Take 5…

So… I’ve hit that point when the task is too onerous so it’s easier to just do nothing…

Except write a post about my chicks… who well and truly dominate my life and thoughts of late… No rest for the wicked? No life of my own? Something…

A rant to clear the mess in my head so I can focus on work once more…

Baby Wizard asked for a bin for his room this afternoon.. and then, for the first time in his 8 and a half years on this planet, he cleaned his room, filling his bin… and then went round the house until it was completely full and he could empty it into the big bin. If I’d realised this is all it would take, I’d have given him half a dozen bins years ago…

Baby Dragon is not happy. She is 10 and has hit the wonderfully moody, hormonal stage of life. That last spike before puberty comes along. Soooo much fun… Her drama, other than extreme moods, is that wonderfully bitchy world that 10 year olds seem to inhabit… She’s not happy that I had a few truths to impart about sitting around with a friend, bitching about another friend who isn’t present… I’m such a loving and understanding mum, that I also asked if she was crying because she was sad she was mean to her friend, or if it was because she was in trouble…. Definitely a winning mum moment there :/

Teen Princess is off to Byron for schoolies tomorrow and I can’t even let my brain go there and stress… They’re driving… Five teens in a car – I think three can drive… A loooonnnnggggg trip. :/

Teen Knight… oh… where to start… I don’t have the skills. Or the crystal ball. I want someone to wave a wand… Sudden flurry of movement in the house this afternoon and lots of whispers and vibes… What’s going on?… It seems that when my darling boys had been out and about yesterday afternoon, some rough play became very rough… Sigh… Parents here are so calm and reasonable. So quiet and sweet. I’m not cut from that cloth. Master Knight takes the stance – that one where the shoulders are back and he’s on his toes, chin high… My eyes narrow as I realise what he is doing… The other parent is calm… understanding that things get a little out of hand sometimes but ‘we don’t like bullies’… Part of my inner mumma bear surfaces at the passive aggressive crap spewing from her mouth – I have zero patience for people who need to do the whole holier than thou act… But I rein this in as it’s not the issue. The issue is that my 15 year old took his 8 year old brother out to the common area and proceeded to take things too far with a group of 11-12 year old boys. The passive aggressive mother left with a sweet smile and the calm assurance that she’s lived here for 11 years and there’s never been a bully before and they won’t allow one now… My rational brain struggles at this moment – trying not to look at her as if she has grown a second head… WTF? A. What does it matter how long you’ve lived here? B. You’re not Queen. C. If you’re freaking annoyed, say so. D. Don’t walk into my back yard uninvited and start talking to my sons without speaking to me. E… Shall I continue? But again, this is not the issue… this is just that part of me that struggles with passive aggressive, manipulative, control freaks… and that is not relevant at this moment. What is relevant is the 15 year old who is still holding his stance and saying – yep. yep. yep at this woman… and I watch as yet another adult think he has heard them, think he has understood their reasoning… Or is it simply that they see the obvious and run? She leaves… I turn on him. His stance changes. I am furious. I rant. He doesn’t listen. He’s intent on saying his own piece and I am not yet ready to hear it. I rant some more. And some more. He says something in his own defense. I rant more. There is no defense. They are kids. You are picking a fight. And finally… I pull out that line I reserve for very special occasions… I just can’t believe you’d do this, I’m so incredibly disappointed… and there it is. Said…. And he rejoins with – you’re not as disappointed in me as I am…

I can’t do this parenting gig. I can’t get it right. I have no idea what to say.

We calm. We talk. He tells me he just wants to fight someone. He wants to hit someone and make them hurt. That anger has never actually abated… still simmering… still trapped as he tries to control it…

And in the midst of everything… the phones and devices ping and ring as his father tries to call… And there it is. Or so much of it. His father is angry because he won’t answer the phone. It’s the most bizarre thing. His father told him he went to the Knight’s best friend’s house Friday for a handyman job. The Knight said – they would have told me if you did. And from that… all hell has broken loose.

I’ve forgotten how fragile this child is. How much this child is trying to hold the world together… His father sends me ridiculous texts throughout the week and I ignore them. He rings and I tell him to go away. If he rings persistently, I answer and leave it on speaker, only partially listening to whatever rubbish he needs to spew this time. But mostly, I just ignore him these days. I’ve learned to call his bluff. I’ve learned to ignore him.

But this child hasn’t worked that out yet. He’s still not strong enough.

