Tag Archives: Control

Are You Raising a Douchebag?

25 Jul

I saw a picture on facebook today (pause for gasp).

No seriously, it happened. Anyway, it was a kid, clearly a shithead kid. It asked, “Are you raising a douchebag?” and pointed out that “Your indulgent parenting is spawning a generation of hipster brats.”

I think this picture is right. Yeah, someone somewhere on the internet got it right.

I have a problem with being indulgent with my offspring. I want them to have everything their little baby hearts desire, then SHOCK they act like jerks when they don’t get their way. So now I’m working on this whole giving them everything illness I have. It’s tough, and sometimes I say no to something ’cause I think I should be saying no more often than I realize I could have said yes in that case and nothing would have exploded. It’s a work in progress.

Now to the point of my rambling. As a parent I know it is my job to help in the shaping of the people my spawn turn out to be. Hopefully guiding them down a path of goodness and away from shitheadedness. What about all those jerk adults out there though? Hey person non-specific standing in front of the mall/restaurant/kids play area surrounding yourself in a cloud of death that I now have the option of dragging my kids through or using another entrance and hoping another one of your kind isn’t there? Go to hell! Yeah, that’s right. You choose to be a smoker, that’s a bad choice, go make your bad choice away from those of us without wishes of stained teeth, foul odours and untimely deaths.

Those people make me mad…can you tell?

There are so many adults making horrible choices, sometimes they are me. Sometimes they are the people in my life. Those bad choice may be as simple (and regular) as not thinking before speaking, or as all consuming as addiction. It’s always happening around me. And as I am trying to mold my kidlets into good people I wonder about how to best handle all the bad stuff so that it will have either no negative impact or maybe even sometimes a good impact (by the way of lessons to be learned). I recognize and sometimes SOMETIMES accept that I cannot change the people around me or stop them from making poor decisions. What I am not too confident about is how to manage those people in relation to my babes. We know that when kids are being bullied in school doing nothing is comparable to endorsing the bully’s behaviour. So, should I try to say or do something about bad behaviours so the kiddos see that I do not support it and am trying to have a positive impact on their world? OR knowing that those choices are not mine to make and only the people making them have the ability to make better ones do I simply not include those bad choice makers in the circle of people my family hangs out with? Standing idly by as my children witness people inflicting harm on themselves or others does not fall into the category of acceptable for me. Not only could that tell them that I am OK with whatever is happening but also that I am willing to expose them to bad shit…better words are not currently available.

I could see how some may say I’m thinking too much about this. And I SO see how my need to control is impacting my train of thought here…but what is a mama bear to do trying to raise her cubs in a world full of assholes?

Hook, Line…

4 May

Did your school have those round, grey rocks in the playground? The ones that were perpetually covered in a very fine dust that got on everything? When you jumped off the swing and landed with your hands in them you would fine lots of small grey circles on your hands, and if you touched your clothing you would have white hand prints all over you. Mine did. I’m not sure if Logan’s does though.

Walking up the driveway after school one day this week his hat was covered in white smudges. The ones I feel I had seen so many times in my elementary school days. I asked him how his hat got so dirty. “Bullies throwing mud again”. Odd, I thought. Mud doesn’t leave a powdery residue. Thrown mud wouldn’t leave smudges. I decided he wasn’t telling the truth. I assumed because he didn’t want to get in trouble for getting his hat dirty. It’s his special hat, the one he earned when he got up on stage in front of his entire school and let a stranger shave his head at the Cops for Cancer: Pedal for Hope assembly. He’s four, that’s a big deal.

Hats can be used for digging, for carrying, for fanning, for catching. I’m sure there is a myriad of uses my son could find for a hat. I’m also sure that a small pile of those uses could result in the smudging all over it. I don’t give him trouble for playing in the dirt generally, you know unless a mud puddle is attacked while we are walking towards the van to go somewhere special, he’s a kid and I’m cool with that. I don’t see why he wouldn’t tell me the real reason his hat is covered in that fine dust.

