How many times can we hear “Well, then I am just going to leave!” and watch him go but he always comes back. The kids don’t even pay attention anymore when he says it; they just let him go. I watch, sit back, respond very little during the rant leading up to the door slamming, & somehow that is perceived as being antagonizing. I have given up yelling, arguing, fighting, even talking to a certain extent, as he doesn’t listen anyways. I could explain how and why he is being irrational but it wouldn’t sink in. I could explain that every time he throws this temper tantrum with the kids watching, it makes them turn more and more apathetic. Everyone is tired of begging, tired of wishing, tired of thinking maybe this time when he comes he will be different. He will smile, he will have fun, he will enjoy being with us. Yet his entire reason for leaving (usually quite quickly after he has returned) is because we haven’t been nice to him?! It’s hard to be nice when you walk on eggshells. It’s hard to want him here when the mood swings are severe & the chance of him blowing up – over anything from kids playing legos in another room, to us wanting to play a board game, or even us just being quiet as we are all tired – is huge. It is never good enough, never right, never perfect. Moments of celebration are ruined as negativity exudes from him & with out it I don’t think he knows how to act. Rather than rejoicing in the moment, be it he has arrived home & is with us, ACT & SAT scores being amazingly higher than anticipated, traveling teams were made, or lead roles awarded in a great theatre program – he can find the bad. So we are all slowly withdrawing and thinking maybe if he really does leave, things wouldn’t be so bad. It’s not what any of us want, we love him – or we love the him we know from happier days…will HE ever come back?!
So I talk my husband into having an “after-party” after a charity auction with some friends – friends who weren’t great friends, as we had just moved to the area but still they had potential to be great friends so why not have them over. The charity auction went great, we are at out house, it’s going great. We have all had a few cocktails & I felt it was going flawlessly, this new town might work (we move a lot due to my husbands work, on average every 2 years). Then, I opened my mouth to tell this funny story about my son from when he was about 3 years old…and let me just say I still think it’s funny despite my “friends” reactions,(and let me also add that my husband was in the living room with the men and I was in the kitchen with the women during this story, yet he could hear me and as soon as I started to speak, he knew I was in trouble.) The women had started talking about the differences between boys & girls and I think this is a great funny story about Charlie, I’m going to share it. Here it is, pretty much verbatim:
Oh I have a funny boy story about Charlie. He was about 4 and we were late for Victoria’s soccer game. We rushed to the parking lot and I grabbed him from the car and we started running to her soccer field – with him riding piggy back on me. When he suddenly exclaimed “Mom my penis is growing.” It took me a second to really get what he was saying and that yes, as he rubbed up and down on my back as we ran, his penis grew, and he liked it. I just about threw him off my back as I was laughing so hard yet somewhat grossed out that he was turned on off my piggy back ride, yet still amazed at his little penis.
Faces fell to the floor, conversation halted, no one laughed, no one even chuckled, the party stopped, done, finished, over. One woman immediately called for her husband, another asked for their coats, and another looked at her watch and said, “oh my it is late, we need to go too”. REALLY?! Really?! Over a penis? Should I have called it something else? Do they not get hard? Hadn’t their boys figured this out too? Do they not “grow” when rubbed up and down? Don’t all young boys figure this out early? Had none of these women ever seen what a penis can do? Didn’t they have kids?! Did their husbands not have a penis?! Did their husband’s penis not get hard when rubbed?! I was so confused, it’s a funny story, not a party stopper – what happened? The silence and awkwardness were amazing. I never felt anything like it. They all left. Left me there with my husband – who saw me sliding down the slippery slope of penis topics yet couldn’t stop me from crashing & burning.
Needless to say, we didn’t stay in this town long and I don’t think I ever had any of those women over again.
<i still think it’s a funny story>
While getting ready for school my son asked “What’s my body?” I didn’t quite understand so I asked him to explain and he says “What’s my body? Everyone in class knows what their body is and I didn’t. Am I Jewish? What am I?” I replied, “No, you are not Jewish” and he said “Oh Good, because I don’t like Nazi’s” I then explain the Nazis were German and the Nazis were mean to the Jewish. Now he is sad that he is not Jewish. I continue and proceed to break his heart a bit more and tell him that he actually has German in him. Now he is even more sad. He claims he doesn’t like Germans, and he no longer likes himself if he is German.
This is something I have tried to avoid as I hate labels, I hate that ‘this person is this” or “that person is that” and I have tried to keep my kids from making assumptions or judgments based on ethnic, religious, or even sexual preference. But Charlie wants to know and he wants a list so he can show his class what is his body. So I write out his list of what’s in his “body”, which is English, Irish, Austrian, German, French, Italian, Swedish, and Polish. Upon reading the list, Charlie’s face lights up with joy when he reads that he is Polish. His school celebrates a different heritage each month and last month was Polish. He is ecstatic to learn that he has already learned about his body and proceeds to tell me all about Polish heritage.
Perhaps I need to re-think my thoughts on labels…
Nothing like getting your heart racing like a run to the school on a 7 degree day! So we are walking out of the BACK of our building, and let me stress BACK one more time, like we do everyday on our walk to school, when I realize my daughter has forgotten my UGG boots which she needs for a persuasive speech today (something I am not all too happy about as it’s 7 degrees and I am smooshed into her extra pair of boots which are not Uggs and not as warm and not my size). I tell her she doesn’t have them and she turns to walk back & then asks if I can just bring them up. I say yes, but not until 10 -What time is the class that you need them? She replies 9:15 and keeps walking toward school. I stop her and ask how she plans to do her speech when the requirement was either a poster board explaining the product you were being persuasive about or the actual product. She says she will just tell the teacher she has neither right now. I lose it. I tell her to turn around and go get the boots as she has an a+ in that class right now, 100% on everything and how can she be willing to lose that grade & Fail when all she has to do is walk to the front of our building and go get the boots. She tries to argue and I state, the time we have sat here discussing it, you could have already had the boots. Now, mind you, we can’t get into our building through the back door, but we always leave out of it because it cuts off the coldest part of our route. So she runs ahead as her brother and I follow. We see her go up the elevator & then go wait near the back door for her to return. We wait, and wait, and wait…she never comes, minutes pass by…I walk to the front and ask our doorman if he has seen Ellie leave holding a pair of boots. He says yes. Now I am furious!!! I run back to the back door, grab my son’s hand and book out. We race through the snow, ice, people, run a red light risking our lives going into the traffic and hearing my poor son, who has cold, keep repeating, I can’t breathe , I can’t and I reassure him by repeating, just keep holding my hand, just keep holding my hand. We make it to school just as she is entering the building. I scream, my own mother finally came out of me, in the most evil loud obnoxious voice ever VICTORIA” – she keeps walking, although all others turn to look. I scream it again “VIIIICCCCTTOOORRRRIIIIAA” – she stops (I think I scared myself more than her as I truly could hear my own mother’s voice screaming my name). I get up to her, in the entrance of the school, with my finger pointing and say “what are you doing?” She smiles at me. It takes all I can not to smile back and I have to remind myself to be angry and to be just like my mother right now. I tell her “Since when do we use the front door. You knew darn well what you were doing when you walked out. You were angry with me for making you go back so you intentionally opted to use the front door. How would I know where you are? If you were at school? What about your brother? If the doorman hadn’t seen you, I would not know where you were, or where you went or how you disappeared…and let me tell you I would’ve walked into your classroom to look for you -(her ultimate fear that I actually show up in front of her friends and they realize she has a mother). I then finish it, with a “get inside and get to school and your lucky I caught you out here.”
Not sure how to end it and I am out of time as I really do have to be back @ school @ 10 and its now 930….