Sorry, not this time.

So, I am really loving this whole zerotohero thing. It has pushed me to do things that I otherwise would have 1.) considered lame or 2.) been too dumb to figure out for myself. Today’s challenge though is no dice for me.

Today, we are supposed to tie our blog to social media. Get it some likes on Facebook and pin it to our Pinterest boards. I am a FacebookingPinterestWhore just like any other, but my blog is becoming my sanctuary. You see, the anonymity of this thing is what makes it so liberating for me. I could be anyone, anywhere and those who read my stories can still relate. Besides, I can talk mad shit about anyone I want and not have to feel the heat of it. (If you read this post, you’ll know that I don’t talk shit ABOUT people, I straight up just tell them what I am feeling in that moment.)

There are two people in my “real life” who know about this blog. One is Man of the House, because he sometimes reads over my shoulder when I type and because I squeal with giddiness every time I get a new follower; and the other is a friend who writes professionally. I not-so-secretly hope that she will follow me and then someone who pays her money to write will suddenly send me a big, fat check for the brilliant literary work that I do. Although, I think that in the last sentence I just proved that I may or may not know how to correctly use a semicolon so my writing career is probably fucked.

So, that being said, THANK YOU SO MUCH for zerotohero. It is making my little nugget of an idea into a reality that I really enjoy. (Click here for lame musical tribute to my battle cry of a blog). I hope you understand though, that I’m just going to sit this one out.

P.S. Fuck you voice-to-text on my phone! I tried to voice search “indoor water slide hotels” and instead I got 1,000,000 results for “why does my ass hurt when I wake up in Eldridge Park.” As closely a butt-fucking and indoor water parks are, you just didn’t meet my needs this time.

 

My Apparent Lack of Social Skills

Today, I’ve been challenged to personalize the daily prompt:

Ring of Fire: Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring?

For reasons that I cannot totally explain, my mind went straight to my snarky attitude and my recent lack of control over my mouth.

You see, I teach social skills five days a week. I’ve taught about using filters, considering others’ perspectives, and avoiding mean words. Recently, I’ve thrown all of those best practices out the window and have rather impolitely told all who have pissed me off to fuck themselves.

It could be that my “unspecified cognitive disorder” is flaring and I feel really, really shitty. It could be that the stress of my job has just finally pushed me over the edge. It could be that I’m exhausted for trying to fit 26 hours worth of responsibilities into a 24 hour day. Whatever it is, I just don’t care anymore.

As liberated as I feel when telling people that they suck when they’re being assholes, I do worry about the proverbial fiery shits they next day. I mean, how much more will people take before I start being written up at work or someone punches me in the face? I should make an office pool or something…

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)

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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.