Bitchfest

I’d like to welcome the ever-popular Anonymous to my blog. She’s here to bitch and boy, does she have a good one. It’s part of the Bitchfest put on by Her Bad Mother. Bitch on, people. It’s quite therapeutic. Especially when you can do it anonymously.

ETA: Mine will be up sometime this weekend, at another blog. If you want to read it, feel free to email me and I’ll send you the link.

When the man-who-would-be-Hubbz and I started to really get serious, we used to talk about lucky we were that our families were so great, so supportive, so non-drama-causing. We had friends whose own families or future in-laws would do the most selfish, meanest, rage-inducing things to them. And it broke my heart to see my friends suffering at the hands of their own families. Hubbz would just sit back and say, “If that happened to me, I’d say ‘Screw you. You don’t support my new wife? That’s your problem.” Cough, cough, ahem… if only.

My struggles with my ILs, my FIL in particular, are well documented on my own blog. But I always feel that I have to restrain myself because my husband will stop by from time to time unannounced. He claims it’s to check in on me to see how I’m doing when he’s traveling (I suffer from depression and am not always great at expressing myself and how I’m feeling to him), but more often that not, his visits correspond with an incident with the ILs that has set me off and we end up in a fight because Why didn’t I just tell him what was wrong? He has to find out by reading my blog? Something that anyone else in the world can read?

Well, yes. Actually. Because that’s the only place I feel safe in honesty and openly expressing myself. You see, he never says “Screw you” to his family when they treat me like shit or act inappropriately. He says “They didn’t mean it. That’s how they are. You have to deal with it.” And I can’t imagine a less supportive thing.

They are a clan, Hubbz and his family. They lived on the opposite end of the country from their extended families during their formative years as a family and they are a tight-knit gang of four. And they can do no wrong. If you ask them, at least.

Hubbz and I have never had bigger arguments than when we butt heads about his family. And he always takes their side, even when he says he’s taking my side. Because he never actually does or says anything to try and change their attitude or behavior.

My FIL is openly hostile to me at times, to the point where I’ve been brought to tears (in private, I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of crying in front of him). Hubbz says he understands why I’m upset and that his dad was out of line. But only to me. Never to him. FIL disguises his passive-aggressiveness with laughter. If he says something nasty, but does it with a smile on his face, he can always fall back on the “What? I was only joking” excuse if I ever push back.

It’s gotten to a point where I am actively resentful of him and everything he says and does. I I question the motives behind every conversation, every suggestion. And I absolutely dread spending time with my ILs. I expect our get togethers to go badly, and they often do. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps. But I can only let so much go. I can only ignore the veiled insults and second guessing for so long.

Every decision we make in our lives – for ourselves, for our children, for our family in general – he feels the need to comment on. He treats his children as though they are incapable of making a decision unless he first points out every single obvious question they should answer or issue they should consider. He is an over-bearing know it all, who, more often than not, knows absolutely nothing about what he’s talking about. He’s an obnoxious blowhard who always has to be the center of attention, even at the expense of his own grandchildren. He’s controlling and domineering over his wife and children, and it absolutely makes my skin crawl.

I know he has a lot of good qualities as well, but it is very hard for me to see them most days. I find myself wondering what our life will be like after he’s gone and we’re no longer under his thumb, and I know that makes me a horrible person. I would never wish ill of him, but I have to say there’s a part of me that will be breathing a sigh of relief when the sad day comes.

It’s that bad. And I can’t talk to Hubbz about it because he just gets defensive and starts pointing out things my family does to irritate him. Oh really? My dad is a low-talker, so it’s hard for you to have a conversation with him? And no one in my family likes sports so you don’t have anyone to talk to at family gatherings? Wah wah… at least no one is flinging passive aggressive arrows directly at you. And only you.

That’s what gets me. No one else gets this treatment. My BIL – the other member of the family by marriage – gets treated like a second class citizen along with me, and my boys get the shaft in terms of time and attention. But no one else gets attacked so directly.

And I don’t know what I did to deserve it. Other than be myself. And stand up to him. And be sarcastic and joke around with him and – gasp! – not treat him like he walks on water or put him on a pedestal. I treat him like I treat every one else I know. But the difference is his self-esteem is so wrapped up in feeling revered and being the center of attention that he doesn’t know how to take my ribbing and well-meaning barbs.

