The Complete Disrespect of Your Laziness

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Recently at a trip to the grocery store we allowed each of our 3 kiddos to get something for their “significant other” at school in celebration of Valentine’s Day. That ended with Ryan finding something cute for his girlfriend, Hailey getting something to surprise her crush, and Faith getting a heart shaped basketball filled with chocolate for her best guy friend at school (she’s 10).

Once we got home, Faith deemed it necessary to write a note to her friend letting him know she was glad he was her friend (so that he wouldn’t think she liked him….blah blah blah….we all know they end up going to prom together 6 years from now, but anyway….). In doing so, she opened the chocolates to put the note inside. Then she closed the box and left them on her desk. The next day when she was getting ready to leave, she decided to check on the note just one last time, to make sure she wrote it correctly and it said all the things she was trying really hard to make sure she wasn’t saying (and yes, you read that right).

A chocolate was missing.

She freaked out. After a good review of her room, and her desk, and everywhere else… it was determined that it was either Hailey or Ryan that had taken the chocolate and eaten it. Or hid it. Or whatever. But here’s the problem with the “not me” ghost in our house. He’s lazy and messy.

Our kids put no effort into their lazy stealing of other people’s property. They’re no good at it. And quite honestly, at this rate they won’t even be busted by real cops for theft, it will be by the school resource officer that has jelly donut on his shirt.

Before you judge my lack of compassion or reason here… think back. When you were a teen and you wanted soda and your parents said no… did you just take the last one anyway and then say, “It wasn’t me?” HELLLL NO YOU DIDN’T!!! You secretly snuck one when there was 17 left in a 24 pack. Or you took the skinnest little slice of cake you could muster from the tray of untouchable desserts while your mom was cooking and high tailed it to the back yard to devour the one bite of cake you snuck. You drove 700 miles an hour to get home by curfew at 11, you didn’t walk in at 11:03 and go, “What??? I’m here.”

There is no glimpse of fear in your eyes when I say no, and 20 minutes later you do it anyway. I’ve read a lot of places that people believe it’s the style of discipline that has changed. That people used to be terrified of their parents kicking their asses. And yes, I was terrified of my parents kicking my ass… but thinking back… they never did. I may have been smacked here or there, but nothing to warrant the fear I had. Because maybe that fear was of disappointing them, not actually of them. Regardless, our kids have none. And I find it quite disrespectful for someone to steal a Valentine’s Day candy out of a box of chocolates that is a gift for someone else… from your little sister. Shameful. Tacky. Tasteless. So I am calling you out on it, you “NOT ME” Ghost in our house. And you better hope, you can vanish quickly when I find you out. And I will.

Divorce Destroyed the Security of the World

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Spoiled rotten little American kids, they whine, complain, and stomp their feet to get what they want. I’ve figured out what has happened. I am about to give you all the answers. People keep saying generations keep going softer, and softer, and softer. But what’s different? What has happened?

Divorce. Divorce is what is destroying the people of our country. Okay, now hear me out, because I know you are all rolling your eyes.

60 years ago, the divorce rate was practically non-existent. However, in the time since, it’s gone to nearly 3 out of every 4 marriages will end in divorce. Those statistics are enough to make most, not even want to bother. Now how is this affecting the country?

Well, when couples divorce there are many things that happen after that point:
1. Kids lose their tiers of stability and become untrusting of long-term things.
2. Kids develop pent-up aggression that they do not know how to relieve themselves of.
3. Parents remarry, possibly into relationships where other kids are present.
4. Now kids have step siblings that they are supposed to act like blood relatives towards, that they aren’t.
5. Kids hierarchy structures are changed, oldest kids can become the youngest, or a middle child at random casting.
6. Parents weaken their discipline practices because they cannot understand the contempt and hatred in their childs face.
7. Parents have a hard time disciplining other people’s children, either punishing them to extremes, or not at all.
8. These kids grow up, untrusting of relationships, go through their own divorces and the cycle repeats.
9. Parents, regardless of what they say or try to believe, will never be able to love all the kids equally.
10. Kids have learned to cope in this situation by manipulating parents feelings of guilt.

The family structure has been destroyed. There is no longer Christmas at Grandma’s house with your entire family… families now have 2, 3, sometimes 4 different Christmases. Kids have multiple birthdays, so they can celebrate with all of their removed family. They get whatever is on their list, because their parents fight over trying to provide the best presents so that they can feel a little less guilty about destroying their child’s faith in….well faith in just about everything.

People have become to used to losing in-laws. People are no longer attached, to their people anymore. If you aren’t happy, you can just leave. If you don’t like these people, you can just find new people. They walk away. They quit. They give up. Give in. Don’t give at all.

I’ve done this. I walked away. Now I’ve been in a relationship for 8 years that includes step children for me. I’ve watched my own parents divorce, and realized that even at 32 years old, you’re still ever the child when it comes to what is happening between parents. You think you know, you think you understand things. But the truth is, the melt down of the country is starting inside every home on every cul-de-sac in the U.S.A.

