2019-11-24 The Current Trifecta

It feels like time is moving too fast. At the same time the minutes and hours of every day seem to creep by. I’m keeping a close eye on the calendar and have a growing list of things to do. Most of it has something to do with one of three main topics.. wedding planning or school stuff or parenting. Ask me any hour of the day and that’s what’a consuming me.

As far as wedding planning goes, I’ve successfully ruled out having a big wedding cake and am going to opt for a dessert table instead. I also was ducking floored by photographer prices and were not cool with that either. I simply hate the fact that people hear the word “wedding” and the price triples. Now all the alternatives are stacking up into a lot of work the days leading up to the ceremony. And I’m starting to feel like I’m going to end up running around the town like a chicken with it’s head cut off. I should probably start asking for help. I’m no good at asking for help.

As far as school goes the MFA semester is winding down and I’ve received what I think will be the last bit of feedback. That came in yesterday and I was really hoping for a little more and maybe another in-person meet up but that’s not the vibe I’m getting. I feel like I’ve been quite spoiled this term with such an abundance of feedback and encouragement that this last go-round feels almost like leaving unfinished business left on the table. I may be reading the tea leaves wrong though, as this last communication comes so soon after I’ve been triple-dissed by other persons. Too many grey clouds looming in my brain right now. I should probably just smile and nod and move along, but that’s tough for me too.

My on campus class is also in a bit of a lull and the last assignment was one that I didn’t necessarily resist, but the result is a poem I would never submit to any publication, ever. Not to say it’s terrible, it’s not. It’s very average but the subject matter is something I didn’t want to write about in the first place. It’s about my mom and it doesn’t paint the best picture. I may spend some time trying to do a new one so I don’t have to turn the other in. I dunno. For that class I just have one more poem reading response and a 3-4 page book review to do. Easy enough I suppose after tackling a 45 page craft paper.

All-in-all the semester seems to be running long and I’m kinda feeling just over it. I’m looking forward to a break. I’m also looking forward to that break for my kids too. Both of them.

The semester has gotten long for C and he’s fighting losing battles in several classes. Our weeks together are a constant struggle to get past due assignments and he’s now on a fast track to failing German. Of all the things I’ve been dealing with, this makes me the sickest in my stomach and in my heart. I want to help him and don’t know how. Of all the things I don’t know how to do right now, this is the worst.

And then he goes to his dads and I turn a blind eye. Relief for a few days where I can ignore it and focus on other things. Then I feel guilty. It’s a puzzle which doesn’t seem to have a solution.

On the bright side, things with Z are fairly positive and I don’t have to worry about her in the same sense. With her my worry is more about her independence and driving and I wonder how long that feeling will stretch out into the future. Last night her and I went to Frozen 2 which she’s been talking about for weeks.

The movie wasn’t as good as the first but I’m glad her and I had that time to spend together, just us. We both cried at the end of the movie. Then we came back home and I sat with her while she went through all her mail. All sorts of communications from colleges wanting her to apply and done she’s already been accepted to.

At this point she’s been accepted to all 5 places she’s applied and I’m proud of her. My thoughts might be consumed with my wedding and my school but we also have her graduation in spring and that’s a huge deal. The whole time I’m looking at pictures for my wedding video, I’m also thinking about her life and the graduation party we will be having for her. It’s going to be grand.

That’s my hour for today. Time to Jam.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-13 Wild Wednesday Rant

Yesterday I sort of gave myself a day to finally unwind from the weekend and from the rush of Monday when there were so many things due. I say sort of, because at every turn there seemed to be some reminder of how far behind I am. Wedding planning, getting my son caught up on missing assignments, etc. not to mention all that “just in time” stuff like daily chores and meeting my mom for lunch and then helping her troubleshoot her printer for an hour which, would have probably taken 10 minutes if I was physically at her house. But over the phone, with her telling me only parts of what she’s seeing and doing pushing buttons, it was a challenge. But I don’t want to talk about any of that. I really don’t.

No. That’s not true.

