas. ¬†But I’m stuck. ¬†Ok I need your help, how do I break through this wall? ¬†Besides having a telethon for ¬†myself? ¬†And it can’t involve spending any money… ‘cuz homey ain’t got none. ¬†So… give me your best advice…

Oh but first I have a small announcement to make… in a few weeks I have another book coming out! ¬†It’s just a short companion piece to my recently published book “When Life Gives You Lemons… at Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!”¬†. ¬†Stay tuned!

And btdubs, if you have already read the book, reviews are always appreciated on Amazon and Goodreads.  Thanks!

Look at My Buns!

4 Jun

I’ve been known to say and do many odd things around my kids.

There’s the time we were living in Denver about 7 years ago, we went to the grocery store to get cookout supplies. ¬†We’re driving back down into our neighborhood and my son was about 11 or 12 and was sitting in the front passenger seat, the two girls ages 7 and 9 in the back. ¬†I saw some kids up ahead walking on the sidewalk (on my son’s side of the car) who we didn’t really know but they were annoying young teens who always roamed the neighborhood. ¬†So I instructed my son on what to do for a laugh when we drove by…

He yells out the window, “Hey, look at my buns!”… then holds up the package of hot dog buns we just bought out the window.

And we sped off.

It sent my pre-pubescent children into belly laughs in the car. ¬†It’s just one of our memorable little family chuckles.

Another time, it was like just a year ago or two, we’re all in the car (kids are all teens) driving here in Rochester in the winter down a wide city street. ¬†I see some young boys, about 7-9 on the side of the street attempting to throw snowballs at cars as they pass. ¬†Now mind you, these kids were young and I don’t think the balls were gettin’ within 10 feet of the car. ¬†We were all laughing about something else and as I approached, I got this slightly animated cranky old broad face and said , “Oh yea, come on just try and throw one at me ya’ little bastards” and leaned into the steering wheel like I was Mario Andretti and as I passed them I gave them “Grumpy Cat” Face and gave a little shake of my fist.

funny-picture-stevie-wonder-and-grumpy-cat

Just as I get passed I look in the rear view mirror and see a pitiful little pflurf of a snowball go up in the air and land like 5 feet from the kid… to which I murmured “Heh, take that bitches” in a grumpy old broad voice. ¬†For some reason that became another memorable moment that always elicits laughter.

One might not think my language or “risque” humor would be appropriate around my kids. ¬†But I think it has cultivated the opposite… they know when things are appropriate and when they are not. ¬†They understood that I was parodying a grumpy old ignorant man or woman when I was messing with the snowball kids. ¬†They know that I would never call a kid a little bastard, well to his face anyway. ¬†heh ¬†They also know that the bun joke was just a silly play on words. ¬†We weren’t malicious and said, “Kiss my buns” or “Lick my buns” or “Give it to me hard in the buns”. ¬†Oh sorry. ¬†Or it wasn’t like I told my 11 year old to say, “Look at my dick!” and hold up a picture of Andy Dick.

By me exposing my children to different language and different situations, they can better understand things. ¬†They don’t use profanity or talk back to me or other adults or peers, ever. ¬†(I’m sure they use profanity when out amongst friends but not maliciously) ¬†My kids have never yelled at each other or me “I hate you”, nor have they ever called each other a name. ¬†Oh sure, they get annoyed with each other once in a while but they just stew for a while, stomp around and finally address it with, “Why are you always borrowing my stuff without asking and always breaking it?”. ¬† There’s never any “Fuck you, you asshole whorebag stuff stealer!”. ¬†I would not tolerate that… ever. ¬†I just taught them from a young age that we all treat each other with respect, not just our family but everyone on Earth.

I think it’s because their Father was such a dirty fighter. ¬†He was an incredibly competitive hockey player, so a fight was like… you stepped on his toe so he had to try and slice your jugular. ¬†Ya’ know something like this, Me: “God, why can’t you just pick your underwear up off the floor?” ¬†Him: ¬†(yelling at me with his massive muscular frame in my personal space) “You know what, your Father doesn’t love you because you’re not as successful as his other uptight kids” ¬†Uh ok, I’ll just defer this round to you.

After that mishigas (Yiddish for clusterfuck) I decided my household was always going to be rational and respectful. ¬†There really is no yelling other than boisterous nonsense with laughing involved. ¬†I never yell. ¬†They never yell. ¬†I know, I know it ruins the image you have of me doesn’t it? ¬†But I’m telling you icy stares go a long way. ¬†Oh wait, I misspoke there is the occasional exasperated yell from the kitchen “Jesus Christ, why do you people keep piling crap on the garbage like a Jenga game when it’s full, instead of just emptying it?!”. ¬†Then I usually go in and calmly address it by telling them to empty it otherwise I’ll find out who put the last thing on top and I will make them sleep with it in their bed. ¬†Nobody’s perfect.

