(As in: everything makes you want to, and your kids do nothing but)

Monthly Archives: March 2015

So, I just finished up a story about a 19 year old accused of violently shaking his 2 month old daughter until she had a fractured skull, ribs and bleeding in the brain.

Gaskins

I’m still waiting to update the story on the 150 people killed in a plane crash in the French Alps.

french alps

Before I started that one, I wrapped up the arrest in the cold case murder of a 64 year old, unarmed hotel security guard who was shot twice in the back by a robber.

William Williams - Cold Case victim

In-between stories, I cried all over the desk after reading a friend’s blog about her friend’s 21 month old son who died unexpectedly last week.

Yesterday, I sobbed on the drive home after a stop at the vet’s office to get my dog’s medication. I saw a woman holding a little boy on her lap in the parking lot as they wept over a dead pet.

When I have a spare moment, I am overwhelmed by sadness over my mother’s struggle to care for my grandparents alone.

They have Alzheimer’s and dementia.

She works full-time in the news business too and comes home every night to soggy adult diapers stuffed in the dog food canister and profanity-laced tirades from my grandmother who is perpetually threatening to kill herself or escape. (When she’s not berating her husband, who has no memory of her insults just moments later.)

grandparents

Last night as I worked out, I sweat, cried and worried for a friend whose marriage is falling apart.

Along with the endless sorrows of this life, I had to fight off panic today when I realized I missed a phone call from the day care because Alma was screaming that her eyes were burning for some unknown reason.

Then, I cried because I feel like a shitty parent. For missing the call. For not being able to rush to the school to pick her up.

Then again for the mother I don’t even know who just had to bury her son.

I am worn thin from the misery, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I love hard, even though it means I hurt deeply.

I care for complete strangers and take pride in my empathy.

I hurt for my family and friends, but I also celebrate their joys like it’s my own private party.

And at the end of the day, when I put my daughter to bed, she will give me a real hug and a kiss on the cheek and tell me she loves me and it will be enough to prepare me for another day of tragedy and despair.

alma

My son will ask me to read him a book and rub my arm nonchalantly and lay his head on my shoulder and I will feel like I can walk around with the weight of the world on my shoulders forever.

huck

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So, you survived the endless pooping newborn months.

You managed to tackle toddlerhood without your child escaping diaper-clad from your home or flying down a flight of stairs.

Time to celebrate?

No way. Now, you’ve reached the creepy kid stage.

Children are basically small stalkers and perverts and they get a free pass.

Allow me to use my own as examples:

My kids constantly want to watch me bathe. I don’t have a clue what they find so fascinating about my personal bathing habits, but it’s not cool and locking the door is the ONLY option.

They also want to watch me use the potty. Again, my bodily functions don’t vary much from anyone else’s, so I don’t understand their obsession.

They’re also obsessed with their own bodily functions.

Each child, every time without fail, feels the need to share the number and size of their poops. “I did three! One big, two tiny!”

I’m like, ‘Uhhh, I don’t care. I just know I can’t wait until you can effectively wipe your own butt.”

Just about whenever I get my son undressed for his bath, he points to his chest and says, “What’s this?”

“Your nipple?”

“What’s this?”

“Also your nipple.”

“Do you have nipples?”

“Yes.”

“Does Alma have nipples?”… and so on and so forth. Bathtime is one long list of people who have nipples.

Last night, I bent over to pick him up off the couch and he reached into my shirt and said, “I want to touch! Squeeze! Squeeze!” Nothing like getting goosed on the boob by your kid.

They love to share their bodily functions. Alma sees nothing wrong with wiping her snot on my blanket. Occasionally she will drag her hand across my cheek, leaving behind a wet streak. I will ask her why her hand is wet. “I licked it.” (‘Cause that totally makes sense.)

Huck doesn’t mind that I use the bath towel to remove the shit-ton of wax from his ears, as long as I can show him what it looks like afterward so he can say, “Ewwwww.”

Children are also morbid.

The other day as we were walking through the park, I noticed a black snake writhing in the parking lot, it’s head squished by a van that had backed up over it. I tried to urge Alma to walk away and she started whining, “I want to see it! I want to see it!”

