So I’m starting this as my kiddo and I start a new chapter.
Last Friday, she covered herself with a Mary Kay lip gloss all over her arms and legs so she could be glittery and sparkly. I didn’t know what to say or do, so I just laughed. Laughter can really help a lot, and I laugh at inappropriate things too much. So, I put her in the shower (no use in giving her a bath in glitter to get the glitter off…) and tried to wash it off. Of course, it had to be the good stuff. Mary Kay lip gloss is a bit sticky and has the staying power of Tuff Skin apparently. Who knew?!
Saturday I took her and a friend to a birthday party- she was still covered in glitter. The birthday party was so over the top I was in shock and awe of the perfect Pinterest Mom party. It was a party I would have loved when I was in the second grade and wanted to be a paleontologist. Dinosaur everything. It was unbelievable the amount of effort and thought she put into her child’s party. Hats off, perfect Pinterest Mom. You had a great amount of fun things, that everyone loved (including me). Sadly, I’m not a paleontologist, but a struggling single Mom, college student, and volunteer for everything that is asked of me.
When I got home with the two six-year old girls, they had fun and they begged for a sleepover. Well, Bells has never had one, and neither had her friend. So needless to say, the first experience ended up with me asleep on the floor of the office, with both girls on the European Futon. Not the most comfortable night I’ve ever had, but not the worst either. My kiddo fell asleep quickly thanks to her allergy medicine and sheer exhaustion. Her friend stayed up and watched the Neverbeast with me, which she enjoyed. While it’s one of my favorite movies, I was working on some homework too. My office has a TV with an Amazon FireStick for a reason…
The next day, they wanted to have another sleepover. Nope. Couldn’t do it. We had another birthday party (a friend’s kid was turning 18) and I had homework. Here’s where the fun starts. I got the visual aura of a migraine about 10 minutes from their house. It was a 20 minute drive home from that point. I decided to try to head it off with a cocktail of Mountain Dew, Excedrin Migraine, and more caffeine. I felt drunk, but without any of the good feelings. I can’t describe it any other way. My brain was foggy and mushy and I couldn’t for the life of me seem to get thoughts out of my head through my mouth and I kept pressing hard things against my head hoping to hit just the right area to get some relief. I knew I couldn’t drive at that point, so I had to wait it out. It’s a terrible feeling to know you aren’t your usual self and can’t do what you want.
My child isn’t perfectly behaved, but it seemed so much worse with the migraine. Thankfully, they know us both well enough to step in and help when I needed it. I thought I was going to die between the head pain (I even switched my glasses hoping it would have some kind of impact, to no avail) and my child’s energy level. I didn’t, and we made it home in one piece. Thankfully, no puking was involved.
Fast forward to Monday. I’m doing homework in my office. My child is supposed to be playing Shopkins in another room. She comes up to me and I notice she has tribal looking marks on her face. Lines. And color. What. The. Fuck.
Sure enough, she got into her dance makeup (which she knows she isn’t allowed to use by herself). She took Mary Kay lip liner and used it as a contour. With Mary Kay Double Espresso eye shadow. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the color, but it’s dark. She stepped out from behind a chair, and revealed that it was also covering her shirt, and her legs. She used the entire eye shadow, plus another from my Ipsy bag, as well as the lip liner.
I didn’t yell at her. (Shocker!) But I made my displeasure known. I had to stop my homework (which was a mess anyway because I had a migraine hangover), and get her in the shower while figuring out what to use to get it off. Baby oil. Coconut oil. Any oil. That’s what was recommended. Did it work? Hell no. Luckily I remembered I had a Naughty bar from Perfectly Posh’s holiday line. It’s a Gender Bender (charcoal) bar mixed with a Snarky bar (scrubby).
All I did was direct the flow of water. She had to use the oils to try to get it off, and the snarky bar. I was not going to help her with this mess. Finally we had success and got all off, except her face. I figured MK eye makeup remover would be the best way to get that off. First thing my kid does when she gets out of the shower? Wipes her makeup face on my favorite towel. Her face wasn’t even wet. But my towel was now covered in makeup. What. The. Actual. Fuck.
I got it off after using half of my bottle of eye makeup remover.
I took Shopkins away. I took away My Little Pony. I asked her for help picking up the Shopkins that fell on the floor. She wouldn’t do it. Two weeks turned into three with that decision. Later on she wouldn’t listen. I took away stuffed animals. She was a second away from losing one of her three beloved Raffies. Thankfully, she apologized and cried. (The crying has to happen or else she keeps going on her I don’t care rages- I’m not so sure what that’s all about.)