I guess if there’s one thing I sort of mentioned already that I kind of want to elaborate on, it’s my son’s slip back into familiar bad behavior with school that opens a whole set of emotions for me. And this crosses over with my internal aggression toward some punk kid in my undergrad class who is a nice kid really but he’s just a kid and ignorant about finding the right words to express his opinion. It’s a free country, yes. You can say what you want but you should also realize your words and have consequences which include people wanting to pin you down and pummel the stupid out of you like that kid Ralph in the movie A Christmas Story.

It’s tangential, really. This classmate of mine is young and is of the opinion that video games are great and you can learn a lot from them and some have really great stories. While that might be true, all I know is that games and the internet and all the electronic distractions our kids have at their fingertips is not making my job as a parent any easier. My son is addicted to them. It’s a huge factor in his issues with motivation and school.

Addiction means that he just craves it, can’t seem to help himself, lies about it. Sneaks around the house like a thief in the night and hijacks other people’s power cords when his have been taken away. Meanwhile the gradebook doesn’t look so good and he’s back up to like 12 missing assignments. Half of which are math, a subject he’s good at. When questioned about it he shuts down. I’ve literally sat in his room with him the last two nights and did my homework so I could monitor him doing his. Half the time he just sits there, head on the desk.

He argues that there’s no point to homework which I combat by saying it’s one way people learn and necessary because it’s a requirement. It’s part of the grade and has to be done. That’s not enough for him to do it. And it’s a far cry from making him want to. He just shrugs. Did I mention I’m exhausted and at my wits end?

Back to this kid in my class. He went on a total rant about video games, after which the professor offered up the question about the video games being designed to make you want to sit and play for hours. This punk just says, maybe the corporations make the game designers do that. Well, duh! So what, these designers have a gun to their head writing code that makes my son spent 4 hours solving a level or quest? No… I’m sure they are totally into it and probably, by the way, also serious gamers themselves. With an exception.

They probably have self control on their side and have learned to balance work and play. Probably.

This kid also started apple bashing and his arguments were so shallow and mis-informed I almost could not hold back. But I did. I just sat in my chair and tried to singe the end of his hair with my fiery glare. The most I said was “I think the key to this and a lot of other things, is moderation”. And at that point, we moved back to more relevant topics for the class.

(All that got started by discussing an essay by Eric Campbell in which one of the things he talks about is the Instagram poets/poems.)

Later in the same class I notice another student with his Apple laptop open. And I was somewhat soothed knowing that this kid probably didn’t just piss me off and that his comments were not really directed at me. He likely pissed other people off too. I digress, again. I have to let it go.

But wait.. one more thing on that… if he was trying to come at me directly trying to address something I said about video games, it may have been because I said the whole ending of his poem should be rewritten because the chronology didn’t hold with the rest of the narrative. Some people have not learned how to take constructive criticism. Ok. Now I’m done. Maybe.

I’m still faced with the fact that it’s Wednesday and though my son has finished all the math homework, he’s got the other subjects to attend to. It makes for a long week, for both of us.

Time now for Jazzercise, and then to the tile store, and the grocery, and the tailor, and that’s all before lunchtime. 🤷‍♀️

Peace out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-10 Not the Conclusion I Had in Mind

Friday I wrote about my latest assignment— to do something uncharacteristic and uncomfortable and then write about the experience. Well, folks, yesterday I definitely did that. The day was an extremely long one which started at about 6am.

I planned to give a “talk” at barcamp omaha and doing any sort of public speaking is way outside of my comfort zone. The short story is that I did it and didn’t die. The longer story? Well that’s the assignment isn’t it.

I’m supposed to record as many details as I can.. sensory input, bodily reaction, conversations, interactions. The hard part about that, which I realize now that it’s all over, is that I’m supposed to take all that and write a poem. But something in me is not feeling that. I’m not sure why. I kind of don’t even want to write about it at all. Weird.

