Thursday, November 09, 2006

Commence Holiday Stress

Ok, so I've been off the meds for a while now, and I'm ((this)) close to going back on them.

I've been more stressed out lately than I have been in a long time. There are several reasons why.

1. I'm by no means a political person, but I was really stressed out about this past election. I was so stressed out about it that I didn't even vote. I felt bad about not voting, even though there was really nothing on the ballot that I felt particularly passionate about - at least not passionate enough to wait in the line with the boys for an hour and then hope they didn't start playing with the touch screens. Then I felt enormously guilty for being a shitty, uninformed, indifferent American. I know it's stupid. Sorry I didn't vote, America. I promise not to complain.

2. I've also gained weight. Halloween candy is to blame.

Oh, this is kinda funny - Tito brought me a piece of yellow Laffy Taffy and asked if he could have it. I checked the clock. It was 7am. I said no.

But mom, he said, it not candy, it just food!

Funny how they understand semantics.

3. I've also had some trouble with Beebie on the issue of lying. I found one of her school textbooks in the living room and I reminded her for several days to take it back to school. Finally on Sunday, while she and I were watching TV in my bedroom, I said, Beeb, why don't you go put that book in your bag right now before you forget. She said ok, and she got up from where she was sitting and came back a few moments later she came back and said the book was in her bag, ready to go.

Monday morning, I found the book on the floor in the living room. WHY did she lie? WHY did she make the effort to leave the room and make it look to me like she'd done it, when it would have taken maybe 3 seconds more to actually put the stupid book in the bag like she said she did?? I'm absolutely baffled by this.

Later that day, her friend's mom called to invite her over to spend the night on Friday. When Beeb got home from school, I confronted her about the book and asked her why she didn't just do it when I asked her to (she shrugged her shoulders - the response that pisses me off the most). I also told her that she'd been invited to her friend Jane's house and that if she could get through the week without missing an assignment and without any more lying, she could go. I specifically laid out the fact that if I busted her in a lie, the deal was off.

Yesterday, I picked her up at school and there was a little yellow envelope on the floor by her stuff. I knew right away was a bill from the cafeteria, as she's gotten in trouble before for charging food even after I've sent her to school with a lunch that I make her every morning. So I saw the envelope and knew what it was, and she tried to play it off like it was just lying there on the floor and it wasn't hers. So I picked it up and sure enough, it was hers, had her name on it, a charge for $2.15.

Ok, $2.15 is not a big deal, but then I asked her what the charge was for, and she said she didn't know.

I said Beeb, you need to tell me... and she just kept saying emphatically, I DON'T KNOW!!!! I HAVE NO IDEA!!!

Beeb, they don't just send home bills to kids for fun, you have no business even being in the cafeteria line, I make your lunch every day.


And I knew she was lying.

So are you saying that they sent a bill to you by mistake?

I guess...

And then I said, Well, gosh - that's odd. I guess I should call the school then and tell them that there's something wrong... Oh wait, I could go online and find out just what you charged and when.

And then she started acting like she was trying reeeeeeeeally hard to remember.

Um, I think I maybe... charged a milk a couple of times... when I drank all of my juice and I was still thirsty.

Ok, how many times?

Two, I think...

Well, how much does milk cost?

Forty-five cents.

So now I have to call Jane's mom and tell her that I busted Beeb in a stupid lie and now I can't allow her to come over. It's just so ridiculous. WHY couldn't she have just asked me to put an extra drink in her lunch? Or even just told the truth when I confronted her? "I don't know" is a WHOLE lot different from "I don't remember".

I take lying very seriously and I'm really very concerned. I talked to her about lying and truth and trust - I asked her if it was important to her to feel like she could trust people, and if it was important to her to feel like other people could trust her, and I said that every time she lies, it affects how much I trust her and it's really hard to get someone's trust back after they feel like they can't trust you anymore.

Plus I'm worried that if I call Jane's mom to bail out she'll think I'm too mean or worse - that word will get around that Beebie tells lies and then nobody's going to want to be her friend anymore.

4. And I also think it's the impending holiday season that's already wearing on me. The good news is that I don't have to spend Thanksgiving at Chez Inlaw with MIL, FIL, the Aldis and the Lexi. But the downside is that I don't get to spend it with R.

