Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spaghetti Tuesday

It's been a while since I had a funny story to tell about my kids. Well, I've had plenty, but I've been so busy I haven't had time to share them.

So every Tuesday we have spaghetti. It just sort of became a thing. We do pizza on Fridays, the rest of the week is a crap shoot based on what's in the pantry and my desire to cook....

Anyway, the weather has been unseasonably 'cool'. By cool I mean that instead of the usual 100° July heat, it's been in the mid 80°'s to mid 90°'s so the kids have been outside much more than usual. When I got home from work last night the boys were FULL of energy, running around acting like idiots, so I sent them outside, poured a glass of wine and had a chat with my sister. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed having an adult to come home and share my day with!! I told the kids to be home by 7pm and I'd have dinner on the table. Well, apparently Little One has been paying attention and knows how long it takes to make spaghetti... in he trekked at 6:30 and started pulling everything I need out to make the spaghetti... He knew ALL the ingredients. My sister and I almost died laughing!! I had to ask him "Babe, are you hungry" to which he gave me one of those 'looks' that tell me I'm an idiot and said "Yes, mum" and wandered off... Dinner was on the table right on time, lol!!

On a serious note. My sister is not a demonstrative type. You can tell when she likes you (she voluntarily talks to you, lol), but she's not really into PDA - Public Displays of Affection  (or even PDA - Private Displays of Affection), but she said something to me last night that brought tears to my eyes. She told me that she doesn't know how I cope on my own with three children and working full time and that our older sister has had it easy with help from our mum and her mother-in-law right around the corner, not to mention our fabulous brother-in-law who seems to be just about perfect. And she doesn't work full-time, just school hours. She thinks I'm a rock star for doing it without help. I've mentioned before that it's hard to always keep my struggle to myself because everyone expects me to be their rock, so it was nice (?!) to hear from someone that they are impressed with how I've managed. So while my road has had it's obstacles, and there are still a few hurdles on the horizon, I can almost see the finish line so to speak. Having my lil sis in my corner is nice. I don't feel so alone anymore.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Need a little down time....

The last month has been an emotional roller-coaster, coupled with a crazy schedule!

I feel like I have accomplished so much and come so far in the last couple of years, and now I'm nearing the end of my legal battles (I've said that once or twice before and seem to jinx myself...), the 'crazy' that I'm dealing with now is more along the lines of 'normal, day-to-day' instead of 'when is he going to go completely insane'. Although the threat is still there, it's less obvious. I find that I go through most days no longer thinking about him and what he might possibly do next to make my life difficult. Every two weeks, I'm sure he will irritate me in some way, but I don't lose sleep anymore. At least not because of him ;-)

I have reached a sense of peace with my relationship with Firefighter. It was not without it's own little bump, but I at least understand myself enough to know what my limits are and what I'm happy with. We have an amazing time together, and are mostly on the same page (still can't get him to sext, but that's for a different blog post). He is still not inclined to tie himself to one relationship as he still has demons from a previous relationship, but I'm happy to keep the status quo. For now. Again, I will cover that in a separate post.

The Come-to-Jesus discussion I had with my lil sis a little over a week ago had the desired effect. Of course, it was not just her that I had the conversation with... my mum also needed to be told to stop enabling her behaviour. Last week was a vast improvement. I came home to a (mostly) tidy house, the boys had been productive with reading, writing, math and even some Spanish! And she no longer disappears all night to the neighbour's house... We even had a fabulously fun time going out to shoot pool on Thursday, dinner and a club on Friday and an All White Attire function at the Convention Center. We get along 90% of the time. She can be a lovely person. She just needs to learn how to BE a lovely person ;-)

So with all those issues, and finally being able to get to a position where I am able to save my children's home, I feel completely drained emotionally and physically. I need a little downtime. Someone to pamper me and take care of me for a minute (or a weekend would be nice). I spend so much of my time doing things for my kids, my friends and my family, that it becomes too much. Being a single mum  is exhausting. Putting in long hours at work and not stopping when you get home. You sometimes just want to be selfish and scream "WHAT ABOUT ME??" And yet, when you do, nobody hears you. (I hope that's the case and not that we're being ignored). Firefighter recently told me I give too much. And not that that's a bad thing. Just that people take advantage and I'm too nice to say anything. He's right. But how do I change that (not the being nice, but the being taken advantage of). He had no ideas... and neither do I.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Venting just a little

So yesterday afternoon, around, oh say, 3pm, I get a phone call from my 9 year old, Bad Boy. The boys can't find their aunt Boo anywhere in the house. Now I know my children. They both sounded more than a little panicked...