I mean.. I did the thing. Like I said, I woke up early (half an hour before my alarm was supposed to go off). I was already a ball of nerves and anxiety by like 7. I did some morning chores and gathered everything I needed for the day. Soon after that I headed out the door for downtown.

Perhaps it just feels overwhelming still, because there is too much to put into words. I did the thing and then it was over and that’s when all the best parts of my day started to happen. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like writing about it, because there are so many other things I’d rather write about.

It’s not the conclusion I thought I would be writing today, but fuck it. I just want to write what I want.

On Friday I had talked to my daughter about my plan and she expressed interest in coming to watch. I gave her all the details and even promised that I would try and schedule my session in the middle of the day to give her time to wake up and get moving. The talks are every half hour starting at 9 but I had to be there at 8 to get the time slot I wanted. She was coming from her dads house and I wasn’t sure she would actually get up and drive downtown. She did.

My talk was at 1pm, right after the lunch that I didn’t participate in or eat because I felt sick and too nervous. She showed up, on her own sweet time, at 12:45 and I actually had to go outside the building to direct her on where to park. She had never driven or parked downtown before so that was a new experience for her.

It was actually sort of nice to have that last minute distraction to take my mind off of what was about to go down. We came in the building and made a straight line for the room my talk was in.. where I had reserved a seat for her in the front row right in front of me. She has anxiety too and for me, being in the front row and not seeing people behind me helps me focus.

The talk was about 20 minutes which I mostly read off of my laptop. I realized the day before when I started to put together in my mind what I wanted to say, that it would be easier to just write it all out. Then after if was all written out, I decided I should just bring that, read some of it and then improvise when more details were needed. So that was that.

During my “reading”, when I got to the most emotional component, I started to lose it up there in front of all those people.. and there was my darling daughter right in front of me, a huge part of what I was speaking about. I looked at her and steeled my nerve and pressed on.

I powered through the rest and as predicted, had about 5 minutes left for Q and A. I actually gave the audience a choice.. they could either ask me anything they wanted, no subject being off the table -or- I could read them a few of my poems. The resounding answer was poetry and I could not have been more pleased and relieved.

I read three poems I’ve had published and called it good and done. After I had several people come up to me and introduce themselves saying that some part of my story resonated with them. That made me feel good. One gal just thanked me for sharing saying that the more people share their struggles, the more we know we’re not alone. It’s so true!

Z and I stuck around in that room for the next two talks and then decided to split. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and neither of us had eaten yet. We went to the tap room for cheeseburgers and fries and had a great chat. We talked a little about my “talk” and she admitted to getting emotional too, when I did.

She said, “mom, I was there too”. And as a parent you know that when you struggle your kids are affected, but you hope it’s not going to screw them up too much. Still, it meant the world to me that she came to support me, and that she sees that life is hard sometimes, sometimes heartbreaking, and that you just do the best you can. And.. that whatever it is, it is most likely temporary. Even the pain from losing a loved one, though it never goes away and is always a part of you, does get softer with time.

It’s a good message and I felt like the talks (not just my own but others too) along with the conversations afterword were a good experience for her. It was a proud parenting moment and that means more to me than any stupid anxiety or public speaking fear.

Instead of just giving her advice and telling her how to try overcome her anxiety and fears, I showed her. I modeled good behavior, I’m sort of just now realizing that! Go me!!

After the Tap room we visited an establishment in the Old market she had never been to, Hollywood Candy. The place is part candy store, part museum, part antique shop… and 100% what happens when a hoarder has a lot of money. $1.75 for a Twix bar.. no way man. That’s insane!

Ask me sometime about the dirty little secret I know about Hollywood candy. It’s a good one!

There’s more that happened yesterday.. so much more and I didn’t go to bed until 2am. But I’m going to stop there. I guess I wrote more about my talk than I intended so that’s good. I’m still not sure it’s the right stuff for a poem. I’m not sure what I will turn in tomorrow. 🤷‍♀️

I’ve got stuff to do today and am picking Jim up at the airport in a couple of hours so I gotta scoot.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-05-02 The One About Food (and Parenting)

Yesterday was such a long day and I did not have a minute to spare. I spent most of the day at the Med Center parricipating in sessions and meetings and doing that work thing I sometimes do. I only had a break from that in the afternoon long enough to pick up the kids from school and get them home. Then it was back downtown for Happy Hour with my co-workers. That was the highlight of my day.

