November 28, 2011

ON A TEAR

I am on a tear today. A TEAR. I just went antiquing with my mom, and I don't think my mouth stopped running the ENTIRE TIME. And furthermore, look at the cheery topics I introduced during our pleasant relaxing outing:

1. One child is being a persistent jerk, and he's not stopping even when I Use My Words with him.

2. One child is a being a basketcase each morning before school, and it's now reaching into the evening when she starts dreading the next morning.

3. One child told us 10 minutes before his bedtime last night that he was supposed to have worked on a project over Thanksgiving break, and this is with us working to help him cope with his flakiness but apparently it's not WORKING. And then after I let/made him stay up until 10:00 to work on it, he LEFT IT ON THE COUNTER.

4. One child has anemia and it will probably be fine, but now that I'm WORRYING about it he looks all peaky to me, and also I feel like when I said to the doctor "we changed his diet, and as you can see there was no impact, so let's look for something else," he said "well, it's probably his diet, so let's work on that." I'm anxious to get to the next blood test, which isn't until January.

5. I'm reading The Gift of Fear, and I'm ALREADY SO GLAD I'm reading it and it has already given me some ideas that make me feel more ready to deal with situations---but it is a HIGHLY STIMULATING book and I had to tell my mom AT LENGTH about a scary/upsetting illustrating anecdote, and I kept CHOKING UP as I was telling it. Plus, I was VIGOROUS in my explanation of how the book was SO REMARKABLE, and that kind of thing is always tiring to listen to.


Plus-plus, as I was talking I was drinking a large coffee, and I was so distracted I drank it all, when my intention had been to drink half and save the other half for this afternoon. So imagine my voice increasing in both speed and volume as the blood-caffeine level increased.

Neither of us bought any antiques. I think we might have somehow gradually come to feel as if there was NO POINT IN ANYTHING BEAUTIFUL OR FUN.

38 comments:

Kathy said...

One of my kids is failing a class (!!!) and getting a D in another because of things like doing-the-homework-but-then-forgetting-it-at-home.

meanliving said...

I love you, Swistle. Or, y'know, your blog-you. You make things that should be annoying seem awesome and funny.

Misty said...

Girl, you're giving me anxiety. Put down the book and step away from the coffee...

Heather R said...

You crack me up!

Bratling said...

Believe me, we all have times like that. My sister decided not to come for Thanksgiving, which is honestly fine, but didn't bother to tell us until an hour before she was supposed to show up and then informed us that she would be by on Sunday just in time for dinner and I was to measure her kids for new clothes. I'm a competent seamstress, but I hate making clothes for her kids because they end up trashed and stored tied into knots. I make clothes for my brother's girls all the time because they appreciate the time, work, and effort that goes into them and actually take care of my work.

I don't want to make clothes for her two little rotters. But I can't be mean, or I might drive her away and I don't want to do that.

So I'm settling for passive aggressive revenge.

She's said that she hates sailor dresses and sailor suits. So I'm making matching ones for her two. And since she refuses to shop anywhere for them but thrift stores, (she can easily afford to, she just won't. And she's not picky, so the kids usually end up with clothes that look like they've already been through four or five kids.) she'll have no choice but for them to wear 'em for church, because I know they don't own any decent church clothes and the poor kiddos don't have many cute clothes, period.

Now my brother's girls spend the majority of their waking hours with me while their parents work. The three-year-old is going through terrible threes. Her sister is seven months old, and she's still not completely reconciled to sharing anything. Though she's still loads better behaved than my nephew! And the baby is starting to crawl and get into everything!

Not as bad as yours, but....

lifeofadoctorswife said...

Yes. Yes yes yes. I feel on a TEAR as well and it causes an unpleasant buzzing sensation. The anxiety bees are busy today!

Brenna said...

Is it your eldest who is being a jerk? (You probably don't want to go on record with that, huh?) I hope so, because my twelve year-old has been a mega jerk lately, and I'm hoping it's an age thing, and not a new personality trait. Either way, GRRR!

Swistle's mom said...

This probably goes without saying, but as you might guess Swistle was delightfully perky and interesting. She makes my day -- as she has since the day she was born!

Hilarity in Shoes said...

My friends and family have asked to please, please stop talking about The Gift of Fear. I think it was when I started repeating the anecdotes and tearing up that was the final straw...but she saw the blur of blue and inside she knew it was a carjacker before her brain could process OH MY GOD LOCK THE DOOOORRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

or when that other lady felt funny hearing the voice of the man who picked up her cat food because her intuition knew....

That book was so bad for me. But I'm glad I read it! Except when i start thinking about it again...

Shalini said...

What? I cannot tell at all that you drank twice as much coffee as normal.

Mama Bub said...

So what your saying is that The Gift of Fear is worth reading, IN SPITE OF the sleeplessness I imagine it will create for me as I won't be able to unread the anecdotes I fear the book is full of?

Swistle said...

Brenna- Without CONFIRMING or DENYING anything, I will raise my eyebrows and make my eyes wide with significance and say that it sounds like you and I have A LOT IN COMMON.

Swistle said...

Swistle's mom is using "perky" to describe my hummingbird-like distracted/anxious hyper-talking, and "interesting" to describe my choked-voice descriptions of people escaping rapists. And if I recall the day I was born, I screamed every single afternoon for three hours straight from then on, so. This is why there is a Mother's Day.

Slauditory said...

Now that I am an adult who teaches and reads the blogs of adult women with children, I see what an aggravating child I must have been. I was a habitual project-procrastinator!

Swistle said...

Mama Bub- It is too soon to call it, but my guess is yes. Already I feel like I have NEW WEAPONS IN MY ARSENAL. (...I have been playing video games.)

