Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Many Years Later December 5, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 1:48 pm
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A certain person I know has, for years, said negative and demeaning things about people who have large families. Things like “they’re crazy”, “they must be nuts”, “how can they give their kids enough attention”, “it’s ridiculous (or irresponsible) to have that many kids”. And so on.

Believe it or not, I have kept my mouth shut — taking it with a grain of salt each time.
That is, until today.

I have had it up to my hairline and beyond with these kinds of remarks. It doesn’t help that this person and I had a heated discussion yesterday regarding the dumbest advice I think I’ve ever been given by a person who has no right even breathing a word on the subject considering this person’s lack of responsible behavior in a certain area. That is vague on purpose.

My parents raised 7 children. My paternal grandparents raised 13 while my maternal grandparents raised 8. To say I come from a big family is the understatement of the year. I believe I have somewhere around 75 first cousins with both families combined. I have no idea how many of those cousins have produced children of their own. I’m sure the numbers now are well over 100 with first and second cousins combined. And we’re still having children. Some of my first cousins are still under the age of 10. I think a couple may even be under age 5. Huge family! Absolutely humongous!

In my family segment, my precious parents (who have been married for over 36 years) have their ninth grandchild on the way (our wee one). One of my sisters is trying to get pregnant with her 2nd. One of my sisters has three girls. My brother has 2 girls. My youngest sister just got married last weekend. Two of my siblings are in serious relationships, but not married yet. That leaves a whole bunch of room for more nieces and nephews for me and many more grandchildren for my parents of awesomeness. I think Christmas, one day, will be unbelievably expensive for all of us. Yikes!!

So for anyone to condemn large families to me is like calling my entire family a bunch of idiots.

Not a good idea.
It’s an even worse idea while I’m all chock full of hormones and 8 months pregnant.
Yeah. Dumb move.

So I did what any upstanding young woman with her third child on the way would do. I shot the person dead and now I’m going to jail.

Nah. In my mind I wanted to rip out hair and poke out eyeballs though.

First of all, both of my lovely heathens were fighting and yelling in the seat right behind me. The person on the phone heard the commotion and said “what would you do if you had 10 of them”. I said “I’d throw every last one out the window”. We chuckled. Then the person said “well what do you think about people who do have 10 kids then — they are nuts, aren’t they”? I stopped the chuckle right then. “You know what” I said. “You’ve been saying derogatory things about people who have a lot of kids for many years now and I’ve put up with it. I’ve been patient. I’ve been kind. But you must understand that when you say things like that you are putting down my entire family and that hurts my feelings. I don’t like it even a little bit and it doesn’t amuse me.” The person sounded taken aback and said “what well I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, I just mean that I couldn’t handle it”. I received and accepted an apology and then quickly got off the phone.

Right after that the girls at Subway started in on me having a girl and a boy already and what made me decide to have another child since I have one of each. I must be crazy they say and all three laugh it up. I played along. Deep inside I was painfully aware of the way I am viewed by society. I have too many kids. I am crazy to want more. How do I do what I do? Why? How? Ha ha ha this is so funny and entertaining.

No.

It’s not funny. It’s not entertaining.
It’s disgusting.

I am proud of my family. I am proud of my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins who have decided to grow their families despite what anyone else thinks or says. I had a wonderful childhood. I would change nothing about it. I love my family deeply.

I’m sick of being the butt of jokes. I am sick of being the circus who just arrived because it’s oh such a novelty to ask Heidi to tell the whole room full of people how many cousins/aunts/uncles or whatnot she has. I can hear the circus music play as the laughter fills the room along with the wide-eyed expressions on the faces of unbelieving or astonished people.

My family is not a circus.
My family is not crazy.
My family is awesome.

If it were up to me, I’d have more children. Not the natural way, however. But if Rich would open his heart to it I’d certainly adopt — at least one, maybe more.

I love kids.
I grew up surrounded by love.
My family may not have lots of money, but they sure do have lots of love.
An overabundance of it, in fact.

And. It. Makes. Me. Proud.

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I am So Glad it Worked November 18, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 5:36 am
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I told you about meeting Summer at the playground. Well let me tell you what happened after she left.

