Sure, I’ll Be Submissive

I read a blog yesterday about a woman who said that modern day women should be more submissive and subservient to their men. Of course, this sparked a whole load of controversy because women have worked their assess off to be considered equal. About three weeks ago, I even spent a whole week teaching about the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the 70+ years between the First National Women’s Rights Congress and the 19th Amendment. We’ve worked hard, I get it.

Here’s the thing though. I really like “being submissive”. Especially in the context described in this article. The writer suggests that women adopt the ten following habits:

1. Have a hot meal ready for him- Yup. Even though Man of the House is retired and stays home these days, I still come home and make a hot, homemade meal almost every night. Yes, sometimes I’m tired and really don’t feel like dragging my ass into the kitchen. Going grocery shopping for all of the ingredients and doing the menu planning is torture. However, when it comes down to it, I’m the better cook. Also, I really enjoy making food for everyone. Sometimes The Boy will come in to be my assistant and sometimes I hang out in the kitchen alone. Here’s the catch though, if there’s a night where I’ve just had enough, so I bring home McDonald’s or tell Man of the House to order Chinese or eat leftovers he does it without question. He knows how good he has it and if his personal chef has to take a night off, he understands.

2. Don’t be a Prude in the Bedroom- This one is a two-way street. If it’s the right relationship, then there is plenty of communication about what is comfortable and what is off limits. Maybe some couples are perfectly happy with the same missionary thing each night. Perhaps others spend more of their monthly budget on kink toys than they do food. Whatever they do, it is definitely none of my damned business.

3. Don’t be a Nag- Don’t make me be a nag. Enough said.

4. Show Him Your Appreciation- Again, duh. What is the point of being in a relationship with the world’s smartest, sweetest, sexiest man if he doesn’t know how much you love it. Guys are just as insecure as girls are, maybe more so. Therefore, if nothing is said, he probably thinks your unhappy.

5. Follow His Lead- My favorite quote from this one “make sure he knows he wears the pants.” Okay, this one made me roll my eyes. How about, “be a partnership. Consider each other when making decisions?” Man of the House and I are both very, very independent with how we manage our lives, finances, schedules, children, etc. When there is a decision to be made, we usually consult each other for things that are not time-sensitive. Once the decision is made though, we don’t question what the other has done, we just accept that they are doing the best that they can. Even better rule for this one: Lead Your Own Life and Let Him Lead His your relationship is the place where your paths converge.

6. Your Career Does NOT Come First- Who is she or am I to tell you how to prioritize your life? Your career will likely not make you nearly as happy as your family has the potential to make you, but if you’re the type of person who needs to wrap up in a career, and your partner is supportive, go for it.

7. Look Sexy for Him- Well yeah! 29 days of the month, Man of the House agrees to have sex with me even though I’m disheveled, stubbly, and slightly smelly. On our one date night a month, I make sure to take a shower and doll it up a bit so that he has a visual memory to hang on to. It’s not just for him though, it’s for me too. I need to remember that I’ve still got the ability to turn a head or two.

8. Let Him Know It’s Okay to be Stressed- Not gonna lie, this one confuses me a bit. Are there women around the world telling their gents to “man up” when the going gets tough?

9. Marry Someone You Genuinely Admire and Find Easy to Respect- and this is the kicker, my friends. Far too often couples get married in their early twenties, starry-eyed and full of hope for the future. Not judging here, I did it too. I’ve learned though, that when you are that young, you don’t really know who you are or what you want. After my divorce, I realized that my ex and I just didn’t have any common goals. How can a relationship work if you are both going in different directions. Bottom line, if you choose your partner carefully, the other 8 suggestions from this article happen naturally.

Number 10 is all about, making sure your friends support you and aren’t all judgey. If you hang out with a group of adversaries who negatively critique you, submissive is likely the last thing you need to become.

So really, I don’t get the folks who take either side of this argument. Do what makes you happy. I don’t think that coming home from work, baking the family a cherry pie, and letting Man of the House stick his junk in my butt really causes Susan B. Anthony to roll over in her grave. At the same time, I don’t think she’d sit on the couch slugging beer screaming at the man in her life that she is equal and he needs to do more to make her believe he knows it.

