Archive for the ‘short-tempered’ Category
Have you read this article? Or seen the video? Here’s the gist of the story: woman storms into a Dunkin’ Donuts, breathing fire because she didn’t get her receipt the evening before and now wants free food. The store has a no-receipt-your-order-is-free policy. She brandishing her cell phone, recording the encounter, letting everyone know that she’s posting it on Facebook and it will go viral!
The good news: it did go viral. The bad news: not for the reasons she thought.
She storms into the store the morning after, announcing that the conversation is under “video surveillance.” Unfortunately, the young man she encounters was not working the previous evening. He did handle her graciously and respectfully.
She, on the other hand, threatens, insults, and eventually trails off in a racist rant that she recorded with the hopes that the poor Dunkin’ Donuts employee who stiffed her her receipt would be shamed for eternity.
The offending employee does make an appearance and it seems the Great Avenger wants to lunge over the counter to physically assault her. Luckily there are witnesses and it’s being recorded. The employee meekly goes about her coffee-making-donut-serving business, not even looking at Psycho Woman. Psycho Woman screams racist taunts, threatens her, and generally makes an ass of herself.
Honestly, what did this woman think was going to happen? That angry hoards would descend on the store carrying pitchforks and torches to burn it to the ground? All because they didn’t give her a receipt?
It’s clear early on that she’s not quite right. With the threats of going to Mars and blowing up the Dunkin’ Donuts and her lawyer being involved, she simply appears deranged.
She posts the video on her Facebook page which she later shut down because of the negative reactions she was getting. I guess her friends didn’t find her behavior very sympathetic. The comments on the YouTube video are worth reading, by the way.
The lesson to be learned here is that your behavior better at least match the behavior of the other person if you want to appear the victim. Ranting and raving at an employee who remains calm and silent doesn’t help your case at all. It makes you look like a giant bully. Also, you won’t get much sympathy if you start calling the person racist names. There are some words that just aren’t used any more. And for good reason.
Oh, and never ever declare a video “viral” before uploading it. That’s just bad luck.
We all know that grounding your kid as punishment ends up hurting you more. They don’t go anywhere. They are with you constantly. And they are not happy because they are grounded. Which you did. Because they pissed you off.
So grounding isn’t a good thing. Then I get the great idea to ban electronic devices. Another vicious circle is created where the now-deviceless child is constantly at my side bugging me because he has nothing to do. There’s a lot of sleeping, whining, bitching, moaning, groaning. And he’s not happy either.
Which brings me to the latest escapade of motherhoot. Aaron is grounded from the TV. But I come down on a Sunday morning to find him…gasp!…watching TV. He claims he didn’t remember he was grounded from it. Conveniently forgetting the one hundred times Jim and I both told him the day before he was grounded from the TV until Monday.
(My kid can conveniently forget anything I tell him, but he can quote Ipod prices from ten different stores on 5 different generations with 1400 different memory configurations. How about your kid?!)
I tell him to turn off the TV and he won’t. It becomes my mission to get the remote so I can put the parental lock on the TV. That will show him! It becomes his mission to make me chase him through the house to get the remote.
I’m middle-aged and arthritic. I am not chasing my 14 year old son anywhere to get the remote. I give him one more chance, and he refuses.
What do I do? I grab a scissors from my desk, walk over to the TV, and I cut the cord.
Snip! No more television!
(I’m not completely insane. The TV was almost 20 years old and had a permanent green spot in one corner. It was one breath away from being electronic waste. And we have another–nearly identical–TV just waiting to be put into service.)
I go off to lunch with Jim. Absolutely gleeful at my action. But also a little concerned that I might have jumped the mommy shark. Then it hits me that Aaron might be at home trying to fix the cord, and would end up electrocuted because one end of the cord is still plugged in.
So I grounded my kid…and potentially killed him in retaliation for disobedience. There has to be a child abuse charge in there somewhere.
Nope. He survived the day. As far as I know, he has made no attempt to repair the TV. It’s been weeks and weeks and weeks since TVgate occurred.
He blissfully goes off to school (where he gets to terrorize his poor teacher for several hours) while I am stuck home. Without a TV downstairs.
