My Oldest Child found a cure for LICE and joined the BLUE MAN GROUP.

MOM!  I HAVE LICE AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!

Did I shake my head, roll my eyes, give a tragic laugh?  I won’t say what I did because I’m still in the running for Mother of the Year.  The poor little 19 year old day care worker is accident prone and was voted most likely to be struck by lightening.  Lice was not so shocking given that some of the day care kids had been sent home with it two weeks before.  Another day in the life of Haley.

I had just gotten out of an hour long massage and was enjoying how my shoulders were not hunched up around my ears and how my jaw hung low instead of clenching.  Now was not the time to talk about lice.

I called her when I got home as I was walking next door to get the babies.  Go buy some lice treatment Girl.

I have no money MOM.

The last thing I’m going to do is give her more money.  I’ve given her money for a car after parts of hers rusted off.  I’ve given her clothesline, socks from my underwear drawers, my shoes, maternity stretchy pants, car repairs, more car repairs, a laptop.  Right now I’m poorer than she is.  I should ask her for gas money.

I had to feed two hungry babies so I told her to figure it out.  Just two days ago she told me I wasn’t her family and that she was never speaking to me again.

Next thing I know she’s on the lawn.

YOU CAN’T COME IN MY HOUSE.  DON’T TOUCH THE CAT.  CAN CATS GET LICE?  STAY RIGHT THERE.

I always have tea tree oil and I’m pretty sure it can cure anything so I did a quick google search and poured some into a baby food jar and gave it to her along with instructions.  Seemed pretty easy.

Next thing I know she’s at the door again with what looks like a shirt wrapped around her head and blue dripping behind her ears and down her neck.  She doesn’t smell like tea tree oil.

Can I come in and use a hair dryer?  My boss called and I have to go to work.

DID YOU USE THE TEA TREE OIL?

Yes, I did. Can I dry my hair?

YOU CAN’T COME IN MY HOUSE.  I handed the hair dryer out without opening the door farther than I had to.

She went to look for an outlet outside and came back.

I didn’t realize I’d have to dry my hair in a BUSH, MOM.

I sent her around to the basement.  Lice can’t survive alone in a basement, can they?

A couple of minutes later I looked out the window to see her headed to her car.  ALL of her hair was blue.  Her skin was dyed blue down her neck and below her collar.

That’s my child.  She takes a small disaster, asks for help, ignores the instructions, and makes a bigger BLUER disaster out of it.  In a few days she’ll realize she should have just done what I told her to do in the first place.  And I will still be shaking my head in wonder, with my shoulders hunched up to my ears and my jaw clenched.

Advertisements

A How-To Post on dealing with the first child leaving, and how the abuse continues to affect the children.

This one is the hardest, that’s what they say and I know that to be true.  My fragile ego and support system is wrapped up in my kids and our daily interactions.  They are my best friends.  They keep me entertained.  And there’s such an expectation of mothers sacrificing everything for their kids that I didn’t do much with my life outside of them.  Then one day BAM she’s gone and I am still struggling to fill that space.  It’s really easy for me to tell other mothers how to deal:  self-care, finding things they’ve always wanted to do, finding friends, enjoying the peace.  But I also know how uncomfortable that is when I’m so used to spending all of my time worrying about her.  I still worry about her.  But the point here is that it takes a conscious and real effort to do the things I should be doing and not dwell on what’s missing.

She’s doing fine, connecting with support systems, figuring it all out.  I am really proud of her, especially with all the issues she’s struggled with.  She looks genuinely happy.  We get along really well now.  It’s an entirely different relationship.

And on a tangent, it would appear her father is already freaking out that she has left my house.  I’m sure he just thinks he shouldn’t be paying child support anymore.  Yeah, I send it to her.  I’m still supporting her.  I’m sure he thinks I’ve done something horrible in letting her go, but we are both functioning quite well.  He set up a second facebook account to send her a message and had his sister ask her younger sister for details about her.  I’m sure this is why he sends me messages begging me to call him.  As though there’s a crisis, which there isn’t.

She is surrounded by people who will take care of her and protect her and I’m sure at this point she can deal with him pretty well.  I would like to be back there to help her out, but I know she’ll be just fine.

I really think the book

Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy

saved my sanity.  The best thing I can do for her is to have a strong marriage, function well, and role model the life I would like her to have one day.  I want her to want to be like me.

Gina goes to Court, and what would a homeless person do with Dr. Who?

At 1:00 today Gina has to appear before a judge to explain why she was out past curfew.  I find the whole thing ridiculous as she never gets in trouble.  I really think they confused her with her older sister.

Speaking of older sister, I was browsing for good Christmas gifts and found a life size cardboard Dr. Who.  She got so excited I swear she peed herself.  This is all great except that she also wishes I would kick her out so that she can live on the street.  “The street is better than living in THIS HOUSE.”  So what would she do with a life size Dr. Who?  Carry him around?  Use him to get into low income housing as a member of her household?  Beg people to take him in when it gets really cold outside?  Find his phone booth to sleep in?  I don’t think there are any left in Cody.