Some history here. Back in the days when I was married, Douchebag and I had an arrangement: in the morning, he was responsible for getting both boys up and ready for daycare and I got Baby Girl ready for school. I would then drive the kids in and he would finish getting himself ready. Well, one morning, after we'd had one of our disagreements, he laid in the bed WAY too long, so I got up and took Baby Girl to the school bus, and returned to the house thinking the boys would be ready to go. As I pulled up, all the lights were off and his car was gone. So I turned around and went to work. Without going inside the house. That afternoon, I got a phone call from daycare enquiring as to where the boys were that day... I rushed home to find that he had left them there. All day. Lil Man was still in diapers, so you can imagine how nasty that was. They had cried, but somehow, after a while, just turned the TV on and waited for someone to come. Douchebag had set the alarm when he left, so naturally when Bad Boy had opened the garage door to look for one of us, the alarm sounded, but thankfully, the connection to the monitoring company wasn't working. Otherwise, I'm sure the police and CPS would have been called.... can you imagine the grief that would have caused? I hugged them tight that night! Ever since, they have had an inclination to always check where I am. Not their father, just me. Of course, he blamed me. He thought I had taken them with me. He never bothered to check their room or their beds. Now I had done this before - taken just Baby Girl if she was going to miss her bus and the boys still weren't ready, and then returned to get them, so his excuse was Bull****.

Anyway, yesterday, their fear was real. So I called our mum to see if she had heard from Boo that day. She claimed to be "Furious" when I told her what happened. Full of "I just can't believe she would do that, she must be somewhere. Did they check the closet?" Ugh! No mum, they didn't... (that was sarcasm. I walked them through each room while on the phone with them). I called my neighbour's cell phone. She had made friends with their twenty-something son's. No answer. I called the house and one of the son's picked up "Yeah, she's here talking to dad". Relief. And then anger. I informed my mum and of course, it was "Oh I knew she wouldn't have just left them. Now make sure you listen to her story. I'm sure there's an explanation..." blah blah blah. I called Baby Girl who was on the bus and just asked her to let me know that the boys were alright when she gets home and I headed to dinner with my girlfriend. On the way, I get another phone call from mi madre. This is getting annoying now. She spoke to my sister, who claims she told the boys where she was going and she didn't understand why they panicked. So now the fault is my son's, not the 22 year old who is not supposed to let them out of her sight.

I considered canceling dinner and going home, but then decided I was still too angry. It's a good thing I didn't. When I got home they had gone to the pool, so I thought I'd enjoy 10 minutes peace and a glass of wine. And then I walked through the door. Three bombs had hit my house. I poured the wine, went to my room and locked the door. And stayed there all night.

To say I'm livid is an understatement. It will be a while before I speak to my sister, or my mum. Yes. It's that bad.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Belated apologies to my mother...

So this weekend I learned why my mum used to freak out when I stayed out all night without letting her know where I was (even though most of the time she knew I was with my bf).

A neighbour had a cookout on Saturday for the holiday so along with my sister, daughter, Firefighter and H, we went to hang out for a bit. The heat was oppressive so we adjourned inside where H and Boo suggested we play "Ring of Fire" AKA "Circle of Death, a drinking card game. I knew this could only end badly and wasn't entirely sure Firefighter would join in, but he surprised me and was more interested in playing that than Bones (Dominoes is apparently too difficult to comprehend for some people once they've had a couple beverages, lol). So I had never played before Baby Girl joined us too... with Ginger Ale of course and H and Boo proceeded to explain the rules as we went. I don't know that you can declare anyone a winner, but Baby Girl and I were the only ones to leave the table in a sober state... Firefighter is very amusing and opens up from his usual quiet self after a couple of drinks and got so into the game he suggested a second round!

Two games were enough for me, so we went back outside and attempted to play volleyball, but too many little kids were trying to play so I sat back down. Anyway, long story short (and cutting out a humourous game of Never Have I Ever), Firefighter, H and I left around 10pm leaving strict instructions with Baby Girl to babysit her aunt (yes, that's right). Firefighter and I crashed after showering (Getting old when I'm in bed by 10:30 on a Saturday!). Around 1am I woke to find that they still hadn't returned home, so I called Baby Girl to find out where they were. Boo was apparently still running around acting a fool, so I said to do what she could to keep her out of trouble. I slept very little the rest of the night keeping one ear open for their return... Which never came.

At 8am, Firefighter and I got up for breakfast (at this point I'm annoyed that he was too drunk and tired to 'perform' the night before). The previous time he has slept over he made a quick exit the following morning, so I was surprised this time when he stayed for breakfast (I made omelets for the second time ever, these turned out pretty good), and then lunch. Progress? Maybe.

And the girls still aren't home. And on looking out the front door I see the outfit Boo had been wearing the last time I saw her... and her shoes... on the front porch. Lord have mercy!

So at 10am I call. Baby Girl is asleep, Boo answers her phone all chirpy and the like and not one bit aware of the concern I had gone through, even knowing she was across the street with neighbours who I trust with my children when I travel out of town. They bounce back to the house, stay long enough to change and then leave again. The neighbour's son is taking them to breakfast. <sigh> my mother is going to kill me....

Firefighter left just after lunch and the girls and I went to the mall and then the movies. All the while, my head was churning back over all the times I had done much the same when I was her age and it wasn't that I didn't consider telling my mum, it was that she didn't have a cell phone and always bitched if I woke her from sleeping.... Catch 22: I couldn't call for fear she'd be pissed, I couldn't NOT call for fear she'd be pissed, but in the days of modern technology, I really should remind my daughter that a text message will suffice to let me know where the Hell she is!! At least I won't wake up in a panic.

