Yesterday, I was shocked by the news of the day. I spent the next 24 hours “feeling” my feelings. I’d be calm, then cry, then sad, then shocked some more, then irate.As I was packing the girls room up, while Bella was at preschool (so she wouldn’t notice that it was being packed up), I packed while she was at school so she would have no idea things were going into boxes rather than into drawers and closets. While I was rushing to do this before she got home, I couldn’t place why I kept getting angry and falling to pieces. Surely, cleaning their room wasn’t anything to cry about.I just couldn’t place what was making this time, the third time in 17 months that my husband had gotten the news of a lay off, so much worse.Then ,I figured it out. This time was different because this time one of the people that I love more than anything else in life, my 4 year old, Bella was old enough for this to actually affect her. I have been reassured that children are resilient .In my mind, I know this. I know that when she is a teenager, she will have no recollection of this entire situation. She won’t be scarred for life, need therapy, or even care but that doesn’t help me ..now.See, this has happened before.The first time, she was pretty unaffected. She was 3, she was oblivious. But the second time, I was so distraught myself that I forgot to filter my actions and words and she knew exactly what was going on. Bad, bad Mommy. I felt horrible about the whole thing.No 4 year old should be aware of finances and the family economic situation, let alone be afraid of going without..anything. When we had to relocate, she was sad and full of trepidation at the thought of leaving “her” best friends, “her” ballet class, “her” swing set, “her” bedroom, “her” toys,”her ” house etc. etc. It was all very overwhelming to her and it was all my fault. If I would have kept “MY” mouth shut, she would have been unphased. It’s kinda like when your kid falls, if you don’t gasp and run to their rescue..its as if they never even fell. They usually don’t even cry. They are tough, they are resilient. We, however, are not apparently. So, last time we had to uproot, I kicked and screamed all the way ( metaphorically, of course) and she did it literally. Good example Mommy. Worse, above all else, was the fact that she was so afraid of the whole experience. I did that. This time, I promised myself that I would hold my tongue and she would not see me cry. She would be blissfully unaware. Her and her sister will not know that Daddy got laid off and we are scared to death in this economy. No, this time I will smile and just tell her that we are going home to be closer to our old friends and family. This time, I will be an adult and spare my child the fear and uncertainty that she does not need to experience at the ripe old age of 4. This time I will be the adult and protect her from this awful thing called life. She has the rest of her life to find out that life is not perfect and we don’t always get what we want and sometimes we have to struggle. But today, she is four and today, there is Santa, the Tooth fairy, and the Easter Bunny. Daddy is the strongest man in the world and Mommy is the most beautiful woman and we both are perfect..in her eyes.Life is perfect.Today, I will guard her innocence with my life. She is my baby and she has the rest of her life to be disappointed, but for today I refuse to let her be anything but happy. Today, I will be your Mommy and your umbrella from all of life’s rain. I love you Bella and Gabs! You are my sunshine!!
Unemployment makes Beggars of Proud Men
Unemployment is usurper of life. This morning, I woke up feeling a little nauseous in my stomach. Morning sickness, no not likely. It was that nervous feeling you get right before impending doom. As some of you are aware, it has been a hectic year or so for the Truthful Mommy clan. I was counting on a much smoother 2010, but apparently that’s not very likely.
You see in the August of 2008, the Big Guy lost his job. It was absolutely awful and our life was shattered. Within 2 weeks, the very same company who let him go brought him back…reviving our shocked and on life support livelihoods. All was good in the world or so we thought. Poor little unsuspecting, gullible us.
After a miserable autumn of playing financial catch up after the havoc those 2 weeks created, spring arrived. Birds were singing, flowers were blooming, friend’s babies were being born and we had a pretty wonderful spring until sometime around mid May. I can’t recollect the exact date because to be honest I sorta blacked out from the shock. Once again, the the Big Guy came home in the middle of the day and gave me the news that he no longer was employed. The company that had done this to us last August was now being sold to a competitor and they were closing the facility. That was that. No job…no warning, no problem. I mean come on, we were somewhat of semi professionals at this by now. We knew the routine..call the credit card companies, cut back the cable and phone bills, tighten the belts, blah, blah, blah, blah, BLAH!!!
So, fool me once shame on me…fool me twice…. We lived life those days in a haze, a fog of uncertainty, not unlike that of lots of people these days. I was angry, he was angry. I cried, he drank. The kids knew something was wrong but weren’t quite sure what. It was awful..absolutely horrible. What were we going to do about our mortgage? Our health insurance? Car payments? Ballet?Preschool?Food? Oh my, it was totally overwhelming.