I got tired very quickly of pushing my kids on the swings. It takes a lot out of me to do anything physical right now. I say this as my back throbs and I can barely walk after babysitting all day and a super long drive home. Anyway, I told the kids I needed to sit down on the bench and to please play on the other stuff there. They did fine for the first 20 minutes. Then I decided it was inching ever too close to naptime and we needed to leave.

I gave the usual 5 minute warning. “Kids, we are leaving in 5 minutes.”
“You have 3 minutes left.”
“One more minute.”
“Alright, turkeys, it’s time to go now.”

The response at that point is usually “one more minute, mom, pleassssse?”

I give in. Always. I give in. What’s another 60 seconds?

Brianna has been telling me on a daily basis “you’re not my mom, I’m not your daughter anymore” when she isn’t getting her way. I’ve tried many different ways of handling this. I’ve even laughed it off and told her she’s being ridiculous. I’ve never made a big deal of it because I don’t want her to think for a second that she’s getting to me. Well, that tactic wasn’t working. And even though she wasn’t hurting my feelings I needed to get her to stop saying that and be more respectful. But how?

Yesterday after they asked for “one more minute, mom” I said “alright, guys, let’s go” and started walking towards the gate. They, of course, threw into hysterics like I was asking them to walk across burning coals on bare feet. For crying out loud! I get no respect [in my best Rodney Dangerfield voice].

Brianna plants her feet, puts her hands on her hips, and screams “you are NOT my mom and I don’t love you anymore”.

Four heads turned to see my reaction — all of them parents.

I laughed and said “is that right”. She said “yes and I’m not your daughter”.
“Are you sure, Brianna, because that means I won’t be responsible for feeding you lunch.”
“I’m sure” she tells me.
“Ok let’s go” I say and open the gate.

She stomps out of the play area and down the stairs into the van. Once inside and safely out of range of parents that might hear me I say “when we get home I will make a phone call and get you a new mommy”.

She. Freaked. Out.

I mean she went ballistic. She wanted daddy.

“No, honey, if I’m not your mommy then daddy is not your daddy. I’ll get you a new daddy too and while I’m at it this also means Jeremy is not your brother and the new baby is not your sibling so you’ll have to hope that your new parents have kids so you can have siblings.”

She cried and kicked and screamed and begged me to be her mommy again.

I said “no and call me Heidi — don’t call me mommy because I am no longer your mommy. Call daddy Rich because he is not your daddy either.”

I think she swallowed her tongue right then. Silence. Well, silence all except for the funny noises she was making as her breathing had been interrupted by the massive earth quake she was causing herself.

I tried not to laugh. Is that evil? I seriously had to stifle it in a big, big way. But somehow I knew this was working. I knew it. I just knew it.

We got about a mile from home when she started apologizing. I told her “thank you for doing that and remember your manners when you meet your new mommy and daddy later today”.

She. Freaked. Out. All. Over. Again.
Balllllllisssssticccc!!

I shoved away the twinge of guilt and the desire to hug her and kiss her and reassure her. I fought the urge to comfort her — and it was there this time.

We got home and daddy came out to help me unload everyone and everything. She looked like she was going to pass out from anger, frustration, fear… all sorts of emotions and her eyes told me she was in agony. I felt bad. I did, but I didn’t stop. I fought it again.

Daddy was not liking what I was doing and asked me twice to stop. I didn’t stop. I told him “she will learn not to ever say those hateful things to me again and this is how I intend to make her stop”. He rolled his eyes at me and I could tell he was very much less than pleased. He hugged her and told her everything would be ok and that she just needed a nap.

Finally, after putting Jeremy down for his nap, I took her by the hand and led her to her room and put her in her bed. I didn’t do my normal lovie routine though. I warned her that if she ever said “you’re not my mommy” to me again that I would pull down her pants and spank her rear end right there in the middle of wherever we are “and I’m not kidding so don’t you dare try it”.

When she woke up from her nap we cuddled, I explained that there is no way I’d give her to another mommy or daddy ever, that she is a very important part of our family, we love her very much, and that she can live with us her whole life if she wants to. BUT!!!! “Do not ever say hateful things to me again because those words hurt mommy and I love you with all my heart.”

