We were at a birthday party the other day for some friends we made at Future Cult Leader’s school. School rocks like that. We met Monsieur Stoic there so the 4 of us could hang in the pool like a real live family before the group of cool people headed out to the park to enjoy pizza, cake, playground scuffles, and watching the birthday kids open their
peace offerings gifts.
Now that Evil Genius is older I feel comfortable letting her play at the park without being within 20 feet as long as there is no street she can dart out in. Which is ridiculous, because out of the two, Future Cult Leader is most likely to do that. As this was in a quiet parking lot, I hung out with Stoic and the all the other parents at the party. Suddenly, blood curdling screams. I recognized them as Evil Genius’s and as I walked to figure out why World War Three was about to start I saw her surrounded by a bunch of kids, Cult Leader included. As Cult Leader has this thing about not respecting other people’s bodily autonomy I assumed she was forgetting that when her sister is screaming at her it means HOLY HELL STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING OR SHE’S GOING TO BITE YOU.
“Cult Leader, when she’s screaming like that it means she–”
I stopped, as I was close enough to see a quarter sized bruise, red and blue mottled and raised about 1/8 to 1/4 inch next to Genius’s left eye. I grabbed her and speed walked back to the party so I could attempt to calm my hysterical daughter and maybe try to get her some pain relief. You know what 3 year olds hate? Ice packs. They also hate a bunch of not so familiar people crowding around them, which all the other moms were doing because BABY! HURT! MUST FIX IT!
No one but the kids around her at the time know what really happened. Last year at a birthday party Genius tripped on her skirt and fell backwards, head over heels, off a metal slide, smacking her head on the stairs on the way down. After 10 minutes she stopped crying and it was obvious she was fine. This time, the crying didn’t subside easily so Stoic and I decided he would take her to the walk in clinic in the next town over while I stayed with Cult Leader until after the party was over. Then I would take her to his parents’ house and join him.
Then I got a text that they were referring her out to the children’s hospital in Portland for a cat scan.
I decided it wasn’t important to stay so I went to grab my keys…and realized my keys were in the diaper bag. Super Friend, to the rescue! She drove Cult Leader and me to The In-Law’s then dropped me off 22 miles from our hometown so I could hang out with husband and kid in the ER.
Fortunately, they determined she didn’t need a cat scan. Just some ice and TLC. We came home and promptly went to bed, but not until we’d taken a picture of Genius’s face.
Evil Genius, being who she is, asks to be taken to a mirror or see pictures of her face. Anytime we comply she cackles hideously. I’m beginning to think this kid could scare Dick Cheney.
Folks, I give you exhibit B.
While I was at our favorite national big box store
picking up some new granny panties killing some time on the way to pick up Future Cult Leader from school, I found a mini spiral notebook in one of their dollar bins. As one of Cult Leader’s favorite past times is writing the Great American Novel, I bought one so I can live off her royalties encourage her love of the written word. After I presented it to her, this happened:
“Guess what I have for you?”
“Nope. I have this notebook for you.”
“Is this for me?”
“Yup. All yours!”
“So now I have my very own diarrhea?”
Yeah, baby. Your very own diarrhea.
Monsieur Stoic and I were in the kitchen, discussing how to end world hunger while fixing macaroni and cheese for lunch, when Evil Genius tip toes in. In her arms she is cradling her almost-as-big-as-she-is automatic Nerf dart gun, fully loaded. She is wearing a mischievious grin. Before we can register what is going on, she aims the gun at Stoic (as best as she can, considering she has to cradle it like a baby) and pulls the trigger. Synthetic material flies everywhere as she cackles maniacally, turning her body around so she is spraying the entire kitchen with suppressive styrofoam fire. Stoic jumps for cover so I spring into action, guiding Evil Genius into another position so he is assaulted by velcro tipped missiles. When the dust settles, our 2 1/2 year old daughter is giggling wildly, crowing in triumph. “I got you! I got you, Dad!” I cannot stop laughing. Stoic is shell shocked and appalled. “You little punk, I loaded that for you earlier and you had no interest in shooting!”
