Category Archives: kids

We have to reframe this.

We are having a problem because EC is pushing for more individual space and boundaries. It isn’t a problem because she wants it. It’s a problem because FMC is uhhhh not interested in allowing their sister any space at all.

We have been talking about this in the house for a while. We keep coming back to “We are not willing to escalate punishments to the point that they are more effective and the ways we have tried to punish for this interruption are failing entirely.”

We need to find a way to incentivize instead of punishing away this behavior. I believe in behavior extinguishment… but it’s complicated. Punishing often makes a behavior more entrenched and resistant. (For one thing our “punishments” are pansy ass and we know it. We are not here to hurt or shame our kids.) We need to find a way to make giving someone else space something that gives FMC more of what they want in life. We have to find a way to frame this/phrase this as “Here let us show you how you will get what you want if you go along with this boundary.”

I know that some people don’t like how manipulative I train my children to be. I respect that opinion. But I think my behavior as a human being improved when I learned how to think about my behavior in terms of “Will this help me meet my goals or will this create problems for me?”

I don’t believe in training children to follow rules because they are rules and you must follow rules. That’s bullshit. Some rules need to be broken. Some rules need to change. Some rules just don’t fucking apply to the situation we are in.

Why does this rule exist?

I’m not saying I have to fully agree with every rule in order to follow them… but I am more likely to follow a rule if I understand why the rule exists and I am at least in agreement that following it is in line with who I want to be in the world.

How do we teach FMC that giving their sister space is going to create the relationship they want in the future?

Punishing is not going to teach this.

Heh. Punishing me is a great way to ensure that I’m going to do what you don’t like….. where you can’t see me.

Enlightened self interest babe, how can we teach this to you.

For EC I have been chanting since they were 2 years old, “If you want to have a good relationship with your sibling when you are an adult you need to think about whether or not this action is likely to make your sibling want to know you.” The same chant really hasn’t worked with FMC. When they look up at their sister they see an unfailing flow of love and support and I think they genuinely don’t believe that their sister would stop providing it. They identify less with the fact that I walked away from my family and rejected everyone. EC knows that I refuse to know my big sister and that haunts her. FMC… doesn’t care?

FMC doesn’t believe they have to earn love in the same way. Uhm… I guess that’s good? It’s mixed. Noah and EC and I all act like we have to do a shit ton of work to earn being loved in the long term. It’s questionably healthy. Near as I can tell FMC is the only person in this house who believes in unconditional love. They think we will love them and take care of them and be with them no matter how big of an asshole they are.

I mean… that’s… good…

I’M SO CONFUSED.

I feel this terrible existential keening because I think I’m too demanding and boring to deserve friends and I feel like I should stop bothering people because I don’t have enough to offer…

And I live with this fucking kid who believes that them existing is their fucking gift to this world and now what does the world have to offer them.

It’s… weird.

Really weird.

Like… WHO THE FUCK MADE YOU weird.

It’s funny how they feel like me and not like me and like my chance to rewrite my history and like an alien and…

I love them so much. I feel bad when I target a specific behavior and assert my will as if I actually know things and I’m right about my judgments. What fucking hubris. Who in the fuck am I to decide that they are not good enough?

I’m their fucking mother and if I say they need to god damn learn how to let their sister have boundaries I’m fucking right and you will motherfucking do as I say.

Only I say it to them with less swearing.

One of the few things my mama said right to me was, “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it.” My mama, for all the bad things I can and do say about her… she only kind of sort of wanted to silence me. She was afraid of me speaking truths that would make her already shitty life harder… but otherwise she encouraged me to speak up. When teachers would complain I was too mouthy my mama would say that they must not be a very good teacher then because I do just fine in a classroom with a good teacher.

My sweet little baby. I don’t want to punish you for crossing boundaries. That makes me feel like shit. It makes you feel like shit. You then proceed to cross the next boundary like clockwork and we start the whole shitty cycle over again.

What can I do to help you believe that following these boundaries is the thing that you want to do?