I have a great TV in my room. But when I go up there to watch it, I end up falling asleep. So I am doing a lot more napping than needed. I’m talking to the animals–and myself–a lot more. Once again, I screwed myself up by punishing the kid!
Moral of the story: think through your punishments to ensure you do not end up hurting yourself more than the disobedient child!
Maybe I’ll tell you about the time we went to the mat over butter…
Aaron has been sick all week. It’s hard to tell when he’s really sick, because he complains a lot. Something always hurts. Something always aches. I blame myself because I always have something that hurts or aches. As I tell him though, I have The Syndrome (aka Sjogren’s Syndrome) and am much older than he. So when he told us on Sunday that everything hurt, we didn’t exactly believe him.
He didn’t feel warm to the touch. I know allergies are out of control here in Chiburbia. The almost-winter and warm spring did a number on the atmosphere so allergy sufferers are miserable. I started giving him allergy medicine and telling him to drink water. Jim’s solution was to take him out to play basketball.
Sunday night I noticed he was sluggish. Even more than usual when he’s been cut off from the television. I told him if he felt bad in the morning he needed to let me know right away so I could call him in to school.
Monday morning I woke up, felt him, took his temperature and realized he had a 102.8 fever. I freaked a little. He’s 13 years old! He shouldn’t be getting fevers that high, right?! I called him in, filled him with generic Tylenol, and sent him back to bed. By bed time his fever was almost 102.
Tuesday he had no school and I swear we were going to do some fun-filled family activity. Honestly! We definitely planned on having lunch with Jim (bring on the Gino’s East pizza, baby!). Instead, I took him to the clinic. Once again pre-generic meds that I cannot spell, his temperature was 103.1. Yowza!
Seems some nasty strain of flu is wending it’s way through Chiburbia. The clinic has run out of flu tests. Not even the hospital has any more! They’ve been seeing people of all ages in with terrible fevers and a flu that lasts seven days. Even doctors and nurses whose immune systems are exposed to everything are getting sick! Luckily Aaron didn’t have strep or an ear infection, so he didn’t need antibiotics.
Monday and Tuesday were days with a seriously sick child who lay in front of the television, bundled in covers, propped up on pillows. There was an occasional sniff. An almost audible moan.
Then came today. He’s getting better. He won’t shut up. He insists on repeating everything the television says in case I’ve missed it. He even insists on rewinding so I can see it first hand. No, Aaron, I don’t need to watch that commercial!
He’s making plans for spring break (next week) and for his complete future. Like where to buy the RV he plans on living in. Where to park the RV. Can we have egg McMuffins for breakfast? What would I do if he woke me at 5am? Midnight? What if he lost all his points at school and can’t get any ice cream? Why can’t he breathe out of both nostrils? Why does he have to drink water? Can he have new ice cubes? Can we eat at Long John Silvers soon? How about Pizza Hut?
I know you’re thinking that’s no so bad. But those are the questions from the last hour. While I was doing the taxes! For God’s sake, they might not even make RVs when he’s a grown up!
I’m really trying on being a patient parent. I want him to remember me as a kind mother, not as a screaming banshee.
But it’s hard. It’s oh so very hard.
Remind me some time to tell you how Jim almost killed him with the cough medicine. It was an accident!
I have lost Buddha Mom and I don’t know where she is. In case you’re new, Buddha Mom is my almost-perfect mother persona. She’s the patient woman who coos and speaks politely to her children. She’s the one who lovingly greets her husband.
And she’s gone.
Frankly, she started fading when summer started. A houseful of surly boys fueled the fade. A messy house stoked the fade. Poof! She was gone!
Today I had to leave the house because I wanted to hurt Aaron. I know you’re thinking, “What could the angel child have done?!”
He managed to run up a $533 data bill on his cell phone. That’s merely two weeks of downloading and subscribing to games and ringtones. Of course, this was done with our new cell phone carrier, which was supposed to make sure that the boys’ phones would have no Internet access. Somehow, Aaron’s slipped throughout the cracks!
Now we’re waiting to see what the cell phone company is prepared to do about this. There seems to be some question about the ability of the company to block data access. Really? Are all other pre-teen and teenage children so self-controlled that they don’t access data when told not to?
