Tag Archives: parenting

Mama and the Manchild – I got little and he got big Betty Boop edition

When I was little, I used to tell my mom that someday I would get big and she would get little.  I’m not sure if I thought that I would literally get bigger than my mom (I am) or if I would need to parent my mom due to her old age or dementia(no comment).   Today at lunch, the manchild, who is bigger than me, had to parent me.

We were sitting in a cute New Mexican restaurant eating our burritos.

Me:  Did you see that I tagged you in that Facebook post? I want to see that movie about Betty Boop.

Manchild: [swishing his ice tea around in his glass because this place is anti-straw and there was nothing to stir in the Sweet N Low] What movie?

Me: It’s based on a true story! [I LOVE true stories!] It’s about the woman who inspired the cartoonist to draw Betty Boop. Her name was Elizabeth Boop.

Manchild: [skeptical look with one raised eyebrow]

Me: I’m not making this up.  I sent you the trailer.  It shows her on a farm with her mom.  She accidentally hits herself in the head with an ax and since it’s like 1930 they can’t drain the fluid and she ends up with a big head.  [Even I am hearing myself at this point.]

Manchild: [picking up the phone to look at Facebook] Mom, did you happen to notice that Funny or Die posted this trailer? [does air quotes around trailer and speaks to me like I’m an 11-year-old who really need to understand that Santa is not real.]

Me: No. It’s real.  Kelli said that she wants to see it too. [Kelli is smart. She knows it’s real, right?]

Manchild:  Mom.

Me: IT’S REAL!! Chris said he would take me to the Marcus theater with the bar.  It’s a real movie.

Manchild: Mom, it’s not real.

Me: [laughing and whining at the same time]  BETTY BOOP is REAL!!

Waitress:  Hi, everything OK?  One check or two?

Me: One! I’m his mom. I know I look too young and all.

Waitress: [laughing and retreating]

Me: But, it has to be real.  [pulling my phone out to Google Betty Boop Movie and not finding anything other than old cartoons]

Manchild:  You can fixate on it all you want.  It’s not real.

Me: [Pulling out my credit card] I’m going to look on the computer at home.

Manchild: And you will get the same results, Mom. Betty Boop is not real.

And sometimes, the children parent the parents. He got big and I got little.  And, as an English professor, I teach students how to find good sources. I have failed.

The Birds and Bees and OMG's

“But how did your kitty have her babies without a doctor there?”  My then-seven-year-old son looked up at me after hearing my mom and me I talk about Miss Kitty.  Miss Kitty was a stray we’d adopted when I was about his age. On the day my mom was talking about, Miss Kitty had been very pregnant in the morning, when we left for work and school.  When we got home, later that day, she was skinny and there were four kittens under my bed.

condomsBy this age, my son had already asked how he got out of my tummy. He had seen pregnant women and knew they had babies in their tummies, and he started asking about how they came out when he was about four. I had always told him the truth:  that the doctor did surgery on me and got him out of my uterus.  In adult-speak, my son knew he was a C-section baby.  Naturally, he thought all babies were born like this, so he was wondering how the heck the kittens got out of Miss Kitty when she was home alone.  Clearly, no doctor was present.

I thought for a few seconds, trying to find the words, and then I told him,  “Well, some moms have babies from their vaginas. They don’t need surgery like I did. The babies just come out of their vaginas.”

My son looked up at me with a confused face and asked, “But I didn’t come out of your vagina, right?”

I answered, “Correct. You were a C-section baby.  The doctor cut my belly and got you out.”

He looked relieved.  “Good. Because then I would smell like vagina.”

Want to read the rest?  Head over to Knot So Subtle.

 

Anxiety: the Brain Bully

A lot of my friends are writers or other creative type people.  By being a creative person and hanging out with similar folks, I have learned that with creativity comes mental illness.  I’m sure not ALL creative types are mentally ill, but I have yet to meet one who does not suffer from some sort of disorder. Seriously, I have never heard of a perfectly normal and well-adjusted writer, artist, photographer, or whatever.  We all have SOMETHING that makes us a little different.  Most of my friends have depression.  I feel for them as I have had depression twice in my life, once after my son was born, and then while going through my divorce. I actually thought about killing myself during my divorce.  So, I get the whole “depression lies” thing because it does.  It tells you that you are worthless and that you should die.  It’s a horrible thing.