I got to meet two of my co-workers who drove up from KC and had a brief interaction with a former colleague from my last company who stopped in to say hi to the team. My boss is also in town and he’s connected with lots of folks in our little healthcare data sphere. It was a good evening.

It was such a mad-dash of a day that I didn’t have time to cook my kids dinner. We had what we call is a “fend for yourself” night. I try not to do this too much for a couple of reasons. First, I like to cook for my kids (despite how picky they are) and have a nice sit-down meal together talking about our day. Secondly, on our drive to school this morning I asked them what they ate. My son said “chips” and my daughter said “nothing”.

She said “I was going to make nachos but forgot” and followed that with “I don’t need to eat, it’s not like I’m going to die or anything”. I was like, wow.. ok. What was I supposed to say to that?!

How about “yeah, not for a few weeks anyway”. 😜 in that moment I felt like a parental failure (an oft felt thing in my world). She’s less than 2 years away from flying the nest and still hasn’t learned the value of a good, nutritional meal or how to “fend for herself”. Perhaps if she was left alone for a few days the story would be different, hunger would kick in, and she would be forced to “cook”. Cook is in quotes because their idea of making a meal for themselves is still microwaving nacho chips with cheese or eating an unpopped pop-tart.

My son wasn’t much better. To him I said, “chips are not dinner”. He knows that but is also lazy and flexing a minute of independence to do what he wants. Then I followed up with “tonight we are having a proper meal”. A declaration to alleviate my crappy feelings about the whole thing. It worked.. mostly.

I can’t feel too bad about the situation because I recognize that people, even one’s own children, have to figure things out for themselves. Hell, I was brought up with a mom who almost always cooked balanced meals, yet when I left home and went to college and then ran off to Vegas, I ate terrible for like almost 10 years. At Iowa Western my main go-to meal was French fries and dill pickles and I probably ate fast food or bowls of sugar cereal for most of my 20s. I don’t recall cooking much outside of spaghetti and enchiladas and hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Oh and my favorite meal of all time which was Original Kraft Mac and Cheese and Applesauce (still is high on my list of favorites, right below cheeseburgers)! 🍔 😉

I’m sure my kids will also go through this when they leave home. I just hope my voice gets some airtime in their minds as they start to make choices. “Eat some fruits and veg with each meal” and “breakfast is important”. I have my own nagging voice to deal with all day every day and have learned the importance of nutrition and taking care of one’s body. My inner voices are always arguing about it. What is needed is a nice balance, but it’s not always easy. I digress.

All this thinking about food is making me hungry. It’s not even 9am and I don’t typically eat breakfast until after 10 or 11 sometimes (so much for taking my own advice).

Today is a new day, and an opportunity to make better choices. I’m back to sitting at my computer at home to do my work and I’m very much looking forward to dinner with my people tonight which will be followed by a little writing time with my writing group which I feel I’ve abandoned for like a month. It’s time to get back into that, and more than just a few hours a week. Pretty soon now I’ll be registering for classes and that’s exciting!

It’s going to be a great day.

Happy Meal Planning,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-04-18 Finding the Right Track

I’ve had an earlier than typical morning because I had to get C to school by 7:20 for a Spanish study session. /yawn

Had we not had the annual IEP multi-disciplinary meeting yesterday afternoon I would not have known. The Spanish teacher called it out in her summary statement. That was after I asked if it was still possible for him to pass. Yes of course it’s on her class website. But as each teacher provided their summary in-turn, one might pick up on the fact that to know about every assignment and test, it would be a full time job reading all the teachers blogs. I guess if that’s what it takes, I’ve got to be all in it.

