changing lives since 2003 (ms_pooka) wrote,
changing lives since 2003

ineffective strategies: i've had a few.

sometimes, i get a word stuck in my head, as we all do.

for awhile, it was demoralized.

it described my internal state of being. it still does, but i guess the word fell a little out of popular usage.

it's because of my children. or, if we want to expose the full cycle of responsibility, it's because of my ineffectual parenting skills, which causes certain childing behaviors, which causes more ineffectiveness (sometimes called "impatience" or "yelling"), which causes more intense childing behaviors.

today. this morning, i just. GOD.

-violet spent the first part of her morning defecating in our bathroom. i later went in and smelled something. lo, there were fluffy feces relaxing in the waters. she couldn't be bothered to flush. she couldn't be bothered to turn on the vent. she couldn't be bothered to not leave two feet of toilet paper dangling off the tube. decorated with spots of brown.

-violet dropped her dirty clothes on the floor. about two feet away from the hamper. they can never make that last push to actually put clothing IN the hamper. i suppose i shouldn't complain, since the other popular option is to shove dirty clothing in nooks and crannies in their rooms and then bitch that they don't have clean socks.

-i emerged from the feces-covered bathroom to find violet standing an equal, and short, distance between the trash can on one side and a pile of pistachio shells she had dropped on the floor and made the effort to try and scoot them under the cabinet.

-oliver had been busy throwing some pistachios across the room and when i "asked" him to retrieve them, he actually went to put them BACK IN THE BAG. after he redirected to the trash can, proclaiming hey, what, they're in the shell, i invited him to remove it from the trash can and put it in his mouth.

-before practicing pistachio-hurtling, oliver had pulled the strings from the clementine round of his breakfast and deposited them ON THE FLOOR. i guarantee there was no planned round of sweeping.

that was just in 20 minutes of my day.


yesterday, by some gracious act of nature, we were out the door a couple of minutes early to drop oliver off at school. as i was preparing to exit the driveway, violet erupted in number 3 of 31 of her daily dramatic meltdowns, initiated by oliver, saying he had acted like he was going to punch her in the face. he had so much motherfucking spare time during the act of buckling into the car that he thought he'd take a whirl at some needless aggression.

i was aces and put the car in park and remained so goddamn calm. and i said, "oliver, do you think it was kind of you to pretend to punch your sister in the face."

and oliver said, "yes."

i stayed so fucking calm.

"do you really think that's a kind thing to do?"

"yeah. i didn't actually punch her in the face."

"would you think it kind if i acted like i was going to punch you in the face everyday?"

so, this went on for a good 6, 7 minutes. i talked him down to a more vague admission of it not being kind, but we were still oceans away from him taking any kind of responsibility for being an ass. i was still totally kiss-my-ass calm. i was a CHAMPION of calm. i was winning the day's parenting award.

he started to become agitated because he could see the clock and the fact that the first bell had already rung and we had been going in circles long enough to span being early(ish) to being late.

and then he called me brainless, because he sometimes likes to do this because he thinks he knows more about parenting and psychology than his parents do.

hey, to be fair, that's not exactly a high bar to hurdle over. but i ain't going to tell him that.

i attempted to derive from whence he had learned "brainless", though i admit it wasn't the first time he had used it. i asked if he had heard it from school, but i secretly wanted him to answer, "from diary of a wimpy kid," because i hate those books. zero redeeming value and just a menu of bad behavior. a juvenile delinquent playbook, if you will.

it was somewhere in there that i placed the car back into drive and placed my rage into overdrive. like, with that little button on the side of the gearshift that gives additional traction. and i railed halfway to school. maybe threequartersway. it was top notch and undid everything previously accomplished and i begged again for my children to explain to me why they preferred i holler my fucking head off instead of just cooperating when nice mommy is still in town.

i don't know if i've told you about oliver's penchant for stealing. i think i left off back when it was things like my peanut butter cup. underwear. daddy's security badge. violet's new xmas ornament. slices of bread. a whole potato. just weird, inexplicable shit. he eventually graduated to money and was initially busted spending one of violet's $20 bills. we were talking that shit out all the way to target, trying to get him to confess that it was not his. because i wasn't 100% certain, but all signs were pointing.

and because he is the type of criminal who enjoys eventually confessing his crimes, it came out that he had stolen it. and he had taken some of my gift cards and i forget what all else. then there was that time last fall when he tried to steal a one hundred dollar bill from my mother with only "50% remorse" after a talking to. we had a ciruclar argument about consequences, because he likes to blackmail us with additional bad behavior as a consequence to our giving of consequences. and then i get real life on him. and he still won't relent. and then i drive myself straight over a cliff.

well. after the $20 theft, i had them both turn in all their money to me to keep in my closet vault so that if he is found with any money, we can assume it isn't his. which is downright pathetic and maybe not the right thing to do. BUT WHAT THE FUCK DO I KNOW AT THIS POINT.

and then he upped the ante last saturday. i had placed $15 on top of violet's recital ticket form on top of my purse, by the door. as we headed out to class, as predicted, the $15 was missing and i asked oliver where it was. and he said he didn't have it. and i asked oliver where it was. and walks over and says, "oh, what's this that i see?" and he walks into violet's room. "i think i see something. what is this?" and he goes to the corner where the little, vintage adrienne chair sits flush on the ground because the legs somehow managed to get busted during a playdate, and he lifts the chair up to reveal the $15. and, his willingness TO FUCKING FRAME HIS LITTLE SISTER FOR THEFT.

and then i drove myself straight over a cliff.

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