Blog Archives

Chatterbox

I know, I know, I suck…I’ve been silent for a couple of weeks (or longer)…I guess that’s what happens when life gets to a place that might be called “normal” – there’s nothing to bitch about…And while the boys are usually all I need for a little blogging fodder, they’ve been downright boring lately…well, until recently…

I don’t notice it until I’m alone with him, but Sean is a total chatterbox…yeah, ok, I hear the snickering from my family…it’s genetic…I know…his ramblings are cute and funny, but not so memorable that I can hold them in my brain long enough to blog about them later…

He chattered away today, but it made me sad…

“I miss my daddy…Mommy, did you know I miss my daddy?”

“I want to see my daddy…he’s in Georgia…can I stay with my daddy, Mommy?”

“My daddy tickled me and tickled me…and I laughed, Mommy…do you hear me laughing now, Mommy? Daddy tickled me, and I laughed.”

He hasn’t been around his father since August, so I can only imagine that was the last time The Ex tickled him…and my heart breaks, because Sean still has memories of his father, good ones…and they make him miss The Ex…

I received a text from The Ex today…”My phone is getting turned off tomorrow.”

I think that was his way of telling me that instead of talking to the boys once a week, they’ll get to hear from him once a NEVER…

In other news, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west…

Le sigh (that’s all the French I remember from high school, in case you were wondering)…

Regardless of the topic, I’ll let Sean chatter away…he’s always thinking (a little like his Mommy) and I never know what’s going to come out of him next…

The Benjamin Boys’ Mean Mommy

Bet you didn’t know I’m a mean Mommy, did you?  Yep, that’s me…Mean Mommy.  I wear that title pretty well, and I’m pretty damned proud of it.

Sean ratted me out at daycare this morning.

Sean: “My mommy made me mad this morning.  She made me cry.”

Daycare: “How Sean-Sean?” (Gotta love that everyone calls him Sean-Sean now…)

Sean: “She made me cry because she wouldn’t listen to me.”

This is the same child who ended up at the office in a time out because he was so bad for his teacher today.  Sweet Sean-Sean?  Yes, I know, I was shocked too.

He woke up crying, because Mean Mommy made him get out of the bed and try to use the potty.  Mean Mommy also made him put on clothes, socks, and sneakers.  Mean Mommy gave him a banana for breakfast and couldn’t pull the coveted Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Poptart out of her butt (that’s what happens when little boys get a hold of the Poptarts while Mean Mommy is sleeping on a Saturday morning)…

And that “she won’t listen to me” line?  Straight from Aidan…

*****

Aidan (sobbing): “You aren’t listening to me, Mom!”

Me: “Well, tell me again.  Help me understand.”

Aidan (wailing): “You don’t understand me, Mom!!!”

Me (confused): “Help me understand.  Say it again.”

Aidan (sobbing and wailing): “You just don’t get it!!!  You never listen to me!”

Me (annoyed): “WHAT don’t I get, Aidan?!”

Aidan (sniffling): “I didn’t want pizza, Mom.”

Oh holy hell, really?

*****

Mean Mommy makes Aidan do homework, eat dinner, and shower before watching Netflix (no more cable) or play on his Nintendo DS. Mean Mommy requires that both boys pick up (most of) the toys each evening.  Mean Mommy doesn’t tolerate whining, complaining, backtalk, attitude, lying, and not listening.

I think I like Mean Mommy…

A Letter To Their Father

I’ve done this before…it’s cathartic…and I know I could never get him to listen to this, so why bother trying?  But my head has been in a fog and if I don’t get it out, I may explode…

To Their Father:

I use that term loosely, I hope you realize that.  You haven’t been a real father to the boys in more than a year and a half…and looking back on your idea of what it meant to be a stay-at-home father, I’m not sure you were so hot at it before we split…

You only come around when I give you a reason…you don’t support them…you don’t even know what their day-to-day lives are like…because you don’t ask…because you don’t engage…because you have faded to a distant background…

And now you’ve moved away…six hours away…and you didn’t tell your children…you didn’t say good-bye to them…what kind of father does that?!  The moving part is understandable…I get that…but to not explain to the boys that it would be a while before they saw you again…to not ease it for them?  Why?  Because it was too hard for you?  Well, fuck, a lot of this is hard…you’ve got it easy…you get to hide behind your pain and check out…and now you took the easy way out of the hardest thing you’ve done yet…didn’t you?

