Sunday, December 11, 2011

Q-isms Christmas Style

Getting Q to read every night before bed is always a struggle. 

"But I already know how to read," is his argument.  So do I, but I still read all the time.  I'm trying to pass on my love of reading - the beginning of an exciting, new world - but he'll have none of it.  He doesn't understand my passion, especially when I can do the reading for him.  One particular night last week, he was really putting up a fight.  He would read a word perfectly in one sentence and then suffer from instantaneous amnesia and totally forget the word in the next.  Finally, I had enough.  We put the book away and turned out the lights. 

I could hear him whimpering, so I asked what was wrong.

Q:  I'm gonna be on the naughty list for sure!! *sob*

Me:  Well, what do you think you can do to change that?

Q:  Nothing.

Q:  It's too late.  *BAWL*

Me:  I don't think it's ever too late to start behaving well.  Why do you want to be good?  So you can be on the nice list?  Or so you can be a good person? 

Q:  So I can be on the nice list.



Q:  ....aaaaaaaaand so I can be a nice person...

He gets two points for being smart. 

And "Santa" already bought all the presents, so he's spared for this year.  This year, which will probably be the last year, he believes in Santa.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Cost of Dating

I went on a date a few weeks back.  It was so memorable and fascinating and life changing that it took me three weeks to write about it.  In other words, it was dull.  It was almost painful...

Me: So, did you grow up here?

Him:  Ummmmmmm, ya.  I guess so.

Me:  Do you like to travel?

Him: Ummmmmmmm, no.  Not really.

Me: Oh, have you traveled anywhere before?

Him:  Ummmmm, no.  

I wasn't exactly asking hard hitting questions that required a whole lot of thought.  I wasn't asking about his thoughts on life after death.  If someone asks me where I was born I can answer in like 5 seconds and don't even need to buy time by humming and hawing about the answer. I know where I was born.  

My other peeves:  He didn't ask anything about me.  He got there early, and ordered a drink only for himself.  He made no attempt to pay for my drink.  He was really eager to talk about his ex-wife and her new boyfriend.  He only sees his kids every other weekend and they live like 10 minutes from him.  He buys old cars and rebuilds them.  He has four cars in his mother's driveway.  Two major red flags as far as I'm concerned.  He didn't look a thing like his profile pictures.  And he was boooooooooring.  

The whole 'date' lasted just about an hour.  I talked the whole time.  Now, I love to talk and I can talk up a storm, but I need an eager audience. I want them to hang on my every word, not stare out the window dreaming of their car's engine.  I enjoyed the Pumpkin Spice Latte though, even if I did have to pay for it myself.

I assumed that I would never hear from him again and I was totally okay with that, but the next morning I received a text asking if I wanted to meet for dinner later that week. Unfortunately my schedule was a little hectic and I couldn't fit Mr. Boring in...

This was a step up from the guy I met at the pub the weekend before.  I think that alcohol should be banned while looking for Mr. Right, because every guy is Mr. Oh-All-Right after a few drinks.  This guy was Irish, so he had a really neat accent.  I couldn't understand a word he was saying, but the words just rolled off his tongue.  It was fascinating.  

I think I may have agreed to a thing or two without really understanding what, seeing as how he got really quite angry with me when I told him I wasn't going home with him.  He was borderline abusive, pinching me and kicking me in the ass.  We shared a cab to his place where he got out, tried to talk me into staying by telling me he'd "kill me if he didn't fancy me so..." and stormed off with the money I had given to the taxi driver in addition to leaving me with a $90 cab ride.  Yes, all in all my cab ride cost a hundred dollars.  Even the taxi driver felt bad for me when we had to stop at the bank so I could get more money to pay him. 

Yes, dating has been an expensive experience for me.  I can't afford another date until next payday.  And I'm not sure that there is any guy that I'm interested in who is interested in me...does that make sense?  The men who are attracted to me are middle eastern and old.  They're probably not even really attracted to me as much as they're seeing a desperate woman who will be swayed by their bank accounts.  For the record, I will not be swayed by bank accounts...

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Q:  I'm going to be in a play at school

Me:  Really?  Wow that's exciting!  When?

Q:  I don't know yet.

Me:  Oh, what's it about?  Is it a Christmas play?

Q:  I don't know yet.

Me:  Oh....

