Tag Archives: family

Do You Have a License For That Brain?

I tried to pass a piece of advice along to my husband. The way he sometimes does to me. The way this works is that I listen to his perspective, sum it up, and store it away for future reference. Because I respect and value my husband and I know I sometimes need an outside view point.

He doesn’t tend to receive mine well. It’s almost as though he thinks I’m stupid, inept, couldn’t possibly be of any help, and cannot be worthy of respect. As though I were the enemy. What on earth made him choose to share a life with me and conceive and raise a child with me?

His problem today was that Mr. Buttons wanted attention and was starting to be a bit naughty because the child doesn’t know yet how to ask for attention. So I told my husband what was going on. They went outside to trim bushes. The husband overloaded the child with micromanaging instructions and neglected to encourage the child. They fought, and the husband came inside angry. After a little while, I suggested to the husband that he simply encourage the kid to try and praise him and not worry about how the bush turns out. Husband began to argue; I said I didn’t come out here to argue. I’m simply offering you advice the same way you help me sometimes. Husband was pouty and seemed to want to show off how good he was with the clippers. 

I believe God’s giving us the ability to conceive and raise children is not taken seriously enough. People argue about gun-control and abortion, but the greatest weapon of all is a brain.

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Such a Time as This, Little Piggies

There’s a movie called About Time. It has Rachel McAdams (a superb actor) and Domhnall Gleeson (also superb). It has been a blessing of a movie to my family. Not that we let Mr. Buttons view it, but he has been indirectly blessed.

Things are slowly improving. My husband and I are revisiting old issues. God is introducing me to wonderful tools. Pride is dying its death stubbornly. 

I’m not stupid. And I won’t apologize for having feelings or for noticing the sullen pouting, the stiff pride, and the dissembling that is used against me. What’s the point in being married if we cannot be friends? Why would any man take a wife is she is to be treated as the enemy? An enemy appliance expected to perform duties sans emotion, passively, lifelessly, and pounded when her buttons are worn out. 

Where on earth is all this shoddy family programming coming from?

Well, the last week has been pleasant. Yard work, playing with the kid, reading the parts of Hermia and Theseus out loud at the table. Pretty good stuff. And the riddle of passive aggression everywhere, people who feed on your guilt, who excel at subterfuge and lying, and who have no idea what it means to feel and be vulnerable and empathetic. More a riddle than a trial lately, maybe.

I Married a Plant

My husband works a lot. I only work part-time, now. Sometimes my son asks when I will go back to full-time because he misses his friends in evening care, where they used to do homework and then just play! Only child.

My mother never worked outside the home. She was a constant presence in the home. When she and my father were together, we lived on a small farm and life was orderly and they did chores. They divorced when I was three, and then everything went to hell. I have no memories of them as loving one another and I cannot fathom WHY THEY MARRIED.

I married my husband because he is a nice guy. Also, he reminds me of me.

I do a spa treatment on him sometimes. I mix brown sugar and olive oil to make a skin-softening scrub. I use oatmeal to draw out impurities. He enjoys a home-made sauna in the bathroom. I give a full massage with his favorite lotion. Our son gets to participate in parts of it (the clothed parts!). He sees us communicating non-verbally. He sees his mother helping. He also loves to rub Daddy’s feet and hands!

I don’t really know what this husband of mine needs or wants. It seems it is all the same to him. He could leave it or take it. He asks for little. He declines many of my offers to help and doesn’t answer questions. This goes on for years and years.

I feel like a useless appendage. I don’t want to push my agenda, but he did seem to enjoy his spa. And Mr. Buttons is witness to affection and healing service.

Ciao for now.

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

Now I know. I know why people have trouble getting along and why they argue so much and hurt each other. I know why kids resent their parents and why neighbors avoid each other. I know why people whisper and gossip instead of confronting.

Because we rarely hear each other.

Yesterday, my husband said the reason he couldn’t “accept” what I had to say was because it meant his perception automatically became wrong. He did not know that listening doesn’t mean you invalidate your own experience. He wants so badly to be right.

People want so badly to be right.

Not children, necessarily. For a while, they just want to be understood. And when that doesn’t happen, they settle for being right. They also want attention, but will settle for toys and gifts.

I never knew all this time that the reason he could not hear me was because he assumed it meant his perception was wrong.

My son once told me he was hesitant to express anger to me because he was afraid I would take something away from him – like his video games. I believe it’s important that he express his anger. Anger is not disrespectful. I’ve made many adjustments in this area. I want him to be a whole person and to know that his experience is valid.

I do NOT want him to be passive aggressive.