So when his father texts me: you know he’s drinking all your alcohol – he’s drinking it right now!… I simply look at my son and think – umm, no he’s not… But my child isn’t able to do this… and his father knows it… so he texts him constantly telling him that he’s an alcoholic and he’s having withdrawal… And I have to wonder – woah, the child has only been here just over a week, how can he be an addict unless you were aware he was drinking all your alcohol at your place??? He texts him more abuse – constant and frequent… swearing, name calling, threats… The child has a new phone number so the father can’t ring him – he’s not aware he has one – but he calls the other kids, calls me, texts through social media… threats and abuse… constant…

So I don’t know how to parent… but in the scheme of things, I’m doing better than the sperm donor…

Apparently, their father tells them frequently that I am angry and bitter and jealous that he is doing so well because he is about to buy a third house… He can’t understand that I am more saddened that he will buy more and more and more… but he won’t spend that on his children. I’ve just signed paperwork I organised to allow him to only pay a pittance for the next three years – my final move in the bid to get my child back without the backlash the child isn’t strong enough to withstand… So he gave me the child with one hand as he took the paperwork in the other… and now he’s realised he’s lost any control…

The Knight tells me he is making a bid for the Dragon, but I won’t allow any of them to go again. I will fight tooth and nail this time. I won’t let another suffer. I am stronger now.

But the Knight tells me: mum, he thinks you are bitter and jealous that he is more successful and has more stuff…. but I haven’t told him mum… I haven’t said to him – dad, look around you… where are the kids?

 

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alice

I’ve loved this quote since I can remember… it just sums up my days so well at times 🙂

I knew who I was yesterday. I knew the path I was on and the vague direction I was heading… but three simple conversations, a text message and an overheard plan… and a new path has appeared to the right…

Three conversations. All about the other person. One has finally left his unhappy marriage, one is not coping with the twists of life, and one has just had his heart broken…

A text message, or lack thereof… one of those ones that just seems to clarify you’re making the same mistakes….

An overheard plan – hatched by my two munchkins… They’d asked if this course was possible and I said – sure, but your father will object…. and suddenly, they are chatting to each other and their friends, working out how to make this a reality…

And suddenly… I find my world is tilted yet again and that path I was on no longer holds appeal… I find myself physically leaning to the right as these thoughts swirl… towards that new path…

I need silence and I need words…

Please don’t grant me strength…

dd

He got married yesterday – which is great – because he’s (mostly) now leaving me alone. People seem to think I’ll be bothered… and it’s odd… there’s a part of me that IS bothered… but it’s bothered that I made such a bad choice for a husband and the father of my children.

Not for a second have I regretted leaving. So many people told me I’d have doubts… but not one.

I was sifting through paperwork last night, trying to find evidence of qualifications… my paperwork methods really leave a lot to be desired… Sifting through emails… found some relevant documents… and found some old emails from the first 18 months after the split. The abuse. The insanity. The threats. The manipulation.

So I was already feeling a bit rattled… going back down that path is hard…

The kids are there for the wedding. They’re on a train home at the moment actually. The eldest went – the first time in a very long time. He dropped the kids home on 3rd January. They’re there for the wedding this wknd. He wants them for Easter. I said no.

Because, you see… he sold his kids out. All he wanted was the money. So I gave him the money, and he gave me the kids. I can’t seem to make anyone understand. The legal papers state he is entitled to every second weekend and from Boxing Day until New Years Eve. A phone call on a Wednesday evening between 7 and 7:30PM. That’s it! Anything else can be granted, but is not mandatory.

I don’t stop my kids from seeing their father. Ever. He sees them for a weekend every 2 to 3 months – his choice. He was living here for 5 months, knowing for 3 and a half that we were moving here. Two days before we arrived, he took a job near his new girlfriend’s town – a girlfriend he had known for two weeks. Yes, he married her yesterday, but he chose her over seeing his kids, after knowing her for only two weeks.

He wants Easter. I said no. I don’t argue, it’s just not going to happen. Ever. I have the legal documents. I have photos of him still in bed every year on Christmas, Easter and birthday mornings (the birthdays he was there for). He never cared about those occasions. He cared about what presents he received and what food and alcohol was on the table. That was it.

So my eldest has sent me a text. Dad and the whole family have convinced the kids to come here for Easter. All of them, mum. The whole family. Everyone has been at them about it the whole time.

So I am furious. It’s not going to happen. He can take it up with the courts. But yet again I am the ‘bad person’. Every time they come home… “Mummy, if we moved to *** we could see daddy all the time”…. Umm, no…. daddy moved there, we’re not going…. “Mummy, daddy said if I go and live with them I can have an iPad”…. Umm, you have an iPad! “But I’m not allowed to take it to daddy’s place, but if I move there, I can have one for there and one for here”… Umm, you’re not moving to your dad’s…

Eleven more years of schooling. Eleven more years of this manipulation.