Because I want to manipulate the shit out of you. I have no pride. I will not dissemble. My sweet love I want to manipulate you until you believe that it is just absolutely the right thing to give people space when they ask.

How can I do this?

This is my next hobby horse to ride. Because if we don’t figure this shit out… I’m afraid you and your sister are going to get into a big bloody fist fight. And frankly… y’all don’t need that.

Even if you might kinda deserve having someone punch you for being so disrespectful of their boundaries. I won’t do it or condone it… but I’m capable of seeing why someone else might think it was the best reaction to your behavior.

God you are so much like me.

I’m sorry kid.

I wish I could have given you easier genetics. Sigh.

How can we teach you without you having to get as many black eyes as I did? Or maybe you just need to get them and I can’t protect you from that. I’ve always needed to learn from experience too.

I hope this hubris I have in believing I know best for you doesn’t fuck up our relationship forever. I try hard to limit my control areas… I know I don’t know best in all areas… just a few.

I love you. I’m trying. I know I’m failing to meet your needs in that way that all mothers fail their children. I hope you can forgive me.

Appropriate exposure?

Last night I kind of exploded at EC. By exploded I mean that she was taunting me in a way the kids have been enjoying irritating me for a few weeks now and I asked why they are doing it. She giggled and said “To irritate you”.  I said, “Go somewhere else. Go sleep in the backyard, on the couch, in the garage, in my bed… I don’t care. Go somewhere else.”

That was the explosion. I didn’t even yell. FMC was asleep.

After 15 or so minutes of crying I felt really bad so I went and found her. She was in the garage bed. (We have beds all over our house.) She was defensive and kind of pissy at first, which was appropriate and fair.

I told her, “There’s something I need to talk to you about. You know how I tell you that sometimes my brain is an asshole to me? (Assume she interrupts with a lot of “yeahs” and “uh huhs” and “oh that’s what that means” but doing the actual dialogue is a pain in the ass.) First of all: do you know what a cycle is? Like a butterfly’s life cycle. (Oh yeah!) Well, my mental health stuff comes in cycles. I have long periods where I do ok and then for a while I do poorly. For a few weeks now I’ve been having a problem with my brain being an asshole to me. Part of my mental health stuff is called depression. It’s kind of like being sad but sad turned up to the max plus not liking myself very much and feeling REALLY irritable because my brain is being such an asshole all the time. Imagine walking through your day with your brain constantly screaming that you are bad and worthless and you deserve to be in a lot of pain. (At this point she interrupted to exclaim that she hasn’t known!) Of course you haven’t known. It isn’t real appropriate for me to tell you this stuff most of the time. It’s not your business. You can’t change it. You can’t make it better. It doesn’t happen because of you. Why should I act like you should walk on egg shells because it is happening? That would be wrong. So I do my best to be cheerful and loving even when my brain is telling me really vicious things. But sometimes when this happens… I’m going to be over sensitive and I’m going to over react to you trying to irritate me because… I’m already dealing with the maximum load of irritation I can bear. Just because my brain is being an asshole.”

She was really sweet about it. She said that she’s sorry my brain is doing that to me and she’ll try to not be extra irritating for a bit.

I reminded her that it is in fact her job to irritate me… she’s a kid. I am not telling her this so that she will change her behavior a lot. She’s doing what she is supposed to do. I’m telling her so that she understands that I’m not blowing up because she deserves it. I’m blowing up because my brain is being such a raging asshole that I wish I could blow up almost every minute of every day and I’m fighting that urge and sometimes I lose. I don’t want her to feel like my loss of control is her fault. It’s something that *I* have to get a hold of. It’s not a problem she can “not irritate” me out of. I’m going to struggle forever and there’s not much she can do about that. My problems aren’t about her.

She said it made sense. She asked if it was ok for her to come back in the bedroom. I said of course. We went to bed.

I hope I handled that right.

