August 31, 2020

everything is poop, with a little self-doubt mixed in

Today (Saturday) I woke up way too early, and I knew that was it.  Game over.  I hate that.  

Then, as soon as I felt ready for a short nap at noon, I dozed off for like 3 minutes, OK maybe 5.  The caddies came home.  Slammed the door . . . right below my bedroom.  Even with the white-noise maker on, the room shook.  Done.  

Yesterday I went to hang out in the pool of my good friend, Missy.  She has a great setup:  an in-ground pool that leans more towards spa, than say . . . raccoon retreat.

Missy and her daughter ride horses competitively (it's really hard for me to say that, or as it turns out - to type that without breaking into Kevin Bacon singing:  "She loves Horses," people it is a must see, click the link if you have not seen it), so Missy is not in town a lot.  They travel to shows, and competitions on weekends.  It's a bummer because Coach gets along really well with her husband - our husbands getting along is NOT the bummer -  we would enjoy having a couple to socialize with if not for the horse-related travel . . . is the bummer.

They have kids close in age to Mini, Reg, and Curly.  Reg is right in between the two boys.  We have to beg Reg to stop talking about how great it is at their house and in their pool.  How their lake house is the bomb. How food has never been prepared the way Missy prepares it.  How very much food is offered. And would you believe, how magnificent it is that they keep their maple syrup in the fridge.  Anything they do is over-the-moon amazing.  

Reg has been a poop lately.  Bad attitude.  Mean to Curly.  It is almost impossible to be mean to Curly, but he was.  Someone needed to knock him off of his high horse.  (again, I must share same link, in case you missed it: Cue the Kevin Bacon singing about horses link- not even planned.  I know, it's a gift).  

Reg is also not doing much in terms of school.  Zoom is not ideal for him.  He's not assertive enough to alert his teacher when Zoom kicks him off, or when he doesn't understand how to submit homework.  I am copied on teacher emails.  Not my preference, the school does it this way. 

One teacher was like, "Is everything OK?  You haven't turned in 5 assignments."  

When I spoke to him about it got in his face and might have flipped out, he was flippant.  

Oh, that's how you're going to play this?  Highly ill-advised.

So, yesterday when Missy's son, who is Reg's best bud invited Reg to the lake house for the weekend, we said NO.  Reg has been struggling ever since.

I spoke to Ed Friday evening, after the grounding.  

Ed:  Don't cave, like you always do.  He cannot act this way.  He needs this punishment.

Couple 'o things:  I cave?  Do I?  

Thing #1:  news to me.  I thought I was a hard-ass.  Don't I sound like a hard-ass?

Thing #2:  Fortunately, the kids don't get in trouble much, praise the lord.  It's mostly get your socks off the floor, and is that your plate not loaded in the dishwasher?  And, who ate 2 donuts when there should've been enough for everyone to have one?  So when these tougher punishments crop up, well - it sucks. 

I was already feeling low, see above title of post.  So now I am alerted to my lax parenthood style.  Uplifting.  

Earlier, on Thursday night, (note this is before the grounding, and yes - it played a role) I took Reg's phone for overuse and attitude and ignoring me, and then 

he found it and 

took it back and 

lied about having taken it back 

AND THEN tried the same thing again, 

after I confiscated it the 2nd time 

Repeat after me:  thin. ice.  

Reg requested his hair go back to
being short, this was not
 part of his punishment.
OK, so these are reversed,
but it is after midnight.  Long
after my bedtime. 
Reg's hair before.

You know what's fun?  Grounding a teenager and then having to live with that teenager.  Insufferable.  Lots of banging and begging and pleading, apparently because I am expected to cave.  This explains why they always come to me when they want to wiggle out of something, while doing the over-the-shoulder look to see if Coach is within ear-shot.  Nothing gets past me.

Even though Missy and I are friends, I have not said one word adoption.  I thought it might be too hard for her to, ahem, keep it quiet.  We really didn't tell many people, and those that we did are not people that live in our community.  Mostly.  Or people in our community with a steel trap when it comes to secrets.  

Tank went on spring break for several years consecutively with his grade school best friend's family.  A few years ago while on spring break, he told them we might adopt.  I texted the mom afterwards and asked her not to tell anyone.  She lives across the street from Missy.

At Missy's pool yesterday, Missy asked me point blank, "So, are you adopting a couple of kids?  Friend-across-the-street told me you are."  Ugh.  

I texted Friend-across-the-street today (Saturday - this is important later, because I do NOT know what day it is) to say I know Tank shared it (and she clearly forgot that I asked her BACK THEN not to say anything) and I know you told Missy, but can you please not say anything to anyone else because we don't know if it is going to end up happening, we haven't even told our families, etc.  

