Sunday, November 15, 2009

The "No Return" Policy of Parenthood

There are some days that you wish there was one. You could just dig out your receipt and trot your not so hot ass back to the hospital, plop them on the counter and say they're broken and smell exchange necessary, just a refund. There's a pair of shoes at Macy's you've had your eyes on.

For the last three days I've been trying to keep my mind intact. I thought that since I made it through teething (three times), and potty training (three times), the first day of school (again, three times) that I made it! I had done it! I kept the crazy to a minimum, my sanity intact, and still have most of my hair.

Not so fast.

It started out with the usual bickering back and forth, the tattling, the screaming...ugh. I want to break out in stress hives just thinking about it. It continued into the kicking each other, punching, crying, saying they hate each other. Again with the hives. I figure I'll distract them with work. I ask them if they'll help me rip some old wallpaper border down. They jump at the chance to be able to destroy something.

After thirty minutes of actually being good and helping me they both start in (out of the blue, mind you) about living with their dads. Okay, the youngest but the oldest had her sly eyes on. Do other parents not realize that any kid that has working ears and can speak a coherent sentence will repeat EVERY-THING that is said in their presence? I cannot be the only person on earth that knows this bit of information. Literally...everything.

She tells me that her dad told her (6 months ago) that he can tell me what to do and if she wants to live with him he can do whatever he wants and I can't stop him. Um...what? Do you want to live with him? She informed me she wants to live both places but she likes my house better...I'm there and I let her have snacks. That set me I that horrible? Do I make you starve? Do I make you sleep on the floor and wear dirty clothes (I'm not perfect with laundry but I give it a hell of a try) or beat you? What is so horrible about living with me?

Then the bomb drops..their step moms are always home at night. Are you freaking kidding me??! My kids want to live somewhere else because I have a fucking job? Because I work midnights??!!

Let me break it down for you..the oldest's step mom got fired from their local grocery store. This is the latest in a very long line of firings for her. The youngest's step mom works part time at McDonalds because they can't afford day care...they have 7 kids in their a 3 bedroom house. Maybe I'm being a little judgemental but come-the-fuck on. I work an (almost) 40 hour workweek..I work nights so I'm gone while they're sleeping and home when they need me. If they are sick at school, who gets them? Me. Who gives up their sleep time to go to school programs and functions and field trips and to nurse them when they're home sick? Me.

I hate feeling like I'm being punished for being responsible and making a choice that I thought would work best for them. I'm returning to school next term and that's going to take up more of my time..what's going to happen then? Are they really going to hate my guts when the pressure is on and I have to lock myself up for days at a time to study? I'm not going for cosmetology here.

There are some days that I really do wish I never had kids. Nobody can hurt you like they can. Nobody.

As soon as I think that I feel even more guilty because there is also nobody that loves you like they do. It is conditional, but those conditions are so easy to meet. Just love them and they love you back.

There will still be more days that you wish you could send them back. Teenage girls hitting puberty is enough to make me want to turn into an alcoholic..the fact that I get to do it again as soon as the first one moves out is making me second guess my decision to keep having them after one. Maybe I was already drunk when I made that decision.

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