Testing documentation

I got an email from our educational specialist (ES) today. She tested both kids last time she was here. The results both surprise me and don’t and I feel like a huge asshole.

I expected Future Middle Child to not do well because they aren’t reading yet. If we had tested Eldest Child before we left on the road trip… she would have been at a similar level for grade. My kids are late readers and that impacts their ability to take tests. FMC did so poorly on the reading test that I wasn’t given a result and instead I was told that kiddo needs to start remediation… which I’m unhappy about. Kiddo is where I expect them to be. I don’t think forcing them through not-very-effective “support” is going to help. I think it is going to make the process of learning to read shittier. They tested at the 65% for math and that shocks me because they stand behind their sister giving her answers to her math problems that are two grades ahead of them. I think it is because they don’t read and that messes up their ability to test in anything.

I feel like a huge asshole because I’m shocked by EC’s results. Uhm. She is higher than I expected by a lot. She is at the 98% for math and the 97% for reading. I……. honestly expected her to be at closer to the 60% for math. She complains all the fucking time about doing math of any sort for any reason. She tells me all the time how bad she is at math.

Uhhh… guess not.

She started out 3rd grade significantly behind. The Stanford evaluation proved that. She was way below grade level in every area. That was one fucking year of trying to do academic work.

I expect a similar dynamic from FMC and I’m seriously bummed that I put them in a charter school this year to fuck with my system. IT WAS WORKING.

Ok, I thought I wouldn’t tell EC her actual test scores. (I took a break right there to go talk to her while FMC is asleep.) I asked her how she thought she did. She’s all “Meh. Probably around 60%.” Ok, if you are going to underestimate yourself by that much… I need to tell you the score.

I feel bad that I have communicated my low expectations so accurately. I’m a shitty mother.

She is ebullient. We talked about how this is not about her being “smart”. One year ago she was tested as below grade level in every area. Stanford wanted me to get her into tutoring because she was so below grade level and I saw, “Naw I just haven’t started teaching that yet.”

EC attaining this is about the hard work she has put in. It’s not about smarts. It’s work. She has worked very hard for the past year and it shows. It has tangible results. FMC has not yet begun that work and it shows.

And that’s how it should be.

Before you are taught something of course you do poorly when tested on it.

But when EC is struggling with a math problem FMC stands behind her and rattles off the answer to the problem.

I think this is going to get interesting.

I told EC that I am very proud of her. She attained this on her own because she was willing to work so hard. Her face lit up like the fourth of July.

Err, if it isn’t clear from elsewhere in the post the scores aren’t 98% out of 100% of points earned. That’s the percentile for how the kids did compared to the expectations for their grade.

I wanted to get my kids caught up by 4th grade so that if they had to transfer to a school they wouldn’t be ashamed of being “stupid”.

Achievement partially unlocked. My 2nd grader is on track where I expect them to be. And my 4th grader god damn did it.

I didn’t do it. She did.

I mean… there’s this niggling part of me that says “I’m fucking brilliant and so is Noah so of fucking course our daughter is this fucking good at this shit.” And then there’s the bigger part of me that says, “You know how you’ve been underestimating her and acting like she isn’t that smart? You fucking suck rocks.”

More than one thing can be true.

I need to write Noah’s grandmother a letter. She will appreciate hearing this more than basically anyone else.

That’s a lovely milestone.

Today my daughter was talking about something… I can’t quite remember how we got to this, but I handed her a textbook I read in my junior year of college so she could find out how different the original stories of Beauty and the Beast are from the Disney version. She said there were a couple of words she didn’t know, but that was fun to read.

Two years ago she couldn’t read a Dr. Seuss book independently. Now she’s reading from my college textbooks and understanding almost all of it.

I’m glad I trusted her to learn at her own pace. I’m really glad I didn’t push her beyond what she felt she could do.

I don’t fail at everything.

Why?

Today Future Middle Child asked me why I read forums since I think most of the people who post there are mean and unpleasant.