I don’t have depression now, though.  Nope.  I have it’s twisted cousin – anxiety.  Anxiety lies, too, but more than that, it bullies. Anxiety pounds you with horror movie thoughts like that mean 4th grader used to throw erasers at your head during quiet reading time.  Anxiety doesn’t give you a moment of peace, even when you’re sleeping.  It wakes you up to torment you.  Here is a recent midnight chat I had with anxiety.

Me: [sound asleep and dreaming about kittens]

Anxiety: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Me: [Sitting up in bed] What?

Anxiety: HOW can you sleep at a time like this?

Me: Why shouldn’t I sleep?

Anxiety: Your son isn’t home.

Me: I know. He went out with his friends.  He’s 18.

Anxiety: He could be dead.

Me: He’s not dead.  Wait? IS he dead?

Anxiety: He could be.  What if one of his friends murdered him?

Me: His friends are nice. They wouldn’t kill him.

Anxiety: You don’t know that.  Marty killed Bobby.  They were best friends.

Me: Marty is a psychopath.  My son’s friends are not psychopaths.

Anxiety: How do you KNOW that? You don’t know.  Plus, he could be dead even if he wasn’t murdered.

Me: [listening to my heart race] Huh?

Anxiety: Maybe he was in an accident. Maybe he’s trapped in his car at the bottom of a lake.

Me: No. There’s not much water around here.  He’s a good driver.

Anxiety: It COULD happen.  Anyone could be trapped in a car underwater.  It could happen to you, your son, your husband, your mother.  Anyone.

Me: [having trouble breathing normally]

Anxiety: You need to save everyone! You need to get everyone you know one of those things that can break car windows underwater.  EVERYONE.  Go on Amazon right now and order a case of them.  You also have to get something so everyone can attach the window breaker to their belt loops.  Other wise, the damn tool could be floating around in the car and no one will be able to reach it and they will still die.

Me: Oh no!  I hate water. Why do we have it? It will kill us all.

At this point, I give up and reach for my iPad.  My husband continues to snooze next to me while I sign in to Amazon, magnifying the tiny iPad screen to accommodate my old people eyes.  I search for the glass breaking tool and then Google “escaping a car underwater” 5,897 times.  After reading several articles, spending too much money, and even watching some videos that make my palms sweat, I tire myself enough to go back to sleep about eighteen minutes before the alarm goes off.

So, what about you? Do you have anxiety? Does it bully you in the middle of the night?

22301758289_a98f41abdf_z

 

 

Wimpy Parenting = Wimpy Kids

Fifth grade Lisa did NOT earn participation trophies, or any trophies.
Fifth grade Lisa did NOT earn participation trophies, or any trophies. 

Way back when polyester bell bottoms were all the rage, and remote controls and cable TV had not been invented, I was a shy, chubby fifth grader. I got picked last for kick ball, made fun of because of my mom’s rusted out Chevy, and received a plain sandwich and water when I couldn’t afford lunch at school. I lived.

If I were a fifth grader now, the coach would divide the kids into teams to make sure no one felt ostracized. Any kid caught making fun of my mom’s car would have been given a detention and a how not to be a bully reading list. The lunch lady would have given me the same lunch that everyone else received even if I had not paid for two weeks. In short, the world has gone soft and we are creating adults who cannot deal with reality. Life has changed since the disco era. Now, there is a list of rules we must follow, especially if we have kids, so we don’t offend anyone. Here are a few examples.

INVITATIONS FOR EVERYONE – When I was in fifth grade, I was thrilled to be invited to my friend’s birthday sleep over. After opening my invitation in class, I noticed that about half of the sleepover party girls were also going to a water park with the birthday girl. I asked the birthday girl about this, and she said, “Yeah. My parents said I could only bring five people to the water park. So, you can’t go with us.” I stammered out some version of “Oh, OK” and went back to my desk. I cried when I got home, and I felt a little left out, but I got over it. She couldn’t invite ALL of her friends to the water park. That’s life.

Now, kids have to invite the WHOLE class or they are not allowed to bring invitations to school. This is so no one’s feelings are hurt, and no one feels left out. The bad thing about this is it extends into adulthood. There are now grown women who have meltdowns because they are not invited to a wedding, or party, or bunko game. Everyone thinks no one should ever be left out. That is just not realistic.