Or am I the only one with kids who hear “don’t” but “do” instead? I know that’s not true, because it’s an actual psychological phenomenon. People (of all ages!) do think “do” when told “don’t.” Try it out. Tell someone in your house “don’t do x” and see what their reaction is. Good luck!
Honestly, I don’t know who I am angrier with: the cell phone carrier or Aaron himself. I had higher expectations for the carrier. I’m waiting to see what they do about this before reserving judgment. I’m assuming I’m not the first parent to request non data access. But I also had expectations of Aaron to not ignore the “no downloading” rider that came with the cell phone.
Maybe Buddha Mom’s not missing…maybe she’s just withered up with disappointment…
Did you know there are rules for fat people? I didn’t understand this until I saw the Carrie Fisher Jenny Craig ad where she said that she can now wear colors. She couldn’t wear colors? Until she lost 30 pounds?! Who made this rule? How come I didn’t know about it?! Unknowingly, all these years I have been breaking this rule.
I propose that Carrie Fisher looked so awful in her pre-weight loss Jenny Craig ads because she was mopey, slumpy, and generally disheveled looking. She slumped on that couch looking like a smile might exhaust her. Was that her true persona? Or was that the marketing genius at Jenny Craig?
Jenny Craig has a tendency to turn their after-weight loss spokeswomen into perky people. Valerie Bertinelli…Sarah Rue…Kirstie Alley… Honestly, the Sarah Rue after commercial made me feel like I was watching a soft porn movie. I wanted to cover my sons’ eyes so they couldn’t watch her roll around pool side in her 1950s-ish swimsuit.
On another commercial (I’ve blocked the company from my mind) a weight loss success announces that her face hurts from smiling. She never smiled as a fat person? Not even once? Perhaps that was why she was miserable and not the extra weight. Just a thought.
Amidst the discovery that I was breaking all the fat people’s rules, Ragen Chastain had this to say about calories. And crapped all over my entire belief system. How many years have I counted calories? What could I have been doing with all that time I’ve spent looking up food calories and writing them down? How many years have I beat myself up because the calorie deficit wasn’t causing weight loss?! A Yahoo Health article explained it all to me again.
Basically, every person in America thinks about calories. Even if you’re not consciously tracking them for weight loss or weight gain, you still see them everywhere. They are on menus influencing what you order. They are on packaging, leading you to believe that they are a true measurement of…well, of something!
Now I am flummoxed. I thought I knew the rules about calories and was wrong. I didn’t know there were official rules for fat people, and feel left out. Frankly, I need to take to my bed to re-think everything I know…
This post originally appeared on October 7, 2009.
I am being defeated by hand-dyed silk ribbon and seed beads. Seriously, I thought I was stronger than this, but I am seriously mistaken. I’ve survived divorce, death, teenage twins (well, so far!), a precocious 10-year old, and it will be the hand-dyed silk ribbon and seed beads that finally get me!
This all started about a month ago, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Kelly and I detour to Richmond, Illinois, on our way to Lake Geneva. We are set on making one last try at this elusive yarn shop. It’s been closed on all of the many other times we’ve gone there. I have, on more than one occasion, declared Wool, Warp & Wheel and the town of Richmond, dead to me.
But, to my pleasant surprise, the shop is open. It’s a warm, cozy shop. There’s a dog for petting, a bird for oohing, and an angora rabbit that did nothing for me because it was hiding in it’s cage. Beautiful samples are hung and draped everywhere. It’s a petter’s paradise and I was tactically enthralled at all the different things to touch and caress–samples, yarn, ribbon, roving (that’s the fiber for spinning). Yum!
Then my eyes fell upon this half-knit sample of a simple scarf. Oooo! Soft and shiny! The edges are scalloped with beads. The beads run through the length of the scarf. It’s gorgeous and it’s calling my name. And I buy it.
Let me start by saying that at this point, for my aggravation and pain, it would have been better for me to just buy a finished one. Seriously, even if it cost twice as much finished, it would have been worth the snarling, crying and bad words this scarf has brought out of me.
The hand-dyed silk ribbon is an array of luscious colors: emerald green, lime green, purple, deep blues. The colors meander along the smooth, silk strands. It feels good, it looks good.
