Category Archives: smks

Morning routine

Here is my list of “it would be nice” if I did them in the morning.

  • Run
  • Write on blog
  • Medicate
  • Write on books that are in my head screaming to get out.
  • Water the plants (not *Every* day but most days and I’m struggling to be consistent)
  • Yoga
  • Eat breakfast

The problem is I want to get this all done by 7am and it’s just not happening. Past 7 I have the kids and…. everything gets harder.

Shanna has been making noise about wanting to get more serious about “school”. She understands that she is “going into first grade” and other kid have a lot of work to do at this stage.

I’m sorta wondering if I should mostly cut out socializing this school year. We should do classes and stay at home to practice things. She specifically asked if we could start reviewing Signing Time again.

I’m going to need to limit socializing to maybe two days a week. One week day and one weekend day. Noah desperately needs a weekend day of down time. It’s not fair to blast through the weekends. I think it is good for all of us.

We want martial arts. I’m thinking parkour to start just because it sounds so fun. I’m going to have to email the mom of a boy in our homeschool group. He’s doing lessons already in Fremont. He and Shanna are sorta close in age and they get along pretty well. (At least when they are alone. Not when the (insert winking lights here) wonderful second boy in their triad shows up though. Then they fight over the other boy. Sigh.

Both kids want to stay in swimming lessons over the fall/winter.

Calli will be in HIndi.

Both kids are asking for music classes and there is a place in Fremont that does birth-6 years olds in one class. It isn’t one instrument focused. They kind of move around between a few different kind of instruments. And they are big on ukeleles! I need to get both of ours fixed.

If we start doing language videos every day and practicing together, that will be like another class.

That is on top of our constant outpouring of history and math and science and art.

My kids have memorized the low level addition tables to the point where they are sometimes faster than me. We do not table work on addition. We just talk about math all the time. We count and do addition problems back and forth. They have never ever been asked to do a worksheet.

I got them a geometry set with a compass and man these words are escaping my brain today. Whoa. Uhm, those stupid plastic things you use to help you draw angles. Whatever. We have played with that though.

I would like to take a moment and thank genetics that my kids are *not* primarily visual learners. Many children *need* to see things in front of them in order to understand. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with them. I’m more literal like that. My kids are incredibly good at picking up concepts from hearing and talking about them. It is luck.

But I feel like it fits in with why I haven’t encouraged Shanna towards reading with more vigor. She’ll get there. Until then she has had to develop her memory with greater enthusiasm. She has memorized most of the books we own so she can “read” them to her sister. But she gets enough words wrong that I know she is remembering and not reading.

We have hundreds of childrens books. We have a bigger library than some elementary schools I went to. If Shanna has most of these memorized that means she has had them read to her. That feels good to me.

Our house rule is that any given book is read ONCE per day. I do not reread. Period. So they memorize these books without the benefit of having it repeated over and over and over in a short period. I am so darn envious of Shanna’s memory. She got it from her dad. I sorta glare at them on the sly sometimes but I don’t bitch. It’s a cool talent.

Sometimes when I watch interactions in other families I feel like there is something wrong with us. We are too touchy. Too affectionate. Am I going too far in the affection direction? We don’t “make out” (extended kisses on the lips with lips closed) and tongues belong in your mouth but beyond that if you want to give someone 500 kisses on their face, go for it.

Even in sex communities I have never seen a group of people as physically demonstrative as this family. I feel a little weird about it. Noah says that he and I both came into parenting with major touch deficits. That’s true enough.

But these means my kids are having a hard time learning that you can’t be that affectionate with EVERYONE. It’s a work in progress.

I keep telling Shanna, “When you are a baby it is ok to push until someone tells you “no”. That’s how you learn boundaries. As you get physically bigger the power dynamic shifts. You don’t get to push. You can only do things to people if you ask in advance and they say “yes”. Otherwise you are potentially violating their boundaries and that isn’t ok. People shouldn’t have to say “no” and shove you off of them once you are bigger. That’s only for babies.

This morning at breakfast we had a clarifying conversation about the whole “fucking kids” thing. I asked if it was ok to say “darn kids” and Shanna emphatically said “no.” It is unacceptable to call them anything. The only thing I am allowed to say is, “I am really frustrated with you kids.”

I can’t die. I want to see what she becomes as a grown up. She is so fucking cool.