NO JUDGING – There is this huge “don’t judge anyone” commandment now, and it’s making us stupid. There are grown ups who maintain friendships with people they don’t like just to avoid the “judge” label. It’s also putting kids in danger. If your little snookums has been raised not to think of anyone as “bad” then he’s not going to see a problem with hanging with the drug dealing kid who sets toilet paper fires in middle school.

NO FIREWORKS – OK. Everyone is going to hate me for this, but I’m going to say it anyway. I am grateful for our military, and I feel horrible that some soldiers come home with PTSD. I get how fireworks can be a trigger. But, guess what? The whole world is not going to stop using fireworks because they cause anxiety for some people. Instead, the people who suffer from PTSD should make other plans. Perhaps earplugs, noise reducing headphones, or medication would help during certain holidays.

NO TRIGGERS – The other day I shared what I thought was a funny meme on Facebook. It was a blurry picture of Bill Cosby and it said, “If you see this, it’s too late.” Not five minutes later, I got a comment from someone telling me the picture is a trigger for rape survivors. She was assuming I was NOT a survivor. I told her that I was sorry and I hadn’t though of that. I was first sexually abused at age 2, but I was overpowered by my teen babysitter, not drugged. I left the meme up. If something I see online or on TV makes me think of being sexually abused as a kid, I stop looking at it or watching it. I don’t expect the world to tiptoe around my past.

POTTY MOUTH POLICE – I say fuck like most people say hello. I grew up with a mother who cursed a lot and I spent 10 years as a stand-up comedian. So, I don’t even notice when I say “bad” words. Someone always tells me, though. Look, I get that you might not what your kid to start speaking Sailor because he heard it from me, but that is YOUR responsibility, not mine. When my son was little, I had conversations with him about language that he could use in private and public words. I didn’t expect people in a public place to change their behavior for my child.

I know that it is supposed to take a village to raise a child, but it’s not a village of automatons. People come in all shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, and temperaments. The sooner kids realize that not everyone is going to ensure they live a life of cupcakes and bubble wrap, the sooner they will learn to deal with a variety of people and situations.

So, what do you think? Let me hear from you in the comment section. Are you a helicopter parent, a free-ranger, or somewhere in the middle?

 

The Children in Iraq Weep for You

 

If my son actually read my blog he would be rolling his eyes right now. I say this to him over and over, every time he complains about something asinine, like having to mow the lawn or, gasp, clean up after himself. Let’s face it, as ‘Muricans, we all have our little first world problems. For example, your day might be ruined if your gel nails chip after only one week. They’re supposed to last at least two weeks!  Or, perish the thought; your wifi might be slow. Time Warner is the devil; amiright?   Your child might throw a tantrum because you bought the wrong cereal. How dare you get store brand trash with no toy? Have you ever said, “There are hungry kids who would love to eat Walmart brand Fruit Loops”? If so, you will understand what made me start talking about the children in Iraq.

We’ve all been there. The struggle is real. I started saying “The children in Iraq weep for you” when my son was 8. Let me take you back to September 10, 2005, otherwise known as my birthday. Yes, my birthday is the day before 9/11. In 2005, it was also a week and change after Hurricane Katrina. I know it’s not all about me, but can my birthday get a fucking break please?

Anyway, that year, my husband and I decided to celebrate my birthday on the 9th because it was a Friday and it had been a LONG workweek. So, my husband brought home a cake and prepared dinner. Before dinner, our son asked if he could spend the night at a friend’s house. We told him that he could go, but we were still going to celebrate my birthday without him. He skipped off to his friend’s house down the street. I blew out my candles, and the husband and I ate cake. Life went on.

TIMEUntil the next day when our sleepy, cranky, 8 year-old came home. He stumbled in the door like he had been on a drinking binge during rush week on fraternity row. My husband told him to go take a shower because he was taking him shopping for a birthday gift for me. (Guys, why do you always wait until the last minute? Seriously, why?) At this point, our son asked if we had already “sung happy birthday and had cake.” I told him yes. Then, my almost as tall as me third grader had a toddler level melt down.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU WAIT FOR ME???” He screamed and cried.

“We told you we were going to celebrate my birthday. You opted to leave anyway.” I remained calm, even though I wanted to smack him.

The boy continued screaming and crying. I bit my lips together and wondered why my birthday always had to be fucked up by something. I rolled my eyes and looked around the room, trying not to yell back at him.