I told them it is a distraction. Sometimes the words I hear inside my head about my head aren’t very nice. I feel happy when I think about my kids or my husband and sometimes with some of my friends. But there are times when my brain is kind of mean to me and every thought about myself is really mean. When that is happening… I read stuff about other people so I don’t have to think about me.

Sometimes lying is the truth.

Today I am going to smile. I am going to laugh. I am going to be encouraging and I am going to seem happy.

It is my baby’s birthday party. I can’t make this about me. My baby needs love and support and to feel like they are delightful for being alive.

Yes beloved. I will put my shit in a box. I’ll deal with it later. Today it is about you. And you are glorious and a source of joy.

Calm or productive

This morning started out a little rough for me. I asked EC a couple of weeks ago to cull the multiple boxes of school stuff from last year and pick out which items she wants to put in her portfolio. I guess she didn’t understand what I meant. She threw away all of her previous work from grades K-3 and she threw away her sibling’s portfolio work (only kindergarten) and she filled the portfolio’s with random memorabilia and knick knacks. I didn’t discover this till today, so there’s no chance of climbing through the recycling and getting stuff back.

I about blew a gasket.

I didn’t call names. I didn’t scream about how terrible they were. But I did scream that I was very angry. When I calmed down I said (perhaps inappropriately) that a lot of the reason I am so meticulous about keeping this documentation is because I need to make sure no one can ever say I’m not educating my kids and take them away. EC internalized this as “I threw away the portfolio documentation and that means I’m going to be taken away.” We’ve since talked about how there aren’t actually legal requirements to keep this documentation and my fear of CPS is very irrational given that we are unlikely to be looked at as a family at risk. We talked about the difference between a rational fear and an irrational fear.

I think we’ve all calmed down. But I’ve been the opposite of productive since then. Because I need to put most of my mental and emotional energy into calming down. I uhhh also neglected to take any pot till 1pm, which doesn’t help.

Noah says I didn’t cross a line but the line was getting reeeeeal close and I was teetering.

It’s weird having another adult in the house to walk around following me as I rant. It makes me think I’m glad he missed the first three years of my parenting because I was a much bigger bitch.

My poor children.

I sent out another email looking for a therapist for EC. She has fallen through the cracks in the past few months because the folks who looked possible for her didn’t pan out. I need to get that in line though. It’s not ok that she justifies me screaming at her. That’s fucked up and not ok and she needs to have her own therapist who can help her feel like no one should be screaming at her. Not even her mother.

She isn’t always ok with me screaming at her. I don’t get a free pass. But if I’m yelling at her about something she really did she will often say, “Oh I deserve this one.”

NO. YOU MAY DESERVE TO HAVE SOMEONE TALK TO YOU SHARPLY BUT NO ONE DESERVES TO BE SCREAMED AT UNLESS THEY ARE COMMITTING ASSAULT. SCREAMING IS A SIGN THAT SOMEONE HAS LOST CONTROL AND THAT’S BULLSHIT.

She needs a therapist. I say it to her all the damn time. I phrase it as, “I lost control and I was wrong.”

She doesn’t want me to feel bad.

That’s broken and we need to fix it. I get to feel bad for my shitty actions, too.

Really lucky

Holy smokes. This pregnancy has been… so incredibly supported. My friends are stepping up in ways that shock me. One gal in particular, Rose, has delivered: a bassinet, changing table, a swing, most of the clothes we will need for the first year, bedding, a baby carrier, toweling, and maternity clothes.

I wasn’t looking for this support. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t beg. It just arrived as this beautiful gift from the universe. I have a wonderful friend who saved everything from her last kid and she wants to share.

I first met Rose in I think 2001ish. She doesn’t remember me from that period. We started talking a lot more last year. She has spare maternal energy lying around. I appreciate such folks.

Other fabulous friends have passed on more maternity clothes and supplies I’ll need before/after the birth.

It’s starting to look like the only thing I’m really going to have to buy are diapers. That’s ok. I love buying Rumparooz because they are the cutest darn thing ever. The prints! Oh they are so cute. There’s not much in this world I think is more precious than an enormous cloth diaper butt on a baby. It’s weird… but man that sight makes me choke up with joy.

