Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Into the Land of Controversy

I've been having a lot of controversial thoughts in my head lately, and I've been spitting them out.  This is likely going to be more of the same.  I think I'm just going to make a series of statements.  With numbers, so that it is orderly.  I like orderly.

1.  I'm sitting at Panera right now, and for serious, the ladies at the next table are having a "my medical problem is worse than your medical problem" contest.  Dudes, WTF is up with one-upmanship?  How is there some sort of pride in how many bladder infections you can rack up in a year?  It's never anything positive, either.  I guess then it isn't called one-upping.  It's called bragging.  Whatever.  I'm trying to have my lunch, you namby-pamby ladies, and I don't need to hear all about your bacteria.

2.  Along the same lines, people have a right to complain and whine every now and again.  Sometimes, you are sick.  Sometimes, you hurt.  Sometimes, you've had a quite crap day, and you wanna whine about it.  Sometimes you're negative for a couple of days straight because the junk keeps pilin' on, ya know?  I think if someone is having a bad day and is whining and complaining, maybe listening is in order, instead of this attitude of, "Pffff, your life is easy.  Check out how awful MY life is."  (I swear, I just put "you're" instead of "your" in that sentence.  That is how seriously I take this.  I make grammar mistakes.)  Also a pet peeve of mine, "That's okay, because..."  Here's an example:

Gertrude:  "Man, my husband has been really inattentive lately.  He's been super stressed at work.  He's usually so appreciative of me.  It is hurting my self-esteem a little bit."
Hattie:  "That's okay.  My husband is inattentive all the time.  I've just gotten used to it.  He never remembers my birthday or to kiss me goodbye in the morning, and he never says thank you when I do his laundry and perfectly fold his socks."

See that?  Gertrude now feels like a horrible person because she had a small complaint about her husband, which she's allowed to have, ya know?  Gertrude is having a little bit of pain because of her husband's actions, and Hattie completely minimized those feelings because Gertrude's life can't POSSIBLY be as bad as hers.  Worse, the "it's ok".  The Hell?  No, it's not.  It's not okay that your homie is hurting, Hattie!  Even something silly like "My kid pooped on the floor."  "It's ok, MY kid poops on the carpet all of the time."  WHAT?  Why does your kid's behavior make someone else's kid's behavior okay?  I will tell to you right now, IT DOESN'T! 

3.  I like how I went back and forth between "ok" and "okay" in this story.  Screw consistency.

4.  I'm totally no nonsense.  In all aspects of my life.  Except when I am being nonsensical.  So I guess you could say I'm a "some nonsense" kinda person.  However, my no nonsense parts are super no nonsense.  There are things I will not tolerate, such as being disrespected, by anyone.  No one has the right to attempt to disrespect me and my choices so that they can try to dictate my behavior.  It will not happen.  Period.

Lots of folks are no nonsense in this way, but I think the way they act on it is different.  The "I will not tolerate this" attitude lends itself to violence, I think.  Or ghetto fabulousness.  Or argumentative back and forth.  Know what I mean?  Defending yourself when someone disrespects you is a natural reaction to being disrespected, I think, and in defending yourself, you often disrespect the other party, who in turn needs to defend himself/herself/itself/catself/ratself/shelfself/where was I?

Anyway, I don't react this way to the disrespect.  I'm just not all that argumentative.  That's not to say that I'm not confrontational.  I am.  But, I don't go into confrontation when angry, in general.  I like to think out my argument first.  Things usually go this way with me, someone disrespects me, on FB or through e-mail or even in person, and I walk away with no reply.  I delete them as a friend, I ignore their messages, I don't return their calls, or, in extreme cases of a disrepectful relationship, I moved out.  He just came home one day, and I was gone.  I just, never speak to these people again.  No explanations, no attempts at reconciliation.  Nothing.  I think this way of not tolerating disrespect has something to do with my Asperger's.  In my head, a pissing contest just ain't logical, and I can't justify any behavior that isn't illogical.  That's what makes parenting so difficult for me.  Children, they are not logical, so I don't understand them.

The kids are what started me on this topic.  I have a zero tolerance policy for disrespect in my home.  I, of course, am not going to just walk away and never speak to them again.  Some folks are more important than that.  This isn't some silly boyfriend or some idiot I went to high school with.  This is my family.  Concessions in my behavior must be made as far as my dealing with the inevitable disrespect that happens when you have children.

As such, zero tolerance and all, discipline for this is swift and ninja like.  There are no warnings.  For the most part, kids are kids, and they act up and whatever, and they'll get a "Hey, stop annoying your brother, or you'll get a time out" or "Dudes, for serious, stop shrieking, or you'll get a time out."  We will be warny mcwarnersons all day.  But, for disrespectful speech, no warnings.  Put your nose in the corner.  I am an adult in this house, and I won't be spoken to in that way, and that's that.

Here's where the controversial part starts in this.  I won't take a "kids are kids" stance on this.  The sweeping generalizations of "teenagers have a bad attitude" won't fly with me.  I've seen several IndyMoms threads over the years about the preteen roll your eyes and sigh crap, and I am telling you, no.effin.way.  I know most of the parents just laugh it off as that's how preteens are and what not and "as long as Mabel does what I tell her to do, I don't care if she rolls her eyes while doing it."  I just can't get behind it.

The thread that inspired this was entitled "How do you get your kids to help around the house?"  It was a thread about making housework fun and tricking your kids into doing their chores.  Not babies and toddlers, either, big kids.  I was staring at this thing in absolute awe.  Uh, in my house, you do what your parents ask you to do, and that's it.  No tricks.  No bribery.  You do what needs done.  You pick up after yourself, and you keep your space clean because that's what you do when you respect your family and their space.  I'm sure when they are older, if they go above and beyond, they'll get some allowance, like they would at a job.  I'm also sure that when they're older, if you don't do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it, out of respect for your parents and your house, they'll have the same consequences they do now, toys will be taken.  Right now, I'll take your Lego.  When you're 17, I'll take your car keys.  Same thing as always.

Wow, this is long.  Aren't they always?  There's lots more I want to say, but I think I'm out of time.  I gotta get another cup of coffee and work on this paper on Iraq.

My next blog post will be about houses and babies and other happy things!!!  Life is really, REALLY going great right now.  The dudes are doing really well in school.  The behavior problems from Little Man at school have really leveled off as he's adjusted, and the ball is rolling to get him talking to the school counselor, which I'm sure will seal the deal on his awesomeness.  He mostly just acts like a normal 5-year-old boy now.  No more violent outbursts and whatnot, just a bit of testing limits on when he has to sit down and stop playing, etc.  Also, Big Man got Prospector of the Week last week, which means he is extra special helpful at school and got to have a trophy on his desk for everyone to see all week.  He acted like it was no big deal, but I could tell he was proud.  Also, I'm pretty sure he's doing some sort of insanely complicated math in his head all day every day.  Too, because I'm sick of writing also, he started reading a chapter book!  Captain Unnapants!  I hope he enjoys it.

Ok, seriously, I have to figure out how to fix United States' foreign policy in the Middle East.

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