That’s when I saw the Time Magazine on the couch. There was a picture of two women floating in the flooded aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on the cover. I picked up the magazine and flipped through to find more such pictures.

I held up the magazine to my son, showing him a picture of a little girl who was crying and standing on a roof, clinging to her teddy bear and a fire fighter. “See this,” I asked him.

He stopped crying and looked. “Yeah?” he questioned.

“Do you know why that little girl is crying?” I asked calmly.

“No.”

At this point the spirit of Sam Kinison took over my body. “SHE’S CRYING BECAUSE HER FATHER DIED IN HURRICANE KATRINA! THAT IS WHY WE CRY. WE DON’T CRY OVER BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!” I took a deep breath and turned the page. (Yes, I did receive my mother of the year award. Why do you ask?)

The boy stared at me from across the room, and somehow knew it was time to get it together. I went through a few more pictures of hurricane destruction with him. With every picture, I emphasized that THIS is why we cry. We don’t cry over CAKE.

Finally, at the end of my Kinison like rant, I told him that the children in Iraq, who lived in destroyed villages because bombs were dropped on them, did indeed weep for him because he missed out on cake. The boy quietly walked out of the room and went to take his shower then.

Since that day, over the years, whenever the boy, or anyone that I am close to, including myself, has complained about some first world problem, I have told them that the children in Iraq just weep for them. I’ve also used the phrase in a few blogs; here are some examples.

I’m not trying to be an insensitive asshole by talking about the children of Iraq. I’m just trying to put things into perspective. If you compare your life here in ‘Murica to living in Iraq, you live like royalty, and you should shut the hell up about your crappy cell phone service with AT&T.

So, during this July 4th weekend, as we celebrate our Independence from England, I want you to really be thankful for living in a building with a roof and climate control, for having clean clothes, for eating non spoiled food, and for being free. Because even if you hate your shitty office job, or you despise doing yard work, or you are overwhelmed with your parenting duties, you are free. So, quit your bitching, enjoy the fireworks, and don’t make me go all Sam Kinison on you.

 

thirdworldtraveler.com

 

 

 

 

Creative Commons License
The Children in Iraq Weep for You by Lisa R. Petty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Middle School Brothel Culture

When I was typing the title of my blog, I asked my husband if there should be a hyphen in Middle School. He said, “No, and apparently there’s no hymen either.” Yes, he’s right about that, and unfortunately we learned a lot of things about middle schoolers this year that we would really rather not think of. It would be so much easier to stick our heads in the sand with the other parents. So much easier.

Middle School Lisa was NOT having sex.  Shocking, I know.
Middle School Lisa was NOT having sex. Shocking, I know.

When I was in eighth grade, the big rumor was that R and M had sex and used a blue condom.   This was big news because NO ONE IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEX IN EIGHTH GRADE EVEN WITH COLORED CONDOMS and we knew this. The girls gathered to talk about M. One girl created a nickname for her, “Butter because she spreads easy.” Well, even then I thought that margarine would have probably been a better name if that was the reasoning. I kept my mouth shut because I was glad to NOT be the victim of middle school ridicule for once, and if you looked at the picture above, you know this was rare. M was called Butter all through eighth grade and high school. No one was high fiving her or R for their actions. We all thought it was weird, really, and not cool. It was embarrassing for both R and M and neither of them bragged about it.

Times they are a changin’.

I have middle schooler and I have learned things that keep me awake at night. I mean, the drug dealing, huffing, and cutting were already horrors for me, but recently I learned that a lot of kids are having sex at 12 or 13.

Yes, you read that right. They are losing their virginity before they develop all of their molars, or brain cells. Here’s the kicker – they are also NOT USING CONDOMS. Here in the corn state, the kids are given the abstinence education version of sex ed. They don’t learn about birth control or STD’s. They are just told basically what sex is and to not do it until they are married. Well, that is obviously working well.

From what I am hearing, kids seem to be having sex wherever they can, even in school. Last week, I heard about two different “couples” having sex in school bathrooms, one in middle school and one in high school.  Last time I checked, the bathroom was a place where people, peed, pooped, and vomited. It’s not exactly a romantic place. Plus, people are walking in and out all of the time. There is nothing not icky about this situation.

Eight grade Lisa.  She really rocked the blue pantyhose.
Eight grade Lisa. She really rocked the blue pantyhose.