I know a person who grew up in a pretty uptight family, everything was controlled. ¬†No foul language, no off color humor. ¬†Now as an adult this person started to become themselves and kind of gravitates toward adult humor, “That’s what she said” type of humor. ¬†Which is fine, I have some of that. ¬†But the trouble is the person now has no filter at this point. ¬†They just blurt stuff out in front of the wrong crowd. ¬†Ya’ know, it’s ok to say that joke at cocktails with our good friends but not to my co-worker you just met.

What’s my point? ¬†I don’t know, I just wanted to swear a lot today. ¬†Nah, I just think that it’s not a terrible thing to be off color with your kids. ¬†Now I don’t mean like this Mother-Daughter porn team I’ve heard about, or the Father-Son pimp team that’s on trial in NY currently. ¬†Not that kind of inappropriate. ¬†I just think exposing them to things teaches them how to make choices in life instead of sheltering them from it, then they have no idea how to deal when confronted ¬†with it… without Mommy and Daddy around. ¬†Just my two cents. ¬†Now off with you, ya’ little bastards, enjoy the day…

Oh and today only for my loyal readers get a FREE Kindle version of my hee-larious book, “When Life Gives You Lemons… at Least You Won’t Get Scurvy!” Making the best of the crap life gives you. ¬†on Amazon.com. ¬†CLICK HERE¬†NOW!!!!!!

The Awkwardness of Filtering During the Sex Talk With Your Kids

11 Apr

I ended up having an impromptu sex talk with my 16 year old daughter the other night. ¬†I’ve had “talks” with all of my children over the years. ¬†It’s an ongoing thing, I think that’s the best way to handle it because as time goes by more questions arise (no pun intended). ¬†And you don’t want to sit them down and bombard them with too much information or you’ll have an 11 year with a deer in the headlights look who wants to crawl under a rock. ¬†Hell, I’m still learning things at my age.

So, I don’t even know how it happened… ¬†Oh wait, now I remember… we were watching “The Carrie Diaries” and a boy tried to pressure Carrie into doing naughty things with/to him. ¬†At the end of the show we both went to the kitchen for whatever reason… and I used that as a teaching moment. ¬†I told her not to ever let a boy pressure her into doing things she didn’t want to do.

Then it turned ugly… I mean ugly for me. ¬†Lord I was more nervous then a long tail cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs! ¬†(That was very Honey Boo Boo, wasn’t it?) ¬†She told me how she had been asked for sexual favors. ¬†Oh my God, I felt like my lungs were closing! ¬†She turned them down. ¬†Oh thank you sweet baby Jesus in swaddling clothes… ¬†But jeez boys are rather forward these days. ¬†In my day they just pulled moves while making out, guiding your hand or head where they wanted it go. ¬†Now they just flat out ask? ¬†Jesus Christ, at least set the mood a little…

What was also tough was censoring myself from making jokes. ¬†“Honey I had a girl in my sorority who could suck the chrome off a tailpipe!” ¬†But I refrained. ¬†And then I ran like a drunk who needs to get sick in a toilet afterwards to spew out all the jokes I had pent up from the talk to my friend. ¬†Come on, I’m only human. ¬†It’s how I deal with shit. ¬†Lighten up.

She told me she’s not even remotely interested in sex or getting intimate because she doesn’t feel good about her body. ¬†Part of me was like “Yay!” ¬†But then most of me was like, “How sad, I don’t want you to have body image issues”. ¬†We talked about that. ¬†Ladies, you know every single one of us has had body image issues, 95% started in jr. high and high school. ¬†80% of us still have them…

It gets worse. ¬†We get into specifics. ¬†Blow jobs, hand jobs, anal sex. ¬†You could probably see the steam rising from my head, the sweat pouring down my face, the rash on my chest. ¬†But I knew it had to be talked about. ¬†I asked her if her friends talk about this stuff and that I heard BJ’s are kind of a form of currency now. ¬†She said no, but girls do brag about giving them! ¬†Ah! ¬†Ah! ¬†In my head I’m now dancing like I have leeches all over me, get them off, get them off!

pearlclutching

Clutch the pearls! ¬†In my day the only girls who gave head were trollops. ¬†Then she says to me… “Nothing about doing that sounds appealing to me”. ¬†Phew. (I wanted to say “Oh honey, you get use to the gag reflex thing.” ¬†Just kidding!)