Oh and the clothes on the porch? Boo had decided to go for a midnight dip. In her bra and knickers...

Oh to be young again...

Friday, July 5, 2013

The 'non-boyfriend' boyfriend

I don't know how else to describe Firefighter (although I do need to find a shorter moniker for him, how's N-BF? Meh, we'll see how it goes).


A little over a week ago, and after maybe 2 or 3 drinks, I let those three little words slip out. We were quietly watching a movie and it popped out. Not in the manner I had pictured in my head, but anyway, it was now out there. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: "I love you"
Him: "Huh?" Accompanied by the requisite comical deer-in-the-headlights look
Me: "You heard me"
Him: "I wasn't expecting that"
Me: "Neither was I" minor lie, but he doesn't need to know that

So then I spent the next hour before he left cringing that he would do the pulling away thing. I was supposed to go to his church with him the following Sunday, so I spent the following day (Friday) waiting for him to come up with some excuse to cancel. He didn't. So then I figured maybe Saturday he would be 'distant'. A challenge since I had no plans to see him Saturday anyway. I was getting my nails done while the kids went to the movies and then my sister and I went to one of my girlfriends for ladies night. We texted as usual, but nothing changed in his tone. Sunday morning dawned bright and early (too bright and early for me since I went to bed around 2am and had to be at church by 8 and so was up at 6!).

I enjoyed the service, although not-so-much the singing. I'm a huge fan of gospel, but my head after a bottle of wine the night before was not...

The rest of Sunday passed as it has for the last several months. Quietly watching TV at my place. Normal. Phew. There has been a slight shift, but not in the wrong direction. He's started to talk to the kids more, yesterday when they went to the pool he would have been quite happy to go too (I wanted to stay home and enjoy the quiet). So maybe he can be persuaded that not all relationships end up on 'who the bleep did I marry', that not all females are stark-raving, engagement ring crazy. I mean... I've never even HAD an engagement ring, but I've been engaged twice... (I do expect that if there's a third time, it will be the charm and it will be gorgeous, complete with stunningly romantic proposal to restore my faith in Cupid).

I did, a couple of days later, say that maybe I shouldn't have said anything to him and his only response was "why, if that's how you feel". Interpret that whichever way you want, I'm still in a wait-and-see holding pattern...

Harmony has returned

OK, so last weekend I took Boo to one of my BFF's homes for girls night. Everything was fine until the ride home, when she decided to voice her opinion on how Curly and I have raised our children. She was her usual highly critical self, I won't go into details because it will only piss me off again, but suffice it to say she seems to think that she is the poster child for perfect children (!) At one point I had to get 'firm' and tell her that she can in no way understand what my children have been through in the last 5 years so she has no idea how strong and resilient they have proven to be. The fact that I have two boys very close in age means that they make a lot of noise. She detests this. She has also stated that she is not a disciplinarian (I can't wait for her to have children of her own).

Actually, it was this very point that pissed me off the most. Curly spent most of her twenties engaged. To 6 different guys. Not all at the same time of course, but nonetheless, she seemed to have trouble settling. I refer to my twenties as the lost years. Lost on that complete waste of space called my ex-husband. Don't get me wrong, I have three wonderful, if somewhat exhausting, children as a result of those years, but I now wish I hadn't been in such a hurry to settle. And that's what I did. I settled. Even when I knew he was NO GOOD.

So, Boo is only 22. She has 8 good years left to totally screw up before she reaches the enlightened 30's that  Curly and I have reached. I gleefully look forward to seeing what else can go wrong for her. Yesterday she was looking at Instagram and bemoaning the fact that all her friends graduated from Uni this week. And she has to go back and finish her last year. She has also burned about every bridge she had in our family. Most of our immediate family are simultaneously disgusted and concerned. Of course I haven't shared that with her as she seems to fight criticism with criticism. Claiming to know her own faults, she seems in no way interested in maybe fixing them. She expects the rest of us to just put up with her. I still contend that if she doesn't mend her ways, she will be THAT lonely cat-lady that all the kids in the neighbourhood are afraid of.

To sum it up, she doesn't like our cousin, our cousin doesn't like her.
She doesn't speak to Curly
Mum claims to not want to speak with her (and yet called MY house at the weekend to talk to her and has Skyped with her a couple of times - she doesn't Skype with me except at Christmas)
My aunt and Gran are both concerned for her well-being and angry at her treatment of mum.
She is horrendously spoilt, rudely outspoken and viciously opinionated.


She helps clean the house, has boundless energy for when the boys are not 'shouty', likes to shop and drink as much as I do and doesn't judge my relationship choices. Although she does like to laugh at my non-boyfriend boyfriend....

So with one month down, two to go, I think we might make it. George goes back to school on Monday.... We'll see how she copes with the boys on her own ;-)