It’s a different world. When I was in eighth grade, my big concerns were how white my new Ked’s were or if my mom would let me go to the movies on Friday night. I fully understood that sex caused babies, and most likely a good beating.   There was no way that I wanted either. Now, if you get pregnant when you’re a teenager, you can get your very own TV show and become a “celebrity.”  If I had gotten pregnant, I would have gotten a beating and a trip to the abortion clinic.  I definitely would not have gotten a TV show.  Heck, this was back when MTV still had music videos.

You’re welcome for the awkward photos.

Disclaimer: This was originally posted on my fantastically unpopular Salon.com blog about four years ago. I no longer have a middle schooler and I have finally unclenched my shoulders from 3 years of horror.

Not Missing my Little Boy

As I flip through Facebook statuses, a lot of things make me roll my eyes. There are always super religious posts or political “arguments” on Zuckerberg’s brain suck site. No matter where you fall on the religiopolical spectrum, there is always something to piss you off or make you want to cry. I can deal with all of the usual visual hot air, but nothing makes me roll my eyes more than moms who post about missing their babies.

I’m not talking about moms who have had children taken from them. This is different. You’ve seen it. It usually happens on Throwback Thursday or any number of children’s birthdays. The mom posts a baby picture of her teen with a status about how much she misses her sweet little baby. I always found this to be hurtful. To me, it’s like saying that your current, older kid is not a kind, wonderful person. I always wondered how kids felt about it, so I asked my personal expert on all things teen, my eighteen year-old son. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: Hey, if I put a baby picture of you on Facebook and talked about how much I missed my sweet little boy, how would you feel?

Son: Like shit.

Ok. So, it’s not just me. Think about it. Imagine if your spouse put an old picture of you up and said, “I miss this skinny, blonde person.” That is how teens see this “I miss my baby” nonsense. Teens have so many hormones running through their bodies, which can make them even more sensitive. So, as a mom, I try not to hurt my son’s feelings. Also, truth be told, I DON’T miss the baby and little kid years. I wouldn’t go back in time even if it meant I would drop twenty pounds and about a hundred gray hairs.

I MIGHT have a tiny problem.
I MIGHT have a tiny problem.

I don’t really NEED to be needed. I applaud every step towards independence my son makes, not just because I am a lazy mom who would rather sit on the couch and drink wine and eat peanut butter cups. Well….. Seriously, my main job is to prepare my son to live on his own and not be an asshole. So, every step he takes towards being a sane, kind adult makes me hear a round of pre-recorded 1970’s sitcom applause in my head. There are so many good things about having an older kid.

For one, I get credit for Easter baskets and Christmas gifts. Sure, it was kind of fun to pretend that Santa or the Easter Bunny delivered surprises at night. It is much better to get full credit and thanks for the presents. Also, I can give my son his presents early since he knows that mystical creatures do not enter our home on certain nights. This is great because I would almost burst when I had to keep stuff hidden in my closet until just the right night.

I’m a better parent now than I was in my twenties, when I had my son. I have more patience now. I’m a happier, saner person. I’m happy with my husband, and not going through a divorce like I was when my son was little. I am parenting with love rather than a fear of losing control. I was a screamy yelly mom in my twenties. I got over that.

The boy is no longer a puke fountain. If he has to vomit, he knows how to get to the toilet or at least the sink. No more middle of the night sessions of running the carpet cleaner, the washing machine, along with my expletive spewing mouth.

They can pick you up when you fall on your ass. A few weeks ago, I fell on my ass in the driveway. Damn ice. It’s invisible, slippery, and deadly. I didn’t think I could walk after I hit the ground. My son helped me up and drove me to the ER for x-rays. He could not have done that when he was a toddler.

Really, there is an endless list of things I love about my son. Like most parents, I think my child is the smartest, most talented, funniest person in the world. In fact, I wrote this blog for Scary Mommy about why my son is better than any little kid. Now, this piece is written in Sarcasm. If you are not fluent in this ancient tongue, you might be offended.

So, what do you think? Do you miss your little baby? Let me hear from you in the comment section.

 

 

Metal Mom not a Soccer Mom

When we first moved here to Wisteria Lane, I knew we didn’t fit in. First of all, let me clarify, we don’t actually live on Wisteria Lane. We live in a cookie cutter subdivision where everyone has 2.5 children, a dog, and a vehicle with third-row seating. Sure, everyone said hello when we moved in. It’s not like they stood around making the sign of the cross and hissing. They asked us where we had moved from, and what brought us here, etc. When they found out that we had a teen son, they asked us the question that pretty much ended any hopes that our son would have best friends in the neighborhood, “Does he play soccer?”

