Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When someone hurts your baby Part II

To understand, please read this.

I am not the type to threaten people.  Even at work when someone is really really screwing up, I do not threaten them to correct their bad work behavior because it really doesn't work.  I have threatened to "ground" Parker from his toys as a way to get through to him when he is in the 6 year old tunnel vision of a fit or whatever you want to call his bad attitude driven behavior, but over all, it is not my favorite tactic.  I feel like communication about the issue is better for most circumstances.

When this event first happened, a close friend told me to just drop the "L" (lawyer) word and I would get my money back asap.  At that point, getting a refund for the camp that I had planned on paying for wasn't my first thought.  I wanted people to be held accountable and educated on the need for everyone to use sunscreen, not just my pale ass kid.  But after about a week, and giving my self enough time to step back, I realized (with the help of everyone) that by not asking for them to compensate me in any form, that it would be much more likely for their negligence to affect another family and also that it was still the easy way out for them.  Pay me to not go to the Health Board or to not go to the Ohio Licensing office for Daycare facilities or the media or the Mayor or who ever.  It was still the only thing I could think about even though Parker's shoulders were nearly done peeling.  So I decided that I would email the same guy that offered me the full refund in the first place.  I didn't ask for the full amount back, but for compensation for his doctor's visit and the weeks after the incident happened.  That was about a week and a half ago.  I have gotten no response.  Monday was Parker's first day back to being allowed to swim and play outside.  I told one of the workers that in the morning and wrote a note for her to pass along to his main counselor, but just to ensure that the communication chain wouldn't break down again.....I emailed the head of the Rec Center to let him know (the same guy who offered me the refund, and who I had emailed multiple times before) and within a 2 hours I was emailed back saying that he would absolutely pass along the message to the entire staff.  2 hours!  Of course I started thinking that the email involving the $ amount didn't go through so I checked my sent messages.....it definitely did!  I was telling a friend of mine last night (who works in a daycare facility and used to be Parker's care provider), and she said to email him again just to make sure he received the first one.  Thinking that I would get a response like it did yesterday morning, I re-emailed him about 24 hours ago and nada.  I am pissed.  Probably more pissed than I was the day I walked in and Parker had massive blisters on his shoulders.  So now, do I drop the "L" word?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Missing Toys

Parker has been out of town a lot with his Grandpa this summer.  It is a great way for him to bond with my dad and have quality guy to guy time, which I have a hard time providing.  It is hard on me though because I am internally lonely without him in the same city as me.  It is also hard on my house because I find my self at mr's house the entire time Parker is out of town.  I am not complaining at all, it has been a great summer thus far.  mr and I have grown closer and it feels wonderful to wake up next to him on the weekdays too.  But, it is hard on my house because I am not here to keep it spotless while Parker is gone.  This last trip he took to Michigan, I decided it is was time to tackle his room.  The common areas of the house stay decently clean, and he does a great job of picking up his toys from the living room when it is that time, but I have let him neglect his room.  I know, tsk tsk Mom....but.....well, I was trying to think of a reason why  was letting him do that and I can't....so again, tsk tsk Mom.  It was beyond anything he could manage on his own, so I told him I would do that for him while he was with Grandpa.  Now, to set this straight.....I was very very clear that he would come home to less toys.  He understands donating things and that it means that other kids who don't have as much as him can then have a little more when he donates his stuff.  The last time we tried to clean out his toys together, he got rid of about 5 on his own....which is good considering how hard it is to part with those cheap toys you get at McDonald's *sarcasm.*  I made it explicitly clear that I was getting rid of enough stuff to make enough room for he recently received birthday toys.  He said "ok."  In fact, he even said "Thank you for doing this for me Mommy, thank you."

So that is what I dedicated my first Friday without him to, cleaning out his room.  Boxing clothes, toys, stuffed animals, all with the mind of what he does and does not play with anymore.  I did a very good job.  His room looks amazing.  We donated about 3 boxes of toys and like 5 of clothes.  There were some questionable items that I got rid of, like the toys that he would play with once every 3 months.  So that was that.  We took all the stuff to Vincent De Paul's, and that is the end of it.  I was so excited for him to see is room, that I called him that day, and again, we discussed that there would be less toys.

Fast forward to yesterday.  He is playing and super excited about how his room looks.  He typically doesn't play in there but he was all about it yesterday.  Until, he came out crying.  I thought he was hurt until he calmed down enough to ask where his McDonald's cash register was......let me tell you, he has not played with that thing since at least Christmas or before!  In fact he would play with it with his kitchen and we gave his kitchen and dishes to Quinn for Christmas so I know it hasn't been since then!  And oh the tears!  Like I donated his most coveted cars or super heroes or star wars guys!  Tears tears tears!  I was thinking to myself....great, he is going to notice every last thing that I got rid of!  He calmed down.  Finally.  But that is just the beginning.  He still, a day later has not opened his closest yet to see that his big trucks, that had dust on them, are gone.  He did just come out looking for his road cones, which I will give him, I should have kept.  I thought I did.  So word to the wise.....I have no advice on how to get rid of the old toys our kids no longer use on a daily basis!  We can't keep these toys forever but we can't get rid of them either!  Next time I think I will try a garage sale and he can keep the money from what he sells, maybe that will end the sorrow over the toys that have left his life.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Destroyer