It seems like I should give her something more reasonable for sleeping on the streets.  A KMart shopping cart for instance.  A really warm coat that she could use as a tent or a carpet for her cardboard box.  Gloves with the fingers cut out.  A year’s supply of toilet paper with many uses.  What do homeless people want?

I will not buy her a ticket to anywhere, or minutes on her phone, or a car.  I would just be prolonging the inevitable.  Maybe Dr. Who wouldn’t be such a bad idea.  She could bend him over and sleep under him.  She would always have someone to talk to.  She could tie him to the shopping cart and use him as a sail.  She could even use him to start a fire to keep warm when it’s 20 below in January.

Kids are weird.

Funny things DO HAPPEN to me now, but I’m either going to offend my kids or I can’t talk about it because it happened at work and OOOOOOOOlala everything is confidential.

Maybe I should just give you a run through of my day so you understand why I am in my pajamas drinking wine and just sitting down for the first time at 9 p.m.  Sure, you want to know!

I got up at 6 to shower because I realized that even though it’s Friday and Nick is off and I don’t go to work until 10, the girls have to get up and go to school.  I made a pot of coffee that was requested but no one would drink it without sugar and I tried to use the last “sugar” in the house but confectioners sugars sucks ass in coffee.  Then I emptied the dishwasher and cleaned up the kitchen from the night before.  Then I sent Emily down to wake up the baby and she said

He smells funny.

Which I didn’t fully understand until AFTER what happened next.

I fed him his bottle and he gave up halfway through which is not like him at all.  And then immediately puked 3 ounces of sticky sweet formula all over me and him.  So I put him down and stripped him and took off my shirt and pants and ran around the house in front of the windows trying to clean him up.

So after I dressed both of us again I went down to his crib and SURE ENOUGH he had puked all over the mattress and frame.  BLEH.  So I wiped that down and put on a clean sheet and threw everything in the washing machine.

Are you bored yet?

I went to work and didn’t worry about him all day.  And the second I got home the girls were one me.  “What’s the internet password?  Someone stole my kindle!  I am crazy and borderline!”

So I spent hours searching for a kindle.  Then Nick went to class in Powell and the girls wanted rides to a play and a hockey game.  I bundled the baby up and when I got back and was trying to unlock the door he puked lots of something all over both of us again.  When I say all over I mean

Dripping gooey smelly ALL OVER.

So I didn’t feed him and instead put him in his pjs and held him for a long time and when I put him in his crib

He puked.

GAH

So I wiped him and his crib down and swore at Nick for somehow magically avoiding being puked on all day and cleaned up the kitchen and threw everything in the washing machine and looked some more for the kindle and threatened the child who took it and emailed friends for help and ate a banana and put the dog to bed and fed the bunny and lysoled the living room and showered the puke off and poured a glass of wine and here I sit.

I can’t of course talk about what I did at work.  Let’s just say that I hate an hour of kindness in me and I was HUNGRY cause I’ve lost 8 pounds not eating gluten for the past 2 weeks.

Was any of this funny?

Only to people without kids.

And who wouldn’t want Zachary Quinto staring at them from the bottom of the bed?  Disappointed by the Big Bang Theory.  I’ll take him!

Teenagers and Karma

We all wait for that moment when our teenagers finally grow up realize that we were right about everything.  We fantasize about them coming over one day for a visit, asking us to sit down on the couch, and then saying something like:

You were right.  I am so sorry I was such a pain in the ass.  Can I make you a cup of tea?

I didn’t have to wait until she is 28 for that moment.

She slept on the couch all night as she sometimes does.  I HATE it.

In the morning I discovered the laundry room door was closed and ask Nick if he had closed it.  Yes, during the debate the night before so he could hear the television over my laundry.  And then he forgot to open it, which is all fine except that is where the kitty litter is.

Well, then one of the cats peed somewhere and this time you’re going to find it.

He went to work.

Meanwhile the child had moved to her room because of all the noise of the other girls getting ready for school.

2 hours later I woke her up to watch the baby.

“AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”  She cried from her room.

I have cat shit all over me!

And she did.  She’d gone to sleep in her pants and it was smear back and front because she had rolled around in it.

Two hours in cat shit.

Well, the cat did pick the dirtiest place in the house to go.

 

Teenagers and the Family Car

My life changed the second she came back from the Driver’s License test with a smile on her face and asked for the car keys.  There are, of course, the positives which I try to remember.  I can send her on errands, when she bleeds me dry of my change.  “No Mom, the gallon of milk really did cost $14.65 and the machine ran out of tape so I couldn’t get a receipt.”  I can have her pick up her sisters after their activities, when they say things like “I sat on a bowl Mom and I never want to ride with her again,” or “she left me on a dirt road for hours and I thought I was going to die alone and lost.”  I don’t have to drive her to work anymore, but then sometimes I wonder if she has a job or if she dresses up in her uniform and name tag and drives around in circles on dirt roads just because she can.