I was reminded recently that maybe it’s better that you aren’t around the boys…I don’t want them to end up like you…I want them to understand the value of hard work…the value of keeping their commitments…I want better for them than we have provided so far…

I held out hope in our marriage for a better life…and I continued holding on to hope through the past year and a half…hope that you would step up…hope that you would contribute…hope that you wouldn’t let your relationship with the boys suffer…it took me 12 years to give up hope on you and me…and it took me a year and half to give up hope when it comes to you as a father – the only thing I ever wanted from you in the divorce: be a good father…and you couldn’t do it, could you?

Well, your absence from their lives is your loss…remember that…

They are going to be fine…because I will make sure they’re fine…I will do what I’ve always done – I’ll continue to make sure you don’t look like an ass to your children…I will continue to make sure they never believe you just left them…you will always be “at work,” “at home,” or whatever else I can conjure up…

But don’t be surprised if there comes a day when someone else has taken your place…a place you walked away from…a place you gave up…

And by the way, stop asking me why I sound tired all the damn time…it’s because I am tired…playing the part of two parents takes it out of a person…maybe if you’d step up as a father, I’d be a little less “tired.”

Sincerely,
One Pissed Off Mama

Conversations With Sean

I heard a little sound behind me.

Me: “You pooted, Sean-Sean!”

Sean: “No, I farted, Mommy…”

And then I heard it again…

*****

Sean: “Where’s Aidan?”

Me: “He’s in the bathroom, Sean.”

Sean: “You mean he’s in the potty, Mommy.”

Oh, I thought we were using the proper words for things today.

*****

Sean: “Are we going to the washing car today, Mommy?”

Me: “No, we’re not going to the car wash today, baby.”

Sean: “It’s the washing car, Mommy.  It’s called the washing car.  Say washing car!”

For the record, I did not say “washing car.”

*****

Sean: “Where are we going, Mommy?”

Me: “We’re going to pick up Aidan.”

Sean: “And then what?”

Me: “And then we’re going home, Sean-Sean.”

Sean: “Yaaaaay! Yay!”

Me: “Yay!”

Sean: “Don’t say ‘yay,’ Mommy.  Don’t say it!”

*****

His vocabulary exploded about two months ago…but its his thought processes that are the most fascinating.  I don’t remember Aidan being like this at Sean’s age…so I have to assume it’s relatively unique to Sean.  It’s kind of fun talking to him…

The Benjamin Boys Are Pretty Freaking Awesome

I walked into Sean’s daycare class today…they were practicing shapes.  Sean raced to show me all the stamps on his hand – one for each shape he knew.

I looked at Cute Daycare Teacher…

Me: “He says his shapes for you?”

Cute Daycare Teacher: “Absolutely! And his letters and his numbers! He knows shapes like hexagon – don’t you, Sean-Sean?”

Everyone calls him Sean-Sean now…Lord, the things I start…

Apparently he’s using the potty like it’s nothing, too…we’ll bring the Thomas big boy underwear tomorrow so he can try those out during the day…

We did play a new game in the care on the way to pick up Aidan…I said one letter, and then he said a couple, and then I said the next, and then he said a few more…all the way to Z…we tried it with numbers – he’s still working on those…

*****

Aidan earned Member of the Week for his team at Boys and Girls Club…it came with a nifty certificate and a coupon for Dodge’s Fried Chicken (it’s part gas station – only in the South, baby!)…guess what we’re having for dinner later this week…especially since Friday is fried chicken night?

I was pretty impressed with him…considering two weeks ago he got in trouble for smacking another child in the face…

Aidan: “I didn’t hit him that hard, Mom!”

Right, like the police will one day care that the assault and battery charges being pressed against you are for a beating that wasn’t that hard…

*****

This positive reinforcement thing seems to work, too…Monday night is taco night…

Aidan: “What can I do to help?”

Me: stunned silence…

And then I put him to work…grating cheese, getting the sour cream out of the fridge…hell, y’all he even offered to help take out the trash…wait, what?

*****

Right before I got too complacent, Sean held on to my leg for dear life and cried for 20 minutes while I cooked dinner…Aidan even offered to play with him…but he wanted Mommy…he won, too…eventually I finished cooking, and I picked him up…30 seconds later, he was done with me…

*****

They freaking amaze me, y’all…

I’m Going To Be More Positive, Damn It!