It is evil. There. I’ve said it. I have purchased and am working with evil yarn! It saw me coming, muhahaha-ed to itself and sucked me in.
I started by putting the first hank of seed beads onto the silk. I didn’t realize you should first wind the hank of yarn around the provided cardboard spool. (Yes, there was a small label suggesting you wind it around the cardboard, but no where was there a Surgeon General’s warning that you must wind the silk around the cardboard!)
I start winding. Oops, some beads popped off! There they go rolling across the laminate flooring, under the furniture. Luckily the boys are home and they hop to retrieving the errant beads. I continue winding.
I am still unclear as to how I ended up with a hand-dyed silk ribbon gnarled mess. One minute I was winding, and the next it had all wrapped itself upon itself. Twists and Tangles. Tangles and Twists. I keep working at it. Then I put it aside…I need a break.
I show my tangled mess to Kelly. We sit in The Studio (aka the garage) for over an hour, untangling the yarn. I had to resort to cutting it in places. So the one-piece hank ends up in about 50 pieces. Kelly announces she cannot spend the night and must get home to her family. I think I silently sobbed as I watched her leave.
Jim comes home to me and the snarling ribbon sitting on the chair. Tentatively, he asks what I am making. I know I was a little snarly when I said, “A babushka!” and draped the snarling, evil ribbon yarn over me head. We chuckled. I thought about killing myself to end my misery.
I do get the ribbon untangled that evening and happily start knitting. Knit, knit, slide some beads, knit, knit. Oops! I didn’t notice I came to the end of a piece of the once-whole ribbon and some seed beads went flying. Tinkling over the laminate, rolling under the furniture, kids scrambling after it. What fun ribbon and seed bead knitting is!
The scarf of knit in two sections, from end to middle on both pieces. I finish the one end and am slightly concerned that it is very short. I am a short, but rather plump person, so I require more than 24 inches in a scarf. I ignore my feelings of distress and knit on. I transfer the second hand of seed beads to the ribbon. Knit, knit, slide some beads, knit, knit.
I do encounter problems when I come to the ends of pieces, because I have beads where they shouldn’t be. I surgically transfer them from ribbon piece to ribbon piece with a floss threader. (Thank you Dr Karas, my beloved dentist for these samples!) It’s tedious, but it gets the job done. I only lose a few of the beads. But now when the beads tinkle across the floor no one eagerly jumps up to get them. There are snarls and grumbles from the boys.
I finish knitting the beads on the second half, as just as I suspected, the scarf is nearly Barbie-sized. I decide I will just knit the rest. I contemplate a complicated lace-stitch, slap myself upside the head and knit on.
Yesterday, I finished the second half! It was done! It’s gorgeous. If you don’t look too closely you will not see the yarn joins. I only have to join the two pieces using a three-needle bind off. I search through my knitting books to find the instructions (the actual instructions that came with the kit are long gone, having been disposed of during a rabid living-room clean up where I assumed all loose papers on the floor were the boys). I finally find it in a Stitch & Bitch Nation book. It looks simple enough.
A half hour later, after dropping and retrieving stitches numerous times, I am tearing my hair out. How could something that looked so simple on paper be so freakin’ difficult?! It’s got to be the evil, devil-spawn hand-dyed silk ribbon. I put the separate pieces away, yes, with some seed beads flying! I greet Jim, tell the boys what to do for dinner, and go sit in front of my computer and sob.
Yes, two hanks of iridescent seed beads and a hank hand-dyed silk ribbon have reduced me to tears. To sobs. Real tears! Mascara smearing, racoon eye making, red-eye inducing tears. Luckily my family does not notice this because there’s no way they would understand why I was crying over knitting a scarf. (Honestly, though, I am a little concerned that I was crying at the desk and no one noticed….are they freakin’ blind?!)
I swore when I was done that I was DONE! No more knitting that scarf. I don’t care if it cost a great fraction of the grocery budget for a week. I don’t care that I have worked on it for a month. I don’t care that it’s gorgeous (oh, is it gorgeous…and it even feels good!). I just want it gone. Out of here!