After a couple weeks of unemployment, a lot of restless nights, quite a bit of getting on one an others nerves, and a big hole in our savings later, the company who bought my husbands company, like a shining knight, came to our rescue. They wanted to interview him, obviously, he accepted. Then, hallelujah, like a miracle he was employed again. It was a great thing indeed but it was not without costs.
In order to accept this position, we had to leave our friends and family behind and relocate ,literally, half way across the country away from all that we knew. But you know, the Big Guy and I are firm believers that as long as we all have our health, are together and love each other..everything else will work itself out. We will be fine. God will provide and put us just where we need to be. With an open mind and a willing heart, we did it. We packed the girls up and moved to Virginia.
It was completely different than anything we knew and we embraced it all. I threw myself into making friends and making things as normal for my girls as it could be. I made wonderful new friends, joined groups, made play dates, found a ballet school, a wonderful preschool, and even became an active room Mother. I was absolutely loving Virginia. For the first time in a long time, things were feeling normal. I was feeling normal and like I belonged, aside from the fact that our house back home hadn’t sold yet and we were paying two mortgages, essentially, all was well.
Unemployment is a sneaky bitch
After the most amazingly beautiful autumn in Richmond, and a lovely pre-holiday season, we headed home to the Midwest for the holidays. WE were greeted by lots of love and warm wishes but blistering cold and lots of snow. By the time we left, after loading a 16 foot u haul in freezing cold blizzard conditions, driving 14 hours with 2 toddlers have simultaneous meltdowns and car sickness in more blizzard conditions, imagine my happiness to be back to Virginia where it was actually above the single digits.
I had come to accept that though I missed family and friends terribly, this was my new life and it was pretty sweet. I was looking forward to my new life in Virginia and a new home, etc. Then 8 days passed and the Big Guy was told he needed to make a appointment with the HR lady. Are you frigging kidding me!! Talk about blindsided. WTF was this nonsense? Were they giving him a special “you are so awesome award’? Because, in my mind, that better had be the only effing reason they would have the audacity to call my husband into the HR. Have I mentioned this was the third time in a little over a year this had happened..essentially at the same company!! My mind was thoroughly blown! So, he scheduled a meeting. The HR lady ran late. He waited an hour and a half, not to mention that he was about to vomit no less,and she never showed..running late. You know busy firing and laying off poor unsuspecting, thinking their lives were great, sons of a bitches:(
Finally this morning, he got his meeting. Guess what? My dear husband has been laid off…again! Seriously, WTF!!!!! I know this economy is hard, for everybody, but seriously does life just want to see how far it can push us until we break? My sanity may truly be in question. Who does this? To be fair, the company is very remorseful but hard facts are that they have too many employees and need to cut heads..its that time of the year.They are putting together a severance, reimbursing us for the Uhaul, paying to break the lease, paying to send us back home with our tails between our legs but what I want to know is who the hell is going to give me back the last 6 months of my life?
Honestly, I kept saying I felt like I was on some bizarro extended vacation..I chalked it up to living in corporate housing and living a pseudo existence but now I think I knew, in my heart, all along that this wasn’t going to last. To recap, I have cut ties with those at home because I had moved, now the friends I made here will slowly distance themselves from me( it is the nature of the beast..nobody likes to be too vested in someone leaving..its hard, I understand..I’ve been here before and once again I am left to pick up the pieces and rebuild my life. It just happens to be that I am rebuilding in a pile of rubble that I am familiar with.Fantastic!
The icing on the cake, this all happens on shark week of the month that you could imagine!Wow! Life is sweet! Thanks life for metaphorically kicking the crap outta me, yet, once again!Life, I don’t know what exactly it was I did to piss you off but I think we’ve been punished enough for awhile. Can you please lay off a bit? My backside is sore from the unemployment induced, stress ass kicking that you’ve been giving me over the past few months. Sincerely, Debi
Unemployment Sucks Balls, Big Sweaty ones
Road Tripping with Toddlers is not for the week. We are on a mini vacation/ look see around town for my husbands potential new job, in Virginia. First, let me start by saying, this is one of the most gorgeous parts of the country that I have been to thus far in my life. The weather is awesome, the foliage abounds, large cities are concealed by an enveloping plethora of greenery. Essentially, you have big city life with the look of the country and all the amenities of a Beaches all inclusive resort. So, that is where we are Today!
On Saturday, however, we were road tripping with toddlers for 12 glorious hours. Yes, that is correct, 12 hours with a 4 and newly turned 2 year old.Can you say a little touch of hell on earth. My ,otherwise, sweet loving girls do not like to be confined in those 5 point harnesses on a good day on a trip across town. So, imagine their state at taking their very first long drive trip imprisoned in those wonderful harnesses.