If you don't already know Lauren Moyer, you should.  She is this amazing artist who is not only talented with a brush and canvas but her artisticness (I think I made that word up) goes much further.  Lauren has her own fashion blog....let me tell you, I have been jealous of the different looks that she can pull off for years now.  But she can also sew, crochet and design her own clothes or art.  She has mixed needlepoint with her painting and has made these cute little stuffed owls (I am still waiting on mine, I think they are back ordered).  She has so many talents that go beyond her art to cooking, writing, bike riding for hours and hours, training her dog, listening, giving advice, and making you view the world a little differently.  I have said before that I wish I could see what the world looks like through her eyes with her talent just for a day so that I can better understand her.  We have had our dfferences over the past 25 years but we are in a place of friendship and appriciation for each other now, well, at least that is how I view our relationship and I hope that she agrees.

Lauren is on the precipice of one of the most profound journey's she will ever embark.  She is soon moving from Detriot, her home for the past 7 years, to live in Ohio for a month before moving to San Fransisco.  Lauren is no stranger to moving far away from home; when she was 17 she moved to Brasil to study abroad for 6 months.  It was hard on her at first, but it helped her grow as a person so much that I can't image who she would be if she hadn't gone.  This voyage is different though, she is not leaving for a temporary 6 month stent, but to live, work and to thrive on the west coast.  It is a bittersweet journey as well.  She imagined doing this with her ex-fiance one day......but note the word "ex."  Like many have told her already, and I will not spend much time on this, but it is completely his loss in life because of how amazing Lauren is and because she does have this drive to go beyond what is safe for her in Detroit, he could not see beyond his safety net and was too cowardly to take the step that Lauren in about to take.  Unlike him, Lauren is brave.  She is much braver than she knows which is frustrating but exciting.  I get frustrated because I can see it in her.  I can see her success.  I can see her finding out so much about herself that she doesn't know is there.  But she can't see it yet.  It is exciting because she will and she will call me and tell me all about what she is doing out there and how challenging it is but how she is over coming those challenges.  She will tell about the people she is meeting and how she is finding her niche through old friends who are already there and the new friends that keep her going.  She will change.  She will grow.  She will find a strength inside that she has never had to use.

Maybe that is the part that excites me the most.  We Moyer girls are very independent individuals.  There is no way to argue that point at all.  It is the environment that we grew up in but we have all expressed it differently.  Lauren has shown it through her ability and willingness to travel.  While she and Jen both went to school outside the state, she is the only one who has moved away from Ohio.  That has been her independance.  She had been in a relationship for 5 years and when anyone is in a relationship for an extended amount of time, they grow dependant on the other person, which is natural.  She has been living alone for months now and has been successful.  Living by yourself is difficult, but it is a huge learning process.  You discover when you need to ask for help and when you need to push yourself to figure it out on your own.  She is doing it well in Detroit but will get even better at it when she is in California.

I told her recently that I can't wait to meet her again in a year.  It may sound silly because at her core, she has been the same since she was a little girl, but she will be so different in so many ways in one year that I can't wait to remeet my little sister.  She will have survived the move, the job search, the heartache for home and the Eastern time zone.  She will be beyond the initial "glam" of California and find her self in everyday life out there.  Her life will be there and I will be waiting to hear from her every time she calls.

Writing this about her is the first time that I have really truly thought about her moving across the country.  Yes, she has been in Michigan for years and years now and we don't see each other often as is, but we are in the same time zone.  We really don't talk on the phone much either, but there is something secure about know that your sister is waking up, eating lunch and dinner around the same time as you.  The climate is not terribly different between Ohio and Michigan either.  It is cooler up there, but summer here is summer there and so on and so forth.  I know I will miss her more once she is there.  Our birthdays will be harder this year.  I hated hers being the day before mine for so long but since we have lived away from each other, it doesn't feel like my birthday without celebrating hers at the same time.  I will miss her.  Ohio has missed her for some time but now Michigan will miss her as well.  I can't and won't be sad for too long thought because of how much this will influence her life.  I am too proud of her to be sad for too long.  I am too excited.  I am too envious of her to be sad.  She is doing something that I have always (since the age of 24), dreamed of doing.

Lauren, you are and always will be amazing.  You will have hard times but they will lessen with the amount of time you are there.  It will get easier and you will get stronger.  Everyday you will discover something new within your self.  You will find a job and you will make more beautiful art.  California called on you for your art before and they will call on you for more.  You will fall in love with that side of the world and although Ohio will always be home and the heart of it all, it is too small for you.  You need bigger.  You need more from a State and section of the country.  Never doubt yourself and your ability.  I love you and believe in you.  If you ever need a Lauren Pep Talk, you know who to call.  I am proud of you. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

You're Fucking Perfect

Please watch/listen/read the lyrics of this song first.