I think I have talked myself into limiting socializing outside the house to two days a week during the next season or so. Tuesdays and Saturdays. Tuesdays partially because I have therapy on that day and it is park day so I should just assume that day is out of the house.

We have one or two things already scheduled I won’t cancel. I just won’t add more.

I think that partially I’m trying to see if the kids and I can get into a more regular rhythm because we will have to have one next year on the road trip. Just over ten months to go.

I would like it if we were better able to communicate in languages other than English. We will have to just practice. Oh I finally have an in-house study group. I feel so grateful. I don’t have to feel stupid or embarrassed.

When I stay home more I’m slightly less volatile. I think? I wish I remembered this kind of thing better. I know I go stir crazy. But this period of at-home is going to be forcefully ended by being out of the state for five months or so. Maybe I should build up some reserves so that I don’t leave depleted.

Life is complicated. I should pay attention to mis hijas. I don’t know why but I’m not that fond of the word “daughter”. I like hija. I always have. When I was a little girl wandering around the barrio I would hear the Mamas yelling, “Mijas! Ven ahora!” It is one of the most comforting sounds.

My mom didn’t yell for me to come in much. She was happy for me to be out of her face as long as I was willing to be gone. When she did yell at me it was a harsh “Kristine Lenora!”

I like that mi hijas are so tender and gentle with me. Time for snuggling. Maybe after I shower. Phew. (Hey–I already got my running in.)

Retail therapy

Despite the fact that I am not sure I “should” be doing this, but recently I have ended up near really cool toy stores a few times. I think it is funny that I have a super hard time buying things that are just fun for myself but I’m happy to buy toys I can claim are educational.

Magnets. Lego Boards. (We didn’t have any large bottom boards for building on and I don’t feel guilty about this.) Activity books for the car. Ok, this time I was smart and I put all the activity books up high where the kids can’t reach them. They can stay hidden until the road trip. I’m going to need a near-inexhaustible supply of things to distract them on that trip.

I was very happy this morning to hear the kids negotiate their iPad time. “Shanna, you had it first yesterday so today it is my turn to pick first.” “You are right. Sure, go ahead.”

They don’t always sound so pleasant as they negotiate.

I feel like we had several really grumpy days (not just me) then both kids decided that they wanted to repair all at once and we’ve all been nice to one another.

Today will be long. Hiking then the water park. Noah has a hair cut this afternoon so the girls and I will hang out alone till bed time. We will have fun.

The kids told me to go take time off while I can because they plan to run me into the ground later. I believe them.

Why can some people be forgiven and not others? This question haunts me.

Just blathering.

Yesterday at the water park Calli told me, “I am staying with ONLY YOU the WHOLE time. And when we are in the water you have to hold my hand. You can never let go.”

We were there with another family. She wasn’t interested in switching off which grown up she was with. Shanna didn’t care. She was like, “Bye mom. See you later.” But that is how she always is. I don’t actually think Shanna will want to grow up and live with me. She’s too happy to leave me behind.

Obviously I acquiesced to Calli’s requirements. Like you do.

To abruptly change the topic, whereas I have never watched this video before this moment (oh my goodness she’s crazy) this song has been on repeat in my head for a while now. If Ke$ha had been making music when I was hunting I would have been way more obsessed with her music. Uhm, I don’t listen to it when my kids are around. Ha.

After watching that video I feel a little bit extra confused by the long nails. I don’t get why women wear them. But I spend a lot of my life gardening. You don’t have ridiculously long nails with a life like mine. Maybe I just can’t understand being non-handy. No, I have hang ups about the nails. But those go back to childhood and That’s Not The Point Of This Post.

I have never been “drawn” to people who refuse to work with their hands. If sitting around and looking pretty is what you are good for then I don’t have a lot of use for you. I’m a worker bee and I like other worker bees. I mean, it’s not like I *hate* people who don’t work with their hands. But it baffles me and I often don’t know how to talk to them.

Despite Noah not being handy. Life is hilarious. It’s a good thing he’s got me around. That’s all I’ve got to say. Speaking of handy: I need to grease the hinges to the garage door. I’m tired of the squeak when I wake up in the morning.

In general I’ve been thinking about how much I like Noah despite there being some on paper reasons for me to be an asshole. He hasn’t earned such behavior from me. But I’m well aware that most treatment people receive has nothing to do with them earning it or not.