Now, I will say that 90% of our interactions are perfectly pleasant. But the 10% that isn’t has just ruined our relationship. They put me in therapy. Well, not literally. But last year when I was in therapy, after I got through the initial issues I was trying to work through, the remaining time was spent talking about them. What they did to undermine my parenting. What they said to me or about me. I finally had to quit because I could bitch about my ILs to my girlfriends over cocktails. I didn’t need to pay someone $150 for that. That, and the more I talked about it, the madder I got. I wasn’t able to just talk about it and move on like I can with other issues. The talking about it only brought it closer to the surface and made me realize how powerless I am do do anything about it. I finally resigned myself to the fact that I’m just going to have to take it – with a smile on my face – to keep Hubbz happy and to not impact my boys’ relationship with their grandparents.

I don’t really know how to end this, other than to thank Julia for letting me spew a little bile all over her pretty little place in cyberspace. I’ve said things here I’ve never said out loud to anyone. Not my husband. Not my therapist. Not even to my girlfriends over cocktails. And it does feel good to get them out of my head. Maybe I can try to let go a little bit now. Yeah right…MIL’s birthday party is this weekend so I’m in full-on dread mode right now. Pass me the chardonnay folks.

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A Previously Unknown Type Of Dinosaur

Just about every time I change The Bug, she slaps her crotch and yells “Bum!” really loudly. Yes, I know this is a little weird and no, I don’t know where she got it from.

Recently, in an effort to get her to stop shrieking “Bum!” for all the neighbours to hear, I started correcting her.

“No, honey, that’s your vagina.”

Puzzled look and a pause.

“Oh. A vaginasaur! Raaaaaaaar!!”

(I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.)

She is woman, hear her vaginasaur.

I Need Help

Yesterday’s episode is pretty much what it’s like around here all day, every day, only with a lot more yelling. And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of feeling thisclose to being completely out of control with my kids. I’m tired of yelling. I’m tired of feeling constantly annoyed by them. It sucks, but I don’t know how to end that cycle.

They do not listen. Even when I get down to their level and explain calmly and firmly that I don’t want them to do X, Y or Z. The second I let them go, they run off to do X, Y or Z. Usually, it’s Boo doing this, but The Bug will follow her lead, more often than not. There are consequences when this happens – they have to stop playing outside, the TV gets shut off, whatever. But it does no good. The behavior continues until I’m ready to shriek and start throwing things.

What do you do when you’re at the end of your rope, when you just can’t take it any more? Because what I’m doing? So. Not. Working. I’m getting a panicky, desperate feeling about it and I don’t like feeling this way about my children.

Scenes

Scene: The backyard. Sunny, slight breeze, lots of brightly coloured, plastic toys to play with.

Me: Bug, don’t eat the dirt.
Me: Boo, stop chewing leaves.
Me: Girls, get out of the dirt. Play with your toys.
Me: Boo, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Bug, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Boo, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Bug, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Boo, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Bug, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Boo, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Bug, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Boo, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Bug, stop hitting your sister.
Me: If I have to say it one more time, we’re going in.
Me: Boo, stop hitting your sister.
Me: Bug, stop hitting your sister.
Me: OK, that’s it, we’re going in.

Later, inside, girls are at the table, eating PB&J and grapes.

Me: Bug, don’t take your sandwich apart.
Me: Boo, stop spitting out the grapes.
Me: Bug, stop smooshing the grapes.
Me: Boo, eat.
Me: Bug, eat.
Me: Girls, eat or you’re going down for your naps right now.
Me: watching as they don’t eat.
Me: I said you need to eat.
Me: watching as they still don’t eat.
Me: OK, that’s it, time for bed.

Later, at the ghetto mall.

Me: OK, ladies, we have to hold hands in the parking lot.
Me: Bug, you have to hold my hand.
Me: Boo, you have to hold O’s hand.
Me: Bug, you have to hold my hand.
Me: Boo, you have to hold O’s hand.
Me: Bug, you have to hold my hand.
Me: Boo, you have to hold O’s hand.
Me: Bug, you have to hold my hand.
Me: Boo, you have to hold O’s hand.
Me: Boo, stop climbing on the racks.
Me: Boo, hold. my. hand.
Me: OK, Bug, that’s it, I’m carrying you.
Me: No, you can’t get down, you won’t hold my hand.
Me: thinking, God, I am SO never doing this again.
Me: Boo, watch where you’re walking, you just ran into that lady.
Me: Boo, don’t take your shoes off in the middle of the aisle.
Me: (upon taking Boo into the bathroom and discovering she’s been going commando all day) Boo, where are your underpants? Never mind, I don’t want to know.

There were variations on this same conversation all. fucking. day.

I just get so sick of repeating the same thing again and again and again.

Is there a reason they never listen?

Please tell me this phase won’t last much longer because I may lose my mind.

File Under: Information I Did Not Need

If you read Sweetney, you’ve already seen this, but I had to share, too.

I’m never going to get this out of my head now.