I'm taking the kids to my parent's house for a week. R has school and he couldn't get the time off work. I've travelled with the kids before, and it's just really really stressful. Anyone with kids knows that any vacation that you have to take the kids on is hardly a vacation.

Yes, the holiday stress is starting already. Ry's class is collecting shoeboxes full of little gifts and toys for Operation Christmas Child, which is due tomorrow. So today I thought I'd take the boys shopping for stuff to put in their shoebox to send to a little boy their age. I know they're little, but it bummed me out that they completely missed the point.

In the car, I tried to lay the groundwork for what we were doing. I explained that we were going to send a box of treats to a little boy who lives somewhere far away so that he'd have a gift to open on Christmas morning. And then Ry said "Yes! And then, HE will send US a gift!!"

No, I said, that's not how it works. We send a gift, that's all. He doesn't send us a gift.

"But that's not FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIR!!" the two of them screamed. Great. I was really in the mood for a "do something nice because it's a nice thing to do" lecture aimed at preschoolers. My head hurts.

So we pick out some stuff and of course the boys fight about it and then when we get back to the car Tito wants me to open one of the things we bought. No, I said, it's to send to the little boy for Christmas, remember?


I was completely disgusted by them at that moment. Truthfully, though, I feel like all the piles of unplayedwith toys are my fault. I blame myself for breeding ungrateful, lazy kids. And I know that they're really not bad kids and they're really not any different from any other kid out there. I really do try to not go overboard with gifts (limited finances inherently prevents me from going too crazy), and I insist that they get rid of some of the toys that they haven't played with for a long time. And yet, every year I drive myself crazy buying gifts for my kids, my nieces and nephews and my friends. Why do I do this to myself? And why do I start so early? I actually used to really like Christmas before I got married and had kids.

I'm so stressed out about this trip coming up (the actual travel part more than anything - my parents are cool) and I'm already stressing about Christmas Day at the inlaws. Already. On November 9th.

5. I hate this house and my inability to keep it clean. I hate walking out of one filthy room into another. It's depressing and it sucks every ounce of motivation I might muster up to clean it. I just want to lie in bed with my covers over my head.

Ironically, for the first time in the last ten years or so, I actually feel good about our financial situation. That stupid Farter Cable fiasco is coming off of my credit report (oh, and Farter STILL hasn't sent me a copy of the bill I've asked them for repeatedly), and my goal is to get us out of this house and under the thumb of evil Elite Property MisManagement once and for all.

6. But then, I'll have to move. Ugh.

7. Oh, and as a result of all this stress, my period was like disturbingly late last month. Yeah, that's EXACTLY the kind of stress I need.

8. And I'm really worried about poor Kevin Federline. How's he going to live and support four babies on $30,000 a month?

Yeah, that's a brief overview of the stresses I have in my life right now. If I start taking the meds now, they'll kick in right around the time I leave for our trip. I'm seriously considering it.

So anyway, I missed Blogstalking Monday and Simple Green Big Wiener Tuesday - but did I come through on WPN Wednesday or WHAT???

Our Tuesday Wiener, Domestic Overlord, knew that R and I created a holiday called Fingal Fergus Day.

Today's question is:

What were the two (non-knitting related) things I said I wanted to learn to do in 2006?

Hint: I haven't done either one of them.


Skye said...

My vote is for going back on the meds. Traveling with kids plus impending holiday season equals way too much stress. I totally related to your comment, "I actually used to really like Christmas before I got married and had kids." So every year, not only do I have holiday stress, I also have holiday depression about not enjoying the holidays any more! Anyway, yeah... if the meds work for you, and unless you have some big important reason not to take them, I think you should go for it. No reason to go through any more stress than you absolutely have to.

cpurl17 said...

Better living through chemisty has my vote.

I really admire you for keeping it all together. I was in Target the other night doing shoebox stuff and I saw a Mom with two kids and they were fighting about the same thing. I wanted to give her a big hug so I'll send you a virtual one instead (((((((PK))))))))))))

Poops said...

I vote go on the meds and give me some too. We can wash them down with tequila. Here is some perspective for you. It also goes down good with tequila...