The Monsters in My House

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You watch them take their first steps. You listen to their first giggles. You hang their finger paintings on the refrigerator with alphabet shaped magnets. You tear up when they get shots, and fall off their bikes. You pick them up, dust them off, hold them tight….

Then one day, you wake up… and they’re teenagers. Or even worse, TWEENagers.

They’re mean. They’re snarky. Sarcastic. Smelly. Hormonal. Sneaky. Smarter than everyone else alive. Conniving. Liars. Expensive. Dramatic. Trendy. Selfish. Whiney. Bratty. 

They’ve become these little shells of creatures that used to be so genuinely happy to be around you. Now they bite at your hand when you reach out to help them.

Every once in a while you catch a glimpse of that little person, locked up behind their eyes. A random, I love you mom, text comes through. Or they’ll laugh and joke around while sporadically helping make dinner. Little glimpses, little reminders. They’re still in there somewhere… fighting their own battles with school, siblings, and life. Looking desperately to find their place in the world, and trying their damndest to grow up to quickly.

I sip my wine, from the back porch after they’ve all finally given up their fighting for the day and fallen asleep. I begin to pen a letter to my mother, but the only words I see on the page are these:

Mom,

 You were right. I love you. Oh, and I’m sorry.

Jeanna

A Panda Named Teddy

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I won’t ever leave you, tell any of your secrets, or get mad when I fall on the floor… I will just be here when you get back… and I will carry all of your tears and forever be happy to see you.

                           The only thing I remember about Christmas morning 1987 was a foot and a half tall Panda bear with a giant red bow tied around his neck. He was fluuuuuffffffffy. His white fur shone like fresh fallen snow and his two eyes seemed to be smiling at me. The red ribbon he wore with pride, its thick satin was nearly as beautiful as he was. There are only a few presents that will ever stand out from your childhood, and he was one that had the “forever” impact on me. I named him Teddy. Yep, Teddy Bear. That was his name, but he never seemed to mind the simplicity in the title I had given him. He went everywhere with me and if I could not find him at night, there was no substitution. Oh sure, I had an array of other cool stuffed animals, but they could not take Teddy’s place. He was the “one”. There was a spot he fit when I snuggled on my side, my arm tight around him, my face buried in the top of his fluffy head. When I said my prayers, he would listen, never interrupting.

Problem with Authority…. Who….ME?????

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Last night, we’re sitting at the dinner table. The 8 of us. If you didn’t know that there are now 8 of us, let me back track for a moment. At the beginning of this year (yes 2013)…(and yes, I know it’s been eons since I have blogged) my sister and her two children moved in with us. Then this summer, my step son Ryan also moved in with us. Now there are 8 people in the house; Russell, myself, Hailey (12), Faith (10), Ryan (15), Chelsi (25), Elizabeth (5), and Anthony Jr (3).  Pshhheeewww!!!!

So we are sitting at the dinner table, and we are playing the high and low game, where I ask everyone what the best part of their day was, and then the worst part. When it gets around to Faith, she has 3 worst parts of her day to explain. As she’s explaining the last part, she’s telling a story about having a substitute bus driver, and apparently he is the biggest idiot in the world, and won’t let them talk the whole bus ride, and people that do talk get their names written down, but the name takers are not allowed to stand up, therefore they have to take names from sitting down in their seats, and… “HOW ON EARTH ARE WE SUPPOSED TO TAKE ACCURATE NAMES, SITTING IN OUR SEATS???” she practically screams the last part at us, as she’s close to hysterics.

Now to say Faith is dramatic… isn’t an accurate word for her. She’s more of a… perfectionist. And she hates change.

Russell finds her outburst funny, and as he is getting up from the table he exclaims, “Good Lord child, you have problems with authority, just like your mother.”

I’m innocently eating my pizza at the other end of the table, and nearly choke on my food as my sister errupts into laughter and agrees with a, “That’s no joke, no doubt who she gets that from!”

Now wait just a second here…. me? Problems with authority? Excuse me?

There’s laughter coming from everyone now, even the 3 year old thinks it’s funny. My eyes are rolling. The only one at the table that looks slightly as annoyed as I feel, is Faith. Once they catch on that I am not quite on the same page they are, Russell wipes the tears of laughter from his cheeks and starts to explain.

“You are always bucking the system, if your boss tells you to do something, you always super analyze the why’s and how comes.”

Chelsi joins in on the banter, “You never just do something because you’re told to, there’s always a million questions, and the reasons have to make sense to you before you will do it.”

I sit there and think on this for a moment. And I let the argument pass. If they see me as having a problem with authority, I am okay with that. Yes, I will always ask why, and how come. I will never do something solely because I was told to. I’m not a puppet. And just because someone with “authority” told me to do something, doesn’t mean that I should, or that I am going to. So maybe I do. Maybe I am proud to look across the table at my daughter that feels the same way. That won’t sit down, just because she was told to. Sure, there’s a time and place… but every single day this world grows stranger and darker, and I’m glad she’s not following the other sheep to slaughter without at least asking why.

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