WHEN DID I BECOME THIS PERSON. Err, over a decade ago.

And my Jenny is even going to be sending me super tiny diapers so I don’t need to get any for the first few weeks.

I have arrived. I am there in life. I have friends and family and support and love.

I feel so incredibly lucky. I didn’t think this would happen to me. But here I am.

Do you know what is incredible to me? When I started on the parenting journey some of the folks I loved the most told me they didn’t approve. They thought I was going to do a horrible job. In the past nine years of parenting what has happened is I started off doing ok and I’ve improved. I am way more calm. I am way more able to communicate in useful, effective ways that are appropriate for children (or for anyone, really).

I got my first real shot at learning and growing and developing in a stable environment. And I have blossomed. And my friends tell me so and can point out specific ways I’ve changed and grown and they can tell me why they are impressed with my progress.

I’m not sure I’ve changed my spots. But I have developed some interesting stripes to go along with the spots.

My children continue to be my favorite people.

I mentioned to my kids yesterday that I had mentally observed that our Disneyland trip was scheduled for when I am 35 weeks pregnant. The first thing my kid said was, “Wow mom that’s really late in the pregnancy. I think we should cancel.”

Then the other kid suggested, “Would it be possible to move it up and go earlier? It’s really not wise to go at the very end.”

My kids are so awesome and wonderful and nice to me.

So I called DVC (the Disney time share company) and explained my situation. Of course they were happy to find a way to get us in early. In fact… we are going in two weeks. The week between our anniversary and my birthday.

It’s a really good thing I hadn’t invited someone else and scheduled around their conflicts. I get to just… do what I want. That’s so much easier.

We are looking into what California missions we are going to visit on the trip. It’s 4th grade time… we need California history this year….

And we are debating between 2 and 3 days in the park leaning heavily towards 2. Because mostly we want to go rest and just be mellow together.

I love my family.

Another ultrasound

The tech was… not warm. She had crappy bedside manner. But I have pictures of Lightning. The tech inappropriately told me that she saw nothing wrong. That’s supposed to come from my doctor. But that’s fine. Likely no Down’s Syndrome.

There’s a part of me that is feeling angry about people being relieved my baby is any way. However they come out is how they are supposed to be and fuck you very much. Are there some ways of being that create more work in the world? Yes. BUT WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE AND WE CAN AFFORD THAT SHIT SO STOP ACTING LIKE PEOPLE ARE SUPERIOR BASED ON HOW ACTIVE SOME PARTS OF THEIR GENOME ARE.

I just…

It’s bothering me. Like it would be The End Of The World And The Worst Thing if my baby were born… dunh dunh dunh… abnormal.

Guess what motherfuckers. We’re abnormal.

And lots of people in my family are disabled in one way or another. I’m not real open to the perception that we should be sad about any of us existing.

Reading White Trash and looking at the genetic stuff that likely comes from poverty and trauma…

GAH.

I would not terminate a less than “perfect” child. I will embrace them and figure out how I need to grow and change to support them in their path to independence. That’s my job.

I’m in this with them until I can’t be anywhere any more.

That’s the deal.

Oh here we go

So The Guardian came out with a thing saying that if you care for the planet you should have fewer children. Enter judgmental shaming.

I’m having a third child. I still don’t know if I’m having a fourth child.

Is this a tremendously selfish choice? Absolutely. Am I contributing another body to the planet when there are already a lot of bodies? Yup.

But you know what? Not that many people in the world were genuinely wanted. I’m going to be a selfish piece of shit and bring another person or two into this world who is desperately wanted. Because I need to stand near that so that I can try to learn how to fix my fucked up brain. I’ve made a lot of progress… but I’m not done growing up.

I am teaching myself attachment with my children. It isn’t the most recommended way to heal developmental trauma but I’m doing a surprisingly good job based on the evaluations I get from a wide variety of health practitioners.