Q:  It's going to be me, Noah, and Joshua.

Me:  Did Mrs. J pick you three to be in a play?

Q:  No, we picked ourselves.

(this is starting to sound a little odd...)

Me:  Oh, so you volunteered to be in a play at school?

Q: Ya

(really odd...Q is quite the introvert...)

Me:  Can parents come to see the play?

Q:  No it's during recess and lunch.

Me:  Oh so it's for the other kids?


Q:  I don't really know yet.  Noah came up to me and Joshua today at school and asked us if we wanted to make some extra money.

Me:  Ohhhhhh......

Q:  It seemed like a really good idea at first, but now it sounds really dumb.

Me:  Nooooo, it's not dumb (exactly....)  How much were you thinking of charging kids?  Like a quarter?

Q:  No, more.

Me:  Fifity cents?

Q:  No, we were thinking like five dollars....

Me:  Wow, honey, I gotta say that's kinda steep.  Remember cheap movies are only two dollars more than that and you get special effects and action and popcorn!!  You'll need a plot, and action, ohhhhh, and a love story.

Q:  Ewwww, no love story.  That's gross. 

Yes, I stories are gross. 

Oh my goodness, can you imagine the call from the principal on that one? 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Single Momma Woes

Single parenting is not easy. 

There is the  social stigma attached to being a failure in your marriage, for one.  All the stay-at-home moms stand there in the middle of the walk way at school chatting about recipes and cleaning secrets, while their husbands go to work and pay for the big houses and the big lips.  You know....from the lip injections, just in case you couldn't figure out the reference.  It was kind of random...and bitter.  And that's mostly just my own insecurity, I think...

There are  the my-child-is-driving-me-nuts-and-I-need-to-lock-myself-in-the-bathroom-so-I-don't-cause-him-physical-harm times when you just wish you could pawn him off on the husband for half an hour while you get your sanity back.  And then you look around and remember you're the only adult around and you have to suck it all up and deal with the situation like a...well, like an adult. 

There are times when your kids are sick and you're up with them all night long.  And then you go to work.  After being up all night. 

There is the constant struggle to do homework and read and learn valuable tools that are required for them to be contributing members of society.  They just don't get it when they're 7. 

There are bed times and schedules and 'where's your back pack?' and 'put your toys away' and then there is this....

"I'm not rude at daddy's house.  Cuz he's nice to me.  Cuz he plays hockey with me."

He saw the look of absolute horror on my face and quickly changed his tune..."uh, I mean...I don't know...I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

In that split second, I had to bite my tongue so I didn't give him the chance to live there permanently.  How does he know the most hurtful thing he could say at such a young age.  I'm the mean mom. 


Comparing me to that man in such a way just killed me.  Q brought home a journal from school that he writes in every day: Today we went to Daddy's friend L's house for American Thanksgiving dinner.  Today we went skating with Daddy and his friend E.  Yesterday, me and Daddy went to his friend S's house.  Are you fricking kidding me?  He's comparing me to the guy who is using him as a dating tool.  What kind of person uses his child to meet women?  What kind of person???  What is he teaching my child about relationships? 
But in Q's mind, I'm the irrational one for teaching him and reprimanding him when he's rude to an adult.  I'm the mean mom.  I'm the one to blame for all his issues.  Not his Dad.  No, his Dad is the fun one.  Give me a break.  But I have to bite my tongue about all of the lady friends because I don't want Q to feel like he can't share things with me.  I might be the "mean zone" but I want to be the "safe zone" too.  I don't want him to start hiding things or keeping secrets from me because he thinks it might upset me. 

Sometimes, I just pray for a big bus.  I'm so totally amazed that I found myself so attracted to this man that I was willing to procreate with him.  Don't get me wrong, I love my son.  Love him to pieces, but it's so important to me that I raise him to be a kind person.  It's so important to me that he grows up to be a strong man.  My biggest fear is that he'll grow up to be just like his father.    Then he goes and makes a comment like this and it's like my fear is coming to life. 

When you invest everything you have solely in your child (instead of equally in your marriage, your family, your child, your career) things like this get you down.  You realize that your biggest failure will be raising a child who doesn't become a mind healthy adult.  It's a scary thing, raising a child on your own. 

