Friday, September 14, 2012

High School as a Rite of Passage

I have been talking to several fairly intelligent individuals about homeschooling in the last couple of weeks. I had to convince baby daddy man that homeschooling isn't totally stressing me out already. I honestly think he is afraid that the curriculum is too difficult for my delicate little brain. Silly rabbit, we aren't even doing real math yet! Ask me again when we get to algebra!
I also spoke to a middle aged father of 4 high school students about the trials of having children in high school. He told me a story about his daughter getting invited to a "rainbow party". A rainbow party is a festive gala in which girls are given different color tubes of lipstick to adorn their beautiful faces. When the festivities are over the boys get together and have a friendly competition to see how many different colors of lipstick they have on their dicks. Ok take a minute to digest this.

Ok now digest this: the girl invited to this party was 12 years old. 
I had never even kissed a boy when I was 12. I thought holding hands was terrifying. 
These kinds "events" are becoming the new normal. The man I was speaking with stated that "all he could do was to try to maintain an open dialogue with his children to try and make sure they are telling him the things they are getting into."  Basically he is stating that he is powerless control the situations that his teenage kids get into to. 
I have been told numerous times that at some point when raising children you just have to give up control and let them make their own choices. Even if these choices include things like rainbow parties?

How many times have you heard things like "well I survived high school but just barely," or "I hated high school but I turned out ok." I wonder why we think it is ok to put our kids through something most of us barely survived. I truly think I spent most of my early 20s trying to recover from high school. I never even got bullied, or struggled with grades. High school is HARD regardless of who you are and it seems that the pressure, drugs, and irresponsible sex is beginning younger and younger with every generation. High school is seen as a rite of passage and this makes the trials faced somehow ok.  However we are appalled when we hear about other rites of passages such as; female circumcision, breast ironing, (look it up, it is some awful shit) boys ingesting semen of the tribes elders (Mati Tribe), and the Hamar woman beating ceremony (which precedes the Hamar man cow jumping.)
Most of these rites of passages occur over less than a 24 hour period, high school is a solid 4 years of psychological ravaging and emotional depletion. It doesn't need to be this way, why are we content to lose our children to their peers the second they enter kindergarten and pray that they don't get chewed up and spit by the end of high school (or if they do, that they recover from it?) 
I for one, am not going to close my eyes and hope for the best. And maybe nothing I do will prevent my kids from suffering torture in their teen years but I can tell you I won't go down without a fight. Bring it puberty. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Raising kids is hard fucking work part 1

The last few days have been hellacious. I have been in emotional purgatory which is soooo not like me. I am stoic, I am a hard ass. I don't cry. I drown my pain in vodka. (only some of the time, really). Tonight I had chips & salsa for dinner with cake batter for dessert. Emotional eating at its finest. What is the deal, you ask, what could be causing the coolest person alive to cry while shopping for christmas presents (emotional shopping much?)
Raising 2 kids is hard shit. The last few months I have pretty much come to the stark realization that if anyone wants their life to be easy peasy squeasy then they should never have more than 1 child. This is what it looks like to have 1 child:
Every day is a day on the beach filled with sunshine and laughter and sleep. You frolic by the ocean teaching your 1 child about the origins of shells and sand. You laugh gaily with your spouse and 1 child about how amazing your life is, wouldn't it be a grand idea to add 1 more soul to this amazing family. Double the love! The more the merrier! Fast forward 18 months later and you are this:

YOU HAVE MOM JEANS ON!! WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU?!!!!!!! I will tell you: you have 2 children. I do not know what changes when that second little human is born. Your intentions are the same, you fully expect for this little being to blend right in and make your family complete, you can't wait to frolic on the beach learning about shells and sand. 
Then shit gets real.

The last year has been a constant struggle to give both boys somewhat equal attention and time. At first H got all of my attention because he was nursing every 34 seconds and puking all over the place.  I felt like a terrible mom to L because I barely had the time or energy to read 1 book much less the 376 we used to read every day to expand his mind. Well now that H only nurses every 59 seconds I feel that he is getting the short stick because I am so busy attending to the needs of a 4 year old that I barely have time, you know, play with him. I am pretty sure L was speaking 3 languages by 13 months and doing complicated algebra problems. L was my little side kick, I enjoyed taking him everywhere with me and I scoffed at other moms when they left their kids at home when they went to the store? "Don't you enjoy spending time with your children." I would think to myself pushing my 1 child around in the shopping cart, buying organic vegetables to puree into baby food later. 
Now shopping alone is a vacation, I will often spend double my budget just because the longer I am in the store buying things, the longer time I get without 2 little perfect beings NEEDING ME SO DAMN MUCH. We did baby led weaning, partly because I firmly believed in nursing exclusively longer than 6 months and partly because I was too damn lazy to puree baby food again. 
Why is it, that 2 children is not double the work? It is 2,304,320 times the amount of work that 1 child is?  The word children is only 3 freaking letters more than child. That shit is deceiving!
I keep trying to tell myself that I am not setting H up to be a drug addict by the age of 12 because he is the second born child. It all balances out because he has a loving brother to play with. RIGHT?!!  I keep trying to tell myself that L won't resent H for taking the spotlight off of him at the tender age of 3 and that he will delight in being a big brother for all the rest of his days. RIGHT?!!
We all end up a little bit fucked up right? Do you know anyone that doesn't have issues? Do you know anyone that wouldn't benefit from therapy? Cause I don't. So is it just the simple act of making it through a family unit that fucks us all up? Why does life persist if we are all so damn bad at raising kids? Have I totally stressed you out? Are you looking at your 2 children in tears, wondering if you are the reason they will be in therapy later?  Well sister, grab a bottle of wine, a box of cake batter, and let's commiserate.