Sheesh, I really hate it when someone points out something I should have realized long ago…not only do I have to re-evaluate my world, but I have to admit that I’m wrong…

After a long back and forth with someone who matters, I realized that I’ve become waaaaaay too self-involved.  And in a negative way…

Life is hard, waaah…

I’m broke, boo hoo…

My children are (gasp) typical children!

Let me say, it is OK to acknowledge those things, feel the negative emotions, and emote a little…what’s not ok is to do what I’ve been doing – live in that space and never show the world that the positive exists.

You would never know it to read this blog, be my friend on Facebook, or talk to me ever, but Aidan and Sean make me smile and laugh every day…even when I’m in the middle of a mental meltdown about money, life, or whatever.

Sean will look up at me, lower his eyebrows, and glare at me in the most precious way.  He doesn’t get his way when he does it…but I get a chuckle…

I don’t post every single one of Aidan’s mispronounced words, but I laugh at all of them…

Whenever my babies hold my hand, I get goose bumps, because the amount of trust that they feel for me is overwhelming.  I am their Mommy, and that little hand claims me as theirs.

I’ve had a financial burden lifted in the past 24 hours, and it’s lifted my spirits.  It’s freed up space in my head for other things.  And it couldn’t have come at a better time.   I was actually told that based on the perception I inspired in someone, they could actually believe I don’t like my children.  I cried at that.

I haven’t liked my life much…I’ve wanted it to be different, better, easier…don’t we all wish for that?  But instead of looking at how far I’ve come (and we as a family have come), I’ve focused on how far we still need to go…God, I’m an idiot sometimes…

Throughout the diarrhea-filled day yesterday, Sean and I really did have a good time.  I finally got it right for the doctor’s office – we came prepared: water, crackers, Thomas trains – what else could you possibly need in life?  The luxury of spending time with just one child is something I miss…one on one, my children are fascinating…their personalities are vibrant and complex…they’re little people, y’all…Sean is hilarious…he’s a jokester…and if he thinks he’s making you laugh with his antics, he keeps going…he cracks himself up…

All Aidan wanted today was for me to come to his school for the Awards Assembly.  I would not have missed it for the world…I was prepared to tell my boss that life sucked, but I had to go (thank goodness I have a good boss!).  I was excited!  I knew he was still on the Honor Roll, and I had a suspicion he made all A’s for the final 9 weeks.  And I was right!  He did that with very little help from me…sure, I pushed him to complete his homework…but he understood the concepts, he remembered the spelling words, he reads everything he can get his hands on…you’d think we were related somehow, wouldn’t you?  It was an amazing feeling to be proud of my baby for something I had nothing to do with…he did that…

So, all of that is to say, I’m going to take time to focus on the good…does that mean I won’t emote every once in a while?  Of course not, this is my blog, my space, to figure things out…and a little emoting happens sometimes.  But I’m not going to forget the good…and I’m not just going to pay lip service to it…I’m going to mean it, express it, share it…

 

Filters

I had the privilege to see a lovely Facebook friend of mine today…she’s going through a rough period, and I was happy to see her out and about…as we were talking, she characterized my blog posts as fairly blunt…I chuckled…I couldn’t help it…I admitted, for the first time, that no, I’m not blunt when I write these posts – I actually filter myself a great deal…

I started wondering what would happen if I removed the filter…what would happen if I just didn’t care and let it all hang out? The good, the bad, the ugly…would people think less of me? Would the persona I present to the world have less meaning?  What if I, and others, don’t like the person behind the filter?  What would I say with no filter?

This evening was rough…Friday’s always are…if I have no firm, set plans for the boys, I dread the weekends…when I’m broker than broke, I dread the weekends – I start to feel nauseous and the worry creeps in – what do I do if they need something? how will I keep them occupied? what if an emergency comes up?…if I had the luxury, I would have kept working long after closing time just to avoid starting the weekend…

The Ex and I had a slight confrontation this afternoon…I’ve decided to use the state’s help in getting some amount of child support…he actually had the audacity to ask me if I would call them and ask them to drop it…wait, what?  He’s scared of going to jail, having his wages garnished, whatever…I’m scared of not being able to take care of my children! His fears are not my damn problem!