This is not the first time I’ve heard about bullies at school. And on some occasions I have sought out a conversation with the teacher to explore further. These kids are smart though. They hear us tossing words like bully around in a very serious manner. They know it’s a big deal and that we are working to keep bullying out of their lives. I think he’s deduced that ‘bully’ is a hot button. He knows that word will trigger a reaction. The things they learn in school. Not long after he started he was telling me that he didn’t want to get misbehaving kids in trouble when I asked why he didn’t report inappropriate behaviour he had seen. They learn the code in a hurry, don’t they?

Not too long ago he went to a birthday party for a classmate. For the very first time he went without me. After I dropped him off I began to wonder if he would be ok. What would they do if something happened and he needed me? I let this worry go, rather, I tried to let it go. Kids go to parties, and he loves being with his friends.

When I picked him up and asked how it went I got the usual semi complete account of event. Lacking some logic and certainly not in order. Then, the more he talked about it the more it changed. Soon he was telling me about how he was sad and cried for me. I smiled and said, “But you were ok after that right? You had fun.” Yes, he had fun. I’ve heard this kind of line before. Stories about nursery school and then his kindergarten classroom. Even when I’ve gone out and he’s been home with Scott on occasion this same little piece finds its way into his account of the day or evening, whatever I’m asking him about.

Looking at these little reoccurring instances as a whole I have reached a conclusion. My boy is keeping me on the hook.

Maybe as a favour to me, so I know he still needs me. More likely as a way to remain a little boy despite all the big boy changes in his life. Obviously, he is a genius. I admire his emotional awareness and ability to manipulate loved ones. Now, do I worry that he is turning into me or do all people use small emotional triggers to affect the people around them?

What I Never Wanted

29 Jun

While I was pregnant with Logan and taking prenatal classes and reading all the books and magazines I of course thought about birthing options. I concluded that my preference would be as all natural as possible. I didn’t want any drugs or assistance. I conceded that there may come a time in my labour where I would no longer be able to handle the pain and may then choose to have some pain relief but didn’t go into it planning for it. I considered that I may need to be induced and I was ok with that if it needed to happen. One thing that never even crossed my mind was that I may need a c section. For some reason it did not feel like a possibility and so I put no thought or emotional preparation into such an outcome.

After having been in induced labour for 12+ hours the doctors statement that we should proceed with a c-section did not hit me as hard as it may have had I been in my right mind. I was tired and his decisive statement that we would be there for a week with me stuck at 4 cm if we did nothing essentially made my mind up for me. Alright let’s do it, I want my baby. It was scary, and the operating room was cold. I shivered perched on the edge of the operating table while the nurses prepped whatever it is they had to prep. Scott couldn’t come in until I was strapped down, I felt very alone and I couldn’t feel the lower half of my body so I constantly felt like I was about to tip off the edge. Am I sitting on my IV line? What happens if I fall? What if I fall on my belly will the baby be OK? Why aren’t the nurses putting me somewhere that won’t make me feel so scared? It probably felt a lot longer than it really was. The surgery itself wasn’t too bad. I was delirious from the long day and various chemicals meant to make me feel better. A couple of shots of nubain followed by an epidural which only worked on one side of my body. Then when the decision for surgery came the ineffective epidural line was removed, along with all that tape that was holding it on, OUCH! And I was given a spinal block. Once he was out and checked over they wrapped him up and held him on my chest for a minute so I could see him. My arms were still tied down so I wasn’t able to touch him yet. They handed him to Scott and ushered them both out the door while they closed up.

Once in my hospital room and awake the reality of the surgery hit me. Like a shot to the gut. I was in immense pain, I couldn’t sit up, it hurt to laugh I thought I would die when I sneezed. The hormones and the chemicals had me on the biggest emotional ride of my life. By the time I was deemed fit to leave the hospital I still slowly wobbled while I walked, hunched over and clutching a pillow to my middle. It felt like all the skin and such on the front of my body would fall off if I didn’t hold it tight to me, but any pressure anywhere near the incision sight was very painful. I couldn’t sleep on my stomach, and when I slept on my side I had to hold my now empty but not small tummy up with a pillow. It was awful, and I had this little person depending on me for survival.