I should be dead. This still comes up.

But I’m not dead. I’m instead making progress on my mental and physical health. I continue to make progress.

My children talk frankly about how they love how much I focus on them but I’m clearly going to need more people to balance the load in a few years because they are going to want more time away from me. This is a conscious thing we work on. We support one another while giving space for someone to pull away because that’s healthy.

I think it is funny that I sometimes make progress because a therapist helps and I sometimes make progress despite a therapist being an obstacle. Both seem useful.

My shrink said something that is burning in my brain and bugging me. “You are obsessed with being unique.”

Oh bitch, please.

I have spent my life meeting people and trying desperately to find reasons that I am like them. I can usually find somewhere between 5%-50% of similarity in experience and then I say something else about myself and the person starts doing the loud, “NOT LIKE THAT. I’M NOT LIKE THAT. NO. NOTHING LIKE THAT.”

I’m not obsessed with being unique. I am resigned. I am aware. I am trying to find ways to move through the world that allow me to get hurt less while also hurting other people less and that’s complicated because I don’t have that much in common with almost anyone so finding a way to interact without mutual pain is fraught.

A fucking psychiatrist who tells me that two dozen medication trials mean that I’m just getting started and I should do two or three dozen more trials before I’m allowed to say that medication doesn’t work for me… that’s someone who is obsessed with not seeing me as unique. That’s a problem. Given that a high number of these pills make me intensely suicidal and your advice is, “Well, go to the ER”…. naw. Nope. No fucking way.

Pot works. It’s not perfect, NONE OF THESE DRUGS ARE PERFECT YOU MOTHERFUCKERS, but it is less harmful than basically anything else available. The problem with pot is that it is illegal in a bunch of places. So I “should” get on a legally recognized drug. That will wreck my whole fucking life. Just so I can be legit.

But I’m unhealthily obsessed with seeing myself in context of my life?

I have some feelings here.

My shrink telling me that maybe I only need three hours of sleep so I shouldn’t use pot to help me sleep… that’s fucking bothering me. Chronic sleep deprivation is torture,. It literally makes people go insane. BUT DON’T USE POT.

I don’t think the bad thing here is my insistence that I be seen in context of my life and my experiences. We all have our own unique life experiences. Most people have life experiences that fit within a bell curve of normal. Then there’s me.

But I should stop paying attention to that so people can streamline care right the fuck over me. If I die that’s just collateral damage.

I am still alive because I god damn insist on seeing myself as unique. You bet your fucking buttons.

I don’t think everyone “should” have lots of kids because having kids is a good thing. I don’t think that adoption is bad.

I think I need to have more biological children because I have terrible problems in my brain that will only be fixed through long term exposure and work. I need to work on my family’s genetic problems and I need to find compassion for myself and the psychological and physical problems that come from being like me.

I’m not completely unique. I have children who inherit a lot of what it means to be me. And that means I need to work on what it means to be me.

I don’t think this is a journey that everyone needs to go on. I don’t think it is a journey that most highly traumatized people should engage in. I think it is what I need to do.

I think there is the distinct possibility that if I do move somewhere and get a big house… I will foster. I have always wanted to foster when my children are older and can be positive role models to the kids I’m fostering.

It isn’t that I’m opposed to helping kids who need a home. It is that I need to fix my home first or I’ll just fuck them up more than they’ve already been fucked up and that’s not fair. Not to them and not to me.

Today I see the pain doctor and the woo nutritionist. I’m going to tell her I need fewer pills. I’m gagging and choking and it makes eating a nightmare. My gag reflex goes into hyper drive during pregnancy and I’m tired of retching at the table.

Slight side note: Future Middle Child had their first solo therapy appointment. They told me they didn’t want to talk about it. They want privacy. I told them that is a jim dandy thing. I may sometimes say, “How did it go?” because I’m nosey and curious but telling me “I don’t want to talk about it” is ALWAYS ok. Telling me no when I want to know something is fine. You are allowed. You are permitted to have space where I am not.