The Brady Bunch Ain’t Got Shit on Us

For anyone to truly understand who I am and what I’m about, you probably need to know a bit about those closest to me. My family is my everything and for better or worse, they define who I am and what I believe. Without further ado…

The House: The house is not technically a family member, but it is where most of the family events take place, so it is important to understand it’s role. The house is a triplex that is owned by Man of the House. We live in the basement and are currently in that special place of hell that people refer to as remodeling and expanding. Once it’s finished, it will be amazing. While under construction, we’ve got a little more than 700 feet for 7 humans and 2 dogs. Sometimes, I run errands to get some personal space. (My old strategy was to sit on the toilet endlessly, but as we only have one bathroom at the moment, that one fails me more often than it helps.)

In the garage, which is now a remodeled studio apartment, live Man of the House’s best friend from the Army and Man of the House’s best friend from the Army’s girlfriend. They’re cool, we hang out sometimes, but for the most part, they do their thing and we do ours.

Upstairs is where shit gets shady. The Upstairs is inhabited by Man of the House’s ex-wife. Yes. It blows. For every single reason that is flitting through your mind at this very moment, it is heinous. I knew what I was getting into when I moved in though. Here’s why I did it: their kids get to see BOTH of their parents every single day. I would give anything to be able to provide my kids with that kind of security. I even asked their dad to move into the apartment complex next door. So yes, it is awkward. Yes, it makes for some interesting power struggles. No, we aren’t best friends, but we share a common goal: we want the kids to be happy.

Man of the House:

Oh my sweet, sweet, Man of the House, where do I begin? I guess you should know that he is 9 years older than me, which doesn’t really get in the way of anything except for when we listen to music together. We have a lot of the same musical preferences, but once in awhile he will throw in something that was written before I was even born. Starting this summer, Man of the House will be a stay-at-home dad to all five of our combined children. I expect a bit of spilled blood and am trying to rearrange my work schedule to limit the amount of time that he is left so helplessly out numbered, but I think that they are all going to do great. A season pass to the pool and a weekly trip to the Mickey-Donald’s with a playland, and I think it will be the kind of summer that kids’ dreams are made of.

Man of the House is also a retired military service member. Like full on, served 21 years, retired. He joined when he was still in high school and doesn’t know much about life outside of government agencies. From stories I hear from his colleagues (because he is far too humble to tell them), at the peak of his career he was a very important dude and an real life American Hero. At the moment, he’s tired, defeated, and working through some serious PTSD. If anyone tries to downplay it or tell you that PTSD is not a real thing, please punch them in the face on my behalf. It is a real, scary, debilitating illness that affects not only the soldier, but everyone that soldier loves, hates, talks to, thinks about, or looks at in the grocery store. He’s well-treated and recovering, but believe me when I say we’ve been through some shit.

Mini Me Extreme:

Why do I have to add the extreme? Because Mini Me just isn’t sufficient. Not only does she look like me and share my mannerisms, but she’s got my attitude. Cute, right? NO! Have you ever gotten into an argument with yourself about why you can’t wear shorts to school on the first of March??? Too many of our discussion have ended with, “because I’m your mom.” That’s it. I have no better reason. I have lost all of my wits trying to negotiate. Respect your elders, damn it.

MME is also a very sweet kid. She’s a bit socially awkward, but has a sense of humor that is far beyond her years. (Gee, wonder where she got that from?)  She’s reached that darling upper-elementary girl age where she knows just enough to get herself into trouble. I think they call them “Tweens” these days. I call it Ohmyfreakinghellhowwillthischildeversurviveherteenageyears.

The Shortest One:

The Shortest One is not the youngest, just the smallest. So small that we had to have dwarfism ruled out, in fact. What she lacks in size she makes up for in sass. She is brilliant and knows how to ask all the right questions (to make a situation ridiculously awkward, that is). She is a social butterfly and the center of attention in any group she’s in. The best descriptor that I’ve ever hear of her is “spicy,” to reflect the fact that the little lady has a temper. Her token phrases are: “I’m not tired!” at bedtime and “but it’s gonna take for-ev-eh!” when anything she is waiting for is more than a millisecond into the future. She’s the kid who has given me the most gray hairs, just because she’s the kid who is constantly requiring insta-care visits for head injuries and asthma attacks. She’s also a kid who knows how to make her Momma proud.

The Boy:

A year and a half ago, I would have told you that the boy was the tiniest terrorist known to man (even though he is anything but tiny). This was the kid who, at 11 months old, took the baby gate off of the top of the stairs and turned it into a sled. The kid who was power-washing my kitchen with the sink sprayer and then waterboarded me as I tried to stop him. The kid who has locked himself in and/or me out of so many different places that I think I could be a professional locksmith. He has mellowed out a lot though. I still remember the first time I went looking for him because it had become too quiet and he was kicked back looking at a book. He HATES change but is willing to go with the flow if given enough warning. He is an incredibly sweet boy who helps me make dinner every single night. He’s a little Romeo who has all of the ladies at daycare cooing over him day in and day out. Before you worry that my boy may have been abducted by a pod person, rest assured, he maintains his slightly naughty reputation by torturing his sisters.