Folks, I give you Exhibit A.
The kids are kicking my ass.
Monsieur Stoic is out of town. He’s in Miami
doing hookers and blow with his brother watching the Atlanta Braves play the Florida Marlins and trying not to get struck by lightening. So while he’s off partying like it’s 1999 hanging with his Wombmate in a sub tropical locale, I’m getting destroyed by the Terror Tag Team. But fair’s fair, because I took off with my best friend in June to bake and play tourist on the Oregon Coast.
(I should probably come up with a pseudonym for her soon. Hmmm.)
Normally, it wouldn’t be *that* big a deal to be outnumbered. I mean, yeah, these kids are a handful. Future Cult Leader by herself is relentless, especially after the Ritalin wears off. And Evil Genius is 2, okay? Two. Do you know what they say about the twos? They say that they’re terrible. And while Evil Genius’s 2s aren’t nearly as bad as some other 2s I’ve seen, she’s still 2. What do you get when you put a 2 year old and a post-Ritalin 6 year old together? Let me put it this way: if the child-adult ratio is 2:1 for longer than 12 hours, my house will start to resemble Vancouver after the Canucks lose the Stanley Cup. But while my kids have a difficulty level somewhere between hard and expert, I’m used to the chaos and don’t usually mind the mess. I could do without the violence, though. I’m also smug enough to say that parents with kids that are mellow would probably be full blown alcoholics when confronted with my kids; I only need a daily pot of coffee, weekly therapy appointments, and a handful of psychotropic drugs to get through the day. (Oh, wait…)
Now, let’s add a few ingredients to the mix. First off, Evil Genius has a yeast infection in her mouth. She can’t eat, isn’t sleeping well because she no longer has her pacifier to fall back on, is super clingy, and just randomly bursts into tears because “Mama, mouth owwwwwwww”. Second off, I can’t bliss out on my Ambien with Stoic gone. The night he left, my insomnia showed up at my front door with a couple of kegs, a bunch of E, some glow sticks, and 200 of its closest friends. Third, Stoic’s absence is a disruption in Cult Leader’s life. She doesn’t like disruptions. And that was what we call an understatement.
So. To review: 6 year old who comes home from day camp just as her stimulant drug wears off. Super pissed all the time because we moved an object to the left a little and won’t let her change it back. Terrible twos with a mouth plague that’s taken her drug away from her without the help of methadone; becomes incapacitated when not clinging to her mother’s neck. I’m “it” but my own severe sleep deprivation tends to mean I Lose My Shit, but I can’t Lose My Shit because I’m being held captive and tortured by the Terror Tag Team and the moment I blink the terrorists win.
If I don’t make it out alive and intact: I’ve had a hell of a run. And can someone do me a favor and burn all those old journals from high school for me? Those don’t really need to be floating around once I’m gone.
Future Cult Leader comes home today after a week at her bio dad’s house. Here’s a list of things I didn’t miss when she was gone:
Cooking full fat meals
Since on a good day, Cult Leader weighs as much as a top of the scale 3 year old, we can’t cook the low fat meals I want so I don’t wind up looking like one of the hot air balloons that fly over our bedroom at 6 AM. Sure, I could make my meal or her meal separately, but I’m already playing goalie in the game of kids. Making a separate meal would be like trying to play pitcher at the same time.
I know, I know, I deserve to be publicly flogged for admitting that I yell. I remember mentioning to my sister in law that we sometimes yelled upstairs for Cult Leader to get in bed and go to sleep (though, that was more laziness than anything; we didn’t want to get off our asses and go upstairs) and she gave me this horrified look, like WHO LET YOU HAVE CHILDREN as she asked me, dismayed, “Wait, you yell at your kids?” Yes. I yell. And honestly, I haven’t yelled since Cult Leader has been gone. Well, that’s not true. I’ve yelled upstairs to Monsieur Stoic, and once when Evil Genius grabbed a knife out of the dishwasher. No one is perfect, so suck it. It’s one of those parental flaws I try to work on daily.