Having children is complicated. There are consequences across many planes. Yes, I’m increasing my effective carbon footprint.

I’m also trying to learn how to feel ok. That’s really hard. I’m selfish and I’m terrible and I’m going to do what I need here.

“If you really want to have more children, just adopt. There are many children in the world who need good homes.”

That is… such a complicated statement, folks. Cross cultural adoption is complicated. Adopting older children who have major trauma is complicated.

Losing your mother is traumatic. Getting an adoptive mother is…. not the same thing as getting to be with your mother. I’m not knocking adoption. It’s wonderful. It’s important. Lots of people are effectively “saved” through adoption. But it has bad sides too.

In order to be a good adoptive parent you need to be able to put your shit aside and focus on the needs of this important person you brought into your life. They are not there to meet your needs and what is going on with them may not help you heal your ancestral trauma.

I have a lot of ancestral trauma to heal and I’ll be fucking frank that it is easier when I deal with my children. My children make me believe that I deserve to heal. That my family deserves to have better than we have always had. Not in terms of money or “things”. But in terms of love and consideration and mutual aid.

My grandmother fostered when my mother was tiny. My mom was highly damaged because her mother (my grandparent) spent a lot of time acting like the kids who were there to be fostered were special and needed special treatment but her kids needed to be slapped into silence.

My family has a lot of baggage in our bones and in our brains and in our blood. I want to see if that can be healed. I will not be able to do that through surrogate children. Only through children of my blood.

Which does not change the essential worthiness of all other children. But I’m not ready for them. It’s not them, it’s me.

Just shut up, Krissy.

Yesterday I was talking to another mother. She was talking about the strife of parenting, we all have it. I’m not claiming we lack it in this house.

But she said, “My kid is trans so of course they have severe social anxiety.”

.

..

….

I just never said that my kids is trans and has a remarkably low level of social anxiety. I didn’t feel that would be a good thing to say at that moment. SEE. I HAVE MOTHERFUCKING TACT AND YOU PEOPLE DON’T GIVE ME CREDIT.

There is no one way to be anything. Being trans/gender non-conforming/nonbinary does NOT always come with anxiety. There are challenges, yes. We talk a lot about how to deal with the ignorant comments like “There is no such thing as nonbinary; you have to be a boy or a girl.”

But my kid walks out in the world loud and proud ready to verbally smack down ignorant people. They don’t feel a lot of anxiety. They feel ready.

Sometimes, rarely, I feel like I’m doing something right as a parent.

Waaaaaaay better than anticipated.

I have been terrified of talking to CPS all of my parenting life. Tonight I called CPS to talk about something that happened in my house. I went into it hyperventilating. I came out of it feeling really reassured.

The lady asked me a ton of questions. Both about the incident, about life in general, about handling the incident.

No I’m not telling the internet what happened.

By the end of the conversation she said, “You are doing everything you can do to handle this. Kids do these kinds of things. Then you educate them. You are doing that. We really couldn’t add help for your family.”

I hate that I want outside validation so much. Am I doing this right? Am I handling this right? This is absolutely the biggest hiccup of our family experience so far. Did I handle it right?

According to CPS they don’t want to open a case file. I called for a consultation and that’s good enough. Keep doing what I’m doing.

That’s not what I expected at all. She was really nice and supportive. She was glad I called to check and see if there is more I should do.

Lady if there is more I have to do for these kids, just give me a check list. I will learn how to do backflips through flaming hoops for them if I have to.

We also had our first visit with the therapist who will be working with Future Middle Child tonight. It went well. I think they will be a good match for my busy, fidgety, impulsive sweetheart.

You don’t have to be a good person to keep improving.

There are days…

There are days when children are jumping up and down and screaming as loud as they can PLEASE BEAT ME. IT WOULD BE SUCH A WONDERFUL IDEA.

Nevertheless we continue to not beat the children.