The Stepkids:

I’m keeping info on Stepkid #1 and Stepkid #2 short and sweet only because I don’t feel at liberty to share too much information without consulting their parents. The important part is that they are really, really sweet kids who have stolen my heart. I can’t imagine life without them (except for those rare moments when all of the kids are out of the house and I remember what having a complete thought feels like).

Bitch and Puppy:

So, what should you do when your house is a construction clusterfuck and there are already five kids and a dog running all over the place? Why, you should get a puppy! That’s how they finalize your diagnosis of being REALLY mentally ill. Bitch and Puppy are slowly, ever so slowly learning how to live under the same roof. All at the cost of shoes and carpets.

So, there you have it. Our little crew. Sure I could tell you all about Mother Dearest and Baby Brother and Baby Sister, (ooh and Judgey McJudgeypants Dad and Stepmom) but I think I should keep it to the nuclear for now. If ever, you are reading my blog and think I might be insane, well, this post should just justify those thoughts.

A Letter to a Realistic Fictional Audience

Dear Dream Reader,

I’m guessing you’re here because you saw another post of mine about Poop Throwing or Toddler Tea-Bagging. I hope that you are enjoying those, really I do. Also, I promise to keep trying to get better at this. Writing has never been my strong suit, and it’s the school subject that I still struggle with the most. Believe me when I say that I am trying. Furthermore, I promise to keep finding myself in silly situations.

I’m guessing that another reason that you are here is because you’re actively avoiding something. For me, it’s usually writing a report at work or laundry. Here’s another trick: go grab a cup of coffee, a soda, or a beer (pick your pleasure) because then, long after your eyeballs have scanned this text, you’ll still have a beverage to finish before you have to get up and write that report or fold those clothes. Believe me, I’m a professional-level procrastinator.

I’m thinking that you find my posts funny because you are a parent and can relate. Or, because you aren’t a parent and I am just providing more justification to your choice (not that it needs justified). One of my favorite blogs, and an inspiration for this one, is written by my friend’s son-in-law about his parenting adventures. My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me, but they are also the cause of every gray hair on my head. There is not enough warning in the world to prepare you what the true adventure of parenting is.

I’m hoping that you do, in fact, find me funny. Sometimes I am caught in really tough circumstances, but my coping mechanism is to laugh at the tough stuff. I’ve learned to keep a lot of that laughing internal, because social norms just don’t allow for one to burst into laughter while, say, standing in line at the grocery store. The same goes for crying, but I must admit that it is far harder to hold back the tears.

The purpose of this blog is to relate to someone. Whether it be a parent, someone who works with the mentally ill, someone with a neurological disorder, or someone who is just a plain ol’ smartass like myself. I think it is important for everyone to feel like they can relate to someone. Otherwise, the world feels like a mighty lonely place.

If this is the first post of mine you are reading, please do me a favor and look at another one or two. This does not feel like my strongest piece. If you are already one of the 11 (double-digits, baby) that are following me, please don’t stop because of this. In fact, invite your friends to follow me too. That’ll put the pressure on me to deliver something brilliant. For now, thanks for making it this far.

Love, Me

Don’t Fuck With Someone Who has had Poop Thrown at Them (A survival guide for children)

Today was a shitty day (pun intended). Quite honestly it is the roughest day I have had in quite awhile. I am a patient and tolerant person, but this is ridiculous!

I work with mentally ill children. “Oh it takes such a special person to do that!” “There’s a special place in Heaven for you!” “You are so selfless!” Yeah. Fuck that. I’m a sadistic psychopath myself. What other explanation can you give the fact that I went to graduate school to make blue collar wage and get the shit kicked out of me. Have you ever heard the saying: “Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you are staring into the void or if the void is staring at you?” Yeah. It’s like that. Anyway, one of the sweet little darlings that I choose to spend my days with has labeled me as Public Enemy No. 1. After all, I live by rules. Not one time today, not two times today, but THREE times today, he and I went on a walk to a timeout room with him kicking the holy hell out of my shins the whole way. Actually, kicking the holy hell out of my shin. I don’t know what my left shin ever did to him, but a baseball bat would have done less damage. After our third tiptoe through the tulips, I was beyond done. So, what more could my little buddy do to add sunshine to my life? Well, he could take the largest shit I have ever seen come out of a single human being right inside of the time out room, that’s what he could do! As I stared at the turd that stuck to the small observation window, sliding it’s way down the glass, I decided that there is not enough booze in the world to erase a memory like that. Once my shift was over, I literally ran to my car to avoid any further encounters with beatings and/or fecal matter. (*** See footnote***)

