Went with easalle
. The kids were both being squirrelly. We grown-ups discussed an upcoming essay contest, and brainstormed things that have changed us. We had a new attendee, an older woman whose children want her to tell them the story of her life. She is awesome.
From my notepad:
- Read Hacker's Dictionary
- Deciding to return to the magic
- Kissing BJ
- Picking up Star Trek Log 2 by Alan Dean Foster (mis-shelved in the kids' section)
- Buying my computer (independence)
- Getting drunk @ Shawn's party (discovery of my depression)
- Staying in Arizona for college after BJ left
- Moving in w/BJ (in Fairbanks)
- Proposing to the Lady E
- Telling Mama I was not straight
- Getting my ears pierced
- Moving to AZ
- Facing down FatherSir
- Shrimpy's love spell
- Little Fayoumis (turnaround)
- BJ barfing
- Spending the night at River's
- The road trip to Iowa
I was so busy transforming myself when I broke up with him that breaking up with him was almost an afterthought.
What is my second home?
Vodka, straight & square, pregnant
The jumping monkey story?
The bachelor apartment from hell
Meeting Shanna / starting my journal in the 5th grade
Failing to lose my virginity -- getting it on (or not) with Shawn
The men's room -- I was proud of my self for having actually gone in there, but when I told Darkside about it, "You really were spineless then, weren't you." No shit. :P
The kids were squirrelly getting into the car, too. Four year olds with meltdowns are never fun to deal with, especially not in public. I'm so very selfishly glad that I never had to deal with the Little Fayoumis with a public meltdown, because he would just carry on and kick and scream for half an hour or more when he had a meltdown. Fortunately for me, I never had to deal with one of those outside the house, or when I was trying to get somewhere. We'd usually just put him in his room, shut the door, and wait out the tantrum. It could be a couple hours sometimes. He had the worst time when we were rearranging household members, and he'd want Mommy, not me. And then he wouldn't go to sleep and then he'd be one pissy sonofabitch the next day. I am eternally grateful that I never had to deal with him at two or three, because pre-verbal and pre-coherent kids I can watch for a limited amount of time, but if you expect me to try to interact with them and take care of them and understand them, you'll fry my brain.
Part of the leaving the Little Fayoumis alone in his room was for his continued health and safety as well. I have inherited my father's temper, and I know exactly what is possible to happen to kids when you have a kid being squirrelly and an adult pushed past the limits of patience with a temper like mine and my father's. My father did not restrain his anger well, and the spankings made me fear him even when he wasn't angry. Even after he realized his mistake and stopped spanking too hard, his rage still terrified me, so much so that I vowed that I would never have children so that I would never inflict my temper on them, ever. When I was faced with the Little Fayoumis, I vowed to never let him see me in anything less than perfect control of my temper. I do swat him on the butt, I do speak sternly to him, and it's in a very controlled and deliberate manner. When I am pushed past my limits, I tell him that he will go to his room now
, and if he does not go now
, he is carried there, the door is shut, and I go into my own room and blow off steam. If I had not been raised with FatherSir, I would probably yell more, and spank harder and more often than once in a very blue moon. But I was raised with that, and am very aware of what it feels like to have a parent who is out of control versus one who is just very, very angry in due proportion with the offense. FatherSir realized his mistake and started breaking the cycle, and I will complete the process.
I feel like I have to be more restrained than most normal parents, not by nature, but because my nature is dangerous. It's become ingrained now, a conditioned override so constant that I hardly notice it. It helps that he's old enough to understand things now, and is accustomed to me and my moods and knows that "grouchy" means that if he pushes it, he gets griped at. It's almost so I can pretend that there was never a need to stomp on myself so that I could help raise him. He's getting old enough that my mother-hen instincts are kicking in. I mother-hen over geekboys, not over babies, and he's old enough to be a very junior geekboy now.
Come to think of it, the Little Fayoumis being pre-coherent was probably another large part of my exhaustion the first time around at that job, because I was dealing with a kid I didn't understand and I resented it, and I resented having to rein in my anger, and I resented all the changes that I had to make to myself and so on in order to live with him on a fairly intimate basis. In fact, my job satisfaction began going downhill after Dude left... and eventually the Little Fayoumis and I started speaking the same language, but that didn't start happening until late 2002 or so. I could never spend that much intensive time with a four year old. I turned on Pokemon to make him shut up and stop trying to interact with me, because I just can't abide small children for more than a few hours at a time intermittently. With the advent of homework, Little Fayoumis is getting more quality time with me than ever, and I think that's part of why he does it so readily for me.