And everywhere I go, there are lone seed beads mocking me. In the powder room (which has been swept and scrubbed numerous times in the last week) there’s one. On the stairs going up to the second floor, there’s one…and another. They are taunting me. Teasing me. I hate the freakin’ seed beads!
But during the night I came up with a way to salvage it. I will use a big-eyed needle…and some scrap yarn…I’ll lose a few rows, but it’ll be worth it! There will be pictures…
I’m thinking about kids a lot these days as my family goes through transitions. The twins are done with high school in a few weeks. I turned 45 yesterday. It’s strange how my thoughts have segued quite nicely from having a baby of my own to one day having a grandchild.
Turning 45 has made me play the what-if game a lot this week…
What if I had gone to law school like I originally planned instead of getting my master’s in clinical psych? Would I have been a good lawyer? Would I have been a lawyer who makes money or a legal aid attorney, helping the less fortunate? Would I have ended up being a children’s rights attorney?
What if I had stayed married to my first husband? Would we have had kids? Would I still have finished school?
What if I never met Jim? Would I still be living in my apartment, living the swinging single lifestyle?
What if we hadn’t decided to become adoptive parents? There was a time when I worked in social services where I swore I would never do anything involved the Department of Children and Family Services ever again. Yet, I put ourselves and our lives under their microscope.
What if we hadn’t adopted Jeremy and Jermaine? What if we hadn’t adopted Aaron? Would Jim and I have continued living our double income no kids lifestyle? What do couples do who don’t have children?!
What if my Bestie, Kelly, and I hadn’t gotten so close? Would I still be sane? Would I have curled up in a ball in the corner, chanting nonsense? Would I still laugh as much as I do?!
Mostly, I wonder how I got so blessed and lucky to be living my life. I have a wonderful husband, the greatest kids (no one has annoyed me in minutes!), great extended family, wonderful friends, a nice home. When I think of the things I have I realize they are so much more than I ever allowed myself to wish for!
And, the truth is, that kids have made it all better…
With kids, you understand good times versus bad times. You learn to appreciate the small miracles. Honestly, the other day when Aaron bent over and picked up a remote control that had fallen to the floor, I nearly wept with joy. A random text from one of the boys will make me smile like I just won the lottery.
Kids make you fight less as a couple. I’m starting to think it’s because you’re too damn tired from fighting with the kids to even have a fight with your spouse. Your husband annoys you? Trust me, there is nothing a grown man can do that compares with a 12 year old boy. Nothing.
Kids are a great way for friends to bond. Because if you are honest with your girlfriends about your kids, you realize that all kids are demons at times. Beware: you can’t have this relationship with the parent of The Perfect Child. Your friends have to face their kids’ flaws for true bonding.
Kids help define your priorities. Things you swore were important end up not being so. Things you thought were deal breakers soon go out the window as you all learn the art of compromise. For instance, I really want Jermaine to get a haircut. So I politely remind him every day that I am available at any time to take him for one. Jermaine chooses to react to my suggestion by turning his head and making some comment under his breath. We are compromising. Because I’m not about to drag him for a hair cut and he’s not about to tell me to take a flying leap out loud. That’s compromise, folks.
Kids make you resilient. They never do the expected. They always carry with them the element of surprise. They are never boring. They keep us on our toes!
I can’t imagine life without kids. Can you?!
Recently, a 30 year old woman and her 12 year old daughter have been accused of beating the crap out of their school bus driver. The mother claims her seven year old son was being bullied on the bus and nothing was being done about it. So she decided to punch the female driver, have her daughter help drag the driver from the bus by her ankles, and trample another child in the process. Luckily, the whole thing was captured on the bus’ on-board camera that had been installed because the children had been misbehaving.
I love how an incidence of bullying was fixed by further bullying. Great call, mom!
I don’t know whether to be disgusted for the mom or feel sorry for her. I understand the frustration of not getting the response you need for a problem your child is having. I know you have the urge to do whatever necessary to ensure your child’s safety. But I don’t think getting violent is the answer.
Every day we send our children off into the world. Aaron gets on the bus after standing on the corner waiting for it. Then he goes to school and spends the day there. Then he comes back home on he bus. I really have no idea what happens between 7:15 am and 3:15 pm. I’m assuming he’s being kept safe in every way possible.
