Living What You Learn

August 6, 2007 at 6:47 pm (Attitude in Overdrive, Nate, Relationships)

Ugh, so hot, so humid, so gross! It’s hot everywhere too. No relief. Bah!

I’m off on Wednesday and you had better believe that Nate and I will be heading for the pool. I told him to call his sister and leave her a message that we’ll be at a certain pool. Maybe she’ll show up. He hasn’t seen her since, I believe, the first weekend of May. She has called once since then. Actually, she had a friend call and ask for Nate and when I handed the phone over she got on and asked if he could come to the pool. I said no because I had zero money at the time.

I hate to say it, but she’s going to turn out just like her idiotic mother. Of course, turning out like her drunk father wouldn’t do her much good either. Danlel wants to make decisions like an adult, but like her mother, needs a lot of practice in acting like one.

Jeff is concerned that if we send Nate to Danlel’s Middle School, like we’ve promised him, that she’ll take her spite out on Jeff through Nate. I highly doubt this, yet I’m prepared to deal with it should it happen. Jeff said, “Well, I don’t want any trouble.”

“What trouble?”

“Well, I pick Nate up from school.”

“So?”

“So, Danlel will go to the same school.”

“And?”

“She doesn’t want to see me.”

“So, stay in the truck.”

“Wellllll…”

“‘Well’ nothin’. I don’t bow to the desires of an immature 13 year-old. Again, if she wants to be treated like an adult, she should act like one and learn now that you don’t always get what you want, people don’t always acquiesce to your demands, and walking past people you don’t like is a part of life. I’ll deal with the rest should it occur.”

As long as there isn’t a court order demanding that Jeff stay away from her, they can all kiss my rosy red ass. And if they try to keep Jeff from coming to the school to pick up Nate because of Danlel, I’ll fight them tooth and nail. It sure didn’t bother Danlel’s mom to have Jeff take Danlel to school last year when she needed someone to do it. And it sure as fuck didn’t bother her when Jeff picked Danlel up from school when she needed someone to do it.

I’m not sure what is right or wrong in this situation. I know that I teach Nate that is okay to set boundaries and he has. Jeff has been informed of those boundaries. If he steps over the line, he doesn’t see Nate. When he gets back on the right side of the line, he sees Nate. I’ve always encouraged Nate to talk to his father and for Jeff’s part, he talks to Nate, in an age appropriate manner, about his alcoholism and what he’s doing about it.

I also teach Nate about compassion and forgiveness and I remind him that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. What’s important is to own up to them, atone for them, learn from them, and don’t do it again. If we’re lucky, we’ll learn from others’ mistakes and sidestep having to make the mistake our self. *Ha!*

There are numerous rhetorical questions that could asked in this situation.

Is it appropriate for a 13 year old to demand perfection from a parent?

Is it appropriate to openly discuss alcoholism with an 11 year old?

Is it healthy for one parent to encourage a total moratorium on communication with the other parent instead of discussing the situation and establishing boundaries?

What relationship skills are we all teaching our children?

What conflict resolution skills are we all teaching our children?

Think back as to how your parents resolved conflict and disagreements. My mom screamed a lot and my dad only yelled back when she really pissed him off, otherwise, he was silent. How did I resolve conflict in my early relationships? Just take a wild guess. I had to learn how to resolve conflict in a positive way, it certainly wasn’t engrained in me at an early age. I think as parents we totally forget that we’re our children’s number one role model. Which, at times, is a fairly frightening thought.

T-Bird has always said, “Kids learn what they live, and live what they learn.” Sometimes, we could all use a reminder of that.

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A Lot To Write About, But Nothing To Say

August 6, 2007 at 1:01 am (Empathy, Friends, T-Bird, Work)

Have you ever had a lot to write about, a lot of things going on, but nothing really to say about it? I guess that’s where I am and it’s time to break the silence.

I broke my first dishes the other day. A teapot and a bread and butter plate, one after the other. Business has been brisk and I’m happy for that. However, I’m still growing accustomed to working six straight or this week, eight straight, as we had training today, our normal day off, and then I have catering on Thursday until late in the evening and then have to open lunch on Friday. I really love it though. It keeps me on my toes.

Have you ever made someone’s fantasy come true? I did. As you all know, I can be fairly wicked when provoked or enticed or simply kissed in the right spot. Yet, it was my ex, Lex, who pointed out that the best way to get in my pants was to talk to me with intelligence because smart guys turn me on and my friend is very intelligent, in many ways.

However, since that time I’ve missed him a great deal. For one reason or another, we’ve gone from speaking practically every week night to a short series of brief e-mails, and an even longer silence thanks to the country phone company. Obviously someone cut the line between tin cans out where he lives and traipsing to the top of the mountain for cell signal, like he did the day he left the message from his cell phone, isn’t advisable during mosquito and rattlesnake season.