1. You are an American. You have the right to vote. You have the right not to exercise that right. And everyone knows that midterm elections don't count. Jon Stewart said so.
2. Everyone gains weight at holiday time. That's what New Year's Resolutions are for, and why all the major weight loss organizations run beginning of the year specials. Hitch up those stretchy pants and belly up to the buffet.
3. Kids lie because they think it will keep them out of trouble. The sooner they learn it won't, the better. You are showing Beeb that her actions have consequences. Perhaps she'll think twice about lying to you. Or at least get better at it.
4. The kids missed the point about giving a gift with no strings. But they will get it, and someday they will remember the Christmases they brightened for someone else once upon a time. You will have a great time at your folks, and the kids will get plenty of attention from their grandparents. Life will be good.
5. I hate my house and my inability to keep it clean. We live like animals. But we are healthy and happy and well adjusted, and so are you. Meds or not.
6. You'll have to move, but you'll be away from Elite. Yay!
7.But you got your period. Yay!
8. Kevin will have to find another Sugar Mama. How long could that take? A couple weeks at best. He's probably got one knocked up even as we speak.

See? Everything will be just fine. Poops says so!

Bezzie said...

You know I read youthat post and I see my husband in Beeb. He's a closet smoker and refuses to tell me that he's been smoking when it's CLEAR that he has been. He'll lie and tell me that he hasn't.
I look at it this way: When you lie, you are essentially telling me you think I'm stupid. You're disrespecting my intelligence. My biggest fear is that Chunky pull this crap with me. I can't imagine what you're going throught.
Well just think of it this way--once you get down here you can dump the apes with Grandma and Grandpa and we can hang stress free!!!

Dan said...

Hang in there PK. I sent you some emails that hopefully lift your spirits.

Sarah said...

Hang in there! And do what you need to do to take care of yourself - I am pro-meds especially at the holidays.

Maybe send K-Fed some Simple Green?

djeh_b said...

I've really been enjoying your blog--it's sassy. Sorry about the stress--have you tried FlyLady? She's helped me a lot. She's helped me be all about forgiving myself for not being perfect.

Joel Widdershins said...

About the meds: I assume that you're talking about an anti-depressant type o' thing? I've taken Zoloft before, once, and it really helped me when I was recovering from my first (worst) auto crash. So do it, if you feel that it might help, by all means. Just don't stick with it for too long, and DEFINITELY don't take too much! (my dose started at 1 tab/day and then went to half tab/day.)

About Beeb -- Gee, that is awfully disturbing. Here's the flaw in talking the situation out with her: SHE'S A LITTLE CHILD, and she does not yet grok the significance of stuff like that. At the risk of sounding like a violent jerk, I will give you some biblical parenting advice (From the Book of Proverbs): "Fooolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him." Take it for what it's worth, and beat the hell out of her little bottom once or twice, and I guarantee she'll be a perfect angel almost isntantly. (For awhile, anyway.)

I think there was more I wanted to say, but it escapes me now. So, I'll just tell you that no matter what, you are wonderful, sweet, beautiful, and funny, so please, for the love of pete, cut yourself some freakin' slack, already!

helen said...

but moving equals required cleaning of crap you DO NOT want to take with. hehe

*ducks and runs*

amylovie said...

I promise to shower you with fiber love over thanksgiving. Maybe it will make you forget your woes for a while.


ZantiMissKnit said...

Yes, you sure did come through on WPN Wednesday. I had nightmares on TWO DIFFERENT NIGHTS about Grinch Lady trying to eat me like I was birfday cake.

Chelle said...

Geez, been there, done that on all counts...

Last year's response to shopping for Operation Christmas Child was "How come Santa Claus just doesn't bring them presents too?"...major backfire for mom.

About the lying, I'm dealing with the same stuff with my oldest and I'm finding the "no TV, no sleepovers" consequences tiring for both of us...and I'm not completely convinced that they are making any impact on DD. Good luck, I'll be following your progress.

About the meds, I have a LOT of withdrawal symptoms, so I'd be inclined to stay off them as long as possible...that and drinking with the meds is contrai-indicated. That alone should suggest that the meds are evil.

Sorka said...

Tried to pst the other day probably too late But you don't have to tell Beeb's friend's mom that she can't come cause she lied. You can tell her that you two had an agreement and she did not hold up her end and so lost the privelage of the visit.
It is good to nip it in the bud, it is also good to sort out if it is willful disobediance and lying, or honest childish forgetfullness or some other problem.. I believe you have mentioned she has ADD.. It's hard to sort it out.. but nessesary for a little bit of peace..something I have to do 24.7 with my son!

Cindy said...