Pregnant again, I was very excited for another baby. I fully intended to do everything I possibly could to avoid another c section. How would I manage a baby and a toddler after that? We can’t induce you, having had a c section previously it’s too risky. What? Dr. Bos informs me that unless I go into labour on my own another c section is the most likely outcome. I didn’t labour on my own the first time, but I wasn’t in a hurry then. If I will it, it will be. Right? I thought if I wanted it badly enough I could make it happen. I walked around, carried Logan everywhere perched on my belly. Ate the weird foods, and thought really hard about going into labour. Found lots of articles stating there is no reason women have to have a repeat c section and how doctors tend to push for a lot of medical intervention when it is not necessary. I pleaded with my doctor. I really, REALLY don’t want to go through that again. He gave me a week after my due date, that’s how long I had to get myself to labour before he would go in and take her himself.

All my willing and wishing did nothing for me and the night before the surgery I paced around the house crying knowing what lay ahead. I looked down at Logan sleeping and feared how useless I was going to be to him. I wouldn’t be able to lift him, to pick up and cuddle him when he was sad. He would need me and I would be weak and unable to help him. The morning of the surgery in the recovery area with Scott and Logan waiting for the doctor to arrive and every time I looked at Logan my eyes would fill with tears. How could I be so selfish? I wanted another baby and didn’t put enough thought into what that would mean for this little boy. I didn’t want him to see me cry, I wanted him to believe that everything would be ok. Again surgery went easily enough, much better this time than the first and it was over quickly. They undid the straps this time and I got to hold Bella, the love that seemed to be seeping from my pores because there wasn’t enough room in my body eased my fear and I trusted that we would all be alright. Immediately following this surgery I was sitting up and talking. Totally awake and excited to be with my new four person family. As the meds wore off it changed though. I was sore, and those feelings of self-doubt started to creep back in. When we got home the first few days were as I had feared. If Logan was sad or hurt I couldn’t lift him, he would beg me to pick him up, eyes full of tears and all I could do was slowly sit down on the floor beside him and cry with him. Holding him as tightly as I could.

Seven days after she was born I strapped them both into the double stroller and we walked all the way around the block. I had already broken the ‘no lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first six weeks’ rule. Those car seats force you to break the rule but by about the four day mark I was lifting Logan, being unable to do so was hurting me more than the physical pain. The healing was faster this time, and I pushed myself. I didn’t have the option of lying around waiting for the pain to end. Logan needed me to be up and moving around so I could care for him, so I did it.

Both times and in the months following them I resented my body for letting me down. For not being able to do what it was meant to. Why could I get pregnant and then not have my baby? Why didn’t it work right? I felt like a failure, like less of a mother and woman. I listened to other women tell their birth stories, talking about the pain and how they would never put themselves through that again. Joking that next time they would sign up for a c section because they thought it would be easier. You can pick the day and time, there’s no waiting for your labour to start or worrying you won’t have everything ready. Really? I was so mad at them for talking that way. Didn’t they know how lucky they were for being able to do what I couldn’t? My anger persisted for some time. I was very irritated anytime I heard someone complain about the pain of labour and delivery. It wasn’t fair to them of course, they went through legitimate pain and suffering to bring their babies into the world.

With time and constant reminders to myself that what mattered was that my babies were born safely I began to forgive myself. It began to occur to me that it was selfish of me to be so angry when my kids were healthy and nothing had gone wrong. What was important was that they were brought into the world, it didn’t matter how. I was doing them a disservice by being angry about the way they made it to my arms. I’m about 95% OK with it now. Every now and then it hurts a little and I wonder if we got pregnant again if my body might let me do it. Ultimately I know it would result in another c section, and now I think that’s OK. My love for my babies comes pouring out of me regardless of the journey that brings them to me. That’s more than I ever knew I wanted.

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