It's one little comment, that he's completely forgotten I'm sure.  Yet here I am dwelling on it, questioning my ability as a parent. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Go Get 'Em, Tiger!!

Grade two has been a hard time for my little Q.  As an only child who is surrounded by adults who love and adore him and dote on him continuously, my son has developed somewhat of a 'fabulous' complex.  Now, I don't think this to be a bad thing, at all.  I think that soon enough, he'll doubt every move and decision he makes...well, if he's anything like me, he if all these loving adults have the chance to build up his confidence now, I'm all for it.  He draws a picture, and we "oohhhh" and "awwwww" at some part of's creativity, its colour scheme, something to make him feel proud of the work he's done.  He cleans his room and I comment on how fast or how thorough or how neat it looks when it's clean, something to teach him how good it feels to work at something and accomplish it well. 

In Kindergarten and Grade one, Q had teachers that were super nice and super encouraging.  They smiled all the time and interacted with the children on a one on one basis.  They were supportive and nurturing and the children learned at tables in a circle instead of at desks.  They were encouraged to play with the other children and structure, while it was there, was kept to a minimum and probably was there just to prevent utter chaos.

Mrs. J is Q's grade two teacher and she is scary.  She's old school.  She's just plain old, really.  I don't know much about her, because our teachers are on strike here in BC and they're working to rule, which doesn't affect anyone but the children as far as I'm concerned.  As part of their work to rule, there have been no parent/teacher interviews and in fact, I've heard from other mothers that teachers refuse to meet with parents at all, because it's considered to be extracurricular.  All I know of Mrs. J is what I see on Fridays when I drop Q off and pick him up, and of course from the mouth of my lil babe himself. 

The walls in the classroom are bare, she opens the door in the morning barely greeting the children and at the end of the day, the children see themselves out.  I don't think I've seen her smile once since September.  Q is terrified of her.  Every morning, he feigns some sort of illness, hoping against hope that I'll believe him finally and he'll get a day off.  And let me tell ya, every morning I just want to say he doesn't have to go to that big mean school with the big mean teacher.  Every morning, I hear, "I HATE school" every morning without fail. 

My heart aches for my poor little boy.  It's my job to protect him.  It's my job to make sure he's happy and well rounded and content.  He's just like his momma, with his nervous tummy and his knack for worrying about absolutely every single little detail about every single day.  That, combined with the fact that he's an introvert and keeps most of his thoughts to himself, I'm an emotional wreck.  He's going to need therapy for sure. 

But guess kid is reading.  And we're not talking words like, 'it', 'and', or 'the'.  No, no, no we're talking big words.  Like real words and real sentences.  It's incredible!!!!!  It's amazing!!!!  It is like something in his brain just clicked and it all makes sense.  Sometimes, words come out of nowhere and I'm all like, "Huh?"  But for the most part, he's sounding words out and he's rocking it.  As far as I'm concerned, he could have very well skipped grade one.  The math skills that he has now (are awesome!!) were already there in Kindergarten and reading, well....that was non-existent. 

I want to be able to explain to Q that yes, he's going through a very difficult time.  Yes, his teacher is a little scary.  Yes, she demands a lot.  And she expects a lot from him.  But holy moly kiddo, you're rising to the challenge.  You're meeting her expectations, you're exceeding them I'm sure on some days.  Look at what you're learning, look at what you've learned.  You're reading!!!!!  Like books and shit!!  It is amazing, this  whole new world has opened up for you. 

But of course, I try to explain this all to Q and he looks at me like I've got three heads.  It doesn't sink in yet.  He just replies with a 'but I HATE school."  So, if I can't tell him so that he understands, I'm gonna tell you instead...

What you're going through right now, it might be hard.  It might be really, really difficult.  You might think that no one understands, and no one cares and that there is no end in sight.  But holy moly kiddo.  Look at you!!!  You're rocking it.  You're getting through it every single day and you're learning more and more about yourself and the world around you with every trial you face, every single day.  And I'm so proud of you.  I'm proud of you for throwing those blankets off every morning and facing the day, because ya...sometimes it's super hard.  But you are amazing.  You might not understand the "why" right now, but if you allow yourself to learn from this hardship, your life will never be the same.  I promise you that.

Now, go get 'em tiger!  Sometimes, it takes a lesson from a 7 year old to remind us what we're made of.