Friend-across-the-street (not to be confused by the way, with my 'friend' across the street, Mary Ann.  I actually like this woman, but I don't hang out with her much):  Oh sorry.  I just figured she would know.  


Have I mentioned how grouchy I am?  I don't really blame Tank.  The kids need to process stuff, this is part of their life too.  I also prefer to share stuff with my people in order to work stuff out, she says to the audience of people who are now nodding and collectively saying:  YEAH, WE NOTICED.

Hell, it was really hard for me to share adoption stuff here.  This 'leak' impacted me more than I would have expected.  ( I almost added 'leak' to the post title, but mixing poop and leak in the title might have turned a few of you away).  I don't want to recount our situation to people who pop up one after the other and ask about it.  

After my 5 minute or less nap, my eyelid started to throb.  I'm getting a stye.  So, now I am ticked at the world AND pretty.

I tried for a 2nd nap on the couch in the study late afternoon, but I gave up a few minutes later.  My mind was racing, you know why?  

Ed called just before I laid down to say that his college roommate tested positive.  Not a pregnancy test, mind you.  They were both negative last week when they arrived.  I will update you on Ed's next covid test in an upcoming post, maybe I will post a short one tomorrow with his status.  Hang tight.  Feeling antsy about having to wait?  At least you don't have a throbbing eyelid.  

Other issues, briefly:  living with a 22 year old who struggles with perception and who can't own his behavior eats away at a person.  I don't even have the energy to share an example (you're welcome), but it's exhausting.  

Another big upsetting thing happened last week, and I'll share that later, but it was scary and it involved one of our kids.

Oh, so my class started.  It is called Writing for Publication.  I had to research a magazine that I hope to submit something to.  So I read the other stuff this online magazine accepted and I wanted to crawl under the computer desk.  What. was. I. thinking?  I cannot write as well as these ACTUAL writers.  I feel very defeated and full of self doubt.  

Today:  My self-doubting, irritated, wimpy-ass parent with the pulsating eye FORGOT to take Curly to volleyball.  Only 4 sessions.  Missed this one, flubbed the first two - more on that later cause this is way long.  I just blanked that it was indeed Sunday.  My mind feels crowded.

If you look at the bottom of the picture you can see the crack. 
 Or can you, you tell me.  Never heard of quartz cracking. 
Am I clueless?  Pushover mom AND clueless about quartz.
  Might be too much of a blow right now.

FINALLY, Curly made pancakes today, Sunday.  First time.  Supervised.  Used the electric griddle.  Same place on the island where I use it.  Apparently due to the heat, my quartz counter-top on my enormous island cracked.  Actually.

When it rains, is pours.  It feels a bit mon-soon-ish here.  Really though, all is well.  Shit happens and sometimes it serves as a reminder that things are not so bad.  Could be worse.

I slept till 9 am today (Sunday).  Unbelievable.  I cut some of the boys' hair.  I made a great dinner that will serve as leftovers as the week gets busy.  I baked because it was not horribly hot out.  I let Reg and Curly invite a bunch of friends over after dinner to play capture the flag, and I served them warm cookies.  And, I still am in possession of Reg's phone.  Sounds like a win, right?

Did you used to wiggle out of punishments, was one parent easier on you than the other?  If you are a parent, do you struggle to stick to your guns?  And, hey, who enjoyed the Kevin Bacon video?  


Nicole MacPherson said...

I'm sorry you're having such a crappy time right now. That all sounds very overwhelming. I hope Ed turns out to be okay, and also, I didn't know quartz could crack from heat! Yikes. Let's cross our fingers that things will turn around for you.
PS I really like Kevin Bacon.

Kari said...

I had never seen that Kevin Bacon video. That was pretty funny. He has his own band with his brother and that I have actually seen and he is pretty good.

When it rains it pours, so I know what that is like for sure, unfortunately. :(

We have cheap counters, so we never have to worry about anything cracking lmao.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I loved the KB video. We get it, she loves horses. And American too. :)
Sorry things are feeling crappy on your end. (?!) Maybe some good rest will do you some....says the girl who's up 2-3x a night for dogs! YOU have a lot going on.
Praying that ALL of your people stay healthy. Stay negative. See what I did there?

I was not a caver. My parents really didn't have punihsments. They also didn't really parent and look at me now. Just kidding. I was a problem teen, but I got through it on my own.

Quartz is not supposed to crack. We had granite before that the Coach used his sous vide on and it cracked the granite, but we were getting new countertops a week later, so I didn't kill him. You're gonna have to call your kitchen people; there must have been a flaw.

I pray things get better, your eye, your son with the attitude and everything else in the world. Is that too much to ask for? Hell no.

Kara said...

You should still be under warranty. Quartz is incredibly durable and hard to crack, so congratulations for managing that feat!