With that in my head, I drove to pick up Sean while The Ex picked up Aidan…he didn’t offer (don’t be silly)…I told him that Aidan had been missing him, would he please go pick him up? So, on my way to get Sean, I’m sitting at a red light, and I see a movement out of my rearview mirror…I looked closer, and the driver, a man, was sitting next to a little boy, about Aidan’s age, playing, pretending to arm wrestle…they were clearly having a wonderful time…it was sweet…it was touching…I started to cry…that’s what Aidan should have, damn it!  That’s what both Aidan and Sean deserve

Made it home, The Ex was five minutes behind me…Aidan came running in and I sent him back out to help The Ex bring in the groceries he buys each week…I’m trying to teach Aidan to help, to be responsible…The Ex comes in, talks about crap the boys shouldn’t need to hear about (as usual), and wants to know:

My answer is always, “Fine.”

The reality is that my head was pounding because I barely ate today (the downside of keeping myself extremely busy and productive)…I was freaking out because I have just a few dollars between now and payday…I don’t want to go anywhere this weekend because it will use up more gas, and I’m trying to conserve gas until payday, but I cannot be trapped in the house with the boys all weekend – we’ll all go crazy…the only thought that runs through my mind when The Ex is near is, “Go away, go away, goawaygoaway!”

He left to pick up a pizza for the boys and I went upstairs and cried again…I had a pity party…I wanted to be in Mississippi more than anything in that moment…I wanted my mom…I wanted BFF…I wanted This Man…I wanted anything other than what I have here…here is unbearable sometimes…here sucks…here is hard…and I don’t always know how to make it better…I can’t figure out how to fix it…I can’t make it better…I spend every moment of every day worrying…or pretending that I’m not worrying…

I came downstairs, I pulled something together to eat…and the headache dissipated…I started to feel less freaked out…The Ex came…he left…I breathed easier…

This Man called…and I started to smile again…we didn’t talk about anything heavy…I purposely don’t talk about my own feelings much…it’s too hard…it brings people down…it’s not what I want to be associated with or how I want to be remembered…when you can’t see someone too often, the last thing you want is for them to only think of the negative stuff when they think of you…

I got Sean to bed…I let Aidan stay up late (I figured if I can’t afford special little treats or go out much this weekend, I can at least offer him some special treats at home)…and I worked out…I immediately felt more normal again…I felt like I did several days ago…I felt like the Michaela that the world knows…

And I started thinking about filters again…

A Letter To My Ex

I had dinner with The Ex tonight…and it was weird…there are so many things I wish I could say to him…but he either wouldn’t get it, or it would start an argument, or it would be unnecessarily harsh…sitting with him tonight, I ached to tell him what was on my mind…to lay it all out…but it wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference…so this is my open letter to The Ex…

To The Ex:

I’ve been thinking a lot about lately about our relationship, past and present…the years we were together were – well, they were something…but it was the last year – from our separation to now – that has changed everything for me…

You wonder why I act standoffish with you…you claim I look down on you…you call me a snob…you have no freaking idea…

I have watched you over the past year revert to the worst of who you are…you were emotional…you were impulsive…you never thought before you acted…and it was me who had to pick up the pieces…it was me that had to pretend nothing was wrong so the boys didn’t get anxious or scared…

It was me who took care of the boys…it was me who made sure they had what they need…you never even asked…you’ve become selfish…self-involved…you can’t do anything for the boys because you’re just “trying to survive.”  Guess what, buddy – we’re parents.  It’s our freaking JOB to go without so our children are taken care of…it’s our job to sacrifice for them…and I’m not even talking the luxuries…I’m talking basic necessities…food, shelter, heat, clothing…the BASICS…where have you been?

You don’t call…you don’t act like you want to see them…you talk good game…you talk about missing them…but talk is cheap…what are you doing about any of it?  Why aren’t you on my doorstep every other weekend to see the boys, even if it’s just for a couple of hours?  You are so inconsistent that there are days Aidan says he’d rather not see you…I think I know why…I think he hates missing you, and it’s easier not to even get his hopes up (God, he’s my child, isn’t he?)…

When we talk, you want to talk about this woman or that woman…you bring up This Man’s name like you know something…This Man thinks I should tell you shit just to fuck with your head, just to throw you off, just to get you to shut up…what he doesn’t understand is that there’s a price to pay for that…and the price I pay for telling you even a little something is a form of torture…I’d rather not deal with any of that…