This is where it gets tricky. ¬†I say, “Oh no, at your age that is done if you don’t have any self-respect” ¬†Well what the hell was I supposed to say?! ¬†“Just wait until your 35, it’s an amazing sense of power over a guy and a great way to spice things up”? ¬†Then she says the same thing about anal sex. ¬†In my head I’m like, “oh my God I’m having chest pains, am I dying?” ¬†I feel it’s necessary to tell her that having anal sex is not a way to keep your virginity intact as my ex-husband’s college girlfriend thought. ¬†( I didn’t tell her the part about her Dad’s girlfriend) ¬†And it can be really unsanitary and unhealthy not to mention painful. ¬†But in my head I’m thinking but if you feel like doing it as an adult, wear a condom! ¬†But luckily again she says it doesn’t sound appealing. ¬†Holy Mary, Mother of God.

See, my head was exploding because first and foremost I’m a Mom, but secondly I’m a red blooded adult American woman with lust in my heart. ¬†I’ve always been a little provocative by nature. ¬†And yes, that’s what has lead me to bad choices at times throughout my life and I’d like to teach my daughters to stay away from that. ¬†I mean nothing major but stuff like I shouldn’t have slept with that guy that I really really liked on the first date, no wonder he dumped me. ¬†Or like where a guy is totally bad news for you but the sex is incredible so you stay. ¬†Oh girl, it’s hard but don’t go there…

However knowing how to enjoy sex when you are an adult in a committed relationship or marriage is amazing. ¬†Let’s face it, we all enjoy sex. ¬†Don’t lie now. ¬†And sex can make or break a relationship sometimes, right? ¬†I loves me some sex! ¬†But I can’t tell my 16 year old daughter that! ¬†That’s when I have to apply the Mom filter. ¬†But at the same time I don’t want her to have a fear of it, I think that causes some adults to have dysfunctional sex lives later. ¬†My parents put the fear of God in me about it, that really screwed me up for a while.

I suddenly find myself back in my parent’s shoes though. ¬†Well, except I’m still waiting for my sex talk from them. ¬†Good Irish Catholic parents. ¬†Seriously, I think my “talk” was “Stay away from boys”. ¬†All that I knew about sex were the vague facts they taught in health class at the time, and the Playboy magazine I found in my Dad’s drawer in the 70’s with the woman with the gigantic shrubbery growing between her legs.

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My kids? ¬†Hell they were looking at porn on the computer as soon as they learned where it was. ¬†I mean, I’m assuming that, since I didn’t have any kind of content blocker on the pc. ¬†So if I don’t talk to them they will think that sex is supposed to be all nasty with spitting and spanking on your naughty bits and lots of swearing. ¬†I want them to know it’s something that is to come from love and respect… when you’re much older… and hopefully married, but I’ll settle for just much older.

So it was really strange having a sex talk with my daughter, knowing I’d have a completely different conversation with my adult friends. ¬†It also makes me feel that knowing what I know and what I have done in my 4 decades in this life that I really don’t want to let her out of the house ever again. ¬†*makes sign of the cross*

Follow Your Dreams or Become a Dental Hygienist?

22 Jan

Who the hell am I?

What the hell am I doing?

I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately. ¬†Fine time to have to be rediscovering myself but it’s about time I took a thorough calm approach. ¬† If only I had stopped flailing around for a moment to really think things through I might have been on a better track a while ago.

Or not.

I’ve been thrown so many curves, I still probably wouldn’t have gotten my shit straight then, either.

So, I’ve been trying lots of different things lately, as you can tell. ¬†I’ve been writing more, video blogs, auditioning for stage productions, applying for hardcore social media or writing gigs. ¬†No, not writing gigs in hardcore porn or hardcore punk… hardcore writing… nevermind.

Let’s back the truck up a second. ¬†When I was a small hyperactive child with wild auburn hair, my Mother enrolled me in every free workshop or lesson given by parks and rec or whatever non-profit known to man. ¬†(see, those programs do save children from a life of crime and drugs… not booze tho). ¬†And when that didn’t work, she dumped me off at the beach or YMCA for ¬†while. ¬† I took sailing lessons, tennis lessons, ballet lessons, art workshops, theater workshops, book clubs, golf lessons, gymnastics, and swim team. ¬†So, I’ve been all over the place in my interests since I was young. ¬†Or I just have ADD.

But I loooooved me some theater. ¬†I did a bunch of productions. ¬†Had leading roles in some musical crap in high school. ¬†And then when it came time to apply for college, I was all “I’m totally majoring in theater”. ¬†And I remember a direct quote from my parents… “We’re not paying to send you to college to become a waitress”. ¬†Ouch. ¬†Thanks for crushing my dreams, pal. ¬†But those were my parents – practical, realists, safe. ¬†Always.

I was pissed.

However they did have a suggestion. ¬†My Father’s brother had been in radio and TV his whole adult life until he passed away in the mid 70s. ¬†At the time of his death he worked for ABC as… damnit now of course I can’t remember the correct title. ¬†I believe it was VP of News and Special Events. ¬†Anyway, he was a big head honcho. ¬†I was told he was responsible for hiring Peter Jennings. ¬†I also remember my parents watching the 1968 Democratic convention because my Uncle John was in charge of that. ¬†His funeral was attended by many famous folks in news and politics.

So anyway, they suggested broadcasting because I was so into music and had a personality. ¬†This was like 1981-1982 where you could still have a little input with music and some personality in radio. ¬†So, that’s what I did.

I rode that train for a while but quickly realized after I got out of college that radio and TV was all corporate and not a whole lot of fun.  Oh and the pay?  Minimum wage.  So I went and got married, had kids and left the field eventually.

Many incarnations later, here I am. ¬†I’m thinking there is something to that personality, writing, humor thing. ¬†That’s what my idea was in the first place. ¬†Monetizing it is another. ¬†My family was never big on “go for your dreams”, they were always “become a dental hygienist, people always need those”. ¬†(I love my many DH friends and am really quite jealous that you are always in demand) ¬†And why couldn’t I be as smart as my lawyer, executive, engineer, teacher siblings? ¬†God bless my Mother but if she had mentioned one more time in the past 15 years to “just get a job at the school, so you’ll be on the kids schedule”, I was going to shoot myself. ¬†For one, those jobs aren’t as easy to get as you would think. ¬†And two, could you picture me a lunch lady or teacher’s aide? ¬†I’d get in trouble for talking more than a kid!

Funny thing is, I got hired for a P/T social media job recently because of… my blog. ¬†Yes, they told me I basically had balls for putting myself out there and being able to brand myself, and figured I could do it for them. ¬†Seeing the blog got them to call me for an interview and I sold myself in person and got the job. ¬†Tada! ¬†I gambled, it paid off a bit. ¬†I didn’t win the Powerball jackpot… maybe more like a $5,000 scratch off ticket, but it’s a start and I am plenty grateful. ¬† I’ve done social media for other people/companies in drips and drabs but this is a little more substantial and I’m excited.

I’ve been worrying the last couple years about my blog and real life clashing. ¬†I was trying to figure a way to make it work or parlay into a career. ¬†Hopefully this is a start. ¬†My whole life I’ve struggled with what is the real me and making it fit in with the rest of the world and profitable. ¬†Some people would say, “Oh screw society, just be you, go after your dreams!”. ¬†Sorry, not practical while unexpectedly having to raise 3 kids on your own without that other parent in the picture.

So this is a start… and I can still finish up my book which is approaching landing. ¬†I hope to have it out by March. ¬†Fingers crossed. ¬†I’m gonna’ stay true to my heart and think somewhat practically and see where I can go. ¬†I sound like a freakin’ Dr. Seuss book don’t I . ¬†Eh, he was a kook and look where it got him… rich. ¬†There’s hope for me!

 

Animals Who Eat Their Young or Lizzie Borden, We All Have Parent/Child Issues.

18 Jan

Being a parent is an amazing gift for me.  An incredible blessing beyond compare.

It can also be a gigantic pain in the ass.

Oh you all know it.  I just said it out loud for us.

However on the other hand… being a child of a parent can be an amazingly love filled and joyous experience.

It can also be a pain in the ass.  And unfortunately for some can be unspeakable horror.  But we hope those parents are in jail or rotting in hell.

But the parent-child dynamic has always been filled with strange twists and turns. ¬†An emotional roller coaster (a physical one too, if they drive like my Mother). ¬†We all have fond memories of our parents. ¬†Then we all have those quirks that stick out that may have driven us to drink. ¬†Then we also have those moments of revelation that our parents aren’t perfect. ¬†They are human.

I just quickly quizzed my kids on some of their warm thoughts about me. ¬†They had none. ¬†No, I’m kidding but they are all teenagers and were hard pressed to think of things at first. ¬†Finally things came to mind – that I’m funny and make them laugh, they remember being snuggled up in bed reading with me every night, and that I was there for everything. ¬†Oh also my meatloaf, which is funny because “cook” is not the first thing anyone thinks of when they think of me… not even me.

And then I asked for annoying things. ¬†I was surprised to hear about my cough. ¬†In the last couple of years I developed allergy related asthma, so I get this dry hacking cough in response to my lungs feeling like they’re closing. ¬†It kind of goes away when I use an inhaler. ¬†I’m sorry I ever made fun of any nerds with asthma. ¬†It’s a pain in the ass. ¬†Anyway my annoying cough is annoying to them as well. ¬†Other things… that I’m starting to forget things that they tell me. ¬†Oh I’m sorry that you told me 4 days ago you were going to Erin’s after school, I only have 800 other things to remember with 3 overachieving kids and my job. ¬†That’s why I made all 3 make a Google account and share their calendars with me. ¬†Smart, eh?

It’s funny that there are some things that one loves about me that another one hates. ¬†Like me talking to strangers. ¬†One thinks it’s great that I’m so friendly another one is always thinking “Jesus Mom, can we just get the f*ck outta’ here?”. ¬†Also I’m not big on primping, it’s tiring to me. ¬†But when I do, oh look out girl, I’m fierce! ¬†So I tend to go out in sweats, no makeup and a top knot (that’s a hairstyle fellas) which embarrasses the hell out of one. ¬†I think I look sporty, she thinks I look homeless. ¬†Another one says it shows I’m not shallow and have confidence that I don’t care what others think. ¬†Um, maybe that’s a backhanded compliment…

Anyway, I also know that overall we go through the whole thing of thinking our parents are superheros when we are young and then discovering things when we are adults that prove they are mortal. ¬†As I’m sure my kids have and will find out about me. ¬†I just hope they realize I always landed on my feet (so far) and always gave them 100%, and always put them first.

I just went through this with my Father. ¬†He passed away just 3 months ago. ¬†I thought I always had a kind of strange relationship with my Dad but in the end I figured out it wasn’t that strange. ¬†See, when I was growing up I had a lot of friends that always talked about being their Daddy’s little princess. I was always so jealous as I would hear friends in college talk about their Dad coming to bring them to lunch or send them flowers or getting a letter.

My Dad didn’t ever do any of that. ¬†My Dad was a typical Irishman where no great praise was ever given but lots of love was given in the way he knew how. ¬†The Irish are historically sarcastic and negative. ¬†And my Father was that to a tee. ¬†Any great fete we told of, was met with a “well don’t f*ck it up” by him. ¬†That used to piss me off, but now I see it as part of his charm. ¬†You could have told him “I just won the Nobel Prize” and he would have said “Well don’t blow the prize money”. ¬†I understand now, he was really just watching out for us. ¬†No really, he was. ¬† I get that now.

But as I knew he was at the end of his life, out of nowhere these thoughts came to me. ¬†My Dad used to whistle a lot. ¬†But it was this very melodic whistle filled with trills and key changes. ¬†He was like one of those professional whistlers on the Ed Sullivan show. ¬†He would always whistle this tune “Peg of My Heart” which was his favorite song. ¬†(Guy Lombardo’s version was his favorite) ¬†Peg is the nickname for Margaret, my given name. ¬†I was called Peg sometimes as a little girl. ¬†While my Dad was whistling he would often grab me to fox trot. ¬†My 10 year old self would cringe and think get the hell away from me. ¬†My 47 year old self would give my left arm to have him do that again.

How lucky am I? ¬†How many girls were serenaded by their Dad often and named after his favorite song? ¬†Why didn’t I remember that show of affection all those years when I was busy bitching about his sometimes cold demeanor?

I sat with him at his bedside in his final days and told him he was my hero. ¬†He mustered up one of his very animated facial expressions that I realized where I had gotten mine from. ¬†I remembered my Dad was actually a really funny sarcastic guy his whole life. ¬†He made the “what the hell are you talking about” face. ¬†And whispered “why”? ¬†I told him because he always sacrificed everything to give us the best. ¬†He was always there, and always trying to love us and provide for us (in his own way). ¬†He gave a typical answer “hmpf, not much of a provider”. ¬†I was like Dad, you put 6 kids through college, we went on trips, we belonged to a country club, you had a second home before you retired, I think you did ok. ¬†But now I know where I get the self-doubt from too. ¬†Apple —> tree.

It all came full circle. ¬†That was a most incredible gift that I got to realize that. ¬†To understand that people all love and communicate in their own way and you can’t judge your relationship with people by a certain event here or there. ¬†Especially with your parents and children. ¬†It’s a big complicated puzzle. ¬†Eh, maybe not to some of you. ¬†Maybe you had the perfect “Leave it to Beaver” or “Cosby” home. ¬†Either way, look at the whole picture and appreciate what you’ve got. ¬†Even if you want to stab it with a screwdriver sometimes… ¬†ūüôā

 

 

Six (or so) Easy Steps to Taming Your Feral Child

29 Dec

In doing some research for my blog and it’s new direction, I came across a whole bunch of blogs written by Moms.¬† However, most blogs are written by happy stay-at-hom moms with small children and talk about crafts and their latest trip to Disney and poopy diapers.¬† That ain’t me.¬† I’m past that phase.¬† I’m worrying about my kids applying to colleges and staying away from kids who steal their parent’s liquor at the moment.

Oh, I know how that world is, I was there once, sans the Disney trips.¬† You think you’re the first one to ever have cute little kids and enjoy being a happy family, and you think we are all eager to hear about your kids… endlessly.¬† Oh, no offense to those moms, I’ve just been there, you want to share your joy.¬† But I just wanted to say that sometimes in reading about all the cutsie wootsie stories you tell of all the adorable things that little McKenzie did… I think, I would have booted the kid across the room.

And then the mommies even make jokes about being at their wits end with said adorable child.¬† Oh honey, I feel like that everyday, but it’s not from having annoying kids it’s from having busy kids.¬† Oh my children aren’t perfect, I just figured out how to nip bad behavior in the bud.¬† I’ll still get cranky kid attitude steered my way once in a while, but I don’t get disrespect.¬† Want to know how?

Well, buy my book!

No, just kidding.¬† That’s how the pitch usually goes… brings you right to the brink, and then chops you off at the knees, just like a girl in a short skirt.

Well, I’ll tell you how, because I’m nice like that. (donations accepted, though)¬† Parents… stay in control.¬† Ain’t no child ever paid attention to or respected a screaming, cussing¬†parent.¬† Did you when you were a kid?¬† When my Mother went off, I just thought she was crazy, and as I got older… embarrassing.¬† But when she just stopped and looked me in the eye, oh I had the fear of God in me.¬†¬†Oh and the worst was when she was just quiet and told me I had dissappointed her.¬† OH!¬† Stab stab stab in the heart!

Easy Steps for when your child talks back or has a tantrum:

1.  Physically get down to eye to eye level with them.

2.¬† Talk to them calmly, yet firmly, maintain direct eye contact.¬† (you can’t sound like Mr. Rogers, you¬†must¬†¬† be firm)¬† If they look away, say “you need to look at me”.

3.  State with authority that that behavior is not acceptable and we do not do that in this house.

4.  Ask them if they heard you and to repeat it.

5.  Tell them when they can act in a civil manner, you will discuss it or continue whatever.

6.¬† Stand up and continue what you were doing.¬† (unless there’s blood to clean up or something)

If a problem is more involved you may need to discuss it with them.¬† For instance, “Would you like it if I threw a Matchbox¬†Car at you?”¬† Or “Why would you deliberately take the paints out after I told you no?”.¬† Sometimes “No, because I said so” isn’t the best answer.¬† Kids need to learn logic and reason.¬† Explain to them “We don’t have enough time to paint, becuase we are having guests for dinner and I need the table”.

Adults, do you feel better after someone explains why they said no, rather than just saying no?¬† I rest my case.¬† “Can I have a raise?”¬† “No.”¬† My first thought is “I suck”.¬† But after they tell me they lost money in the 4th Q and just can’t, then I accept it.

I won’t lie, it takes a great deal of patience on the parent’s part.¬† Oh and , some kids may still flip out, it’s not a cure all.¬† But if you remain calm and¬†CONSISTENT, I can almost guarantee you’ll see the behavior improve over time.¬† It needs to start as soon as they start talking though.¬† Just laughing off that behavior because they are “little” only creates monsters. (Have we not all learned anything from Toddlers and Tiaras?)¬† It’s never too early to start expecting respectable behavior from a child.¬† Most important thing is, don’t stoop to their level!¬† Yea, I know we all have our limits, but even if you do have a flip out, apologize to the child and use it as a lesson that we all get stressed out, you know how the¬†child feels.¬†¬†Keep the faith and have a cocktail after they go to bed.

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