Tuesday there was more snow. Maybe an inch or two, not very much, but Nashville, you’re killing me. Snow means the 4 year old is out of school and I have both kids….all day. The baby is fine…but the 4 year old cannot entertain himself without TV and his mother says no TV during the week. AND his dad was working from home. Basically, the kid was not listening to ANYTHING and he didn’t nap because his dad has to be on the fucking phone in the next room, NOT talking about work. Like seriously bro??? Men are clueless.

The entire day, all he did was argue with me, throw fits, and follow me around whining “I want a peter rabbiiiit. Please please please please” ad nauseam.We played outside for an hour in the morning before we got too cold and had to come in. Then he ate his lunch and laid down, but dad was on the phone in the next room, so sleep wasn’t going to happen. I was losing my damn mind. Being able to turn on some damn cartoons would have been nice for a moment of peace. Never doubt the power of the electronic babysitter.

It was just a terrible day. Baby was great though. I’ve banned the 4 yr old from her room when I’m trying to get her to nap. That night when his mom got home at 6, I said my goodbyes and went to have some wine. Definitely drank that day away.

I’m blaming the Montessori school curriculum. In theory, letting a child be ready for learning and development sounds great. The problem is, there is no discipline or any real structure other than “between this time and this time, we do this”. The kid decides what he’s going to do. There is no discipline. They “encourage self-discipline through teaching method and environment” If “the teacher’s role is passive and designed to guide individual learning when asked and when child is ready”, please tell me when the child is READY to listen to what the hell you have to say? WHAT FOUR YEAR OLD IS GOING TO DISCIPLINE HIMSELF??? These people are insane. This new age bullshit has got to go. If any adult said jump when I was a kid, your only response was either jumping or if you were going to ask anything, it better be “how high?” There was no “what do you want to do? What will you DECIDE? You can CHOOSE.”

Maybe I’m too old fashioned. I do respect the way individual people raise their kids and I won’t TELL them to do anything different. I just don’t have to agree. Whatever they’re comfortable with. I’ll just write my opinion here.

The next morning, he was in a great mood, but school was delayed. He started with the fit when I asked him to get dressed and brush his teeth at 9:20. He says “no” as he always does to everything, so I responded with “I am done with you not listening.” and picked him up and carried him into his bathroom. He proceeded to hit the floor, as usual, so I set him on his bed and told him he couldn’t come out of his room until his teeth were brushed and he was dressed. 10 minutes later, I’ve got a dressed kid with minty fresh breath. I am not going to repeat myself 50 times asking him to do something he knows he has to do every single day. It’s not happening. I will put him in time out every single time. That is how this will work. He is 4 years old and perfectly articulate. He’s old enough to accept consequences for not listening.

When I took the baby downstairs to eat before we left, I told him, “when I call for you, you come down here and get your shoes on. Do not make me come get you”. He was a perfect little angel. Came right down. It was a much better day. When he got home from school, I put the baby down for a nap, and we went outside and ran laps together because the school doesn’t let the kids outside if it’s below 35 degrees. I don’t understand. Growing up, grandma put us outside if it was 6 degrees. I send mittens, hat, coat, everything to make him warm, why the hell is he being cooped up all day? I will never understand that.

To end my long rant/complaint:

Tuesday is the only bad day I’ve had so far. I’ve done exercise videos on all the other days of this week and lost 1 pound. I know it’s just water weight, but hey, I’ll take it. I’ve also mastered the art of making baby food out of produce. The baby loves my puree sweet potatoes and puree roasted butternut squash with cinnamon.

If nothing else, I’m in training to be an awesome mother. I just won’t be sending my child to Montessori Centers, because I don’t think a toddler needs to have that many choices. Putting the responsibility of choosing to do the right thing on a kid so young he  can’t even handle his own emotions is a little much.

The end.

I read an article on Facebook about how moms get the worst of their kids’ behavior because the kid views mom as a “safe place” where they can have an emotional breakdown and just let it all out. It’s believable. Mom fixes all things, and if she can’t “fix” it necessarily, she still loves you after you throw an Armageddon-sized tantrum. I, as ‘not the mama’, will not.

The mom tells me today that the 4 year old has increased the number of times he reacts aggressively. Repeatedly striking her when she won’t give him what he wants, and goes on to say “he was so tired”. I don’t care how tired you are, you do not hit people to get your way. He’s only thrown a toy at me one time and hit me in the neck with it when I wasn’t paying attention to him. He learned how serious I could be that day. I have quite the scary “mom-voice” when I get stern. It comes from dealing with stallions and other large, stubborn animals growing up. He hasn’t hit me again, yet. I didn’t bother with the “it hurts my feelings when you hit me” thing that they do. Appealing to his emotional side is apparently not working for them. I simply said “Don’t you EVER do that again. You hear me? Don’t EVER.” And he hasn’t done it since. But I am also not the mother. I am not his “safe” place. Maybe my stern mom-voice has nothing to do with it.