I don’t know if you know this, but tantrums are common in kids with ADHD. Between all the stimuli they experience (if you Google “Misunderstood Minds” and click the link that says “attention”, you can get a taste of what it’s like to be my daughter. I’d include the link but I tried that and WordPress won’t let me and I’m not smart enough to figure it out) and their impulsive nature, their emotional volatility tends to be higher than that of their peers. Cult Leader has a tantrum a day, and there’s nothing that can be done to stop them. Not dealing with them has been a relief.
Evil Genius and Cult Leader fight and bicker and HOLY CRAP MAN. You’d think that a 4 year age difference would make a difference, but they fight just as much as kids 2 years apart. One of these days, the fighting is going to escalate into World War III, and I shudder to think about the results. Cult Leader could easily start an uprising against the Evil Genius, but Evil Genius could plot some sneaky counter attacks. It’s entirely possible she wouldn’t even need help. She’s way more likely to get her hands dirty than Cult Leader, because Cult Leader would just get someone else to work for her.
The great thing about conversations in the car with Cult Leader is that you never have to say a word. The bad thing about conversations in the car with Cult Leader is you never have the chance to say a word.
Honestly, Cult Leader was more work than Evil Genius when Evil Genius was a baby. Oh sure, the reflux made the baby almost unbearable, but at least I could strap her to my chest as a solution. Well, and the 20 minute snippets of sleep at night sucked ass. But that was mindless. Cult Leader takes a lot of mental, emotional, and physical energy. She sucks it out of you, and I think even uses it herself.
It might sound like we were happy to get rid of her, and we were. Believe me, the need for a break was mutual. She was not at all heartbroken at leaving us for a week, although part of that might be because her older sisters were there for the week, too, and they are way more fun than we are. But we’re also really happy to get her back, and she’s ready to come home. The house was empty–and too quiet–without her.
Since we’ll be on a road trip having hotel sex and playing on the Oregon Coast for the next few days, I probably won’t post much, if anything. Enjoy the break!
I cut Evil Genius’s bangs the other day.
Since she was born without hair and was, in fact, bald as a cue ball until right around her first birthday, she has what is known as the Baby Mullet. It’s less “business in the front, party in the back” as it is “I’m letting this shit grow out because that’s the social norm and she isn’t old enough to thumb her nose at the social norm yet”.
The problem with cutting a 2 year old’s bangs? Um, everything. I was not about to take her to Perfect Look for a freaking trim because a.) I’m cheap and b.) I hate salons. I hate everything about them. The smells give me a headache, at least one person is snotty for no reason or maybe I just don’t understand how salons and shit work and c.) I’m cheap. So instead, I put the hair I wanted her to grow out in a ponytail, took her and Monsieur Stoic outside, and sat her on his lap. Then I pulled out the scissors.
I should not be allowed to play with scissors.
She moved. I slipped. Then I made that mistake where you try to cut too much hair at once so it cuts crooked. And then she moved while I made that move.
Needless to say, I probably should have spent the twelve fucking dollars.
You know how, on the internet, you get that one person who is a deliberate asshole? They post stupid responses to posts, they post the dumbest things to incite anger and frustration, or to annoy the other people in the community/message board. They usually get dog piled by the naive and unsuspecting until…
“You guys, it’s a troll. Stop feeding the troll.”
Future Cult Leader is a real life troll.
“Hey, it’s time to empty the dishwasher.”
She works for a little bit and then…
“Mooooooooom” she stretches this out into a 5 syllable word “I don’t know where this gooooooooooeeeeeees.” Another 5 syllable word.
“Cult Leader, what is it?” Maybe she thinks it’s something else.
“A glass bowl.”
“Okay, where do the glass bowls go?” Trying to help her solve her own problem.
“I don’t knooooooooooooooooooow.”
“But you’ve put them away lots of times before.” Logic to jog her memory.
“I don’t remeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeember.”
I give her The Mom Look. No nonsense attitude, GO.
“I really don’t knoooooooooooooooooooow.”
