Parenting Tips For Surviving The Teen Years With Grace, Dignity and A Little Less Drunkenness

Adolescence, otherwise known as the slow descent into madness, or those lost years mommy raided the liquor store in search for more wine, or when the little darlings morph into bigger versions of Teletubbies gone awry, is a trying time for everyone; parents, teens, grandparents, teachers, babies, the dog, the mail-delivery person, the librarian with the big ass mole, the nice policeman who escorted you home after being caught outside the liquor store after hours banging on the doors pleading for them to “PLEASE OPEN I NEED WINE! I HAVE TEENAGERS!!!”….

The brains of average teenagers are still developing and pushing the limits. It’s one of the many fun and interesting ways they determine their place in the family; their role in the world and their intimate social circle. It’s also annoying as hell.

Limit setting and parents sticking to them is the key element to any good survival during this emotional roller coaster. They will yell, scream, slam doors and then use the ever favourite “Jan’s mom let her do it”. “AGAIN WITH THE JAN’S MOM?! I’m not Jan’s mom! I don’t care what Jan’s mom let her do! WHO THE HELL IS JAN?! Jan’s mom can stick it!! “ Natural and understandable responses to an illogical and peer-pressure kind of tactic that only ensues argumentative combative behaviour. BAD FORM, TEEN. But that’s what they know. Knee jerk emotional responses to having their asses slammed into a room with nowhere to go but to a ‘Jan’s mom’ kind of response. Stick to your guns! Not literal guns, but your limits. Stick to your decisions. You get it. DON’T CAVE!  

I could say here that communication is the key to any good relationship and speaking in quiet tones and providing a caring and open environment for them to participate in mature dialogue will assist in curbing the emotional upheaval….but that would be utter bullshit. Seriously. Teens are a ball of emotional crap wrapped up in a brain-fugue ire that speaking at all will only escalate the already shitty attitude they possess. I tend to throw my hands in the air and say “Jesus, help me with this child! Give him the necessary good sense that he needs to see the light!” and then proceed to speak in tongues. This generally confuses the shit out of the teen and he is so freaked out he turns around and goes to his room to try to call his father saying “Mom has lost it! Come home now!” And will never ask to go to another party/borrow the car/jump off a bridge, again.  

As a mother of three teens who are now adults, I can say you will survive. Motherhood be damned, the adolescent years are the most trying times; following of course after toddlerdom when the word ‘no’ was the prompt to put more toys in the toilet; the righteous pre-teen years where buying the right shirt was a major meltdown affair and of course the roaring twenties where there’s university exams, classes and staying out all night. Actually, now that I read that statement, being a parent kind of sucks. There is no decade safe where you can really sit back with your feet up and relax and say, ‘yep. We did it. We raised our kids.’ A parent’s work is never done and even now that my kids are no longer ‘kids’, I can say I still worry. We still argue (yes, Miss H even with Son), we still have to set the limit and toe the line and all that parenting lingo you read in all of the Parenting 101 books that kinda only work when the kid is already well-adjusted, graduated with a PhD and on his way to his own wedding. All those nice parenting books you bought will surely serve better as a nightstand where you can lay your bottle of wine after an afternoon of endless pleading and begging with the mail-delivery-person to please rescue you from your torment only for him/her/neutral to pry your death grip from his/her/neutral arm and run madly up the street….damned mail-delivery persons! (being politically correct is wordy, but not expensive)

Suck it up, Mommy/Daddy you’re a lifer now!

Ahhh, think back to the day when that adorable little pink baby was first placed in your arms and you promised him the world! And now, well now, he’s still kinda adorable and you would still give him the world if he wasn’t so damned stubborn like his father and have the intelligence of a snail. Then he comes home with decent grades and you think “Yesss. Finally, he has turned a corner. He is growing up” then he dents the car, or floods the basement with the garden hose or goes bowling with a frozen turkey and throws it through the front door.  

Yup.  

A teenager. The universe’s way of reminding you that young people can be stupid. We are the force that guides these young impressionable teens into adulthood with common sense, values and a wealth of information to make solid decisions; like bowling with a frozen turkey is way better suited in the basement using the hockey net. Duh…ANYONE KNOWS THAT.  

That’s why we also have wine. For when those guidelines are a little skewed, those decisions are a little off the mark and we struggle with guilt, ire and Jesus.