She hasn’t said it since.

Twice she almost did, but she caught herself and just walked away with her hands on her hips.

She learned.

It was harsh.

It was hard.

But it worked.

Ever had to pull
out the tough love
card to get through
to your kid?

 

Summer Gets It November 17, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 5:46 am
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I took the kids to the playground today. We have a favorite one in a really cool neighborhood that we frequent. I waddled over to the swings and began my exercises of the day pushing both kids on two different swings. Don’t think that’s exercise? Try it. Now try it with a bowling ball strapped to your stomach. I dare ya!

Anyway. There was a darling young woman pushing her daughter next to us. She asked me the typical “when are you due” question. I told her “in 8 more weeks… January”. Not one ounce of shock or judgment on her pretty face. I instantly liked her. She replied “awww, I just love pregnant women — I loved being pregnant — well, that is, until the end”. I was all shocked and dramatic making faces and laughing because pregnancy is not something I enjoy except for the fetal movement. I said “well this is the end pretty much — third trimester and all”. She grinned. Lovely gal. Just lovely.

{Pause for a note to my friend LB: she reminded me of you — she had your personality to a “T”}

The kids did their normal round-the-playground routine. I followed as closely as my short little legs could manage. Rock wall, rings, slide, bridge, stairs, “watch this mom”, “see what I can do mom”, hang from bars, try to climb palm tree, throw mulch, find shells, back to the swings, etc. Fun for them and exhausting for me. Huff Puff Huff Puff.

Mrs. Personality came back over to the swings when we were there for our 2nd go. She talked about wanting a 3rd child too and how ready she is to start trying. I guess her husband is resisting. I told her mine did too (someday I’ll tell the whole story — still not ready yet). She said she wasn’t sure how hard to fight for it. I told her “some things are worth fighting for”. She smiled sweetly.

Jeremy called from across the playground wanting my help. She offered to go get him off the ladder and I scooted over to push her little girl on the swing. Brianna was going pretty high so she didn’t protest. We thanked one another and kept chit-chatting. Turns out we had a few things in common regarding our opinions of our city and a snooty neighborhood we both used to live in. We had a couple laughs.

After a bit she decided to go home to get lunch for her two girls. She was there with a friend who was also pregnant and looking very tired of chasing her little one. I understood. So we said goodbye and “nice chatting with you” and she wished me luck with the yet unborn wee one. I thanked her and she left.

Have you ever met someone completely out of nowhere and wanted to be friends?

Two things that left a happy feeling in my heart.
1. She mentioned she goes to church and works in the nursery — this makes me happy because it could very well mean she’s a born-again Christian which means even if I don’t see her again in this life, I’ll surely look her up in the next.
2. She put the word community into action — this is what we are missing in our society. She’s the link.

Her name is Summer. And Summer, by golly, you get it. You are the “it” chick. Not because you’re pretty. Not because you live in a nice neighborhood. Not because you have a cool hairstyle and cool sunglasses. No. It’s because you are friendly — genuinely friendly — and you love to laugh and you ooze joy. I can imagine when your husband kisses you good night he pinches himself he’s so lucky. I’ll bet he knows the blessing you are in his life. I hope your daughters grow up to be just like you.

And I would love to be your friend. Just not sure we’ll ever meet again. But if we do…
Well, I’ll see what God has in mind.

You’re the real deal, Summer. So many people could take a lesson from you. Too many.

And — I cannot believe you liked being pregnant. I happen to believe you have forgotten a lot.

 

Would You Trust Them October 22, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 2:06 pm
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Photo courtesy of Google Images
Search terms: “girl hair accessories”

A family member just got back from a business trip to Panama. He/She brought home some hair accessories for Brianna. Most of them are clips and headbands. They are all very cute, but they are not made very well.

I got this feeling in my gut that I should throw them all away after our family member went home. Why? Well because of potential lead poisoning. In the US they would be tested for lead. In Panama?? I don’t have any idea and the internet has no information about it.

What would you do?
Am I being paranoid?