I haven't commented in quite a while, but want you to understand that Beeb is a kid and what she's doing is pushing limits. You're doing all you can with her. The boys.....the same thing. Their frame of reference is tiny. You're teaching them. You will notice I say "you" not "we". I do not have the patience to do it. I remember when I was practice teaching in college, a sorority sister taught me "silent screams". You bunch up your face like you're gonna scream and let 'er loose without making a sound. Very therapeutic. Hang in there!!!!!

DomesticOverlord said...

1) I didn't vote either. I couldn't get there to vote as I haven't changed my adress and my polling place is 30 miles away. On a Tuesday, that's just not going to happen.

2) None of my clothes fit. I'm going to go get a cookie, want one?

3) Put Beeb in check in the cleverest Penny Karma way you can. I was a LIAR when I was a kid and the worst thing was I was good at it. Getting away with lies only encourages it. Unfortuneately too severe a punnishment breeds resentment and rebellion. Parenting is hard and it sucks. The smarter your kids are the harder it is. God, we're screwed.

4) Ah, the holidays. I get through by drinking. A lot.

On the shoebox thing I recommend doing what I do when we clean out the toy boxes for Goodwill. Start with a sobstory/guilt trip. For instance: "Darth, did you know there are some kids who don't have any toys at all? Not even one. Not even a tedy bear to hug when they're lonely. Isn't that sad? Would you like to help those little kids with no toys? Let's give them some of your toys that you don't play with anymore so they won't be sad, okay?" That works on my kid everytime.

5) Clean houses are overrated. At least, that's what I keep insisting to the part of me that wants to go do the dishes.

6) Moving blows. I bet Bezzie has tips though.

7) Mine was late this month too but not disturbingly, just inconveniently. Weird.

8) Poor Fed-Ex. $30k is just not enough. We should start a fundraiser for him.

Lastly, I won again! I'm rediculously excited about this. I also think I need to get a life...

turtlegirl76 said...

A hug is on it's way sweetie. Only it's not really from Lens Crafters and only half of it is from Maryland, but you'll see. All will become clear in 2 business days. Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow....

Elizabeth said...

Oh Penny Karma! I feel for you. I had a really simple time voting this year because my polling place never has a line and both my kids go to school! But if I had to drag 'em along and wait for an hour, I would have thought twice about it. (a secret: I didn't vote in any election until I was over 30 yrs old.)

My kids are greedy, too. It takes years and hard work to instill altruism. It isn't a natural human instinct in the under-12 set. My older son is very literal and was born honest, though sometimes he tries to lie, just to see if he can do the act. It's never worked yet. My younger one, though, is far more affable and a far more natural liar. I'm going to have to watch that one.

Enjoy your time with meeting Bezzie. It's true that travelling with kids is never a vacation. A vacation is staying home while someone else travels with your kids.

Cleaning your house before the kids move out is like rebuilding while the hurricane is still raging. Maybe I'll send my birthday cabana boys over to help you out once they get my place back on track.

When I am punishing myself with all the ways I'm a bad mom, it helps to stop and think about the things I get right. That counts for something.

Shafira said...

I totally understand the lying frustration! It's about that future that parents can see and kids can't---that future where the trust you've built between you is important for some reason. I inadvertently helped my son (now almost 14) to understand why lying sucks. I lied to him (in order to discover another misbehavior of his) and got caught at it! I was really frustrated that the one time I can remember telling him a lie, he caught me...and then he came to me and talked to me about how he finally understood all those lectures about trust and truth. He made a big deal about how "it might be a while before he could trust me again". I simply turned that into another lesson: "Imagine how long it's going to be before your Dad and I trust *you* then."

Parenting is *not* for wusses, let me tell you! My hat is off to you---I stopped at one 'cause I had my hands full! Good thoughts aimed your way as you navigate the holidays. I'm a newer reader so I don't know what medications you're considering returning to...but remember that stress causes chemical changes in the body and that's not anything to be ashamed of. A diabetic takes their insulin without shame, you do what you've gotta do to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Blessings this season.

Joel Widdershins said...

I'm not sure I ever thanked you for the link to my blog, so: THANK'S PK! I'm not sure if I'm happy that you say that you don't particularly like me, or not (right above said link) but I take comfort in the fact that this indicates to me that my own insanity is a somewhat different flavor than yours.

Peace Out, HotMama!

Joel Widdershins a/k/a Weef