She also told me about a classmate who killed a lizard at school. She went into graphic detail about how he chopped off its head.

Then she told me that same story again… and again… and again.

Children are not only creepy, stalking, morbid, perverts. They also know how to REALLY bring the awkward.

Randomly the other day, Alma turned to me and said, “So, when I grow up will I have someone in my belly?”

It’s sweet that she already aspires to become a mother someday. It’s adorable that she’s planning her brood. It’s totally NOT a conversation I want to delve into with my FOUR year old.

In conclusion, you thought you were done with the yuckiest part of parenting? Nope, now they can just TALK about all the nasty stuff that comes with being human. Welcome to Kids Are Creepy.


So, we’re at some family-neutral restaurant eating wings when Alma starts to act up.

She’s sliding around the booth like an eel, smacking her chin on the table, worming her way onto the filthy floor.

I threaten her with a “bathroom time-out.” Before she even blinks again, she’s grinning maniacally, slithering back under the table.

So, I drag her to the bathroom and go inside a stall with her. Instead of whimpering and apologizing, she’s grinning at me with hate in her eyes.

She’s in full-on batshit crazy mode.

So, I tell her I am going to leave her alone in the stall for her time-out.

I close the door, waiting for her to at least utter a half-assed ‘sorry’ when instead, she says “I don’t even want to look at your FACE right now!”

At which point, I drag her back out and my husband and I tell her she’s not going to attend her friend’s birthday party. That’s where we were heading next, so I drop off my husband and son at the party and drive Alma home.

She’s now raving like a lunatic, screaming, spit flying from her mouth, digging her hand into the back of her throat and gagging.

your face

I put her in her room for time-out, while she continues to shriek and flap her arms wildly in my general direction.

I tell her through tears that I wanted her to go to the birthday party, but her behavior is the reason why she can’t go.

She screams louder.

She screams for an hour.

When it turns to a shuddering hiccuping, I go back in and ask her if she knows why she got time-out.

“No.”

I said, “You were not listening, sliding around in the booth and then you told me you didn’t want to look at my face during time-out. You were mean to me. Do you want to be mean to me?”

“Yes.”

I said, “If you act badly, you can’t do fun things like to go to birthday parties.”

Alma: “I’ll just go to the next one.”

Seriously?

This was me sticking to my guns.

The most epic time-out of my parental history and she doesn’t give a shit.

If she’s this vicious and ungrateful now, will we be bailing her out of jail when she’s 13?

This weekend, we took the kids to the beach, to the park, out to lunch, bought them Big Hero 6.

alma beachalma park

We cooked for them, we bathed them, we cuddled on the couch suffering through episodes of My Little Pony and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

We do so much for them and so very, very little for ourselves.

I asked Alma if she had any fun this weekend at all.

Her response… “I didn’t go to the birthday party.”

She got another time-out at dinner for playing with her food. My husband threw her food in the trash.

I’m the mom who is secretly sneaking some leftover mac n’ cheese into the fridge, just in case she really is starving and apologizes or acts even remotely like a normal child.

I am the mom who cries as she’s tucking that tupperware into the fridge.

I am the mom who is tucking it right next to the rum I bought in order to make it to Monday.

I am the mom who is starting to feel like she’s losing as a parent.

My daughter can be so sweet, yet so evil.

So kind, yet soul-crushing.

I watched her at the park playing on the see-saw long after she was done so the other little girl could keep bouncing.

She will find a quarter in the mulch and look at me to see if she should put it back down, just in case it might be someone else’s.

She will rush to get me a band-aid if I have a hangnail.

Then, she transforms like Ed Norton in Primal Fear.

ed norton primal fear

Sticking with the Norton theme, she’s Tyler Durden from Fight Club, pouring lye on our hands.

tyler durden

Such a sweet face.

alma face

I know the devil inside.


My husband and I are drowning.

We’re being sucked under by a tidal wave of sick kids, pummeled by a tsunami of fake tears.

It’s a rip current of bad attitudes, wave upon wave of time-outs.