Someone… please find me that patience….

  
These two are often mistaken for twins – similar height and build, and so insanely close… But there’s 20 months between them 🙂

It’s hard to explain the bond. I keep trying. People meet them and ‘get it’… As I said, they’re often mistaken for twins… 

The older two were typical siblings – sometimes they got along and sometimes they didn’t. 

These two…

In the car yesterday, young miss decided to tell him: your Instagram photos suck! They’re really bad. Boring. You need to… 

The oldest child freaked at this point telling we her how mean she was being. The not-twins looked at her like she’s grown two heads… Looked at each other… Burst out giggling and started to whisper about how stupid the oldest is… 

Just then, they were sitting the rabbits for a cuddle… Don’t forget your jacket! Can you get mine, too? 

I was thinking – they’re an old married couple… Getting jackets? It’s not that cold…. Ah! The claws need trimming so they’re looking out for each other. 

Even when they bicker, the bond is there. They yell at each other, name call, whatever… And if I intervene… I’m the one shot down! 

Lately, they’re back to being sneaky… Midnight last night and I discovered them both in the top bunk with iPods and headphones playing some game… Usually, it’s the midnight snack I find the remains of when I move the bed to vacuum… 

They practise sneaking up on me… They’re getting quite good at it! Not every time… But some times… I can hear one trying now 😉

Mother love…

Lying in bed this morning, trying to convince myself I needed to get up… the kids hadn’t bothered me…. no real plans for the day….

My phone rang… My mother…

It’s been a while… and I like it that way… I’ve come to the point this year where I’m happy to just not hear from any of them…

But… it’s her birthday on Wednesday and Christmas on Friday… and I really don’t have the right to stop them from seeing my children…

So, I decided to answer and have any harsh words said today, rather than on Wednesday or Friday.

Me: Hey. What’s wrong? (because she only calls with bad news)

Her: I was going to come and visit…

Me: What? Today?!? Oh…

Her: Yes, are you busy?

Me: (thinking of a million and one possible excuses… but deciding to be noble) Um, no… just going to the markets, but that’s not important…

Her: Oh… I thought you’d be busy… You’re always busy…

Me: No, no… we’re about…

Her: Well… it will be 10 before I even get there so the day is already half over (it is??)… So maybe I’ll come over in the New Year…

Me: Sure thing…

Her: I thought you’d be busy… You’re always busy…

Me: Yes, you said…

So! I am happy because I rose above my own desires and opened the door a crack… and she is happy because she can tell everyone she tried… Win-win!

Watching a TV show with my 16 year old and she said – I want an Alba! My reply? Don’t we all…

An Alba. An Alice. A mother…. one of those nurturing ones…

Obviously, I am failing at meeting these needs…. although she claimed that I am a great mother, but she wants the grandmother… She has 3, none of whom she has seen or heard from in a long time…. none of whom have ever worked out the nurturing part of parenting….

It’s days like today when I particularly want an Alba of my own… or, as discussed with the teen, perhaps just someone who makes me a priority… Mild concussion, a pulled muscle in my back, too much work to catch up on and kids who need love and adoration… Today, I would love an Alba…

But do they even exist? Did they ever? This brings me to one of my favourite soap boxes… the cyclic nature of our generations.

We seem so focused on the inherent narcissism of the youth of today. So many catch phrases. So much condemnation. But! We seem to forget… someone created them…

I’m part of society’s middle child – Gen X… and I am a middle child… so I’m personally blaming the Baby Boomers. The narcissists currently ruling our society. The narcissists quick to point out the flaws of our youth, and the parents raising them…

The Battlers did it tough – two wars and the Depression… so they created an incredible world and doted on their Baby Boomer children.

These BBs then found themselves in an adult world with low interest rates, low mortgages, low cost of living, jobs aplenty… innovation and change… everything at their feet…

Then came poor Gen X – the middle children. Raised in the shadow of their glorious parents. Raised in a world of fear – the Iron Curtain, The Berlin Wall, the Cold War, AIDS and HIV…. Raised to know they were never good enough and never going to be…

And now. The BBs refuse to step aside. They insist on working – not because they need to or even because they particularly love their jobs, but because they can’t let someone else take over… take the glory…

The narcissists of the adult world – belittling others, seeing no fault in themselves, unable to let someone else have the limelight… They’ve left a world where the cost of living is no longer tenable, where housing is unaffordable for most, where jobs just can’t be found (because they won’t leave!)…. and where they look at the youth and use their favourite art form… projection….

So Alba… was she ever real? Or just the fantasy of a narcissistic generation. The projection of the self they want the world to see….