That night I sent her dad a text asking if he could come get her early so I could get my homework done for the week since I couldn’t leave her alone or turn my back for 30 seconds without her doing something she wasn’t supposed to do. So basically, to get my work done for the week, I had to send her to where she has the most fun.
I attempted to put her toys into bags this evening as she comes back tomorrow. I twisted the foot I broke in December, which has never healed fully so I had to put a halt on that. I think making her pack up her toys into bags may have an impact on her. If she won’t do it, she’ll lose her things for another week- which will be 4.
I’m done with being a doormat. I’m not a maid, and I’m working two small home businesses, plus full-time college, and taking care of her full-time. I’m working my ass off to get a better life for her, and she’s got to start helping. Yes, she’s six, but if she can play on her own while I’m sitting in the chair talking to a friend, she can do it while I have homework.
Slight bit of her backstory- she has Epilepsy, diagnosed at close to 2. She was born 15 weeks early (I had HELLP Syndrome) and was 1 pound 7 ounces. She spent 88 days in the hospital before coming home on a sat monitor and oxygen. I didn’t know if she would talk or walk when she came home, and early intervention services were in place before she even came home from the hospital. She is and will forever be my one and only child. As I approach 40, I’m thankful she is my only one. But where’s the manual? How do I know if I am screwing up my kid?
Her first language was ASL. She speaks better French than English. She’s left-handed and has atrocious hand-writing. She can’t distinguish the cover page, title page and back cover of a book. But she can read. At the end of Kindergarten, my micropreemie was reading at an appropriate level. She was meeting expectations in almost all her measured metrics. Her attendance has been an issue, but we’ve had a week in the Epilepsy Unit, missed 4 days for neurology appointments, we had the Norovirus badly in January. She had a mystery fever of 104-105 the last two weeks of school and should have stayed home her last day, but I as it was a half day I couldn’t bring myself to keep her home. I was fully prepared to go pick her up if necessary.
She lost her beloved Grammie in May, to what they think was meningitis, but they don’t know. She never got to say goodbye to her best friend. We couldn’t go to the services, as no accommodations were made for her (open casket is not a friend to a six-year old). She still misses Grammie from time to time, and I sure miss her, as it’s apparent she was the only one holding her son accountable to be a father. The task has now fallen on me and it’s fucking exhausting. I don’t know how she did it. How do you make a “grown man” be a father? I can yell, cry, be calm and scary, and nothing gets through. It’s like talking to a wall.
This is what I get- “If you need me to take her, I can.” No. Just no. You either want to spend time with your child or you don’t. It isn’t contingent on me. He hasn’t worked since February and hasn’t spent much time at all with her during the hiatus, and now he’s going back to work. So I don’t expect any help on that front.
I’m becoming scary independent. I don’t know how to date. The only thing I can’t do for myself right now is mow the lawn. Since I broke the cuboid bone in my foot in a fluke fall in Dansko’s (they’re great for knees and back, but not for ankles/feet), I am not yet pain-free. It happened 3 days before Christmas. I’m waiting on the CRPS diagnosis, which is coming soon- September is when I get to call back and let the orthopedic surgeon know if I can walk without pain. Sadly, I can’t. It’s much worse in the mornings, and now tonight something twisted. Where do I find the independent guys who don’t mind my independence? I have no idea.
So let me go back a little bit. I had a broken foot and was in a boot and on crutches from December to June. I had a family member living with me while she went through a divorce. She did nothing while she was here. I did all the dishes, laundry, and cleaning. But wait. I had a boot on and was supposed to be non-weight bearing. Yeah. Didn’t happen. I’m a little bitter about it, since now it appears I’m going to have chronic pain because I didn’t heal properly.
I’m so freaking exhausted. I have not had a vacation in… 3 years? 3 years ago I went away for a week. Nothing major, and I just sat around and read, but it was glorious. Reading is my therapy. As are the cats. Believe it or not, even though they’re assholes and running around the house like it’s a track in the Olympics, I still love the little shits. We’ve started calling the kitten,”Shitten” when my daughter isn’t around. And by we, I usually mean my mom and I. Or a friend. There are no romantic partners, no chance of dating anyone in the area, as I went to school here and everyone is like that annoying little brother you want to avoid.Here’s a throwback to when my kiddo was still in the NICU. You can see the first “Raffie” which was used a blanket for her whole body. I remember every single day she was in the hospital. Some in the beginning not so well because of my illness, but the others are permanently etched into my brain.
It’s way past my bedtime and my kiddo is coming home early tomorrow. So goodnight, farewell for now. See you on the other side of what the fuck is going on…