The baby is a dream as long as she’s not constipated. Shit, I can identify that. I’m not really all that fun when I am constipated either. We’ve discovered that the Iron fortified rice cereal was the issue. Mom tells me she’s been sleeping through the night for 2 weeks now. We have found the winning combo. Baby food with no cereal mixed in at noon-ish and 4:30pm and a bottle the rest of the time she gets hungry seems to work. I’ve learned she likes to play with her food. Blowing bubbles on the spoon so the food sprays everywhere. Have you ever cleaned carrots out of a baby’s nose? It’s quite amusing. I have to wait til she’s smiling big enough/ screeching like a pterodactyl to get the spoon far enough in her mouth so the food is toward the back half of her tongue. Then she can’t spray it at me. She always looks like I tricked her when I do that. It’s pretty hilarious.

I must say this has been the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had. Every day is different. There isn’t any monotony, and I enjoy coming to work every day. I will be so sad when this job ends in August. I’ll miss these kids. As stubborn and bossy as the 4 yr old can be, he is also the sweetest little boy sometimes. Who am I to talk about bossy anyway? There’s a video out there of me at age 6 ordering my sisters and little cousin around while playing with a tea set I had gotten for Christmas. It comes with being the oldest child.

I also know how lucky I am to have met this family through one of my best friends. The mom offered to pay for my wedding hair and makeup as a wedding gift this morning. I almost cried. A couple weeks ago, they surprised me with cupcakes and a card for my birthday. I’m afraid if I do nanny for another family, that they will be like the horror stories you hear: treating nannies like servants instead of part of the family. I know I shouldn’t even worry about it now, but that’s what I do. I play “what if”, constantly.

I am doing well with my goal of exercising while the baby is napping. The mother gave me permission to use her Jillian Michaels 30 day shred and weights to work out. Try doing the stairs after 20 mins with Jillian. She kicks your ass! I need to move to the Level 2-40 min workout, but I don’t think I’m ready yet. I’ll give it an entire week before I try it on for size. I have to be ready for that pain and I’m just not. Carrying a 15lb baby up un-carpeted stairs requires my legs to NOT give out.

My name is Ashley, and I’m the soon to be wife of an Ingress addict. Ingress is a GPS-based phone game. Like a cross between capture-the-flag and geocaching. The things I know he gets out of it:

  1. Many other players show him respect and admiration for the strategies and time and effort he puts in to help his side (blue-resistance) win more points at checkpoints throughout the day. So there’s his ego boost.
  2. He’s made friends in the gchats they use to plan out things.
  3. Gets him out of the house and active on his bike and walking

What I get out of it:

  1. A partner who “forgets” to do the things I specifically ask him to do because he’s so busy strategizing with alllllllllll the people in the gchat group hangout, all day, and he’s on call when a field 15 mins away just HAS to come down because it’s almost checkpoint.
  2. A dog who doesn’t get near the exercise she needs because he won’t take her on his bike rides because she will interrupt the mission he’s doing because she will want to stop, and to “make checkpoint” he doesn’t have time for that. I work too late into the day to take her on runs right now. It’s dark and our neighborhood isn’t the best.
  3. Sitting in my car for 2 hours while he drives around aimlessly, sometimes backtracking to “re-hack” portals or take them back from the other team (Green-enlightened) Which to me, is a colossal waste of gas and time and mileage on MY car.
  4. A partner who, when we are out socializing or on a date night, stares at his phone the whole time chatting with these people, and if I say something, either me and the rest of the group are talking about girl stuff or something he’s not interested in, or “You’re texting your friends all the time, too”, or I “just don’t want him to have any friends”. I’m texting friends because he’s ignoring me, and I don’t see these people as his friends, I see them as time suckers. People who have helped and encouraged my man to be an irresponsible addict who never helps out around the house, forgets we need to grocery shop and half the time doesn’t come home til 8PM so I don’t get to spend any time with him.

I am fully ready to admit that yes, I am stupidly, immaturely thinking that this game is taking him away from me.  I feel like we never do things together anymore unless there’s a “portal” nearby. And if we do, he’s not really PRESENT. When I say that to him, he shoots back with “well you text your friends all the time” or “you marathon buffy the vampire slayer on a Saturday for 4 hours straight” Like that is even REMOTELY relevant. And my FRIENDS have been in my life for over a decade.

I don’t know. Maybe I am just a controlling bitch. Maybe I just don’t understand how much he enjoys it. My thoughts are, I’ve got shit to do. Laundry, grocery shopping, dishes, vacuuming…and I spend so much time being pissed off that he doesn’t help, that often I let it slide and just veg out with netflix, which makes me feel worse. It’s like a vicious cycle I’m doing to myself.

At the end of the argument, when I’ve given up trying to make him see how he’s just too obsessive, he throws down the ultimatum:

“Just don’t let it get to where I have to sneak around on you to play ingress”

I froze. After a couple heartbeats, I responded.

“Don’t you ever lie to me. You tell me ‘this is what I’m doing, and you’re being ridiculous’. But don’t you ever lie to me. I won’t forgive that”

All he said was “okay”

All I got from that entire argument last night was that he’s going to do what he wants, and I need to get over it and just act like it’s allllll okay. And if I don’t, he will leave me because I’ve become a nagging controlling bitch who doesn’t want him to have any friends.

All I want is moderation. Maybe an entire day of us, as a couple. I just want some help around the house. I don’t want to have to ask him to put money on the laundry card at the apartment office because they close at 4 and I’m not home yet, for him to just “forget” because he spent the entire day with the ingress intel map and gchats up on his laptop strategizing how to “put a big field up for the most points”.

I love him too much to fathom leaving him. I just hope this obsession blows over. I NEED this to blow over.