Good luck, fellow parents. You are not alone during this traumatic and challenging time. Remember, they will be around FOREVER. Also, the liquor store is open daily until 11pm. Make sure to get there early.

You. Are. Welcome.

 

    

 

Top Ten List of: Shit I Did When You Weren’t Looking

I haven’t done a Top Ten list in quite some time. I thought today would be a great day for one.
10. Ran a 10mile race. Maybe you were looking since I told everyone about it, but some people were still surprised I actually ran a race and still lived to tell about it, so not everyone is as in the loop as you.   

Me running, and not dying. Yet. 
9. Snuck a garden gnome in my garden and he is still there! Now that you know, DON’T TOUCH HIM. HE STAYS.

8. Texted my friend and gave her shit for missing my birthday but discovered she did leave a message that FB deleted so really, I looked like an asshole for being an asshole.

Actual conversation.  She still likes me…I think. 
7. Watched the beginning of a movie and the end without watching the middle which is usually a vital part of the whole thing. In this case, it really wasn’t. Now, I think if I watch the first forty five minutes and the last half hour of any movie, I should be good. No need for all the junk that happens mid-way. It’s just the whole plot, I mean really, who needs that?

Part of the movie I missed, but I don’t think it’s that important, right?


6. Told a first-time runner and neighbour there was going to be band playing during the race, which two years ago there was I swear, but this time there wasn’t and now he’s all “THERE WAS NO BAND! WHERE WAS THE BAND?! I WAS LOOKING FOR THE BAND!” for the entire duration of the race. In my defence, YOU WERE LISTENING TO SOME ON YOUR IPOD SO THERE WAS YOUR BAND. MOVE ON. Gawd, I can’t be right about everything….kinda. By the way, if my garden gnome goes missing in the next 48 hours I’M LOOKING AT YOU!!

5. Since Hubby has returned to work, I actually did two loads of laundry. Dried. Folded. Put away. I don’t want to brag, but I think I did a better job at it. *Hubby, if you are reading this, feel free to try to best me on this one. Seriously. I know you THINK you’re good at laundry, but uh, my folding technique rocks! Okay, if you really want to try to beat me at this one task, I’ll let you try….I’M A GIVER.

4. I submitted two job applications for freelance work that were epic examples of my wit and humour and pithy prose to which the reply was *crickets* Nothing. OKAY, IF YOU REALLY THINK MY PITCH FOR A HANGOVER SUPPLEMENT WASN’T AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF INTELLIGENT STORY-TELLING, ESPECIALLY THE PART ABOUT GRANDPA’S DART TOURNAMENT FIASCO, THEN GO AHEAD AND HIRE SOMEBODY ELSE. Gawd.  

3. I’ve decided that being a responsible adult is overrated and better suited for everyone else, but me. In future refer all important tasks to an adult who will take requests, demands and questions seriously instead of answering with “I know you are, but what am I?”  

2. According to viable sources, licking the top of a beer bottle will not dissuade other people from drinking from it. It just induces future licking of bottles and glasses until everyone is drinking from everyone else’s drinks, which really is kinda gross when you think about it. Next time, I’m switching the beer for…EWWW, NO I WASN’T GOING TO SAY PEE. UGH. THAT’S DISGUSTING. WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU THINK I AM? BESIDES, DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO PEE IN A BEER BOTTLE?! You need a good *urinary device if you’re a woman, to pull that shit off…don’t ask me how I know that. (*medical terminology for a funnel or aid to guide the stream in the right direction. WHAT?! DO YOU KNOW HOW NARROW THE NECK OF A BEER BOTTLE IS??!! It takes precision and timing and…never mind. )

1. People in the ‘hood with pools: If you see a random rubber ducky in there, his name is Sid. No, I don’t know how he could have gotten in there, but don’t scare him. He likes to float around. Just sayin’…..

Looks just like Sid!!

Let’s Pretend Reality is Really Real

As I get older, I find it harder to keep up. Keep up with the ‘kids’, keep up with the work around the house, keep up with the bills, keep up with exercising, keep up with the ever moving ever changing world we live in. I suppose that’s normal and something everybody has to deal with, but that’s not the image people play out on social media.
If one was to believe everything according to Facebook, everybody is living a perfect well-balanced, harmonious life void of any pressures of keeping up, or staying fit or feeling great or being successful. Life According to Facebook is a veritable wonderland of rainbows and unicorns. The happiness meter is on bust and the world is one great big giant playground where all the kids are having fun and playing nice and laughing hysterically…not maniacally. That would be creepy and Facebook doesn’t do creepy. Does it? 

