this sounds terrible, but it's actually a workable tool. with sympathy, i sound like, "i know he didn't clean his room, but i'll feel so bad about him missing activity X."
and i sit here and think i'm completely not serious as my catchphrase is pretty much, " that's it, i've had it, i'm totally done with this!"
but yeah. there's a loss of sympathy that's usually more elusive.
this morning, i asked the kids if they wanted oatmeal, because it's a non-egg day and they pretty much just have granola or cereal or yogurt. and there were no takers on the oatmeal. so i finished constructing lunches and coffee and headed off to the bathroom to powder my nose.
oliver shows up. he says, "WHERE'S MY BREAKFAST?"
and i say, "you said you didn't want oatmeal, so there's yogurt..."
"I DON'T WAAAANT THAT KIND OF YOGURT!" like some kind of giant, mannerless baby.
and i spun around with the force of jameson thinking a finger is a carrot, grabbed his shoulders, put my face very close to his and, through gritted teeth said, "do not talk to me like that. you may leave here now." that's probably the censored version. with a speed matching that of jameson's bowels, i had him turned and out the door and the door shut and locked.
jameson is a guinea pig, by the way.
i came out of the bathroom to find violet had poured some granola. and then left the empty bag and the clip and granola sprinkles on the floor. and i asked her to clean it up. of course, she did not. i asked her five more times to complete her work cycle from when she was kind enough to go insane yesterday afternoon and start scrubbing floors and toilets with oliver's nail brush. i asked her to clear her bowl from the bar. she did not. by the time we left, there was food just ALL OVER THE BAR, and the bowl, and oliver's vitamin. and granola sprinkles on the floor. the granola bag was sticking three-fourths out of the trash can.
yesterday, they were just really into baby carrots. and violet kept hauling the whole bag out to the backyard. and i said twice, because once is about as effective as whispering it to my calloused big toe, i said, "don't take the whole bag outside because there was that time you people took the whole, full bag outside and just left it in the grass for the bugs."
and then, i later see the empty bag. just out there wafting in the grass. because our yard is a trash pile. it ain't the first time they've done this. thrown their trash in the yard. or dishes. oliver once threw a metal bowl, trying to hit the trunk of the pear tree, but since he has terrible aim, it instead flew over the fence into the recluse's yard.
then, oliver tells me his story about how the wind and rain finally removed his tub of spry gum from the roof of the shed, but he discovered after chewing a piece that the sun had worked to melt the flavor off of it, and i asked if he actually chewed a piece of this nature's creation and he had, but he spit it under the deck.
and i said, "!!!"
but, he spit it UNDER the deck so no one would step on it.
their rooms are a constant pile of shit (much like my rooms, but that's neither here nor there) and oliver's origami habit is just really out of control. there is always ALWAYS scraps of paper on the dining room table and floor. markers. crayons. tape. sequins. whatever. just ALWAYS. a rainbow of colors, textures, and dimensions... none of which register in the eye structures of young children, apparently.
so my sympathy stores finally evaporated.
without regret, i publicly shamed violet at school this morning while i regaled stephanie with violet's massive success at going out of her way to make a mess and leave it. and violet crouched down and i said, OH WELL. LOOK AT ME WITHOUT MY SYMPATHY.
i told the children i would have to cancel their imaginary playdate this afternoon. no tv for as long as it takes. no screens... no computer. and even though we've spent the past two fridays sneaking in thai food through our bedroom door and storing it under the bed when a child leaks in, i am going to sit right down tonight and eat that shit RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACES. EXTRA RICE.
violet is still deaf. so she likes to play the "but i can't hear" card sometimes.
during the winter of '13-'14, we began to notice she couldn't hear us. we hauled her in to the on call pediatrician new year's eve day for an exam and violet straight up lost control of her entire mind. that might have been the day she kicked the doctor in the crotch. and possibly hissed and clawed. it ended with the ped promising her ice cream (thanks!) and us restraining her while she screamed and cried, and the ped got about a two second peek in her ears. there was also an ineffectual attempt at one of those pure tone tests. it was inconclusive.
while i took my sweet time figuring out where to take her next, it cleared up.
she passed her hearing test at school last fall and then december arrived and brought the hearing problem with it again. we figured it would do like last time and clear on its own. surely it's sinus and allergy issues.
and it didn't. and it didn't. and finally, at the end of march, brian took her in and they did the pure tone test and then they did a tympanometry and something called an evoked hearing test, and found that nothing was coming back out of her right ear and the left ear was a question mark even after all that. they said she had fluid trapped in the eustachian tube, possibly because of swollen adenoids, and told us to squirt nasonex in her nose for a month.
it didn't seem to work, at least not completely. i guess. i don't know. what am i? a tympanometer? our recheck is monday and so we decided to douse her canals with hydrogen peroxide, even though the doctor said she didn't seem to have prohibitive amounts of ear wax.
but that fucking exam cost $255 AFTER insurance. because our insurance really sucks and exponentially so with each passing year. we thought surely brian's $7000 dollar kidney stone would clear out our deductible, but apparently there's still an individual deductible.
i've just spoken with her doctor and canceled the appointment and we've decided not to go to an ENT. i confirmed she's not at risk for anything beyond having a temporary hearing problem because i frankly do not want to pay for more tests just to be told to go to an ENT for more tests just to be told she should be put under and have tubes put in or adenoids removed and then have to pay for that as well. it's just weird to take that kind of medical risk for something so benign anyhow.
so here's to another month or two of the additional frustration of my child legitimately not hearing me on top of the complete complacence of not listening to me.