 

My Kids Taught Me October 21, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 5:17 am
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  1. Never underestimate the power of a hug
  2. Baths are made for adventure
  3. Imaginations should run wild
  4. Play time is the best time of the day
  5. Forgiveness comes natural
  6. Chocolate milk is not just a drink — it’s excitement in a jug
  7. Honesty can be really funny sometimes
  8. Everything can be messed up in one way or another
  9. Nothing is off limits
  10. Keep trying and trying and trying and trying and…
  11. Sometimes suffering the consequences isn’t so bad as long as we get to [fill in the blank]
  12. Growing is something to be happy about
  13. Sometimes all we need is a band aid and a kiss to make it all better
  14. Bugs and animals are fascinating
  15. People should be admired

Photo courtesy of Google Images
Search terms: “brother sister holding hands”

Disclaimer: This post is about what my kids have taught me. There is no hidden meaning.

 

Hilarious E-mails September 27, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 7:01 am
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Sometimes I get some really funny stuff. This is from my Aunt Lori. It is just what I needed after a really, really, really, really, really… long day yesterday. It was a good day — just super long because I was super tired. Anyway… laugh out loud ya’ll!!

Q:  Should I have a baby after 35?
A:  No, 35 children is enough.

Q:  I’m two months pregnant now.  When will my baby
move?
A:  With any luck, right after he finishes
college.

Q:  What is the most reliable method to determine a
baby’s sex?
A:  Childbirth

Q:  My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that
sometimes she’s borderline irrational.
A:  So what’s your question?

Q:  My childbirth instructor says it’s not pain
I’ll feel during labor, but pressure.  Is she right?
A:  Yes, in the same way that a tornado might
be called an air current.

Q:  When is the best time to get an epidural?
A:  Right after you find out you’re
pregnant.

Q:  Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room
while my wife is in labor?
A:  Not unless the word “alimony”
means anything to you.

Q:  Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from
childbirth?
A;  Yes, pregnancy.

Q:  Do I have to have a baby shower?
A:  Not if you change the baby’s diaper
very quickly.

Q:  Our baby was born last week.  When will my wife begin
to feel and act normal again?
A:  When the kids are in college.

ESTROGEN ISSUES”

WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE “ESTROGEN ISSUES”

1.    Everyone around you has an attitude problem.

2.    You’re adding chocolate chips to your cheese
omelet.

3.    The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.

4.    Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you
say.

5.    You’re using your cellular phone to dial up every
bumper sticker that says:  “How’s my driving – call
1-800….

6.    Everyone’s head looks like an invitation to
batting practice.

7.    You can’t believe they don’t make tampons
bigger than Super Plus.

8.    You’re sure that everyone is scheming to drive
you crazy.

9.    The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it
yesterday.

 

And Then a Fight Breaks Out September 18, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 11:33 am
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Since B started preschool, every day when we pick her up she tells J how much she missed him, gives him a hug and kiss, and then chatters with him all the way home. It makes me happy I had them so close in age. Most of the time they get along and play and hang out together.

And then a fight breaks out.

Right now I am listening to J scream at the top of his lungs because I made him share with B. He’s ticked. Ticked or not, it is her turn with the dinosaur toy. I have to give them time limits — usually 5 minutes — with a certain toy or whatever and then I make them switch. Normally, this works like a charm. Today, not so much.

In less than 5 minutes, they will be back to doing something darling together.

When I was a youngin’ and had to share with my rotten siblings it would make me mad as a hornet too. Esp if I had to share something that was rightfully mine. Something grandma bought for ME. It was mine yet I had to share it with them. Them. The little ones. The sticky handed ones. The slobbery drooly little heathens.

LOL!

Now I love sharing with my siblings. I no longer think of them as rotten, sticky, slobbery, drooly, or heathens. They are actually all pretty freakin’ awesome.

So I know they will get to that point one day. They won’t fight as much. They will enjoy helping one another. They will defend each other.

But, for now, a dinosaur toy is a means for WWIII to start in my living room.

I will miss these days. I know I will. But sometimes I feel like locking myself in the bathroom. Ha!!

PS: B is teaching J how to hop on one foot while they watch Barney. See… less than 5 minutes and all is well again. Kids!!