Here is a countdown of how the rest of my day went:

10- The number of web sites I trolled in hopes of finding a new job

9- 10% of the number of edits I’ve had to make to this post because I cannot spell and get drunk at the same time

8- The number of dollars it cost me to buy three slushies and chocolate bars

7- The number of seconds it took me to regret that decision

6- The number of people I share a single toilet with

5- The number of years taken off of my life because The Shortest One fell off of the bunk bed and cut her head open

4- The length of the video that I took of Mini Me Extreme while she was high on gas from the dentist’s office

3- The number of completely different dinners I had to make to accommodate everyone’s strict dietary preferences

2- The number of times I went back and forth to the elementary school for various reasons

1- Raging tantrum complete with storming off, door slamming, and incessant wailing (probably NOT my finest moment)

c4ee6a45afcf1ea362c4af2da5738a64

Literally

Tomorrow has GOT to be better than this. I’m going to bed.

*** Please be aware that my telling of this story is less about sharing factual protocol and procedure, and more about entertaining others with my pain. My employer goes to great lengths to make sure that our staff (myself included) is certified and re-certified to handle emotionally escalated people. Physical holds and timeout rooms are last resorts, after a multiple-disciplinary team has conferred and reviewed individual incidents. I hold no ill-will toward this particular young man, in fact, I think I’m relatively well put together after the type of day we shared.***

Today’s Zero to Hero challenge was to write the post you had in mind when you started your blog. While I had not yet experienced this day, these are the kinds of tales I was hoping to share.

I Am So Many Things and I Come Here By Request

I took this pic from the balcony of a cruise ship. If I had a happy place, this would be it.

I took this pic from the balcony of a cruise ship. If I had a happy place, this would be it.

This post is a direct response to the Zero to Hero writing challenge.  I really do want to get good at this.

At this point, I don’t think that I will ever use my real name in a post and I haven’t come up with the perfect pseudonym yet. I am in my thirties and have a Master’s degree. I have one of the craziest (literally) jobs you have ever heard of. I have an unspecified disorder of the nervous system which may or may not turn into multiple sclerosis and it has made me approach life differently. I live with Man of the House. We are not married, and don’t plan on being married anytime soon. I have three children: Mini Me Extreme, The Shortest One, and The Boy. I consider Man of the House’s kids to be my step-children. I will refer to them as Step Kid 1 and Step Kid 2. I love them as if I have lived with them their whole lives. They are super cool little people and I am lucky that they allow me to hang out with them. Despite some extreme circumstances, I live a really great life. I am happier than I have ever been, so either things are going really great, or I’m delusional (the jury is still out). I could give so many more details, but want to save them all for future posts. I don’t think I can describe any single person or element in my world in just a few words.

I am here, literally, by request. When I share stories of my extraordinary days (all of them), people often comment that I should write a book. My rebuttal to them is that my autobiography will be shelved in the Fiction section, in response to some of my day-to-day ridiculousness (truly, check out my spiritual enlightenment a la Mouse Jesus). I think I have a pretty good story though and I am narcissistic enough to think that a lot of people can relate to elements of my story. I want the rest of the world to laugh with (or at) me. I want to tell a story of optimism and making the best out of each day. Hell, maybe this blog will be my legacy. (Please know that I am laughing at myself for being lame right now).

In all seriousness, welcome to my world. Feel free to comment or spark a discussion. Just be nice when you do so.

 

Your Own Personal (Mouse) Jesus

Puppy is not our first dive into the pet pond. Before the kids and I moved in with the man of the house, we had pet mice. Why? Well, because it was cold and snowy one night and the kids wanted to go out and do something. My suggestion of “Hey, let’s go pick out a pet fish at Petco” (because Petco was right across the parking lot from us at the time) somehow turned into $50 in supplies and $9 in mice. Mice are cute. It’s fun to watch them run in their wheel and snuggle with each other and do other cute little mousy things. They actually turned out to be great pets. They were quiet, didn’t require too much maintenance, and the kids thought I was the greatest mom ever for falling for their hair-brained scheme. As will happen with all pets one day though, the kids had to learn a hard lesson about the circle of life.

