Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the tag “truth”

Perfect Parenting

 

 

My husband is apparently furious with me over a Facebook post I

made.  I know this because during our argument, he brought it up

and I could actually hear his teeth clenching.  He doesn’t usually get

that mad.

 
So here is what I said:  “I know this is awful, but I am so happy that

my daughter has finally gotten to the age where she wants to do

some things by herself in her room.  I’m sure I will soon be eating

these words.”

 
Why was he so furious?  I told him that at some time, virtually every

mother and father has probably felt like that.  That wasn’t the

problem.  He told me (through clenched teeth) that his problem with

it was that I had made such a NEGATIVE statement, and front of

EVERYONE.  He basically couldn’t believe that I had the temerity to

say it out loud.

 
What the hell?

 
Why not?

 
First, I told him I thought it was a positive statement – I was posting

about something that made me happy.  No.  It was NEGATIVE.  I

guess we can’t admit out loud that our little darling has ANY

annoying issues, because you NEVER are allowed to feel that your

children are annoying.  At least not out loud, apparently.

 
Really?

 
A little bit about my daughter.  Since the minute she was born, she

could not be put down on her own.  She had to be held at all times, or

she just cried.  Our final solution was to buy a sling that we could

wear across our bodies, so that she could look out and be held, and

we could have some hands-free time.

 
As a toddler, she could not be left with toys to amuse herself on her

own.  She had to be touching us, and she had to have her hands all

over what we were doing.

 
She is almost ten, and the “Mommy look, Mommy look” thing has yet

to be extinguished.  While I was writing this I was urgently

summoned to another room for something I HAD to see.  What was

it?  Her dragon game had accidentally put a dragon with the word

“butt” in it next to a dragon that had the word “head” in it.  Ha ha ha,

hysterical!  For that I was summoned away while I had a head full of

words that were in perfect order and needed to be written down

while they were still there.  I’m sure you writers can relate.

 
When she was a baby, my husband thought he could stay with her

and continue to work at home.  You can guess how long that lasted.

We had a brilliant idea!  An in-house sitter who could keep her as he

worked.  Know how long THAT lasted?  Yeah, we had to put her in

daycare, because we both had to work.  And I cried like some crazy

fool when we brought her there, because I never wanted her to be a

daycare baby.

 
As she got older, things didn’t get better.  Even with two adults in the

house, she so constantly demanded attention that we resorted to

hiring babysitters a couple times a week in the afternoon just so we

could do some things on our own.  We seldom left the house, but the

sitters saved our sanity.  And that was HIS idea.

 
Later, as we had yet another worried discussion about how she so

completely could not function alone, my husband thought that

maybe it was because we had so many sitters paying attention to her,

that she had gotten used to it.  No.  I don’t think so.  She was that

way when she started, which is why we were driven to hire the

sitters.

 
You must understand that throughout her lifetime, we have fretted

over her lack of inner resources.  It’s not that my husband didn’t see

the issues.  It’s not that he didn’t think that her neediness was

extreme.

 
So when I made the post, it was because in the last year, she has

gotten to where she wants to watch Minecraft videos, on her own, in

her room.  You have no idea what a relief this was, to have her come

home and not instantly glom on.  She gets upset when I go out to get

the mail without telling her.  I couldn’t finish peeing before she was

looking for me, even after I told her I was going.  “But it’s taking you

such a long TIME!”

 
And saying that was a relief was BAD?  How exactly?  Oh.  We

mustn’t admit that we don’t want to spend every waking minute with

our child.  (This from a man who constantly says he refuses to care

about what other people think).

 
I guess that wanting to get a thought in edgewise makes me a

horrible parent.

 
What the HELL? It’s not that he didn’t recognize that she has an

issue with playing alone.

 
And the thing is, I’ve never stopped accommodating her.  I feel that if

a child wants attention from a parent, and that parent has it to give,

that you should spend it with your child.  After all, they grow up so

fast, right?  So just like I dropped everything to see the Butthead

Dragons (had I known that was what was so urgent, I wouldn’t have),

I have spent my life with a kid treating every little thing as

important, because to them, it is.  I have lavishly praised

achievements, set limits, looked over homework, and made a point of

never refusing a hug, even with onions browning and chicken grease

all over my hands.  I’ve heard my husband refuse hugs:  in the

middle of something, busy now, carrying stuff.

 
So why can’t I say what I said?  Why can no one know?  Why can’t we

let others know about things that are real?  Is he playing the

competitive parent game?  Totally not like him.  Does he just not

want any chinks to show in our perfect armor?  Not really like him

either.  I honestly don’t understand, this time, what torqued him off

so bad.

 
Gentle readers, can you help me?  Am I a terrible parent?  Should

that awful thought have been stifled?  Please weigh in on this.  Am I

missing something?  Help!