There are unexplainable belly aches.

belly ache

Cold weather crankiness.

cold weather cranky

Ear aches.

ear ache

Rainy days trapped indoors.

stuck indoors

Not to mention traffic jams caused by overturned trucks carrying baby formula and dogs with mysteriously enlarged spleens.

trafficsick frankie

This past weekend, we tried to make the best of what is becoming a bad life situation.

We took the kids to the horse track. (Trust me, it’s not about gambling. We look at horseys and pick our favorite. Alma always chooses the one with the pink number.)

There are no pictures, because I was too busy giving my kids a perpetual verbal beat down to snap a photo.

On the way there, my son keeps dropping stuff on the floor of the car and whining for me to pick it up.

My daughter whines that she wants her window rolled down. I have those old-timey hand-cranked windows, so I tell her no.

She says, “I can do it with my foot!” I say, “No, don’t roll the window down with your foot.” Seconds later, I can feel my hair start to whip around because… she… rolled it down with her foot.

My husband says, “That’s it, Alma. Time-out whenever we get back home.”

She responds snarkily, “5 minute time-out.”

My husband, “That just earned you 10.”

At the track, she whines that she wants to sit on the benches outside instead of indoors. (Even though it looks as though it might rain.)

She whines that she wants to go in the bouncy houses. (The ones that are surrounded by a moat of mud.)

My son whines that he wants juice, not lemonade.

He whines that he wants a different hot dog. (What the hell does that even mean? All hot dogs are created equal.)

He starts whacking his auditorium seat up and down, then standing on it.

She knocks over my water.

Huck gets angry at me for telling me he’s also getting time-out and smacks my arm.

This is when I threaten to smack him in the face. Loud enough for other people to hear. That is also when I start to cry silently.

I mean, I’m never gonna smack my kid in the face. I’ve never even popped him on the bum.

I am humiliated.

I feel ashamed.

I feel guilty.

I feel like the world’s worst parent and… I feel like drinking A LOT. (Which would ALSO make me feel like a bad parent.)

We ended up cutting the whole thing short and going home angry.

Both kids got time-outs so epic, they both took naps.

I took a nap too.

They woke up feeling rejuvenated.

I woke up feeling ill-prepared to handle another 4 hours with them before bedtime.

That evening proved to be everything I anticipated and MORE.

Frankie is on medication for his chunky spleen or injured spine or whatever they charged us $1,000 for and it causes excessive urination. So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when Alma pointed out the slow-moving puddle of dog piss in the kitchen. I was surprised by the sheer enormity of said puddle. It had to be about a gallon.

I was nearly done sopping it up when I ran out of paper towels.

It’s around the same time that Alma slips and falls while chasing her brother.

She’s scream-crying, her absolute favorite.

I tell them to stop running around.

I’m mopping up the rest of the dog pee with Santa Clause napkins when Huck slips and falls flat on his face. He has a bloody nose and is shrieking. I cradle him on my lap as he yells into my face.

At some point, it almost sounds like he’s trying to make words, but I can’t understand him through the screaming.

It turns out he was saying, “I have to go potty.”

It was too late.

He peed on my lap.

It made it to my undies.

There’s no way in hell I’m cooking after that. So, I rush to Target to get some Chicken nuggets and potato fries.

Huck takes one bite of one nugget and says, “I’m done.” (par for the course) He spends the rest of dinner smashing his food and getting intermittent time-outs.

Clearly, time-out is not working.

We have also removed almost all toys from their rooms. Next would be, what? Furniture? In a month, my kids will be living like orphans in the suburbs.

This is why it takes a village.

Mommy and Daddy are going to lose their ability to cope if they don’t get a goddamned date night.

But, my mom lives far away. His mom is recovering from surgery. My dad and his wife were booked this past weekend visiting my brother. (And frankly, they’re probably overwhelmed by the crush of grandchildren at this point.)

I had a friend invite us to hang out this past weekend with him, his daughter and his wife, even with our kids in tow.

How do I explain that it’s not possible because my children will suck every drop of fun out of whatever we do?

And how do I do that while still conveying just how much I adore my children?

I love them so much, so much that weekends like this past one just break my heart. Feel me?