I have a lot of deep prejudices. Sometimes I feel pretty ashamed of myself.

I feel like I’m getting closer to being able to handle the mom in the home school group. I’m less likely to explode. I’m more clear on what I want to get out of it. More of the stakes have been made clear to me. I kind of hate social dynamics.

My arms hurt. But I want to unwind. I already went on a three mile walk (half of it with Calli on my back because she wanted to snuggle) but I feel like maybe I will run.

I didn’t do a long run yesterday. I am not training consistently. I have too many priorities. I’m looking forward to the end of the month and sending off my book. Then I get to have a few weeks off.

I haven’t set down a running schedule yet. October feels so far away. And I think I’m relying too heavily on the fact that I have a slight fitness edge over the friend I am running with. She is just starting to run. I practically seem speedy.

But she’s doing a whole bunch of full body exercise stuff I don’t do. I need more exercise than I’m getting. I haven’t been feeling very strong lately. I’ve been slacking and resting and I’m getting softer and slower.

I keep thinking there will be some vitally important reason I will need to learn to run very fast at some point in the future. It isn’t a good idea for me to continue the sedentary lifestyle I’ve had for most of my life.

Ok. I’ll go run. And I will get to listen to very loud slutty music. And I’ll jump Noah again tonight. I must be ovulating. Holy moly.

I’m really glad I married someone who says “yes” to sex 99.3% of the time. (We’ve had a lot of sex, but he has turned me down a few times…) This works for my self esteem. Thank you, honey.

Kid quotes for posterity

Shanna: “I cleaned the play room and the sleeping room and you said you would clean the living room and LO AND BEHOLD YOU BETRAYED ME!!!”

==============================================

Me: “Do you know how much I love you?”

Calli: (small sad voice) “No.”

Me: “I love you as much as I love onions.”

Calli: “What! No.”

Me: “I love you as much as a grain of sand.”

Calli: “What! No.”

Me: “I love you as much as a shoe.”

Calli: “What! No.”

Me: “Well then, how much do I love you?”

Calli: (in a happy, dreamy voice) “As big as the sky.”

============================================

I can’t remember if I blogged this one.

Me: “Stop antagonizing your sister. …. Wait? Do you know what antagonize means?”

Shanna: “No I don’t and thanks for asking.”

==============================================

Shanna: (shove Calli with elbow) “If Mom is coming in to pick up our toys and donate them to someone else so we don’t have to clean them up any more SAY THANK YOU.”

Shanna and Calli in unison: “Thank you.”

 

… I can’t remember what else. They have been amusing me lately.

Not proud.

In my continual efforts to not have secrets about which I feel shame, yesterday we had kind of an incident.

I had to dismantle the slide. An adult friend who was far above the weight limit decided to take a ride. It broke. No fucking shit. It ripped some of the bolts through the plastic and fucked up the wooden support under the slide. So it had to be taken apart. I could fix it with much larger washers, but it was a pain in my ass.

The entire time I was working on the slide, ok that isn’t fair–the first half of the time, the kids were not very happy with me. I tried to patiently explain what I was doing and why. I explained every tool and piece of equipment I was using. I showed them the damage and told them why I had to dismantle it in order to fix it.

The kids stood there and YELLED at me that I was mean for breaking their slide as I took it apart. Even though I had explained why and showed them how I would put it back together.

I fucking lost it. They have been yelling at me that I am mean a lot lately. Basically every time I do not instantly comply with their demands.

I turned around and started screaming at them that if I am so fucking mean go in the fucking house and leave me the fuck alone while I do this fucking work for your fucking play structure.

I don’t feel proud of myself.

I am not sure what the right thing to do there would be but I wasn’t capable of turning around and being nice. I just couldn’t. I am so fucking tired of being yelled at that I am mean while I am in the middle of doing demanding physical labor for someone else’s benefit. I just can’t sit there and tolerate that. I fucking can’t.

But I should figure out how to handle it without yelling “fuck” at children. On one hand I feel bad. On the other hand, wow have I never yelled fuck at my kids like that before. That was special. I’ve been remarkably good for me about swearing over the past few years.