How many nights have you called or text messaged me in the middle of the night, making completely untrue statements about me and about what you think I’m doing…picking a fight, telling me how much you love me…emoting all over me…all because you think you know something about me…you know nothing

Yeah, you knew my habits, my quirks, my likes and dislikes…12 years is a long time together…but did you ever know me?  The thing about me you still hate more than anything is my sarcasm…my sarcastic nature is as a part of me as my brown eyes, dude…it’s who I am, but you hated it…you didn’t know me then, and you sure as hell don’t know me now…

You don’t understand why I’m always angry with you, either…I can’t talk to you – because it will turn into 20 text messages at midnight (which I will ignore – you have figured that out, right?)…you don’t ask about your own children, which pisses me off and makes me ache for them…I believe you love them…but I don’t get you…and unfortunately, most days, I don’t like you…

You have a long way to go with me…and I think you know that…be a father…be consistent…stop freaking out based on assumptions you’re making…STOP telling me about your women problems (I. Do. Not. CARE!)…and stop thinking you know anything about me and This Man…and yeah, I pointed out that I think he’s an excellent father and that I have no problem with him being around the boys for a REASON…when you figure out that reason, you’ll finally be moving in the right direction…

Sincerely,
Your tired, worn out, and exasperated Ex

This is what I wish I could have told The Ex a year ago…:

Sometimes It’s Better Not To Think Too Much

On Friday I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through this weekend…

The boys weren’t going to see The Ex like they should, so no break for me…I had such an awful day on Friday, that I could have spent the whole weekend dwelling…I just wasn’t excited about the weekend…

And I learned (or reminded myself) that if I just stay busy, keep moving, and focus on the here and now, I could survive…I’m a thinker, a dweller by nature…this weekend was exhausting

My house is clean, my life is a little more organized, Aidan and I have a new understanding about his behavior, and I have worked out and eaten right all weekend…and I’ve kept my mind blissfully blank…

I don’t think I could keep it up forever, but for one weekend, it was necessary that I not think too much…

Clear Your Mind…

I firmly believe that the mind can only deal with one major issue at a time…well, it can only deal well with one thing at a time…have you ever noticed that once one stressor is dealt with, another begins to weigh more heavily? It happens to me a lot…

I spent so many years stressed about finances, I didn’t deal with a crumbling marriage…once I corrected the money issue (by working a second job), I had room to think about my marriage…and deal with it…

That principle works for everyday life…my biggest project at work each year just finished Saturday night…it’s an all-consuming event that stretches me to my physical and mental limits…now that it’s over, my mind is calm and has room for other stuff…you would think that it might be work-related, right? Nope, the mind doesn’t work that simply…

Today, while sitting at home with a not-sick Sean (thanks to a cautious daycare), I finally had time and space to deal with the fact that I am very tired of living off of drive thru…which is code for “I don’t feel like I have time to cook.” A casual observer would never know this, but I own about 10 cookbooks, and a million years ago, I cooked all the time…my big, elaborate, use every pot, meals were on the weekends, but I cooked nearly every day…

Because I feel pressed for time from the moment I leave work until the moment the boys go to bed, I don’t feel like there’s time to cook…big cop out, I know…and I haven’t had the mental energy or space to deal with it until now…

The plan? The crockpot…yeah, I hear the big “Duh!” from everyone…I have one cookbook that is filled with nothing but crockpot recipes…and I know there are a ton of recipes online…cooking is the only place I’m still “old school.” Give me an actual cookbook, please…with pages to turn…and food stains on old recipes…

I keep trying to convince my mom of the idea that clearing your mind of one issue frees you for new ideas, plans, and goals…I really want her to retire from her current job…she works for a great big box retail company, but after about 26 years, no woman in her 50s should have to work 12 hour days when she’d rather spend that time with her family…she’s fortunate enough to have a fairly secure future in retirement because she’s been smart for the past 20 years…

But her fear is of not knowing what to do next…I keep telling her that once she doesn’t have to worry about waking up at 3 in the morning, working 12 hour days on her feet, dealing with cranky customers, blah blah blah, she’ll have room to figure out what to do next…knowing her, she’ll be working until she’s 80…but I firmly believe she deserves to do something that allows her to live the life she wants…after all these years, she deserves it…

Clear your mind, and you never know what will fill the space…

%d bloggers like this: