Monday, April 05, 2010

Bad mommy, bad.

I just threw that damned red Corvette into the trash outside. And when he didn't seem upset enough about it, I told him it was going to be taken away in the garbage truck, and he was never going to see it again.

The words going through my head were: cruel and unusual. But I'd threatened to do it, and I couldn't go back on it. That's the thing about teaching a kid; if you let them think they can get away with it, they will every time.

It doesn't make sense to me though. I must've done a lot of bad stuff growing up because what I remember most is the spankings, the preceding dread and the proceeding hatred. But I also remember thinking my parents' word was law. It never occurred to me that they weren't in charge. The Bug never went there. And until late last year, I admired it. I admit it: when he'd rebel against me, do things his own way, I got after him but I also dug it. I always wanted the kid to have his own mind. Until I found out that it would make him impossible to have out in public.

I'm not some tattooed hipster talking about my kid's freedom or whatever either. I'm hard on him (see above). I threw out that Corvette because I knew it would break his heart. Spankings and time outs don't phase him, but he'll remember that Corvette hitting the trash bin for awhile. And the next time I threaten it, I hope he'll turn his attitude around.

But god. It sucks.

Monday, March 08, 2010

I am writing this from an iPhone at 12:01 AM. I am grateful for the autocorrect.

I get to this place, seems like every year at this time, when the anxiety can't be quelled with fantasy any longer and I am compelled to blog in the dark to soothe myself into sleep. Usually I tell myself stories so I won't think while I fall asleep but now, I am annoyed with all of my stories. It's a low place. Perhaps it's best to admit it's a low place instead of covering it up. Telling myself lies.

The Bug. My life, will it always be this stressful? Filled with worry for him? For myself? When I first had him I was surprised by how much patience I had. Now, I'm surprised by my lack of it. I have had to apologize so much lately. And he forgives me.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I didn't sleep, but I might be on my way. Anne Lamott helped. I told my trainer (no matter how many trainers I hire, she will always be my trainer, the first, the one) on chat that I'd probably eaten 7000 calories today and she said she didn't feel so bad for having cheesecake, then. I like that in a friend.

Vampires, man. I don't know. Shit. So many rules to follow, but even worse, so many you have to make up. You have to figure lots of stuff out. Spiritual or scientific? What's the metaphor? Because monsters are never just monsters. Or maybe I could just leave it all up to the unconscious mind and type; this would be preferable, but I hate it because my unconscious mind will suddenly hit the brick wall of my knowledge. Like in a story I was writing the other day, this guy BLAMMO! was on steroids. And I was like, REALLY? Really, Samus Mind? Does he have to be? Can't I take that out, pretend that never happened? Because now I have to stop writing to research steroids. And Samus Mind was all like, nope, right, and she sounded cheerful about it. Nope, he's on 'roids, and I'm not giving you another word of the story until you figure out 'roids, and the gateway performance enhancers.

That's been going on all through this novel. I've typed out about 100 usable pages, 1.5 spaced, and it's been all because of hard work because shit keeps happening that I have to research. Rodrigo was a conquistador? Brilliant, okay, wait what? He proved himself to the natives with some kind of Amazonian insect? But I don't know anything about insects. Shit. And so I go researching, and after a lot of false starts I discover the correct insect and I'm like wooopaaaah! and I go writing writing writing until I discover that the main character is into punk. So I email a friend who knows about this stuff and I say I'll save the punk for the rewrite and I plow forward. It all feels like plowing, man. I'm so proud of those 100 pages because usually I'd give up a lot quicker.

Which reminds me, I was thinking about that today. I mentioned in another entry about piano, how I faked it a lot, how I didn't try very hard to succeed when I was growing up, and now I'm quite different. I wanted to give up at the range today about midway through. I was embarrassing myself around all the experts with their compound bows and their targets with holes only in the yellow. I made some self-deprecating jokes, like when my arrows went to the left of the target I'd say, "Okay so if the animal I'm aiming at just skitters THIS way, I'll have dinner..." Luckily, they laughed. But it was tough on me, my ego sucks. But then things started to click, one at a time. One guy told me where to put the string, how to aim it, and once I did that, my shoulder locked back and I went, oh! I did it again the next time, I felt it, and then again, and again. And pretty soon I was shooting so damn well that the other people were watching, and saying encouraging things, and making impressed noises, not so much because of my skill but because my arrows had been landing on the wrong targets for an hour and suddenly I was hitting my own, and mostly keeping it within the circles too, and sometimes getting it into the yellow, and often grouping them, which I learned means that they're all hitting in the same place, almost the same hole in the wall.

I felt good about myself when I left because I'd wanted to go home before the things clicked. One guy said that it takes him sixty arrows to start hitting where he wants to hit, and he was mega experienced. I thought about how embarrassing kickboxing used to be when I sucked at it, and I had that same experience when I first *got* the round kick. One of the teachers said, once you get it, you got it, and it's true. You feel it, and then you got it, and you just have to throw a million more round kicks to perfect and maintain it.

I read a study about weight loss; they'd put a bunch of people on different diets and they found that none of the diets were particularly better than the others, that what counted was sticking to it. Same thing with quitting smoking, apparently; the goal is not to Not Fail but to Not Stop Trying. Isn't this a lesson we learned from a little train when we were kids? Add this to the list of stuff I think the Bug really needs to know while growing up.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I am forcing myself not to do unhealthy things tonight.

I started drinking this dong quai tea. I have PMS like... I become a monster, you wouldn't believe. I hate feeling that way. I start wondering what "real" and "normal" is. I don't know which of my problems are relevant or just hormones. I blimp out, sometimes gaining up to ten pounds (!) of water, I'm irritable, angry, I want to fight constantly. So I picked up the menstrual health tea.

I had some weird moments at first. I felt my uterus cramping. I hardly ever have cramps, and I wasn't on my period, so this was super odd. But then I looked it up, and apparently it does make your uterus contract a bit in order to strengthen it. Or something. It wasn't horrible, but it did concern me, that and the tender nipples. But also - joy! - I felt wonderful. I was happy and horny, even in the car, and the cramping uterus sometimes made me feel yummers. I thought I looked good, too, and I didn't care what dong quai did to my hormones if I could just go an entire cycle without once clenching my fists because of how Mister Aran was breathing.

But this morning I woke up and knew it wasn't a cure-all. Ah, crap. I snapped immediately, had the same ugly yucky body stuff that always happens around this time. And because I'm all action action action, control control control, I decided to fight. I took a shower, I treated myself a bit, and I reminded myself: Attitude. Gratefulness.

I shouldn't have eaten so much and I should've worked out. But I did go shooting.

About a month ago I bought a simple but good bow, some arrows, and some leather stuff and started learning to shoot. I put a TV box out in the gully between my group of houses and the next group of houses over, lined with trees, with lots of eyeline; I stuffed it with an old cushion and some styrofoam and started twanging arrows at it. And oh, it does me so good. I don't know how to meditate. I don't like to be still. I know there's purpose in meditation and in napping but I just don't wanna. I want to punch holes in things. I want evidence. And archery does this for me. There's eighty things to think of, so that your mind has to be right there, and then there's a moment when you're in position, the string drawn back, your body locked in that T. You breathe, or you don't breathe. You count: one, two, release. That moment, I call it California Zen. You know, zen without all the decades of training and shit. We get our zen down here in hour-long increments. My friends go to Bikram Yoga or whatever and get all zenned. We're too busy to actually zen. I'm verbing zen on purpose, by the way, I like it.

So archery for me is all about that One. Moment. Where I'm still. I took up archery and realized that's why I liked kickboxing so much, because there's nowhere else to be but now when someone's about to hit you. But there's less getting hit in the face, in archery. Hell, I might quit the kickboxing gym and just go to the range every weekend for the same price, just have running and spinning and circuits be my workout.

I'm going tomorrow to the park to hang out with the SCA dudes who do archery. I'm nervous, man. Geeks are tough. I haven't been doing this very long. I don't know what I'm doing. Plus, after I'm done with them, I'm going straight to the Faire, and I'm going to shoot there, too, but after I've drank some cold port from my horn. I will feel better after some drinks.

I'm jittery now. I want to play video games, I want to argue on forums. That's what PMS makes me do. I'm refusing. I don't know how to make this better. I think if I just turn out my little lap desk's light and try to sleep, I'll lay here and stress, and write forum arguments in my head. I get the evil eye from that shit, though. When I've been particularly combative on the internet, I can feel all those people's energies stabbity stabbing at me. So today I promised I wouldn't log in, I wouldn't do it. I worked on my vampire story instead.

I just went into my dark office and pulled some books from the shelf (I lit my way with an open DS, I refused even to turn on the light in there, lest I get tempted to turn on the big machine). I have Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott on my bedside table now. I've put off reading it because the beginning is all such liberal doom and gloom and no matter how true it might be, I just don't WANNA. Mmk. Maybe I'll skim over that, because she does always put me in the right mindframe, and she makes me want to laugh at myself. Then I got Danse Macabre by Stephen King because I am, after all, writing a horror novel. Mister Aran got it for me forever ago and I knew there'd be a correct time to read it. This must be it, because I'm done with all the Sookie Stackhouse novels, dammit! I want Charlaine Harris to write a novel a day, because by god that's how long it takes me to read them, and I am all itchy now that I have to wait for another one. I did order the HBO DVDs of the first season of True Blood, so that's something to look forward to early next week. I've never seen it. I'm nervous, like anyone is about seeing the adaptation of books they love, but I've heard it's pwn.

My writing tonight was (ugh) expository, I think is the right word, where style just falls flat because I'm trying to get something out. Can't look back; style is for the rewrite. Just gotta pound it into the keys. Here's a paragraph from tonight which made me smile. And after that, I'm going to read. I think.

"You were nothing, you are nothing," says Sebastian calmly as he circles the pile of maimed, dead flesh, staring at it with blank eyes. Bryce's gaze follows him. "I swear upon her ashes that you will always be nothing. Yes." He looks up at One with half a smile, almost cheerful. "She is dead. I have never been so strong. You are out from under her spell. Rodrigo did this, and he stole her – interesting that he took the time to create this sculpture, an act of war, really – and her body is gone, and her blood's power has flowed to the rest of us, likely strongest to Rodrigo himself." He does not look up to see One crumple onto the floor. "Which means she is not the first." He steps gingerly to the mirror he'd punched into shards and bends over, peers into the largest of the pieces and combs his fingers through his hair.

Monday, January 12, 2009

About potty training: alcohol helps.

I have heard the following words 285y9869472065720707052734 times: "It's dancey-dance time! Go! Go! Go Brobie! Go! Go! Go Brobie! I like to dance! Hahahahaha!"

He sits backward on the toilet. He's too big for potty chairs. At one point today he was bent over the lid, sobbing and singing at the same time: "No, no, no, don't take the toy away... say you're sorry..."

I have developed a twitch in my right eye.

I wasn't forcing him to sit there while he sobbed, by the way. He was tantruming about a cookie. I watched him and thought, if this were caught on video, it would be on the news. Headline: world's worst mother forces her innocent child to sit on the toilet while he sobs and strains. I could hear the anchor's deep voice saying, "Our more sensitive viewers may want to change the channel while we play this video."

That's alcohol for the parent, not the kid, by the way, but what an idea.