It’s intimidating to walk into a room with 11 desks in a circle with a group of people waiting for you to begin. The case worker and I were waiting outside the room with C (who chose not to attend the first part of the meeting). We were waiting for his dad. Brian was a no-show.

I walked into the room and sat down at one of the two empty desks, feeling the pressure of all the eyes on me. I had my notebook ready with statements and questions so I would be sure and not forget anything I wanted to say. The meeting only happens once a year and based on our first year of HS there were some definite lessons learned.

This is the first one at the HS and I was not sure what to expect. I quickly found that each teacher would take a turn to speak on their experiences and observations of C in their class. There really were not a lot of surprises outside the fact that his “sleeping” in class is not isolated to his 1st period English class. Most teachers reported the same.

Due to the fact that we had had a previous meeting with the Spanish teacher, her going first opened the door for my conveying my prepared comments. The discussion was good and I was grateful the principal was there to hear all of that. I wear my emotions on the outside so it was tough for me to contain my frustration with the half of the parental support structure that is missing.

Brian is the one who crawled under the bus. I just politely drove over him.

I also called out some mistakes that the school has made this year and owned up to my own shortcomings. It takes a village, you know, and we’re all responsible for the outcome. Especially C. He has to want to do better or it will be very tough to course correct. I need a commitment from him that he’s not giving up. Deep down I know he knows he’s capable. They all know it too. The other common comment was about his intelligence.

His English teacher said at the beginning of the year she thought he should be in honors and may get bored in the regular class. Oh he gets bored all right, but it’s not ok to just ignore the work if you’re not interested in it. That’s not how the world works. His math teacher said he was an A student who is getting a C because he just doesn’t do the work. More of the same from all teachers. The only teacher who said C was always alert and engaged is his woods teacher. That’s more of an active class and he has a friend in there, I think both help.

The meeting lasted an hour and ended with the teachers leaving and C coming in the room for a smaller group discussion with the Principal. That part impressed me the most. I had not met the principal before (which says something about my Z and her first three years at the school). It was clear this was not his first rodeo.

He got on C’s level and straight talked him. He set some expectations and committed to keeping eyes on the situation. He also got on my level and laid out a clear path of communication which was refreshing. We left feeling pretty good about next steps, finishing out this year strong, and going into next year on the right track. Well, at least I felt good about it. I need to have another conversation with C about it as he was just glad the meeting was over and didn’t want to talk about it much.

He also doesn’t want to talk in front of his sister which I respect. It’s none of her business. She doesn’t know what the meeting was for and we’ve elected not to explain his situation to her to respect his privacy. As far as the actual IEP is concerned, he rejects any of the special accommodations offered. The only benefit at this point is the extra attention he gets from the IEP staff. It’s more than most kids get so I’m grateful. I’m hopeful, actually, and think that if we just continue to focus on it.. it will get better.

After we left the school I took the kids to Smashburger and that was good. Later in the evening we dyed Easter eggs. At first the kids resisted (because that’s what teenagers do) but once we were in it, they had a great time. Z prides herself on her artistic ability and of course boasted that hers were the best. I enjoyed it just because everyone was getting along and having fun. Cooper had more energy and enthusiasm for something outside a video game than I have seen for quite some time. That was great. Like I said yesterday, it’s the little things! 😊

That’s all I got today. Time to Jam.


~Miss SugarCookie

2019-04-16 Tuesday Two For One – Random Rant

(Spoiler Alert – Angry Parent Rant accompanied by a sad Parent Moment ahead)…

It’s Tuesday and We are back to our normal routine. The morning drive to school, the balancing act between work and everything else, and of course daily contemplation about the universe and my purpose in it. My mind did not rest easy overnight and I gave up at 5AM and just stayed awake.

My worries cast a wide net across life. I’m thinking about everything from my son failing Spanish to the fire in Paris.