Daily Prompt: Be The Change

I wasn’t so much hoping for a change with the blog as I was hoping for a clarification.  All my life I’ve been convinced that I had at least one novel in me.  I was hoping these little writings would bring the pieces of a novel into focus, and bring my life into focus with it.  I had a pretty tumultuous adolescence, and a fair amount of upheaval in my young adult life.  I was troubled, and rebellious, which sprung from my mundane childhood as a young prodigy and the belief that there had to be something out there that was wicked and more interesting.  I longed for excitement.  My parents were as safe and as bland as the Cleavers and I couldn’t believe anything they told me about bad things out in the world as they had obviously never experienced any of them.  My mother was homecoming queen at her large state university, and my father was in law school.  They met shortly after this and my mom married him not long out of college after teaching French and Spanish in a prestigious Colorado neighborhood.  I was born when Mom was 23 and my dad was 32.  From then on, my mom did her utmost to see that my performance in all areas of life was superlative.  She taught me words with blocks before I was walking.  I did multipiece jigsaws about the time I started to walk.  I was her certified One Trick Pony all through my childhood, and I obediently leeped through my hoops and trotted and cantered in time to her light whip and hackneyed circus music.

When I hit adolescence, I began to question everything, including the need to bring home straight A’s.  I felt that my grades singled me out for negative attention from my fellow students, and I began deliberately letting my grades slide to ward off their unwanted criticism.  I got involved with a number of negative, destructive things which unfortunately persisted into young adulthood.  When I finally got through all that, I was left with an “is that all there is?” feeling that haunted me through later years.  A husband and child failed to fill the void and I have been stumbling through my life since then, going through the motions, waiting for something to happen that never comes.

I think I’m hoping that this blog will be a form of therapy.  Although I’m afraid to put some of the truths of my life “out there” on the internet, I can feel my resistance breaking down as I read some of the things that have been shared by the community here.  Unfortunately, I can’t afford to share too much, as I am a physician in a small town and some things I write may be held against me.  I have made sure that no one in town (except my husband) is aware that I even have a blog.  There are just some things that I don’t want to share with friends and acquaintances that I can share with absolute strangers.  Paradoxically true.  Even my husband being aware of the blog has had some repercussions – he has found some of the things I’ve shared to be things that I should have instead shared with him.  Again, sometimes it’s easier to communicate with relative strangers. 

I am digging into my past now to try to find some nuggets with humor or at least truth that I can share in this blog.  And if I can make sense of where I’ve been, maybe I can figure out where I’m going.

Things I Can’t Seem To Do

I can’t back up my minivan worth a damn.  The thing is like a damn boat and even with the back-up cam I can’t keep the thing straight.  I keep swerving all over the place and nearly running into things.  There still are blind spots on the side where I can’t see.  There are scrapes up and down the sides of the van where I have dragged along one side of the garage or the other.  And forget parallel parking.  In fact, forget parking at all.  I don’t even like to pull in to a straight-in parking spot because the van is so big I am always too close to one vehicle or the other.  It would be easier to say that I just hate the van.  I also can’t judge how far to pull in to a parking spot, so a lot of the time, my butt is sticking out into traffic.  I feel like one of those fool soccer moms.  I have always prided myself on being a good and competent driver, but this van has reduced me to a whimpering fool.

I also can’t find my way anywhere.  I have absolutely no sense of direction.  I could practically get lost in my own neighborhood.  I have this terrible feeling every time I set out to a place that I have only been a few times before, that I will take a wrong turn and be totally lost.  I also can’t use a GPS worth a damn.  Those stupid things are always dissing me.  “Make a u-turn, if possible.”  If possible in GPS speak means “you idiot, you missed your turn”.  I am always turning at the wrong intersection, or sailing through a stop sign while craning my neck for the turn that is just ahead.  I have nearly wrecked any number of times while following the directions of a GPS.  And they always sound so damn sarcastic.

I can’t seem to return phone calls.  No matter who it is; no matter how much I like the person, returning a phone call just seems too damn hard.  I am always afraid that the call will take too long; that I will regret making it.  And if I don’t know the person well, I always feel frozen in my tracks.  I’m not sure what to say.  I’m afraid they’ll think I’m weird.  I always get very formal and stilted when I’m talking to someone I don’t really know.  I try to be casual and smooth but I always come across the other way.  And I am terrible at keeping touch with my friends.  I always just let them drift away, and suddenly it’s been years and now I don’t know where to find them or how to call them.  I have wasted more friends over the years and now I have very few left.  I just get so wrapped up in my own damn miserable life and the time just flies.

I can’t seem to make new friends.  I am always too shy to invite a new person that I’ve met out to do something, and no one ever seems to ask me.  I must have some kind of “leave me alone” painted across my forehead.  Am I too intimidating?  Or are they?  I always feel like other people have enough friends, that they won’t need another one or they’ll think I’m a fool.  I always feel like I’m asking someone out on a date, even if it’s another woman.  I think my mom taught me how to act so formal around people, I can’t let down my guard and just be friends.

I can’t stand small talk.  In my job, I’m very very good at it.  I have to be; I have to keep people occupied in the middle of a very embarassing exam.  But after doing it all day, I don’t want to do it anymore once I’ve come home.  I just want to be left alone.  I know it drives my husband crazy; he’s so outgoing and chats up everyone.  It just embarasses me how he does that.

And I can’t can’t can’t ask anyone for help.  I was always the one my friends called, wanting to tell me about their problems and ask for advice.  When I am lonely or have a problem, I clam up.  I keep it all inside of me and don’t want to bother anyone.  My mom taught me it’s not good to bother people.  So I don’t call my friends and my problems just eat away at me without any help.

I am trying to be better at these things, so help me, I am but it is just so hard.  And some things you just have to accept; I finally came to terms with the fact that I really just have no sense of direction, and I never will have one.  Some things you just can’t fix.

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