Respawn

Mr. Buttons was happy this morning. But he was very angry last night. So was I.

The teacher sent home a note indicating that at least a week’s worth of reading homework had not been done. By a kid who loves to read! My husband and I were very disappointed because we ask him every day if he has homework; he’s been lying. And he did not respond well to being called out.

I talked it out with him, though, and after a minor blow-up and lots of sharing (I didn’t always do my homework) and truth-telling (look at the 2nd-graders; you wanna hang back a year and be with them instead of your friends?), we decided to seriously limit video games.

Video games. The scourge of healthy child development. My son will go without eating, pooping, or doing his homework to preserve his video game time. I didn’t have this struggle growing up. The Atari and the Nintendo were never competition for outdoor play. They were fun, but not consuming.

So, we have a problem. What does a family do about a problem? My husband and my son do not get along well. Talking is uncomfortable. The old me would just take over and do the hard work of policing new boundaries. The new me waits. And waits. And waits. And I talk to my husband. I say the same things over and over. Calmly, usually (I can’t be havin’ emotions now, can I??): I think the video games are a problem that will only get worse. I think he’s addicted to them. I think he’ll be fine without them. I want a unanimous understanding of the new boundaries. I want unflagging commitment. I want communication and support. And I don’t think that makes me a heinous bitch.

But I do have brief fantasies of throwing a chair at my husband, which does make me a tad abusive. God bless him and strengthen him to face conflict in his own home. We gotta set some traps for these creepers or they will detonate and destroy our family!

Endurance Training

This weather is perfect for a walk. We live on a semi-circle that is populated by a few clans with the same last names and lots of wonderful country dogs. I normally walk about 4 miles, up to the graveyard and back. A pack of dogs follows me and brings me such joy my heart could burst. Sometimes they don’t get along and I get a good lesson in dog psychology.

barely slept because we have bed bugs. I got up at 3 and started cleaning, stripping the bed, and doing laundry. I emptied the bookshelf and got out the vacuum and an arsenal of poisons. The husband called in because he wants to stay home and snake the septic line since the toilet won’t flush. So, yeah, no brisk February walk today.

I went through heck when we had cats a few years back because they got fleas and I couldn’t get rid of them. The husband sat around depressed about it and did nothing. The cats were miserable. Fleas were everywhere. I finally decided to take the cats to the humane society. I didn’t know what else to do. It became obvious that our family cannot work as a team. And I usually have to make the hard calls and be the bitch, like dealing with bullies in the neighborhood or finally getting fed up with my dad. And my husband, who refused to even feed the cats, has the gall to look broken-hearted sometimes and say, “I miss the kitties.”

I just hope we can keep our son alive! Lol

My Motto Is This: God Gives Good Gifts

Yes, I read the Bible. And if you’re following my blog, you’ll be at least as disappointed and/or pissed off as I am about following Jesus.

What the heck

Was up with Lamech?

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to me, you wives of Lamech. I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

Later, God commands His people not to murder. He also decrees the “eye-for-an-eye” justice system.

I wish God would establish some rules for my home. Even when my husband and I agree on a rule, declare it, and begin to enforce it, it never lasts. He usually forgets, is too tired, or changes his mind. One time, he and I decided to take a month off from electronics and I said, “Screw this,” a day later and started iFunnying like a madwoman.

If the members of a family are reasonably motivated and devoted to one another, do we need family rules? I don’t mean the unspoken ones (Daddy grouses about someone’s using his towel) or the requests (could you please close the shower curtain? Ensuring it will be left open even more often). I mean like sitting down and choosing just a few rules together to make this tiny community we call Our Family a little safer and more dependable.

Thou shalt clean thy own mess.

Thou shalt convene at dinner time and share about thy day.

Thou shalt take good care of thyself because thou art important to us.

I don’t know how Adah and Zillah responded to Lamech (besides having more babies). My own husband doesn’t like my ideas for our family and refuses to communicate important information to me. I don’t pursue these things anymore. I ask fewer questions. I wait for him to tell me why there’s a giant wooden spool in the backyard. I don’t remind him of his mother’s birthday or our anniversary or that we agreed 9:30 is the kid’s optimal bedtime. 

I hate him. I resent him. I feel like a bit-player in my own life. He makes the decisions and meets my input with either silence or defiance. I’m too old and tired to be having any more babies. Obviously Adah and Zillah couldn’t love their offspring into better people.

But it sure would be nice to have a few rules. Maybe a family war-cry. Maybe a chore-chart. Maybe at least a written statement of the truth: I’m a slave.