 Well, kinda when you think about it. That’s the premise of Facebook. We gander and peruse others’ lives. We look at the pictures. We see the posts. “I had a great time eating my lunch today.” REALLY?! How is eating lunch equal to having a good time? UNLESS, there was alcohol and a lot of friends thrown in there where you didn’t have to go back to work and the food was free and the sun was shining and….see, there are parameters about how having fun eating lunch can actually occur. Who am I to judge whether someone had fun simply by eating his/her lunch? I’m not. But if somebody puts it out there for the world to see, the world will invariably judge because, duh, that’s what human beings do.  

We judge.

We compare.

We analyse.

We decide what is good, what is bad, what is tasteful, what isn’t. It’s in our nature to simply make decisions on first impressions, be all judgey about it then move on.  

Or, like me, make fun. It’s how I roll, but then I expect the same in return.  

The perfectionist in all of us wants to post the BEST of us on Facebook for the world to dissect and analyse and examine in some sort of twisted voyeuristic play, but that’s not real life.

Nothing on there is real. Really. Not EXACTLY reality, sort of a mixed-up “let’s pretend” kind of thing.  

Image is what is being projected. Someone’s likeness to the real human underneath the pouty smile or the posed stance next to the car. No one’s life is a perfect sequence of magical events all coming together in one symphonic interlude.  

But we sure as hell like to think it does. “Hey, I got a smile from my dog. Post that!” I have done that. I do that all of the damned time and then think, “Why the fuck did I just post a picture of my snarly growly tyrannical dog who actually looks like she’s smiling for once and not ready to tear the head off some random kid walking by our house?” WELL, BECAUSE MY SNARLY GROWLY TYRANNICAL DOG ACUTALLY LOOKED LIKE SHE’S SMILING FOR ONCE AND NOT READY TO TEAR THE HEAD OFF SOME RANDOM KID WALKING BY OUR HOUSE! That’s why. Because it made me happy to think she was actually happy and I wanted the world to think my dog was happy and in turn, I was happy.

Because happy is good.

AND WHO DOESN’T WANT TO BE HAPPY?!

So post happy!

As long as everyone is under the general anesthetic knowledge that NOTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA IS REALLY REAL, only kinda sorta real then we’re all good.

So, Truman on folks.*  

Fake is the new reality. Not to be confused with the ever-nauseating phrase ‘fake news’. Pleeeeeeaaasssse. No.

Here is a picture of my snarly growly tyrannical dog who actually looks like she’s smiling for once.


I hope it makes you happy.

*[For those of you old enough, this is a movie reference to the Truman Show. Jim Carrey. Ring a bell? No? Ugh. Nevermind….]

The Long Road

I already had the title to this post in my head before I even sat down to write it. I already had a few sentences rolling around in my brain before I took up my pen to my journal. I had words like ‘shock’ and ‘dismay’ and ‘the universe sucks, sometimes’. All the while, the world continued to spin and mine had hit a mountainous rock and bumped into a ditch with water seeping into my socks.

Hubby had a heart attack.

It was a shock. That’s what everyone who has experienced this says, isn’t it? What a shock! Not ever something you can predict or say is going to happen, like a car hitting a tree for no reason or a person falling over her own feet or your face suddenly slamming into a brick wall you didn’t see in front of you (I know from experience) …it just happens.

And then, in that moment you have to deal. Deal with doctors and emergency rooms and blood tests and medications you have never heard of before, all in hours of hearing the words “my chest hurts”. It’s overwhelming and terrifying and, pardon the pun, heart wrenching. Your guts hurt, your mind reels and you don’t know what to do first. Should I call someone? Did I turn the lights off in the truck when we parked? Are the kids at work or school? What the hell is my husband doing connected to all these wires? When did we suddenly become a statistic? Today. Today we did.

A heart attack?! Him?!  

They sprayed nitro glycerin under his tongue. They took his blood pressure that many times he looked like they were blowing up a tire around his arm. They took his blood. They gave him pills. Baby aspirins. Then needles in the guts. Then more pills. They spoke reassuringly but always with the caveat, ‘you were lucky’. LUCKY?!  

Not feeling the luck right now, thanks.