“Look, knock it off. Put it away.” My frustration is increasing. I’m thinking, good grief, kid. This isn’t your first rodeo.
She walks over to the part of the kitchen where the glass bowls go. “Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I don’t know where it goes and if I don’t know where it goes and I can’t put it away and then I can’t empty the dishwasher and then I guess I’ll have to go outside to play without doing my choooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrruh.”
Holy hell. “Stop. Now. Go put it away. You’re not leaving this kitchen until you put it away.” I can feel my blood pressure rising.
“BUT I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT GOES.”
My chest gets all tight as my fuse ignites. I had been feeling productive and was excited about getting stuff done, and my 6 year old is cock blocking me.
“PUT IT AWAY NOW, OR I WILL PAY THE GYPSIES TO TAKE YOU.” Not a creative threat, as far as threats go, but it’s my go to and it usually gets the job done. I think she’s afraid I can actually do something like that.
“I *CAN’T* PUT IT AWAY BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT GOES!”
That’s when I notice the look on her face. Oh, she knows what she’s doing. I’m on to her.
“If you don’t put it away, I will ruin your day.”
She harrumps and puts the bowl away. Fucking troll.
“Hey. Lock the cabinet so Evil Genius can’t get in there.”
“I don’t feel like it.”
“DO. IT.” I’m trying so hard to be firm without sounding like I’m ready to HULK SMASH.
“She can open the lock anyway.”
“No, she can’t.”
“Yes, she can.”
“Stop arguing with me and lock the cabinet.”
“GET IT DONE.”
“BUT IT’S POINTLESS.”
Cue my head exploding.
I am in the bathroom, enjoying my morning poo. See, I like pooing. For the longest time I didn’t do it regularly. Then I got regular and there’s nothing quite like a great bowel movement. Plus, it affords me 5 child free minutes.
Future Cult Leader bursts in, because stupidly, I have not locked the door. I’d had a 2 month period where I locked the door to prevent getting interrupted and figured my days of getting walked in on were over. Inevitably, the first time I don’t lock the door is when a child decides their needs come before my morning poo. I caught the door and shut it before she could step in.
“NO. I’m using the bathroom.”
“But I have to go potty real bad!”
“Then go upstairs. I’m busy.”
“I don’t wanna go upstairs!”
“Child, there are 5 other toilets in this house. Go use one of them.”
“Cult Leader, you are not coming in here. Go somewhere else.”
No. She waited. I could almost see the internet troll face on her when I opened the door.
It’s time to get Cult Leader out of the shower. I knock on the shower door while speaking pleasantly to her.
“Time to get out!”
“Baby, time to get out, or I’m opening the door” which is something she hates, because all of a sudden she likes her privacy. Fine, I support that. But not when she’s not listening.
I pull open the door, and she stands there, staring at me. I’m having a stare down with a 41 pound child. I reach over to turn off the water, while continuing this futile staring contest, when she throws her hand out and pounds the knob. Lightening quick, this kid is.
“Great! Wring out your hair please.”
The stare continues.
“WRING out your HAIR.”
She slowly brings her hands to her hair and runs them over her head. About a gallon of water falls out of her thick, dirty blonde locks.
“Awesome! Step out so we can dry you off!” I am remaining cheerful because, dammit, showers shouldn’t be this hard.
She slowly picks her foot up, as though she’s in a vat of Jello, and gingerly steps on the carpet. She stands with one foot in, one foot out.
She steps out, I get her dried off, and she gets into her underwear. I help her into her dress and then prepare her tights for application.
“Hokeeeeee, love. Sit down, please.”
She starts pushing on the walls. Sitting does not happen.
“HEY. What did I ask you to do?”
“What are you doing?”
“Standing and trying to shove the walls down.”
“Why are you standing and trying to shove the walls down?”
“Because it’s the opposite of sit.”
“Opposite?” I’m baffled. She picked out her outfit; I stupidly assumed she would be excited about getting it on.
“Why would you do the opposite of what I tell you?”
“Because it’s fun to make you mad!”
SEE, YOU GUYS? SHE’S A TROLL.