I called K to calm me down. These days it feels like she is the only stress relief I have. The Godmamas are overwhelmed by familial need (that happens) and Noah is working a lot. A lot. A really really lot. He works his primary job, comes home for an hour or so then goes in the garage to do different work. This weekend he’s at a conference.

I used to get 3-5 hours of not-parenting every day. These days I’m under two hours. I do all of my work while managing the kids. Which isn’t something I deserve pity for. I wanted this and all. But it is hard to have enough patience for everything.

We did another hour or so of painting on the play structure. Calli has painted most of the stairs by herself. I was very impressed. I “helped” by doing a last few smoothing strokes on each board but she put the paint down and mostly spread it around by herself. Her paint clothes are now solidly covered in paint because she sat in it while she was painting. It was totally adorable.

Shanna painted the kid-side hand rail mostly on her own. I came along and did a little edging of the parts she had trouble seeing. That’s ok. There were a lot of little corners. Those are easy to miss.

I’m working on the rainbow. It’s a pain in my ass. But it’s coming along. I have used three fucking ladders in order to reach everything. I could have gotten away with two ladders if the thing was about three inches shorter. But it isn’t. So I needed a third ladder. C’est la vie.

I’m starting to have trouble sleeping again. Once I get six or so hours of sleep I feel like my sleep gets lighter–I come up to a lighter sleep cycle and then I just can’t really rest more. I get up to use the bathroom and then I fret. And fret. And fret.

Do you know what makes me feel worst about yelling at Shanna like I did? She came back to me and apologized for yelling at me about an hour after I yelled at them. I apologized to her too. I told her that I was sorry for yelling “fuck” at her because that isn’t very nice or respectful or loving. She said, “Well, we weren’t being very nice to you.”

I said, “No you weren’t. But you are kids. Kids push grown ups. It is my job to be the grown up and hold boundaries. It isn’t very cool of me to scream at you for being a kid.”

She told me she forgives me.

I don’t know how to be a better mother than I am. But I feel she deserves better. She is such a wonderful kid. It is kind of funny that I feel like I am mean to them. But never for the things they yell at me about. Those things are never the mean things. They yell at me that I am mean when I am doing nice things. If they yelled at me while I was actually being mean I think I would just nod and agree.

I think that when they start yelling at me I need to immediately separate us whenever possible. Not because they are “getting in trouble”. If you have feelings like that go express them somewhere else. You are allowed to have them. You aren’t allowed to yell at me like that. Hell, I barely yell at them the way they feel free to yell at me.

My kids are so fucking not abused. The cocky little… oh man. Clearly not abused. Abused children aren’t this god damned demanding.

I haven’t made progress on the book this week. I am thinking about it a lot. I know what I want to say. I just haven’t sat down to write. The minute I sit down the kids jump on top of me and demand that I do _________. (The list is long.)

I feel like we have phases where I can do independent work (like the mural on the fence) and then I just can’t for a while because they feel clingy and upset about being ignored and they won’t allow me to focus on anything. Right now I can’t do the dishes without them bugging the shit out of me to entertain them in some way.

I spend a lot of time saying, “It is not my job to entertain you. Go entertain yourself.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes not so much. That’s the process.

This is hard. I absolutely understand the impulse to just “put them in school”. I feel like there is stuff here to learn. There are lessons in this learning-to-put-up-with-people that I have to learn. I need it. NEED.

When I am an old woman I hope I will be proud of myself for doing the things that I knew were things *I* needed to do. I don’t in any way think that other people should mirror my path. I need to figure out how to be with kids.

When I lose it, which doesn’t happen very often–I do record pretty much all of them–I feel like I am proving that my children deserve to be removed from my care and given to someone who could treat them better. Only when I talk to so-called-“normal” (not diagnosed as crazy from a young age) mothers most of them spend a lot more time screaming at and/or punishing their kids. There is no way in hell I could treat my kids the way I hear/see other mothers doing it. I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror.

But I don’t think they are abusive. I don’t think their kids are damaged or fucked up in any way. So why do I feel so strongly that if *I* behaved that way I would be an abusive monster?

Is it the slippery slope argument? I can’t scream at my kids frequently because screaming just makes me more and more angry (being the one to scream means I am the one to escalate) and I have a really hard time controlling my urge to hit when I get too angry. And when I start screaming I am more or less incapable of screaming without cursing every other word. That is just part of the whole dynamic for me. I see other mothers who are able to scream or discipline and they don’t have to chant fuck fuck fuck over and over.