I may or may not have rolled my eyes before answering. Does every child have to play a sport? My son does not play soccer, or lacrosse, or football, or basketball, or baseball, or any sport. He plays guitar and drums, and keyboard, and he sings and writes music. Metal music. My son is a musician, and I am a metal mom.

Whenever I told the new neighbors this, they gave me the uncomfortable smile. You know the one. It’s similar to the one you make when you’re at a crowded party and you have to fart. But this one wasn’t due to gas; this smile was because they thought my son was “bad.” They never said that in so many words, of course.

In reality, he’s not bad at all. As far as teens go, he’s actually kind of calm. He doesn’t do drugs. He doesn’t even drink alcohol except for the occasional beer I allow him to have at home. He only stays out late when he has a show or goes to another band’s concert. Other than that, he is in our basement practicing with his band or watching TV with his girlfriend. He cuddles with our dogs and cats and passes out candy to the trick-or-treaters on Halloween. But, he does not play soccer, so most of the local kids and their parents didn’t know what to say to the weird new kid with the beard and the stretched earlobes.

That’s ok though. We are used to being odd, and in truth, my family and I would rather be weird than “normal.” Normal sounds dreadfully boring. Personally, I would much rather be a metal mom than a soccer mom, and here’s why:

  • My car is way better than any soccer mom’s ride. I have a Volkswagen Jetta GTI Autobahn Edition with paddle shifters (that I don’t know how to use), a Fender stereo system, satellite radio, and Bluetooth, not a minivan filled with fast food trash and dog hair.
  • My son has learned not to fit in. He doesn’t NEED to fit in. He will never do something just because the other kids are doing it.
  • He’s creative. My son wrote a song about all of the people who have died in our family. It is a beautiful song, and a great way to deal with grief.
  • Every season is metal season. My son can enjoy his hobby of choice at any time of the year. There’s no waiting until summer or fall or whatever.
  • I don’t have to sit outside at some field either sweating or freezing my ass off. His gigs are INSIDE, where there is some sort of climate control happening.
  • Also, his shows are usually in places with a full bar. Can you get a martini on the soccer field?
  • He’s more interesting to talk to, at least for me. I don’t want to hear about balls, and goals and coaches. BORING! My son can talk about how he is inspired by hair metal bands that I listened to in school. He also knows which songs are Ozzy Osbourne and which are Black Sabbath. I don’t even know that.

Right now, there are at least 852 soccer moms who are just itching to post a nasty comment under this blog. Go for it. But before you do, take a look at the header on this site. It does not say Dr. Stork’s parenting advice column. It’s a humor blog. Don’t worry; I’m not going to run for president and make soccer illegal, so don’t get your panties in too much of a bunch.

Sergdrums
First “drum” set

Why I Have an Only Child – For all of the NOSY People

When my son was little, well-meaning but really dumb people would ask me when I was having another child. When I told them I wasn’t really thinking of having another, they said well-meaning and totally stupid things like:

What if something happens to him? I assumed they meant death. Well, it’s not like I would stand next to his grave with my arm around my second child and say, “Thank the universe I had the spare.”   It would still destroy me.

You don’t want him to be spoiled. Well, I was raised as an only child because my brother lived with my father after the divorce that occurred before I can remember even being alive. I don’t consider myself spoiled.   Bite me.

Aren’t you afraid he will be lonely? Nope. I would be more afraid if he didn’t learn how to be alone. I’m an introvert, just in case you have never read this blog before and don’t get that.

As my son got older, people were less inquisitive about any impending pregnancy. Now, that he is 17, most new folks assume I am his sister. Because I’m that hot. I made that up. Seriously, people have finally stopped asking. So now, I will actually answer. Here are the reasons I never had a second child:

  • The labor experience was HORRIBLE. No, I didn’t forget. Seventeen hours of labor, with a necessary SECOND epidural, and then an unscheduled C-Section. This was followed by REALLY UNSUCCESSFUL breast-feeding.
  • I soon realized that I am not great with babies. I like humans who can talk and tell me what the hell they want. I don’t do crying and sleep deprivation well.
  • I was not put on this earth to clean up shit and puke. Some people love to care for others and can deal with this nonsense. They are called nurses. Go hug one.
  • I separated from my first husband when my son was three. Even though it is in vogue, I opted to not have the bastard child with a random baby daddy that I thought was cute on a Saturday night while I was drinking. And like I had time to date. I had a PRE-SCHOOLER!!
  • When I did remarry, my son was already 8. By the time my husband and I realized we had fertility issues, he was 12. Sure we could have tried super expensive medical intervention, but why? By this time, my son didn’t even bug me in the middle of the night when he puked. Sometimes, there’s no going back.