I try to focus on the positives, but it is hard to do when I hold my breathe every time I jump in, dreading the first inhale of stale cigarette smoke.  “I don’t smoke in the car, Mom.”  “I don’t smoke at all.”  Why is there a burn hole in the passenger seat?  “I have no idea.”  Why are there ashes in the plastic wrapper from a pack of cigarettes in the driver’s door?  “I don’t know.”  Why are there pink boys shorts in the back seat?”  “Those are mumble-mumble’s and we went swimming.”  Is there a naked wet boy running around somewhere looking for his missing shorts?  “Nooooo, MOM!”  

There are new cords hanging out of the cigarette lighter every time I get in  I finally wrapped them around the satellite radio dock so I wouldn’t strangle myself and become unable to call for help.  Candy wrappers, McDonalds bags, makeup without covers, her license, her bank card, and empty soda bottles roll around under the seats every time I take a corner.  The windshield had so much splatter on it that tonight I couldn’t see to drive down the street into the sun and was driving blind for longer than I care to admit.  I drive with all the windows down and the air on full just to not get high from the 3rd hand smoke.  I throw my hair around so that anyone who is watching thinks I’m enjoying the wind, but really I am just sucking in the fresh air.

I catch her chewing on the keys while laying on the couch.  I don’t know which is worse, her germs on the keys or the $12,000 set of teeth she’s destroying.  She begs for her own car but can’t save enough money to buy one, “I can’t save money, Mom.”  She begs me to help her get a car loan, co-sign, but if she can’t save she can’t pay and I am working hard on my own debt.  I think she’s trying to ruin my car so that I’ll give it to her, but the second she’s done with it I’m going to lysol it down and give it to the next kid, who says she’s going to get her permit this weekend.

And someday when I am out of debt and I have a nice clean vehicle, someday when I’m in my 60’s, my teenage son will ask for the keys.

Teenagers and Cellphones. The world has changed.

It has been a long time since Erma talked about teenagers dragging the family phone into the closet.  Just this year, everyone in my family now has their own phone.

Yes, this does make it easy to track kids down.  I can nag them with multiple texts asking where they are, who they are talking to, and ask for a picture of them in the place they are supposed to be wearing what they left the house in and holding a piece of paper with a code word on it that I just gave to them and then forgot so that they could have written “Where’s Waldo?” and I would be happy thinking they knew the code word and were not using old pictures they had taken of friends or classrooms or the stage at the auditorium and were really doing drugs on the hillside above the “shortcut” home which is really a code word for drugee hangout.

Now you might say, why don’t you use the gps ap. that cellphones have to track children.  I tried!  The website to set it all up wouldn’t work and I ended up locking my own phone out of being about to make any changes on anything and I had to call the phone company every time I wanted something and sit on hold for two and a half hours until a human came on and scared me out of my coma.

And it can track phones within 5 miles, which pretty much covers my entire town.  They could be in the bottom of the skate park, hiding down by the river, or in the school library making out with some little boy and I would still have to stalk them by posting on their facebook page “Child has disappeared.  Please tell me if you see her.”

Speaking of which, they do all kinds of things with their phones that are incomprehensible to me.  I know they can connect to facebook and email.  They make up their own ringtones.  They might even store music, which makes those Ipods I bought them all obsolete.  They take better pictures than I can take with my camera.  I think they might even be able to wipe their own asses with a puff of air that comes out of the microphone because I rarely find remnants of toilet paper in the toilet when they became unable to flush because they are texting with one hand and applying eyeliner with the other.

At night I collect all the phones because  I have this old fashioned belief that they will sleep better if they can’t talk to anyone, despite the fact that they still have Ipods, a kindle, 3 DS’s, a laptop, and might be connected to wifi through their navels now that babies are born with an internal wifi card and an attraction to any screen (Seriously, you should see the speed with which my baby crawls toward a laptop or phone.  It’s like a horror movie possessed baby crawl, head upside down and limbs turning in the wrong directions and crawling faster than a tarantula in my nightmares.)

And then I’ll be sitting, no, lounging sprawled, on the couch after work, where I go to pay for all these gadgets that I don’t even understand and my phone will go off in the kitchen with the drumroll tone that I use for texts because it is the ONLY thing that makes me feel special and I will spend every ounce of energy pulling my limbs together to make the trip to go find out what is so important, only the find that the child who was sitting on the couch across from me asked me a question.  A question like “Can I go see a friend?” Or “What’s for dinner?”  I swear they will eventually lose the ability to speak and their lips will move and no sound will come out except a drumroll.

They will all lose their sight too before they become as old as I am.  Not only do they spend 18 hours a day with their noses 2 inches from a screen, squinting at the flashing images (and another 5 hours every night hiding under the covers on their beds), but they can text without looking faster than I can speak.  The first time I texted, after they spend 3 hours showing me over and over how to hold the keys down until the next letter comes up, I was so slow that they laughed and slapped each other on the backs with an enthusiasm I haven’t seen since . . . ever, because they can never all agree that the same thing is funny because that would make them too similar and WE CAN’T HAVE THAT.  I’ve even see them pick up their little brother and tap on his belly and then stop and realize that no one is receiving the message they just sent, or are they?