Right now my kids are sleeping in the cutest way possible. Shanna is “normal” direction but curled up in child’s pose. (Now I get why that is named that way.) Her nightgown is rucked up around her waist and she didn’t wear panties to bed. So she’s mooning the hallway. Calli is also in child’s pose but her head is firmly up against Shanna’s side so they are at a 90 degree angle to one another. They make a T.

I love how connected they are. They fight more now. But holy tomato they are attached to one another. They want to be near one another. Even when they are mad they don’t like separating. They do play in different rooms sometimes (Calli is very willing to run her own games when Shanna is being too bossy) but mostly they don’t like being away from one another.

Shanna keeps telling me that when she is a grown up she is going to go find my big sister and teach her how a big sister should act.

I tell my kids a lot, “How you treat your sister teaches her how to treat you. If you hit, pinch, kick, or shove you are saying that it is ok to do to you. I will not intervene until you get to the point of serious injury. You need to learn how to be nice.”

It is really interesting how Shanna is starting to take responsibility for “I am older and have more self control so I have to teach my sister how to act.” She frequently tells Calli, “Oh Calli! Please stop pinching me. It is hard to not pinch you back when you do that.” Once in a while she does pinch back. Then Calli wants to cry foul. I play at being deaf.

Today is a weeding day. The front yard is really bothering me. I haven’t weeded all summer. My pansies are getting choked out and fuck that noise.

The asparagus are growing like mad. I had no idea they looked like that. They kind of look like fennel as they grow up. It’s really neat. No one believes me that they are asparagus.

Tomato season is (thank goodness) nearly over. I will probably get another 5-10 lbs this year. One more batch of sauce. I’m ready to stop processing.

I am learning a lot about how I feel about food preservation and eating from my yard. I don’t know where I am going to put more raised beds in the future (maybe my roof?) but I think that long-term I will mostly want to figure out how to eat what is in season and do staggered planting. Like putting lettuce out to start every three weeks. Eat it as it comes ripe. We tend to not preserve a whole lot of fruit from the yard so far. Partially this is just current production size but partially it is that we gorge when things are in season. It feels nice. Then we have a break and that feels nice too. Preserving and eating the same things all the time causes me to get really bored and not want to eat at home.

I am sorta keeping to the schedule I drew up. That makes me feel good. I haven’t worked on Outrunning this week but that is the most serious deviation.

I’m having a hard time writing. I think that I’m actually feeling writers block about the book. I’m scared. I’m scared of really and truly committing to what I think a 12 year old should know. That feels like a heavy responsibility. I don’t want to do it wrong. I don’t want to give too much information and push kids towards making bad decisions.

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is that no one wants to seriously think about how much power they have. People don’t like acknowledging to themselves who and what they really are in the scope of things. People either under or over rate themselves. It’s hard to be accurate.

I don’t know how much influence I might potentially have and that is really scary. If Torque (the guy who publicly apologized to me and who gave me specific permission to use his handle whenever I talk about him) had understood how much it meant that he publicly say, “I screwed up and I am sorry” he would have done it ten years ago. If he had been willing to actually deal with me, what difference might that have made in my life?

Sure, he was a softball sized trauma. He violated my consent in a painful way. But he didn’t have sex with me. He didn’t rape me. He did beat me… but I had asked him to so it is a really weird thing to figure out how upset I am allowed to get about the whole situation.

I asked him to do a scene. Scenes are potentially fraught. Everyone has to be responsible for themselves or they SHOULD NOT ENGAGE IN BDSM. If you need to be taken care of then you are not someone who should engage in bdsm. Period.

But he did stuff I told him not to do. And when I screamed “no” and “stop” he ignored me until I said “red” even though I had negotiated not using safewords. But I did have a safeword. I did make it stop.

Recently I was thinking about the last rape. What I really really really hope will be the last rape.

I gave permission in advance for a rape scene. I didn’t understand the difference between compliant rape and a rape I would actually fight against. I never fought before that. I was trained to not fight from when I was a toddler. I was literally physically taught to not fight against being raped from when I was a toddler. When I was twenty-five I finally fought back.

I still lost.

I still got raped. Even though that time I didn’t want it and I was upset enough to fight and I fought as fucking hard as I was physically capable of fighting.