I may have ever-so-slightly overshot things in the potty training arena. I bought these little 100-calorie packs of cookies at Trader Joe's and told him he could have one if he went potty in the toilet. I underestimated his - I don't think "desire" is enough word - for cookies. He ran immediately to the toilet and climbed on and pushed, straining, his little face turning red. Then he got manic, yelling about not being able to make it come out, could I push it out? And I'm like, oh shit, this isn't right. So I tell him it's not good to try so hard, and we could try again later, and he screamed and wept and said "Don't pick me up!" in a total panic. He was freaking out so I tried to force him off the toilet and he did his limp noodle routine and finally I just walked out, sat on the carpet outside the bathroom and looked down at my DS until he decided to climb off.

Then we had mac & cheese and pears and iced tea. These things help a lot.

At this age you have a few things down. You can, with absolutism, tell people about certain things that work for your kid, and things that don't under any circumstances, and stuff that he likes and dislikes, and what you do in your family, and where in his development he's ahead and where he might be the wee-est bit behind. But there are still these times where I just feel like such a parent, in the most frightening sense of the word, where you not only are concerned but you know beyond any doubt that you're doing it wrong.

Spongebob helps also. I'm glad he's into Spongebob because it's so weird, random, and horrifying. I feel in one very embarrassing small spot in my stomach that the popular kids would like Spongebob. My childhood social life was so terrifying; I was always at least one step behind everybody. It was like how you know a band is so over when your mom says she's into it. I would get into the vest and jeans thing a year after it was in, and I'd have only one outfit like it, and only on that day would I feel great about myself. I wasn't athletic; I sucked at soccer and the rest of the team hated me. I couldn't watch horror movies or MTV. So now there's this oblong little nut sitting heavily in my gut that tells me to be one of those horrible permissive parents who lets their kids watch whatever and picks up porn for her boys and installs a jacuzzi so he can have naked hot tub parties and serves everyone beers... and that's just the fourth grade. Because god, wouldn't it be nice to wake up looking forward to that day at school, and having a closet full of clothes that are all fashion forward, and one of the newest bikes or motorized scooters or Ferraris or whatever, so that you don't have to walk around with your head down day after day and plot against the plots and separate the kids who hate you from the kids who hate you but pretend not to...

The Bug knows he's not allowed to say no to me, so he says other things. First, he tried "I can't." Smart little booger. I 86'd that and he went to "I'm scared." Brilliant. Now when he says "I'm scared" but I know it really means "No" and he's not scared in the slightest, I have to look like cold bitch mom in public.

It's toilet training time. Now that I've decided on it, I have to push forward. The worst thing about this process is having to be so fake all the time. I turned red and asploded rather than laugh at the video of the little boy bending over to show us the little hole where poopoo comes out, and I had to retreat entirely when The Bug bent over in front of the mirror to see for himself. When it doesn't work out and there's pee on the couch and poo in his underwear I cannot show how frustrated I am; I have to be all supportive and move forward and plop the poo into the toilet and say "bye bye poo poo" and drop one little dollop I missed on the way to the washing machine.

And of course, he's "scared" constantly. I know when the kid is really scared for godsake, and when he is, he does not say he's scared. He has all other vocabulary for that.

He's in the bath now and you should see my hurricane of a house and the laundry and the CD I'm supposed to burn for my ma and the grime he's coating the shower with and the toilet targets he's supposed to pee on and the milk solidified in his cups and what workout? What writing? I'm doing lunges through the house. I'll use his naptime to clean because I get two things unloaded from the dishwasher and he's got some other whammy to throw at me. I should be washing his dirty ass right now but I felt myself losing it just a tad and knew if I didn't take ten minutes to type this that I'd bark at him.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Learning how to love my husband is one of my life's great journeys. I cannot say I have always been up to the task. I'm human; I can't go back. But I can be aware, I can have faith, I can believe in magic. Those are pretty big things.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Omgah, I'm okay now.

Still not working, but okay. I'm reading. I'm annoyed that I have to go back and fix shit I've already done. No bueno. But I'm okay.