The hardest part was returning home without him. Telling the kids that their father had a heart attack but he was ‘okay’. There were fearful tears, some questions and then son with the biology text book assertions of how he knew exactly what happened and rattled off the technical medical terms that remain in my mind as ‘blah blah cardiac blah blah’. It somehow comforted him to know exactly how it happened and the physiology behind it, because that’s how his brain works. I let him go on.  

Days in the Cardiac Care Unit with amazing nurses whose knowledge about the heart and what happens next and which tests will be done, were invaluable and alarmingly accurate. The Cardiologists were professional and kind and repeated the ‘lucky man’ phrase. After the dye test and they put in the stainless steel stent that ‘fixed him’ and he was proclaimed good as new, we found out why he was ‘lucky’. A 95% blockage in one of the main arteries; had he wasted any time getting to the hospital, he would not have been here. At all.  

Huh. Lucky man.

Lucky I was home, lucky he hadn’t taken a nap, lucky he had taken that year before to lose the weight and eat healthy, lucky he had gone to the hospital when he did….it goes on.

Luck. Not chalking it up to luck, sorry. Some missteps led to some common sense that led us to the hospital. Nothing to do with luck.  

The universe still sucks, but at least it left the door open a tad for us to jump on through if we so chose.

Genetics. That’s the term that was flying around his room. What your father went through, you will inherit. You did everything right, but you can’t change where you come from.  

But, it was a blow. It was a blow to our ego. It was a blow to everything we had been believing in. We are still young. We are doing things right. Eating well, exercising all the damn time. What the actual fuck, life?! You tricked us. Not fair.    

Then the denial. That was evident from the second we walked into the hospital. This is silly. The pain is gone. Let’s not waste their time. All words he had said. Then when the words had been spoken and they laid it out to him, it still took four days for it to resonate as reality.

A heart attack.  

He returned home with questions and trepidation and a mountain of meds that we had never had to deal with before. Every time I handed him a pill it was ‘what’s this one for?’ and ‘what’s this one called, again?’ It was confusing and scary. I called my ‘hood nurse for insight and reminders and medication guidance and I felt ashamed I had not remembered everything I thought I should have in the hospital, but then again how could I? I’m a mere mortal.  

Now we question every little ache and every little move as a possible follow up attack. Is this another one? Is it happening again? Are we doing something wrong? Are the medications not working? WHAT IS GOING ON?!  

We don’t know.

How are we supposed to?

Moving forward, we resolve to be positive and I’m sure he doesn’t tell me everything because he doesn’t want me to worry, and of course, vice versa. Stress causes damage to the heart. No stress=no damage. At least, in my mind. But is there such a thing as no stress?

I don’t think that’s possible when one is in the midst of raising three child-adults, and there’s uni and work and groceries and running a household and dealing in real life.  

Maybe it should be about how to handle stress. We exercise and go for our walks and try to live a healthy balanced life. We take things hour by hour and what happened, happened. We can’t change that. Move on and move up.

This heart attack didn’t just happen to him. It happened to US.

We are dealing together. It’s a long road and we are embarking on this journey as a team. There may be t-shirts in the making. And team logos. And banners.

Because nothing says team like a good logo!
            

        TEAM


                     HUBBY

 

 And taking a punch for your teammate.    

That’s all we know, now.  

Take care of each other…

https://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart/emergency-signs

 

 

 

 

Perfection Is A Myth and Words I Don’t Like


It is a myth. Seriously. Perfection is impossible to attain. It’s an illusion. A mirage. A trap designed to suck you in and laugh while you fail miserably at all attempts to own it. Don’t fall for it. Just be you. Imperfect. Flawed. Making mistakes and owning up to them. It’s better for all of us if you just calm down and be you. You will be better for it. So will your mother. And your father. Siblings. Friends. Colleagues. The kid that mows your lawn. The guy that leaves you creepy notes on your desk….Everybody. Essentially, the human race will be better for it. Stop trying to perfect perfection. It can’t be done. Instead, concentrate on being. Being in the moment, being present, being you. Still trying to stand up straight, still working, still breathing, still paying your bills and raising your kids; still walking your dog and helping your neighbour; still falling down and getting back up only to fall down again. Maybe that last part is just me. Anyway, we like you. Honestly, we do! Stop trying to be better than someone else or better than anyone or anything. It’s not a competition. Just be you.  

That was my anti-perfection rant. I felt it needed to be said.

Also, I need milk.