LeRoi Moore

LeRoi Moore, one of the founding members of the Dave Matthews Band died.

I love DMB. Love their sound, love the lyrics, love that they noodle around with horns, drums and guitars when they play live. They always make me smile, always make me a little happier.

My favourite Dave song. Because I am a sap at heart.
Shh. Don’t tell.
(The real video for this is disabled.)

RIP

On The Porch

It’s very late and by all rights I should be in bed. But instead, I’m sitting on my front porch. It’s full of boxes, but my bookshelves are out here and loaded with books and I have a few of my bits and bobs about that make me smile. I’m having a beer (and a cigarette – hush, it’s my secret vice) and enjoying not doing anything.

Not that I don’t have anything to do, far from it. There are mounds of boxes to unpack and things that need to be put and placed and arranged, but you know what? I’m tired. My feet hurt. My legs hurt. My shoulders hurt.

But mostly, my heart hurts.

You see, I started working this weekend. Perfect timing, no? Let’s move our entire apartment and while I’m at it, let’s start a new job and work the entire weekend. Almost as much fun as a root canal.

Working is fine. It is what it is – cashiering at Tarjay Booteek. It’s not very challenging; it borders on mindless. It’s a pay check.

But I miss my babies. For the last 4 or 5 days, they’ve been in O’s hands, for the most part, because I’ve been packing or unpacking or working. And it sucks. They come to me, faces filthy from playing in the back yard, wanting a drink or food or a cuddle and I give them what they need and then go right back to packing or unpacking or working.

It’s not so bad when they’re here and I’m here because I know they’re just steps away. If I want to, I can take a break for 10 minutes and go play with them, help them drive their little cars around the yard, give them kisses and snuggles and reprimands as needed.

But when I’m at work, and someone comes thru my lane with a little blond girl who smiles at me and starts chattering or when a woman with a baby is there, cooing over her child, I just want to go home and be with them, to scoop them up and inhale their lovely little girl selves until I’m satiated.

And I can’t do that all the time now.

And it hurts.

Call Me Sisyphus

Bllllllaaaaaargh.

I am so tired.

We are moving tomorrow. Again. And while I’m looking forward to living in our new digs, I loathe moving. The packing. The unpacking. It’s so tedious and never ending. Especially when trying to do it with toddlers.

Our new landlord seems like a very nice guy. However, he has horrible taste in paint (by his own admission.)

Witness. You may want to don shades first.

Teal. Very, very, very teal.

Which is next to the mauve. It’s like an 80s flashback.
Only without the hair. And jelly bracelets.

Reallyreallyreally ridiculously lavender.


And tangerine. Covering every colour option, really.

But the back yard is lovely. And mowable.
It has a huge maple tree, perfect for hanging
a wooden swing from. And the grass is lush and
inviting. Yesterday, the three girls were lying on
their backs, watching the clouds go by and I felt at
peace, and at home. And that? Felt fantastic.

(Now who wants to help me paint?)

I Win!

This is The Bug.

Cute, no? (Just say yes. She’s ADORABLE, OK?)

The Scene:

Our apartment. Both toddlers are apparently sound asleep upstairs.

Cue massive thunder and lightning (because, hey, why not? It does it every. fucking. day. No lie. I don’t know when Massachusetts got transported to the fucking Amazon, but enough is enough. Ark? Pah. We’re gonna need a bigger boat.)

Bang! Smash! Boom! *massive flashes of lightning* The rain falls. Sideways. And hard.

From upstairs, a little voice yells:

“NO, main! No, no, no!”

More crashing, smashing and booming. More lightning.

“Stop it! You stop it. It maining. No more main!”

Ten minutes of her yelling at the rain and thunder and lightning.

Finally, it stops.

And then, that little voice yells again:

“I win!”

What The Hell Is Wrong With Me?

I was reading Elizasmom’s recap of the Bruce Springsteen show this past weekend at Foxboro, grinning at the thought of her making signs to get Bruce’s attention, of the fun she had at the show and suddenly I’m in fucking tears. Why??? I’m pretty jealous that she was able to go, but it’s not like it’s her fault I have no money. And believe me, she kept asking if there wasn’t some way I could go.

And man, did I want to go. So, so badly. I tried a million different ways to figure out a way to come up with the money but nothing doing.

I don’t think I’ve cried over missing a concert since I was about 14 years old. It’s kind of ridiculous and more than a little embarrassing.

So what the hell is my problem? I’m not pregnant – that’s not even possible any more. Is it because The Bug turns two tomorrow? Am I PMSing? Have I really not gotten past high school, emotionally?

I guess I’ll have a lot of fodder for the therapist on Thursday.

*siiiiiigh* *sniffle*

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