I remember last fall or early winter when I first heard this song, now I am not much of a pop music fan, and it really isn't my first choice of radio play unless I am at work.  Most of pop music is mindless and upbeat which is what I need first thing in the morning to keep me going through prep at work.  But this song caught my attention.  Out of all the pop female vocals, I can say that I do like the Pink more than others.  Sure I am a bit of a closet Brit fan because she became popular when I was in early high school, but Pink has a badass persona that I appreciate.  She doesn't seem to apologize for anything that she does, and again, I appreciate that.  I didn't know that it was by her the first time I heard it nor did I hear it all the way through, just bits and pieces caught my attention.

One afternoon, I was playing with Parker at mr's house and it came on the station that was playing.  I listened to the lyrics and they hit me.  I seriously started to tear up because of how familiar they felt to me.  I have been through those phases like so many others where it didn't matter how mean anyone else could have ever been to me because inside I was meaner and everything they were saying, I already knew.  I don't know why it hit me so hard that day because I have grown so much since I "disliked" who I was.  But as soon as I heard and paid attention to those lyrics, it brought me back to that girl who was lost and felt like she was making every wrong decision there was.  I hated the song after it revitalized all of those feelings.  I didn't want to remember how it felt to be so unhappy with my self.  But now I am glad that it did.

About a month after I listened to the words in that song, mr and I broke up.  It was very hard.  A friend of mine, Holly, emailed me a link to that song.  I listened to it and cried.  I cried so hard because she was showing me the different side to that song.  The over coming of your own "demons."  I heard it in a different light.  I still cried but I didn't feel like I was back to that bad decision girl, I realized I wasn't that person anymore, that I have overcome my demons and although I was in a dark time because of my break up with mr, I would overcome that too because I am "fucking perfect."

I am sure this post seems extremely random, and it really is because it is based on feelings that I had about myself 7 years ago, 6 months ago and 4 months ago.  I heard it the other day again, as many pop songs, it's radio play has lessened because of new release songs, and again, it was different for me, which is why I am writing about it now.

I think this song and message is so important and all young girls should listen to it.  There is a phase in young adolescents where all girls feel less about themselves.  For some girls, it is harder.  Or maybe other girls are able to hide their self doubt better than others.  It is a phase where you have no idea what you are doing, you are succumbing to the pressure of your peers and the pressures of the opposite sex.  Everything you are doing feels unnatural because most of those experiences are firsts.  Everything is done with a question mark at the end.  I wish that I could warn every girl about this time in their lives and just tell them to be true to their selves because who they are, who their inner core is, is so important and valuable.  It is naively hopeful that girls who are going through that phase hear and understand what these lyrics are saying.  But that's me.  I naively hope.

"Made a wrong turn
Once or twice
Dug my way out
Blood and fire
Bad decisions
That's alright
Welcome to my silly life
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss "no way it's all good"
It didn't slow me down
Always second guessing
Look, I'm still around...
Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like your less than
Fuckin' perfect
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You're fuckin' perfect to me
You're so mean
When you talk
About yourself
You are wrong
Change the voices
In your head
Make them like you
So complicated
Look how big you'll make it
Filled with so much hatred
Such a tired game

It's enough
I've done all i can think of
Chased down all my demons
see you same
Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like your less than
Fuckin' perfect
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You're fuckin' perfect to me
The world stares while i swallow the fear
The only thing i should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in lying and I tried tried
But we try too hard, it's a waste of my time
Done looking for the critics, cuz they're everywhere
They don't like my genes, they don't get my hair
Stringe ourselves and we do it all the time
Why do we do that?
Why do I do that?
Why do I do that?
Ooh, pretty pretty pretty,
Pretty pretty please don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less then, fuckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please if you ever ever feel
Like you're nothing you're fuckin' perfect, to me
You're perfect
You're perfect
Pretty, pretty please don't you ever ever feel like you're less then, fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please if you ever ever feel like you're nothing you're fucking perfect to me"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Those nights

As a single mom, there are those nights where you wish there was another adult present. When there is no getting through to your child and all communication between you and them just breaks down completely until you are both angry. These kind of nights are so unbelievably frustrating! We got home and within 10 mintues something small (taking the left over stuff from his lunch bag) turned into him having to sit on his bed because he wouldn't stop back talking, whining or crying! Nothing I was saying was helping, he wasn't responding to the time out......I just wanted to scream! Eventually, everything calms down and you have your sweet child back, but during those heated moments, a second adult would be so handy. Those moments make me question my ability as a parent. Those moments make me question, even if I do marry some day, if another adult is all it takes or if I will always be the person who has to handle the extreme moments.

He is sound asleep and has been for over an hour. The house is quiet but I am stil stewing with frustration. What could I have done differently to avoid the outburst? Does he really mean it when he tell me he doesn't like me? Is it another new adjustment of growing? Is he really starting his "I hate my mom" phase at 6? I don't think I could handle that! I know it is coming but I was prepared for it to start around 9 or 10, not now. Could his outburst tonight been because of bullying at camp? So many questions that no one can ever answer for me!

I wonder what it is like to have the built in back up that other co-parenting couples have.....even those who are not together but still co-parent have that going on for them.

Nights likes these make me question my ability of being both mom and dad.