Our Sunday was not great. The girls were fine in the morning, everyone was up by 10. We had brunch (in the house, aka, eat all of the leftovers before I go grocery shopping)together. I went to the grocery store and came back to WWIII. Fighting over computer chargers. Yelling about who left the bathroom a mess. Accusations of stolen shirts. But, eventually everyone chilled out and finished homework, and then we watched Black Panther together on TV. Which also spurred an interesting conversation when I found out that my kids thought that Michael B Jordan (the actor) was the same person as Michael Jordan (the athlete). As in "he's kind of short to play basketball."

Ernie said...

Nicole - 'This too shall pass,' - banking on it. Reg seems to be adjusting his attitude. One thing after the other is always a trying time. I have a call into my current contractor - 3rd one. Waiting to hear what he suggests.

Kari - We died laughing when we saw that re-make with Kevin Bacon on late night TV. so funny. I am ready for a drought over here in the rainy season of life. Ugh.

Suz - I do enjoy Kevin Bacon. He seems like such a down to earth guy, and that video - hilarious! I did get a great night sleep Sat night, but stayed up way too late again last night. I got busy and then I ate dinner at 8:30 at night, I was in my 'gotta make the donuts' mode . . . make the cookies, make the dinner with gluten for my people, work on my class assignment, by the time I heated up my meal, forget it. My body gets upset with me when I eat so late. AND, I know this. Duh. For being a problem teen without parental influence, from the looks of it you sure weathered your own storm pretty darn well. I am shocked that our Quartz cracked, and I assume that someone will have to replace it. Hoping that the fact that I fired the contractor is not going to make that more challenging. I don't really want any more big challenges at the moment. Reg's attitude is improving, still got another call from his chem teacher today. This kid needs a classroom setting, stuff is not registering. Some good stuff is bound to crop up here. All manageable, but dang irritating.

Kara - Fighting over chargers and borrowed shirts is definitely a thing here. We are raising slobs, so no one is pointing fingers about who messed up the bathroom. Picture a nasty public bathroom at a gas station on a long road trip. That would not even raise an eyebrow to my kids. I am chuckling at the Jordan confusion over there. I never thought I would live to see the day that people did not know who Michael Jordan was, but then again I live in Chicago and we are basketball people.

Beth Cotell said...

Of all the annoying things you are currently dealing with, the cracked quartz would have done me in! I hope it is under warranty as someone above suggested. Although, I didn't even realize that was even a thing. Also, I was attempting to sleep late on Saturday, instead woke up EARLY and have been tired ever since.

Ernie said...

Beth - my current contractor is a guy who gave me a quote when I initially did the kitchen. I didn't like the photos on his website of work he did for other people - maybe the other people just had weird taste but I was relying on a contractor who could steer me towards a good look, so I went with the guy who proceeded to rip me off.

Today I called current contractor and he has NEVER heard of Quartz cracking. He suggested I find out who the fabricator was that my contractor used. Fun, because I have left several negative reviews for this guy who cut corners and tried to rip us off. I was hoping this new contractor would step in and handle it, somehow. During our phone conversation he said, "just one more reason that you should've hired me in the first place." I bit my lip and failed to laugh at his comment, because I am feeling fairly humorless about the whole thing at this point. My island is 5 feet by 10 feet. Not exactly a small piece of Quartz to try to replace. I am really looking forward to doing leg work on this. Good times.

Charlie said...

Gosh, that’s a lot of very annoying and difficult issues all at once. I’m always in awe of how much you handle, but this list is ridiculous! I hope the Covid test comes back negative and everything else starts to work out better than expected. Lack of sleep sure does make it all seem worse, so I hope you get some good rest this week (haha I know!). As regards caving, my parents NEVER caved and I try to emulate that. But not totally successfully I think! Self doubt is a bitch in parenting!

Ernie said...

Charlie - It does seem like a lot, certainly could be worse - but come on already. Unfortunately the list of hiccoughs has grown, to the point of making me laugh. And hopefully it will make you all laugh. Will share tomorrow, because tonight I should be finalizing my school project - but blogging is more fun and therapeutic.

I think my 'caving' takes the shape of: instead of making them miss out on social stuff, (which Lad's original therapist Chip used to say not to punish a child socially and we now are not sure he was the best therapist) I make them do stuff around the house, so maybe that isn't caving as much as trying to make the punishment benefit me. I should ask Ed to clarify what examples he has of me caving.

Not really experiencing self-doubt in terms of parenting, why SHOULD I BE? (kidding, get it) My self doubt revolves more around my fear that I will never get anything published. I am in a class right now called 'Writing for Publication'. Feels somewhat defeating since most people out there who have been published are published on the regular. Damn it.