My oldest, rambunctious as ever, insisted on asking, every 20 minutes or so,”Are we there yet?” I always thought that was a funny spoof on parenting but now I realize that it is, in fact, the truth of traveling with children. I never realized how frazzling that could be to me as a person. I thought “those” moms have no patience. Just say ,”Not yet, in a little while.” Why all the overreaction? Then I realized that it can actually bring you to the brink of insanity and make a grown woman, such as myself, cry, almost inconsolably, if asked in the right voice and enough times over a 12 hour period.
While the oldest was hitting us with the barrage of “Are we there yet”s the youngest was freaking out of her ever loving mind about a gnat. Yes, a gnat, that supposedly must have been the scariest, meanest, baby eating gnat you ever did see because , god bless her little bitty heart, she screamed bloody murder for at least 3 hours of the trip.Oh, the humanity! So, to sum it up, my 4 year old is wondering if we are there yet, every single second of every single minute we were on the road, my 2 year old is being terrorized by a gnat and screaming so highly pitched, that all the dogs of the world were seeking her out to eat her and end the misery, I am at the brink of insanity on the verge of losing the battle and my poor beloved husband is trying to plot his course to the nearest gunsmith to rent a gun and buy a bullet.
Then I pull out my bag of tricks because obviously the 1200 DVDs that I brought are not holding their attention. First , we color ( you know those Wonder Crayola colors that magically appear on the special paper but nothing else..that’s what you think, but that’s another story entirely), then we color the glittery ones, then we color My little Pony. We sing, only the songs that they know so we had Bella’s favorites, “Twinkle ,Twinkle” and “Mary had a little Lamb” and Gabi’s favorites “Happy Burtday to you!” and ” Five, Five DOlla..Five Dolla foot long!” Yes, my 2 year old is obsessed with the Subway commercial jingle. Have you any idea how many times they play that thing? I do , because she sings it incessantly. Don’t get me wrong, in the right context, it is absolutely adorable. She is the cutest thing that has ever walked this earth, besides her sister, of course, but everything in moderation. Interrupted only by the “Are we there yet?” inquiry of her sister. OK, so brink of insanity on way to gun shop, we stop at lunch and we try and let them stretch there legs at some wayward Wendy’s in West Virginia. Not my idea, have you seen Wrong Turn?
We get lunch, they have ants in their pants and can’t keep still. We get the food, the chicken flavored whatsamanuggets are not done, still doughy,”EWWWW, gross”, as my daughter like to say. I return them. We wait, I return with nuggets, all is good in the land.
Road Tripping with Toddlers is Hell on Wheels
A ‘fly” dares to descend upon the table. All hell breaks lose. Toddlers jumping everywhere, screaming, crying, running away in terror. I did mention it was a fly and not Godzilla, right? Not a horsefly, just a regular old house fly! In true fix the situation fast fashion, I take off my flip flop and the untimely death of one unsuspecting fly ensues. All is good in the land, and then Gabs, because all of the attention we just received was apparently not enough for her, screams, at the absolute top of her lungs “EWWWW, FAARTED.Stinks”. Absolutely, mortified , I say ” OK, honey, it’s OK.” Then I realize, amongst all of the commotion, she did not have any kind of flatulation incident. Apparently, she just thinks it’s funny and likes to take credit for such occurrence. She is really better than the dog. This is a quirk I am hoping she outgrows.
Bella, my older one starts asking, “Mom, what are we going to do on our vacation?” I say, because I am out of the car and somewhat rational and overly sweet because I am trying to gain redemption from being “Crazy Mommy” from in the car,
“Well, sweetie.we’ll look around the town and eat out, maybe go to Busch Gardens, and we will take you girls to the pool at the hotel.” She look at me with wide eyes,” Even you, Mommy?”
First lets put this into context, I am a Mommy in my mid 30’s, I am a little over weight and a little out of shape, and I hate swimsuits with a passion. I have since I was a teenager. It’s like a taunting suit, it takes every possible flaw you can possibly have and flaunts it to the discriminating eyes of the world. But I do occasionally wear these horrible contraptions to play with my children and because I am determined not to pass my body issues on to them. In response to my daughter, I say “yes, sweetie, even Mommy.” I look at my husband and say ” What the heck, I don’t know any of these people.I’m going swimming!” To which my daughter responds in her most defiant voice “Yeah,I don’t know these people either, so I’m going swimming too!”
How funny, she has no idea about the context but dammit, she’s going swimming!! I’m still in the throes of this mini vacation that teeters between heaven and hell, I’ll post more when we all arrive safely at home, by passing any and all asylums and gun shops…save for that poor Godzilla fly at the Wrong Turn Wendys. The only thing more difficult than Road Tripping with Toddlers is road tripping with TWO toddlers.
How have you survived road tripping with toddlers?