So, there you have it. This is why the apple of my eye, and he is, is my ONLY apple. I love this boy more than peanut butter cups and kittens, and I’m glad I can focus all of my maternal love on him. Tune in next time when I tell you why I never had him baptized. 😉

My one and only
My one and only

Bobby Kent and my Anxious Parenting

My son went to prom last night. I finally attempted to go to bed at 11:45, but I didn’t sleep. I got in bed and read for about fifteen minutes until I heard the front door. Then, I ran downstairs to make sure my son was OK. He was there with his girlfriend. He was just going to change and then take her home. I was disappointed because this meant he had to go back out again after he was already home safe. I ended up falling asleep, but waking constantly through the night. When I woke at seven this morning, I went to my office window to make sure my son’s car was in the driveway. And the car was there, but that didn’t give me 100% relief. Why? Because Bobby Kent’s mom saw his car in the driveway one morning back in 1993, but she didn’t know that he was already laying in a rock quarry lake after being beaten with a baseball bat and stabbed with a scuba knife.

You can Google Bobby Kent and find out what happened, but you will only get one side of the story, the side of the person who murdered him. Bobby is dead and can’t tell his side of the story. Marty, the person who planned his murder, is alive and telling everyone that he just had to get together a group of people to murder Bobby because he was a bully. Oh, and it’s all OK because Marty found God in prison and he is now a preacher. That makes it all better, right?

I first met Bobby, along with his best friend who ultimately would gut him like a fish with a scuba knife, in eighth grade. Bobby and Marty were in sixth grade at the time. Bobby was always bigger than Marty, and always protective of him. Since I was good friends with Bobby’s older sister, I saw a lot of Bobby and Marty throughout middle and high school. In fact, when I got my first car, I drove over to the Kent house to see Bobby’s sister. I ended up driving Bobby and Marty to the movies. They were truly Frick and Frack. I never thought that Marty would end up murdering Bobby. When that did happen, it warped my already fragile trust of the world.

Because Bobby was murdered by his best friend, I have always been anxious about anyone who has befriended my son. If Marty could be Bobby’s best friend for twelve years and then murder him, who is to say that my son’s best friend would not murder him? Truthfully, I have threatened two teenagers who have threatened my son.

The first time was when I watched my then eight year-old son get put in a chokehold by an older boy. My son got free and ran in the house, saying, “I couldn’t breathe!!” I ran out the door and walked over to the boy who put my son in a chokehold. I’m only five feet tall, so he and his friends were larger than me. I looked him in the eye, and told him I would have him harmed if he ever touched my son again.   He very quietly nodded and I went back to my house.

The second time, my son was at a neighbor’s house. The boy was pointing a knife at my son and asked him if he was scared. My son came home and told me. My husband was home and said he would go talk to the boy’s mom. I agreed to say nothing. That would have worked except the boy kept calling my son to torment him. So, I threatened him. Apparently this scared him so much that he told his mom on himself.

In both cases, my heart was racing and I was in a mama-lion panic mode. I was 22 when Bobby was killed. I didn’t have my son yet, but I will never forget seeing Bobby’s parents and his sister after his body was found. It stayed with me. My son has grown up seeing the newspaper clippings and hearing that your best friend can become your worst enemy. I heard him whisper to a friend once, “She’s like this because of Bobby Kent.” The friend knew what he was talking about because he had also seen the newspaper clippings.

I know I can’t control the world or keep my son safe with my fear and anxiety. He met a couple of friends at the park today, and I was worried until he got home. I will worry about him as long as I am alive. It’s not healthy, or helpful, it just is.

Thanks to my friend Judi for finding this article. Read it if you want a more well-rounded view of the crime, not just Marty’s story: http://darcysautelet.com/crime-justice/257-bobby-kent-murdered-twice?showall=1&limitstart=

Bobby's Murderers