Maggie said...

UGH #3!!! I am so glad my son's teacher this year sends home regular memos telling the parents what is up and what is coming up so that these kinds of things don't get sprung on me. Cannot handle that crap.

I usually drink half decaf/half regular coffee, but this last week my husband made the coffee full caff and I was ON FIRE! Getting things done, vacuuming, tidying, organizing! Until I crashed and burned. Full caff coffee = crazy making for me. God help me and my family if I ever do serious drugs.

Lynnette said...

I think this should go in a "Best Of" category of your posts. Put it right next to " Drops In the Bucket", "How the hell do I do it? Here's the hell how", and "Chocolate Mint Brownies."

I am not a natural fretter, but you make it seem like fun. I'd like to be your little sister for a day and hang out with you and your mom.

Shelly said...

I totally teared up at your mom's comment. So sweet.

bunnyslippers said...

Yikes! We all need fun-venty mornings now and again. (and they're even better when you're hopped up on caffeine!)

You rock, babe! Thanks for sharing your tear.

(And on the iron thing: Is there any way you can sneak some iron-fortified baby rice cereal mix into some of his food? Or is he one of those suspicious kids?)

--last aside: Today I have been finally telling people I'm pregnant! So fun!

Shannon said...

If you are enjoying The Gift of Fear you should read Protecting the Gift by the same author. PTG is more about protecting children from predators and dangerous situations and how to teach them what they need to know so they can make good choices out in the world. I LOVED it. And I was worried that it would make me afraid, but it actually gave me a lot more confidence. I have read TGOF but I've heard it is also wonderful.

Swistle said...

bunnyslippers- YAYYYYYYYYYY! Congratulations!!

Leeann said...

I'm gonna come back and comment on the actual content of the post but first I have to tell you that your last paragraph or two literally had me laughing aloud.

How I love you!

Leeann said...

Okay, so the question that first comes to mind is about the child who didn't tell you about a project and then forgot it. How old is said child? Is said child in about third/fourth grade?

I seem to remember there being some question about ADD/ ADHD. Was that ever investigated further? Not saying your kid has it or doesn't- I don't even know him- but for kids who do, it starts to become much more of an issue around 3rd/4th grade when things just start to overwhelm them and they can really struggle. We went through this with my son last year after my HEARTILY refusing to go there for some time prior. He is on medicine now and is doing SO MUCH BETTER at school, which is awesome. I won't lie and say it makes everything awesome-sauce though- It doesn't. In fact, it can create other problems. But at least school is going well.

Could that have possibly been MORE UNHELPFUL? lol

Superjules said...

Your mom is awesome.

minnie said...

omg. that book looks terrifying. i had to stop reading the description on amazon.

Laura said...

Swistle - Once again, I'm so glad you write this blog. I'm years past the breast/bottle/cloth diapers/disposibles battles, and there is just not much out there (anecdotally) for moms with in-between age kids. I am having some of the same frustrations and it is so comforting to know these things happen in other families too. Screw "What to Expect When You're Expecting." How about "What to Expect When Your Child is Arguing with you Eyeball to Eyeball." It's very disconcerting to attempt a logical conversation with a human who is your same size, but whose frontal lobe is not fully developed. Gahh!

Swistle said...

Leanne- Fifth. I'm going to mention it to his pediatrician at his next check-up: I mentioned it at the last check-up and the doctor said he wanted to discuss progress at the next visit (same thing you said: that they can coast in earlier grades, but then it gets more and more apparent that help is needed).

Swistle said...

minnie- It claims--CLAIMS--that learning the techniques will result in a reduction of fear (by allowing us to see just the situations where the fear is justified, rather than feeling jumpy all the time over everything). WE'LL SEE, is all I have to say. Right now I'd say fear is NON-REDUCED.

Swistle said...

Laura- And the FACIAL EXPRESSIONS! I'll be talking earnestly, trying to talk to him as a near-adult who deserves respect and can understand rational explanations ETC ETC ETC, and he will be looking at me like "You are so dumb, and I am so patient to be pretending to listen to you." HOW MANY MORE YEARS OF THIS??

Anonymous said...

I think you should get a new pediatrician or a second opinion re: the anemia/diet thing.

Alicia said...

1. I really, REALLY need to know what Your Words are.

And also, how have I never heard of that fear book? I think it would be a bad idea for me to read it, probably. I need the opposite of thinking about fear, whatever that would be.

Swistle said...

Alicia- His CLAIM anyway, is that we do too much being fearful and thinking about fear and dismissing fears, and that learning the REAL indicators for a scary situation means we can ditch most of the unnecessary fear. I am kind of counting on that, because if he makes me MORE fearful, I am going to need a paper bag muzzle to breathe into just all the time.

Saly said...

Well now you've gone and got me all riled up too!

Yesterday morning as we packed Bud's bag after being off of school for 5 days he said "Oh CRAP! I forgot to read this whole long weekend!"

GAAAH!

Jenny said...

I only count four children there. So the fifth child is... fine? Is that a comfort?

My sister LOVES TGOF, but she hasn't convinced me to read it yet. I'll wait for your recap.

Kira said...

I feel like I should be ashamed of this, but I found this post to be very reassuring. Because if you get just as worked up and despairing as I do, then maybe I'm not entirely on the right path. Because I think you're awesome, see.
Also, your mom made me get all weepy.
So thank you both.

Kira said...

I meant "wrong." Not entirely on the WRONG path. I never suspect I'm entirely on the RIGHT path.

Kelsey said...

Aw - how sweet is your mom?

Sorry, I have little helpful advice about anything else (and I'm way behind on my post-reading).

SIL Anna said...

I know it might be too early for you, but #3 had me laughing out loud.