I haven’t ever done that before. I always give. I always know that it is right that I lose. I know I deserve to be raped. I know I deserve to service the needs of people around me because I am a whore and that is what whores are for.

But that last rape was different from all the others. That is the only time I can look at and really believe in my heart, “I was not able to stop that.”

Every other time I acted like it was like the scene with Torque. If I knew the safeword I could stop it but I don’t play with safewords so mostly I will eventually go limp and try to not die.

I don’t say “no” to sex. Well, I do now. Rarely. Barely. I started in pregnancy. I made Noah promise in advance that if I decided to not have sex from the date of conception to three months after delivery that he wouldn’t divorce me. I knew there was the non-zero possibility. I know that happens for some people. I was really scared. I made him promise because clearly he picked me because I am sexually compulsive and at that point we were still non-monogamous and I was pretty scared that he would wander off and not come back if I cut him off.

He didn’t.

I went and did a lot of bdsm because I wanted to find out what it felt like to believe you were allowed to say “stop” and have it work. When that mechanism failed me…

I don’t say “no” much. I learned how to say “stop”. Barely. It took a lot of effort and work. It took really consciously trying to do it. My Owner worked with me. He did a lot of very dangerous things where I HAD to say stop or he might end up in jail for manslaughter and we don’t want that now, do we?

It is kind of funny because outside of sex I say “no” more easily than almost anyone I’ve ever met. I’m pretty happy to add a “and go fuck yourself while you are at it!” But that sex button thing is old.

Lately I’ve been waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror and saying repeatedly, “You will not be held accountable for your feelings; you will only be held accountable for your actions.”

I have big feelings. I have mean feelings. I have sad feelings. I have hateful feelings. I have painful feelings.

I’m not hurting anyone else by having these things inside of me. If I control my temper and manage to not lash out (screaming that I am not fucking mean for fixing the fucking slide aside) then I am not hurting people. If I am not hitting anyone I am not hurting anyone. If I control my tone of voice such that I do not sound mean or hateful then I am doing fine. It’s ok that I am playing a game.

That’s the point. It is all a game.

No one is against you. They are for themselves. Don’t take it personally.

You will only be held accountable for how you act. I don’t know how you feel. I can’t know. That is forever a shut door. I just know how you act. I care about how you act.

That is comforting and very disturbing.

I can’t make this up.

Ok, we have a neighbor over. I am going to call her Monique. Because that is not her name.

Monique holding up spoon: “My spoon is the boy spoon and your spoon is the girl spoon.”
Shanna holding up spoon: “Yes, my spoon is a beautiful princess.”
M: “My spoon is Justin Bieber.”
S’s spoon runs away and hides behind a cup: “He is scary.”
M, with a confused look on her face: “But he’s not mean. He’s nice.”
S, spoon cowering in fear: “Nooooo!!! Noooooooo!!!! He’s terrifying.”
M, with a more confused look puts her spoon in her mouth.
S: “M is sucking the boy.”

I almost choked.

A fairly major interruption

This morning as I was plugging along on my merry way I received a phone call from my mother. One might think was a positive event if you didn’t know me. However this was pretty heinous. My mother called me to tell me that I was not sexually molested as a young child and she wants me to get my story straight. Right. That’s why I have been nearly continually in therapy throughout my lifetime. Excellent. Thanks for clearing that up. By the end of that phone call I was very nearly hysterical. Thank all the stars in the heaven that a friend was due to arrive very soon after. Today was therapy day. Excellent timing, Mom. My friend helped me get through the day. When my beloved eldest child woke up before I was ready for her nap to be over I was decidedly unthrilled. I really need the alone time to think right now. Luckily I have the most delightfully manipulative child. As we cuddled together in the rocking chair she perked up a bit and tilted her head to the side ever so charmingly. A lovely lilt moved into her voice as she said, “I know how to make your life better!”
“Oh, really? And what would that involve?”
“I think it would involve watching your very favorite movie, Ponyo. I think you would be soooooo happy that you would be able to remember all of the rules for a while.”

So much for a non-screen kid. So much for not watching the same movie on repeat. Today I fail at crunchy. But, I win at being a parent because every single person in my house is physically safe, emotionally safe, and doing what they want to be doing. At least the day might end well.