I was on vacation for a week and came home to find so many missing assignments which is disheartening because he was almost caught up. Then there was the email from the English teacher saying he was so tired last week he could not stay awake in class. She asked if something was going on that would cause that. I had spent most of the day catching up on chores and figuring out what I should be doing at work. I didn’t even see the email until I was picking my son up from school. Instead of driving off I parked the car and went in to speak to the teacher.

I’m typically passive and always try to give people the benefit of doubt. I’ve also tried very hard to keep my cool with regard to my ex. and his delinquent behavior as a parent. He rarely participates and when he does, he’s the charming one that tries hard to make it look like he’s a great parent. Frankly it disgusts me and I’m so over helping him keep that facade. I always thought things would be better for the kids if we were amiable and that meant smiling a lot and laughing at his jokes and not saying anything negative to the kids’ teachers and principals.

I let Cooper stay in the car while I went inside. The teacher was in her room and I told her I had just read her email. I then briefly and calmly and explained that my son was with his dad all week last week because I was on vacation. I went on to say that he doesn’t have “proper” supervision at his dads and probably doesn’t even have a bedtime. He has a ps4 in his room and also a cell phone.

My son has an addiction to video games. It’s all he wants to do. His dad knows that. I may not know the best way to handle that but I have learned that if you don’t remove that from the equation, he won’t make good choices. We have a normal routine at my house. Those electronics get taken away at 9:30 and I can’t make him go to sleep but without the games, he does get to bed at a descent time. I have no idea what happens at his dad’s. I have no control over that.

What I also wanted to know from her is why I get emails from teachers and he’s never copied on them. The school has all our info. We fill out forms every year with that and yet, he doesn’t get included. If this was the first time, I would shrug, but it’s like the 10th time. I asked the teacher if there was something about the system that makes it difficult to include him. She flat out told me no, that the button is there to email both parents, she just chose not to. She apologized and said she would send him the same email. Great. That doesn’t solve the problem of course.

Why, as the father, does he get a pass from responsibility? Why do people assume I’m the primary care giver? Why is it that things can go to shit if I decide to take a vacation and then I get the “blame”. It’s not blame. That’s not fair, but that sure as hell is how it feels. It is 2019 and we have had joint custody (50 /50) for 9 years yet I’m the one at conferences and talking with teachers and Brian mostly only shows up for the IEP meeting at the end of each year.

He had the nerve to respond to the email from this years IEP rep asking if they could text him directly instead because he doesn’t check email. Whatever.

Like i said the English teacher was understanding and apologetic. My voice cracked a bit because I was just so angry and unsure what might happen if started down the path of throwing my ex under a bus. I guess I just decided that I’ve tried it this way (the staying quiet) for too long and it’s not working. C has 3 years of high-school left and it’s my responsibility he gets on a better track. I want him to be successful, and if that means I have to stand up for myself and start calling out all the BS, then so be it.

The conversation only lasted 5 or 10 minutes. It ended with “I’ll see you on Wednesday” and “have a good evening”. Wednesday is C’s IEP meeting. This is our first one at the high school and I’m not sure what to expect. The way I feel right now, I’m going to be ready to lay out the facts. I’m not going to stay quiet. I’m not. (That’s my personal pep-talk by the way). We’ll see.

I’m just so emotional right now. I’m just so angry and want to release this negative energy inside of me. I just hate my ex husband so much. I absolutely hate him and I don’t hate anyone or anything. I want to love and be kind and be at peace with the universe and it’s just stomach turning that he makes me feel this way. I need to figure out how to feel better. I need to meditate and do some yoga in the sunshine or something. I want to find my way back to calm.

Then there’s Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris that was damaged in a fire yesterday. I visited in 2010 just after my divorce was final. I may have been trying to prove to the world that I was independent and could go and do whatever I wanted. I went to Europe alone. The Cathedral was impressive, but my memory of it is poor. I can’t tell you what it looked like inside. Now that’s destroyed. Last week I was in Spain and saw several grand Cathedrals. I took a few pictures.