But what do I really know? He could be sitting there doing nothing. Fortunately, I get enough updates from teachers that I don’t have to worry. If Aaron was an angel child, doing all his homework and never getting into trouble, I would have no idea.
I know he’s safe on the bus. They have cameras on it. I know because Aaron and his friends were goofing off on the bus and the principal showed them the video. None of the accused bothered to claim “it wasn’t me!” after they saw it.
I hope this mom was really really frustrated. Not that that justifies her actions. But it makes it slightly more understandable.
I hope she didn’t just get a little mad and it escalated to assault and battery without much provocation.
I’ve been very angry with the school–especially during IEP staffings–but I’ve never gotten violent. I wonder what would send me over the edge. I hope I never find out!
What would send you over the edge? I’d like to hear…
How many times have we threatened our children with these or very similar words? I know I’m not alone, but I’m not asking you to make a public declaration. Just try to remember what drove you to yell those words as you’re driving your children around in your car. This mother actually did it and is facing charges of child abandonment!
Personally, I remember several times I’ve been tempted to do this. Once when Aaron had a worm in the car (don’t ask) and I had to spend 20+ minutes on the way to lunch with Jim listening to questions about the worm. Finally, I yelled, “I am not a worm-ologist! One more worm question and you’re both on the street!”
Or the time the boys were just poking each other and giggling behind me in the turbo mini van. It’s always funny until Mom is the one who gets poked and loses control of the motor vehicle. I didn’t actually lose control, but I came darn close!
(I actually did wreck into the neighbor’s car several years ago as I was backing out of the driveway while yelling at the fighting boys. I probably would have been in better shape if I’d have just kicked them out of the car!)
There, I have just two examples that I’ve shared. I’m sure you can think of your own.
Sure this mom took things a little too far. I’m not talking about leaving her 14 year old daughter on the road. But the road was a highway. I don’t know how busy that is, but I’m picturing the Eisenhower Expressway here in ChiBurbia. That’s not cool. And she did get belligerent with officers when they came to her home. She even kicked a squad car window “so hard to it popped out of its track.”
But maybe we should commend her on being a good parent for following through on a threat. Seriously, every parenting book I’ve ever read has said this is one of the most important things that parents should do. Follow. Through.
This is exactly what this mom did! She made a threat. The argument with her daughter apparently continued and she dumped everyone out of the car. What a lesson she taught her daughter! In front of her friends even!
I was going to say I doubt the daughter will ever question her mother’s threats again. But the cops intervened and she was taught that her mother’s word is illegal. What a way to take away a parent’s power!
It’s hard being a parent. It gets so hard that, some days, leaving your kid on the road seems like a perfectly wonderful solution to a problem. Fortunately, some of us are able to lose ourselves in the fantasy of leaving them there. Unfortunately, some of us actually do it and find that there are consequences.
What do you think about this woman and her actions? Does she deserve charges of child abandonment?
Has anyone seen it? Because it sure as hell isn’t here right now!
I am testy and pesky. And Aaron’s driving me nuts.
It could be my pre-Spring Break dread. The knowledge that I will be forced to entertain and endure the children for an entire week. I’m sure Jeremy and Jermaine will be off doing track-like things. So that will leave me with Aaron.
I could play Cop Out Mom and keep him entertained in front of the TV, the playstation, the DVD player. But I just can’t do it. So I will have to come up with some Fun Family Activities that we can enjoy together.
If it’s nice we can go to Cosley Zoo and look at the spring animals. And we’ll laugh about the time the cow scared Jermaine senseless and at the chickens with the funny feather hats.
We can see movies. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Percy Jackson Lightning Thief” are still showing. But I really really hate spending lots of money at the movies. Aaron requires popcorn–preferrably at the theater that also supplies the cinnamon/sugar or cheddar cheese flavoring–or nachos. Of course, we’ll need something to drink.
Of course, if the weather’s nice I will have nothing to worry about. I’ll just need to keep tabs on where he disappears to. His bike is broken, so I don’t have to worry about the acrobatic traffic darting those 11-year old boys prefer.
If you have any suggestions for a fun and fulfilling Spring Break, please share them with me. Share them with all of us!
If I find my patience, I’ll let you know if yours is lurking nearby!