I miss him. I guess I hadn’t realized how starved I was for more adult conversation. Not that I don’t have adult conversation, but deep adult conversation. Right now I’m stuck with T-Bird talking about J3 and football training.

“They’re teaching the boys to block with their forearms. You know they’re not allowed to grab each other or anything. I’m not sure if that’s just in his age group or not.”

“Hon, that goes all the way to the NFL. It’s called ‘holding’.” T-Bird doesn’t really know a lot about football and I grew up on the football field so listening to her learn about the game is tedious and, of course, J3 is this… and that… and he’s this strong and this much bigger than this other kid. I have found that her representations of his abilities are at times, overstated. Okay, most of the time they’re grossly overstated. I mean, he’s 7.

Anyway, back to my friend. I have found it difficult to be cut off from him, especially after having to leave him with a definitive shell-shocked look on his face, and worse, the feeling from him of “Wow, I really wanted that. I’ve fantasized about that but now I’m not so sure I should have taken that, I’m not so sure I should have done that, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.” That’s what has bothered me the most. The immediate withdrawal, the uncertainty, the doubt, the reclusiveness. A real taste of my own medicine from one over-thinking, overly analytical person to another.

I’ve dodged admitting that’s what I felt from him because I didn’t want it to be that way. When I sit on my porch in the dark, listening to the sounds of the night, watching the train go by, I reach out to him and see his eyes looking back at me, but I still sense the uncertainty and I am reminded that there are some things I wish I never knew.

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Retro!

August 1, 2007 at 1:58 am (Attitude in Overdrive, Crazy Shit, Nate)

Thank you for all your kind advice on my situation. I guess that’s why I blog, why I write, why I’ve always written. I’ll look back someday and say, “Wow, I really felt that way? I’ve come a long way.”

So, let’s see where I was a year ago… Jeff was drunk and belligerent, I was making new jewelry, and I was using the word “fuck” excessively.

Hell, nothing has changed a damn bit!!! Except, my house is clean. That has changed. Working at the restaurant spills over into my off time and I did a great deal of cleaning this evening. Ran the dishwasher and the washer and dryer a lot.

Jeff obviously fell off of the AA wagon today. He only gets belligerent, ignorant, and ranting when he drinks white liquor. I hung up on him once and told him ‘BYE’ fairly loudly the second time around. This all supposedly started when I didn’t feed Nate breakfast this morning.

I’m sorry, Nate is 11 years old and more than capable of saying, “Mom, I’m hungry” or “Mom, I’m not hungry.” Nate doesn’t like to eat first thing in the morning, and frankly, when I don’t have to be at family meal until 10:45, I, unlike Jeff, don’t get up at the butt ass crack of dawn. I hate mornings. I’ve told Jeff this, and trust me, I’m trying very hard not to call him “Dickweed.”

He thought he was going to call me and bring up old issues, like, six year old issues and call me a fucking bitch and a cunt and this and a that and I just hung up on him. I don’t have to take that abuse nor do I have to defend myself or the decisions I made six years ago, because he continues to reinforce the reasons why I took the action that I did. Then he started bitching about money. That somehow I owed him money because he takes care of Nate more than I do.

Every time he brings this up, I encourage him to file paperwork with the Court to reduce his child support. I offered to let him turn in the over $900 worth of receipts to his insurance company for Nate’s medication. Oh, then it becomes about RESPECT. I should RESPECT him and not EXPECT him to feed Nate breakfast and interrupt HIS day even if Nate isn’t hungry at the time. I’ll be happy to force feed my child first thing in the morning and he can take the 221 dollars and 80 fucking cents a month I get in child support and shove them sideways up his ass. In coin dollars and pennies.

Let’s do the math… meds = $153 per month (after insurance cost is around $31… IF they’ll pay), school is starting so he’ll need new clothes = $100 – $120 just to get him started, $20-$40 school supplies, $30 a month for the school lunch bill, food at home, which he eats a startling amount of these days = $100, the roof over his beautiful little head, split equally with me = $194.50, half the utilities for baths, showers, drinking water, washing his clothes, drying his clothes, cable, blah, blah, blah = $92. Take all that, plus his medical bills, which right now, after insurance, exceed $3000, minus out the rent and mortgage that Jeff doesn’t pay, the showers and baths that Nate doesn’t take there, the clothes that Jeff doesn’t wash, except every other weekend, yada yada yada, and the fact that other than these few summer months, Nate stays with me almost full-time… I don’t think I owe him a fucking dime. Or even a penny shoved up his ass sideways.

See, justify again. I hate that.

But anyway, really, it’s almost 2 o’clock in the morning and I’ve had two Kaluha’s and creams and I’m still wide fucking awake. Think I’ll go smoke, see if I can’t get a little shut eye, and wake up to a brand new day.

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