One wintry evening, we came home from an exhausting day of work and school. I came inside, put down my purse/keys/shopping bag/kids’ art projects/coffee cup/Diet Coke/etc. and panicked as I spotted one of our beloved mice laying in the cage with 4 paws straight up in the air. Unfortunately, the reaper had come for poor Peter Parker (they were all named after Avengers) and the kids were within 30 seconds of witnessing the same horror I was currently staring at. So… I did what any Mother of the Year would do- I went to the mouse cage, grabbed Peter, and stuffed him into my coat pocket before the kids could see him. Oh my God there’s a dead mouse in my coat pocket.  It was worth it though, because the kids were none the wiser. Keeping my Mother of the Year cool, I turned cartoons on the television and told the kids I was going to take something to the trash. With their attention fully absorbed by the offerings of PBS, I ran to the side of the house to plot my next move. Maybe he’s just sleeping, I thought to myself. I pulled him out of my pocket to check out my theory. Rigor mortise and green oozy stuff coming out of his mouth and butt assured me that his sleepy state was eternal. Oh God, now there is green oozy stuff in my coat pocket! I chucked the mouse into the trash can, said a quick Hail Mary, and went inside to put my coat into the washing machine. Operation Mouse Burial had been a success, but now I had to figure out my next move. How much time did I have left until my sweet angels discovered their missing rodent? Light bulb! Perhaps I could replace Peter with a look alike before the kids could notice. This step would require outside assistance, as the kids still aren’t old enough to be left home alone. I slipped into my bedroom, hid on the side of the bed, and called the guy I was dating at the time. The call went something like this:

Him: Hello?

Me (whispering): I have a problem.

Him: What is it?

Me (still whispering): There’s a dead mouse.

Him: Hang on I’ll be right there with my gun!

Me (yelling): What? Why?

Him: Well didn’t you say there was someone in your house?

Me (talking low, but panicked): No! I said there was a dead mouse.

Him: Okay? You scared me.

Me: Can you bring me another one?

Him: A mouse? How will I know which one to get?

Me: Bring me a brown one with little black and grey flecks in its fur.

Him: Okay, I’ll be there around 9.

Me: 9?!? That’s too late! Bedtime is at 8 and they’ll want to play with the mice before then.

Him: Well, that’s when I can get there.

Me: Oh crap, now what am I going to do?

Him: Well, you could be honest with them.

Me: But they’ll freak out.

Him: You’re going to have to deal with this eventually.

Me: Crap. You’re right. I’ve gotta go. I need to figure out what I’m going to tell them.

A few deep, cleansing breaths later, I’m back out into the living room, looking at the three little darlings whose hearts I am about to irreparably break. I start the conversation with, “Hey guys, we need to talk about something.” I give my best talk about how mice have short life spans and that Peter was a very happy mouse who likely just died of old age. They asked me about the conversion rate of mouse-to-human years (“I don’t know for sure, but it must be a lot since mice don’t live very long.”) and we had a nice group cry. When all was said and done, I asked them if they had any questions. The Shortest One said, “Is Peter in Heaven?” I told her that I’m sure that he was because he had been such a good little mouse. “In Mouse Heaven?” the boy asked. “Sure,” I replied. Then the Shortest One asked, “Mom, is Jesus in Mouse Heaven?” “I’m sure he is,” I said. “The regular Jesus or Mouse Jesus?” asked the Shortest One. “Are there different Jesuses for different creatures?’ I asked her. “Well, yeah,” she said. “Then I guess he is with Mouse Jesus.” At that point, I rushed off to make dinner, laughing all the way at the thought of Mouse Jesus with his tiny little crown of thorns.

Apparently the Shortest One is onto something. I only had to Google "Mouse Jesus" to find His picture.

Apparently the Shortest One is onto something. I only had to Google “Mouse Jesus” to find His picture.

 

A Tea-Bagged Butt Phone Deserves No More Than Fifty Words

In response to the weekly challenge http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/writing-challenge-fifty/ as well as Man of the House asking, “Why don’t you ever blog about moments like these?”

My boy of four is constantly trying to get me to flinch.

“Mom, I’ve got your phone.”

“Okay.”

“Now it’s a butt phone.” (as he rubs it on his butt)

“Gross.”

“Now it’s a weenie phone.” (more rubbing)

…and these are the reasons I only use bluetooth or speaker phone.