They will rebuild, but it’s a reminder that nothing lasts forever. I’m sure they will try to restore every detail, but it does not change history. The audio tour for future generations will now and forever include details about the fire on April 15, 2019 that destroyed the inside of the church. It will also most certainly include details about what items were saved, and of the miracle that some stained glass windows survived. Miracle indeed.

It bothers me that I don’t have good memories. I asked my daughter this morning on the way to school if she remembers our trip to Portland in 2017. She said “Yes”. I asked what her favorite part was. She said “I don’t know, why are we talking about this now?”

I told her about the Cathedral and how I don’t remember it and how memory fades and I’m sad about it. I said that if we talk about it, then we will remember better. If you have someone to share an experience with, then you can remember it together and that is good. I asked if she remembered walking that mile of switchbacks to get to the top of the waterfall and she said “yes”. Then she said “can you skip this song, your music sucks.” Teenagers.

How do you say “mommy is having a moment and it’s rude to insult her music right now”. I’ll be the first to admit it was a crappy song and so I skipped it, and the next 3 until I got to one I knew she would not reject. Then we went the rest of the way to school without talking. Perhaps I can get her to talk about Portland later (a girl can dream right?!).

Now it’s past 10AM and I need to shower and get to work. I haven’t showered since waking up in Spain on Sunday. I’m not ashamed to admit that.. it has been a long couple of days trying to get back to Central time zone and all the other things that come with everyday life. I’m hoping I can make the most of the rest of this day and not dwell too much on my sour mood. I think seeing Jim at lunch will help. Maybe we can talk about our memories from Spain and that will make me feel better. Yeah, that’s a good plan.

Until Next Time My Friends,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-12-04 The Terrible Twos Days

It’s been a really long tine since I’m had a child that was two and suffered from terrible twos tantrums. For one thing, I sort of recall that three years old was worse and for another thing, my darling daughter is 16 and still suffers from emotional outbursts. Now, however, they are hormonally driven and she can logically understand why even though the instinct is still to feel like “you don’t know why”.

This past weekend was a rough one and my heart goes out to her (at the same time I’m also at my wits end at what to do). Jim asked me last night when she would get over that. Based on my experience as a teenage girl, my answer is.. Never. Haha. I’m still suffering from emotional swings that sometimes don’t feel logical or to be occurring for any reason.

This is part of what I relied on in talking Z off the ledge on Sunday. I talked about my own experience and just hung out with her until she felt better. My main message? “This will pass”. The feelings are only temporary. Always.

Sometimes it flips fast and sometimes it takes time. We all experience great pain and joy in our lives based on things that happen and most of the time, unless there is a serious problem, we are able to balance out. I always think about 2016 and how terrible that year was and look at me now. By the time I talked through all of that with Z, she already felt better.

I think teenagers might suffer bigger highs and lows on a regular basis, but it also passes more quickly. The best thing I can do is be there for her and listen and just try to offer solutions. She’s under a ton of stress from school and coming up on a time she has to make some big decisions about college. That’s wearing on her. I worry that I’m somehow contributing to that by the other changes in our life.. moving, and blending our family with Jim’s. She may not even realize it. I think in her case, it’s probably mostly school though.

One thing that holds true whether a child is two or twenty, there are no solid “universal right answers” as the parent on how to deal with tantrums. There no parent-by-Numbers that will make the picture turn out perfectly. We are all just doing the best we can with what we have.

I think as parents we always worry that what we have done or are doing will be the wrong thing. That we will somehow screw our kids up and they will not be equipped to deal with life. Maybe that’s what makes us good parents, the fact that we do worry.

I’m at Jim’s House this week and my kids are at their dads house and I can’t help but worry and continue to think about her and her brother. It’s on my mind constantly.

I need to get started with my workday now though and try to transition away from trying to solve this unsolvable puzzle. One last thought though.. it seems like now that one stress is lifted off of my life (school) others become larger to fill that space – teenager issues, cats fighting, pending holiday events. Is that just human nature too, not allowing one’s mind to relax and just enjoy a break? 🤔

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps,

~Miss SugarCookie