In that way I have of not wanting to humiliate the children but also wanting to document things for myself let me vaguely say: it was a high crime day.

I need some god damn sleep. I’m mad at my shrink for being so against pot that she thinks me running on 3 -4 hours of sleep for weeks is just fine and I should keep it up.

Today is the kind of day that lets me know I have to deal with some of my biggest issues whether I have a boy child or not.

It’s not only men and boys who hurt people.

I love my children. Sometimes I am spectacularly unimpressed with their behavior.

See, I’m not a perfect mother and I’m not raising perfect children. I’m an asshole raising… uhhh I probably shouldn’t say that.

But I’m just sayin’.

My choices wouldn’t work for other people because other people aren’t broken in the ways I am. They don’t need the same structure.

I am amazed at what y’all do without the rigorous scaffolding I build for myself… and I still fuck up. This much extra time and work still is not producing the best ever results.

I’m not sure what that even means.

There were patterns I wanted to change.

I don’t get to control other people. I can only pray that I influence.

No matter how many times I tell myself I am… I’m not the boss of you. You are. You reminded me today.

Looking forward

Goodness. I feel kind of like a bastard because 2016 has had some serious high points for me. It’s been a dumpster fire of a year, don’t get me wrong… but I had more good than many. I feel pretty good about where 2016 is ending on a variety of levels.

I would say that my marriage needed the strain it experienced this year. I think we both learned a number of things we weren’t really on our way to learning. We decided to have more kids. We decided to stop waiting on M/s stuff. (That’s going. And going pretty well so far… we are going slow.)

Things with the kids are…. well… I’d say that I couldn’t expect better. In pretty much every way I feel like things are going better as a parent than I expected they would. I thought we would have way more problems. Our relationships are pretty good and improving. We are getting better with every year at talking to one another about what we need. They are really excited about the prospect of more kids.

The house remodel… is absolutely driving me bonkers. But every person who walks into my bathroom gasps. It is worth it. Just keep plugging along. Art. Moar Art. I guess at this moment that I have somewhere between 100 and 200 hours of painting ahead of me between now and the finish line. Fuck.

I’m a painter. It’s a thing I do. I do a lot of it. I’m an artist. How will this play into my future?

No clue yet.

We watched Rogue One today. It… it’s a heavy movie. I feel kinda stunned. I think this is the only Star Wars movie I’ve ever really liked. Of course I like the hit-you-in-the-head one.

I’ve said for a long time that I suspect I will live to see some kind of revolution. Then we elected Trump. You know what?

The next four years need to be full of active resistance. The next four years need to involve making concrete actions in the direction of living in the kind of world I want to live in.

It’s kind of funny that I started out vehemently hating the idea of the American Dream. When I studied it in college and grad school I felt so much anger. I did not think it was attainable for me or anyone like me.

Then I arrived.

Holy shit. How do I share this shit.

How can more people have this kind of safety and security? What can I do to help other people have more access to education and choices and medical care?

Revolutions are made by the people who show up. What does showing up mean? It means different things to every person because you can’t make a revolution out of people who are exactly the same. That’s how you create an empire. By wanting people to be all the same so you can use them interchangeably as spokes on a wheel.

I don’t want a well mechanized empire.

I know what that means.

Even if I would be considered one of the “winners”… no. No. No. No. No.

Fuck that. No. But when and where are different levels of aggression worth countering with other levels of aggression?

How do you have a revolution without having a war? How many people have to die to call it a war?

How do we even know what a war means anymore?

There were 10,000 casualties of the war with Kuwait. In the last one hundred years, how many black people has the US government killed when they weren’t doing a damn thing wrong?

What is a war?

I spent my childhood reading books about the Resistance in WWII.

I need to spend a lot more time thinking about what I’m going to do with my life. I know what i want to do with my life in the very long-term. But what am I going to do while I’m growing up? What will I do to shape the person I need to be someday?

Fuck. This will be a lot of work.

Lots of people do lots of things to shape history. Where do I want to stand?