Words I Don’t Like

I felt like I needed to sub-title the second half just to make it easier for you to follow along. I didn’t want someone to get lost inside this post and wonder what the hell all the fuss was about. I care.  

I hate the word ‘deserve’. I don’t understand its usage. How does one person ‘deserve’ something more than another person? How does that work, exactly? I deserve to have a day off and the other person doesn’t? Or do we both deserve it? Who decides? “Go have a good time. You deserve it!” I’ve heard that on many occasions. How do I deserve that? I worked hard? So did many others. Do they deserve it to? “Oh he got what he deserves.” Implies that he was on the other end of some bad shit. What did he do to ‘deserve’ that? Broke the law? Broke someone’s heart? Broke Mrs. Brady’s lamp? What?  

It bothers me.

I never use this word.

It’s in line with other words I don’t like.  

I have a list:

Bitch ( Although, I did force myself to use that in a post)

Moist (I’m not the only one who HATES this word)

Dumb

Stupid

Retard(ed) (SHOULD BE OBLITERATED FROM THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE)

Various terms used to describe women genitalia (All of them are AWFUL)

Craptastic (WHO THOUGHT OF THIS WORD?! Ugh)

Newfie ( Newfoundlander is much better, thank you. AND, just so you know, I’m not a REAL Newfoundlander, I’m still a Mainlander with an honorary title of Newfoundlander. Somebody important told me that. I can’t tell you who, it’s all very hush-hush. Stop asking. A secret ceremony was held. There may or may not have been alcohol involved…)

 

I can’t think of any more right now, but I’m sure there are a few that bug me. Add to the list if you like…It’s an add-on-to-the-awful-word-list blog post. I like to get people involved.

I’m a giver like that.  

 

 

 

Namaste, Bitches

Daughter and I have decided to give Yoga a try.  She signed us up last week and tonight is our second class.  It was a little disconcerting to be walking into someone’s private home as a Yoga studio, but we decided to keep an open mind and give it a go.

Our Yogi is a slightly-more-than-middle-aged woman who has cleared away the front room of her house to use as a space for practicing.  It was spacious and warm, a perfect spot, really.   There are only 8 people to a class, and to say Daughter is the youngest is akin to stating that an elephant is big.  EVERYONE is my age or older.  She seemed undaunted by this, but I was a bit concerned.  I mean, hey it’s all good for me sista, but she’s just a youngin’…not the class I think she had in mind when she went on Google to find a studio.  Yep.  Googled ‘Yoga Studios’ in our area and this is the one she chose…huh.

yoga

Yeah, we don’t look quite like this

I was unfazed by the older man with the ZZ Top beard and the ragged faded jeans, but the dude who placed his mat beside me (I think his name was Brian) was a heavy breather.  Yep.  Like a bad Seinfeld episode, this guy sounded like he had just run a marathon in under four minutes.  Good thing he wasn’t a close-talker or I really would have had an issue…

seinfeld-close-talker

Close Talkers and Heavy Breathers back up and turn over, please

There were more men than I expected, but I think they were part of couples since the ladies they joined seemed to be very supportive and insightful in the ways of Yoga.   “Bob, YOU WON’T NEED THAT BIG CABLE KNIT SWEATER DURING CLASS.  UGH”.     “Jim YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG”    “Frank, for GOD’S SAKE JUST BREATHE!”

I did not hear any of that, but it would have been AWESOME if I had.

Couples Yoga should provide counselling services after class.

Hello, business idea for the psychiatrically inclined…

By the way, ‘psychiatrically’ is probably not a word and I’m not about to look it up.  I just spent waaaay too much time re-watching Seinfeld episodes looking for a Heavy Breather gag…

The class was a wee bit longer than I thought and when she pulled out the bolsters and dimmed the lights, I thought ‘couples yoga’ is about to get weeeirrrrrd, but it was more like nap time in Kindergarten.  Sorry, ‘relaxing time’…

Her voice suddenly dropped a few octaves as she went around the room to make sure we were ‘relaxed’…mkay.   I suppressed my urge to laugh and made it through relaxation time unscathed…. except for Heavy Breather Dude who I think almost went into cardiac arrest when it was time to come back to reality and this plane of existence…and stand up.

Poor Bob had to put on his sweater lest he got a chill….tonight is about to get awesome with Geriatric Couples Yoga….

yoga-posing

Lose the sweater, Bob.  It’s about to get real up in here…

I CAN’T WAIT!!

Namaste, Bitches.