Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh, what a lovely eye you have...

Christmas is over and we are home from family in Missouri. The good stuff is what I'm choosing to remember and dwell on...I got to see family that I rarely see...I got to see my grandparents and due to a snow storm got to spend more time with them than I expected...I got to see dear friends that I rarely get to see in person...I got to see my husband supporting me through the stuff that happens everytime I go home.
Sadly, I find myself saying the same thing that I say every year - "Why do I go home for this?"...our adoption is still not a favorite topic in my family...and heaven forbid I try to speak honestly about issues we are going through. Apparently, everyone in life changes - except me. I must still be the exact same person I was 25+ years ago...because no one credits me for anything positive. Why, as children, do we feel that we have to hang on? It's hard to let a parent know. I should be a pro - I've done it with one parent...oh's just sad.
I looked into my future and hoped for more brilliant times with my children when they are grown. Who knows?

DD didn't have a great Christmas - poor baby. She had nothing on her list that we allow...and she doesn't play with toys - so our options were limited. Of course, she was disappointed to not get all the swag she thought she'd get and was tired of the things she did get in about 10 minutes. I do, honestly, feel so badly for her...I want her to play and enjoy life. However, DS2 did awesome - he can keep himself busy and really loved his gifts - ESPECIALLY his iPod! And DS1 really acted remotely polite during all our visiting with folks. That's a gift in itself!

I hope that each and every one of you had a GREAT holiday...with love and happiness surrounding you (or at least no blood and major tears)! Welcome in 2010...I'm excited to do so with friends and kids. I even bought the 2010 glasses...because's the last year for those for awhile, right? How do you find a place for 2 eye holes in 2011...or 2012...maybe in 2013, they'll make the bottom of the 3 have a hole...but there is a limit to where you can put eyeholes, I would think. So, unless you are a cyclops - buy the 2010 glasses NOW!

Friday, December 18, 2009

What is it that happens to a kid somewhere around month 156 of their existence? You know they turn 13 and an alien takes over their brain or at least their mouth. I've only been the mother of a teen for 3 months...and I hate it. Generally and specifically...I don't like it one bit.

He just stood in my kitchen and yelled at me - more like screamed...through tears and the whole bit. Very uncool in my opinion. He is mad. That pretty much sums it up. He's just mad. I had to explain to him that our house isn't a democracy - I am the authoratative ruler and sometimes I let DH sit on the throne. But, him? throne for him. And, we don't have princes or princesses either...just me - the Queen.

While he was screaming at me - he was telling me how much I scream at him. Hmmmm...interesting theory. Patently false - unless you count when I have to scream at him up the stairs to simply get him to eat or leave or anything else. His room is like a superhero's hang-0ut - totally soundproof...however, the door can come off the hinges and that might be next.

I could write a list of all the other terrible things I've done. Number one being (I swear this is his words)
"I could go in a five mile radius and not find a single other parent who asks their kids about their social lives. You want to know who my friends are and who I'm 'dating' and you ask me at least once every three days. NO ONE else does that to their kids. NO ONE."

Perhaps I should post his email here so that you other parents of teens can reply and let him know that actually - I'm not the only one. I think every three days is even pushing it a bit...but I always thought it showed I cared. I'll have to remember this when I decide to pull his hair out at the root to drug test him - that pesky chatting would have stemmed the tide that might lead there.

On a serious note he told me he feels depressed. With my bi-polar I do worry about that. I wonder if it could be sneaking in...I know I had 'it' in my teens. So, perhaps another doctor is about to enter our world.

During his tirade he told me I'm a very unhappy person - ME. Come on now...I actually am feeling pretty darn positive lately. I sing Christmas carols (loudly and off key), I laugh about things that used to make me cry and I still love all my children - some days that is the biggest hurdle to climb!!! So, I told him if he thinks I'm unhappy now - just imagine what a great mood I'll be in after being yelled at by a 13 year old.

Friday, December 11, 2009

is this the up or the down?

As is well known around is a constant up and down. Generally if one kid is 'up', the other is 'down'. I must say we've had a very downward slide lately - and quite honestly, it's been all three kids.
Things have happened around here that I never expected - and would think I couldn't be surprised by much anymore. DS2 and DD coordinated a strange 'attack' on my dog the other night...there are a lot more details - but it just wasn't good. Max is fine...although perhaps emotionally scarred. We've got new standards in place to keep children and dogs separated. My poor dogs can't figure out why they can't go upstairs anymore...
There were two days of complete shock and awe around here. Tempers flare - not at the fact, it's been creepily quiet - mostly because I just have nothing to say. Tempers are directed at DH and me...we get angry with each other. Although that's not true...we are just angry at where we are sometimes. Every time we say, "I just never thought this would happen", I feel like it's a jinx - a way of asking for another much BIGGER shoe to drop.

However, we sat down in our quiet house and really talked. We opened up about what we can still handle and what we can't. We cleaned up our holiday business deciding what was still on and what might need to be off. I shared my frustration at the fact that when we have to clamp down tighter - it generally means me missing things I was looking forward to. I don't like the idea of losing my own life because of their choices...but hey, I don't like the idea of doing much with them either.

We came up with a plan - which mainly consists of no more talking. Lecturing, yelling, making deals, setting expectations...none of it works. We have to take what we've learned in attachment therapy and apply it. We have to find out what avenues are available to us and be honest about what we can still 'do' for our kids. In NO WAY am I saying we are giving up - but there is an obvious need for a break...

Answers aren't easy to come by - but I sure am glad we are looking for them together.

Then, the kids are suddenly REALLY polite when they realize just how busted they are...and it feels rather good since this time - I didn't even open my mouth.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Strict-ly speaking

I'm in the holiday spirit this year...which means I got everything done really early...therefore, I have nothing left to do. Tends to bring out the shopper in me. Bad.
So, I'm even staying away from the stores...otherwise my children would get spoiled and sometimes I already feel they are.

I was talking with my grandma yesterday and I mentioned that DD thinks we are quite strict. My grandma says "well, you are much stricter than most parents". I'm just wondering who, exactly, she is comparing me to? I want my kids to grow up to be respectable I don't let them get away with things now that won't benefit them in the future. See, I don't call that strict. However, I realize that I don't match up with many other parents out there in the world. When I take my kids places - they sit and pay attention...well, I guess I can't force the attention part - but they fake it well.

We went to a basketball game (NBA) the other day - in fact it was on our four year family day. As I've said before - DH and I are huge sports fans...really get into certain teams and are huge fans of our hometown bball team. The kids are 'fans' when it's on...know the player's names - but not overly so. Anyway, went to the game and DD couldn't sit still. I took her up to walk around the arena once and then made it clear that cheering was great - dancing during breaks was cool, but wiggling in your seat was not. Strict? Once she had a treat, she settled in and eventually got tired. I will admit, it was a VERY boring game. We got up by over 20 within the 1st quarter and didn't get any closer.

So...we are heading home for the holidays...the ACTUAL holidays. In years past, we go for 3 days either before or after Christmas. This year we are going for 7 days - over Christmas. And, now I know that they think I'm too strict. So, I could go one of three ways...really lay off and let my kids run wild and pay for it for weeks afterward...or tighten down even moreso and really give the family something to talk about...or three - just be me. Just be the family we always are. I gotta say that my kids know us...they know what they can and can't do and they know the results will be the same every time. I am not ashamed of that. So STRICT is now a title I'll wear proudly!