Sunday, August 03, 2008

second hand bullshit

I have a love/hate thing with thrift stores.
When I find something I need/want secondhand, I feel as my sister says," that I'm stickin' it to the man". I love that I'm not contributing to the overindulgent consumer driven machine. I get something that was already used and is now about to be used again.
The problem is that Liv loves thrift shopping too. She wants to buy everything...or at least some very ...absurd (in my opinion) things and then has a mega-meltdown when I don't purchase these things for her. (She once spazzed because I would by her a velvet drop waisted dress with poofy taffetta sleeves and skirt that must have been a woman's size 12 from 1983. She was going to 'grow into it'.)
I thought it would be fun to make a scarecrow. I let her decide if we were going to make a man, woman, OR child. She chose child - little girl. I let her pick the outfit. She chose an extremely neon bright floral dress with a dropped waist...I'm seeing a trend suddenly. I let her pick the hair colour. Orange yarn. Then, out of the blue, SHE wants the dress and wants to pick another dress for the scarecrow. In fact, she wants the dress, another for the scarecrow AND wants to make a 'daddy' scarecrow to be with the little girl. Fuck. Do I say 'no' because I can't afford it money or attention wise (two scarecrows is more than I can do right now) or do I say 'yes' because she wants to make a 'daddy' one because she misses Jeff. She freaks out. Cries. Plants her little feet and refuses to leave the store. Briar is getting upset because he wants to check out a different broken used toy from the shelf and wants out of the cart while he's at it. I'm afraid to make a scene because I am already fighting back tears...Our wedding song is playing over the loudspeaker.
It's these moments that I want to spaz too. A big hairy fit. Scream. Throw the fucking drop-waisted ball of tacky neon ugly dress and stomp all over it. Spit on it. Yell "What the fucking fuck did I do to create such a fucking bullshit scene?! I JUST WANTED TO MAKE A SCARECROW! I thought it would be fun for you!"
But I didn't. I swore under my breath. I thought nasty thoughts as I pulled the shopping cart with Liv hanging onto the side dragging her feet and Briar attempted to undo the seat belt. I glowered at the teenage gum-popping clerk as she slowly removed hangers and discussed which day she had off next with some of her friends standing nearby. I put the cart back. Pick up both kids. Stomped to the car. Buckled both screaming and flailing kids into the car. Locked the doors so Liv couldn't escape back to the cesspool of 80's dress rebirth. Put my head on the steering wheel and cried and swore. Thought about what a shit-ass mother I have become and that I am a total hypocrite when it comes to all my child-rearing beliefs. They're nice ideas. I just don't think I am capable of being this mellow zen mommy anymore. I'm a frothing, swearing, temper tantrum having, freak-show who has kids.
I don't think I'll be going to the second hand store anytime soon again. I'm going to have to go without a potato peeler, painting shirt, picnic basket, etc or just let the 'man stick it to me'....


Anonymous said...

(((((((BIG HUGS))))))))))bh

PolarBearCreations said...

You know, these kinds of situations happen to most of us moms and we don’t have to deal with the trauma that you are going through. I have carried my children kicking and screaming out of stores, followed by the looks of bystanders that probably wondered if I had just kidnapped the child or if I would beat it when out of sight. Only once did a person actually say” Poor Mom”…. I kept it together until I was in my car, then broke down and cried.
Jackie, I think you are a great mom! Really!! You do for your kids what is necessary and important. You are a real mom that has good and bad days. A mom that lost their dad and they see that you grief and that’s ok!! They see how much you loved their dad and that is sooo important. Just imagine for a minute how your daughter might feel if it didn’t affect you and you would just carry on like nothing happened. Grief is nothing to be ashamed of , It is part of living and it takes on many faces and takes time to work through. Everything I have read in your blog is so normal in the grieving process.
Don’t beat yourself up about not being the “old mom”. Yes, your life changed, but you are still their mom and they love you the way you are and you still love them. That’s what matters and what your children count on. They need you to be a real!
Hang in there girl! It will get better, even though right now you can’t see it happen.
I’m sure Jeff is so proud of you!!

You’re in my thoughts and prayers!

Anna in Minneapolis said...

Hi Jackie - As I was reading today's post, I was thinking about what you might say to somebody in this situation. And you seem like a really awesome person, so I think you would tell the person that she needs to be kind and forgiving toward herself. And you would tell the person that perfection is impossible. To me, you don't sound like a bad mom at all. You sound like a wonderful mom who is going through the hardest challenge she'll probably ever have to face. My thoughts are with you.

P.S. I hope you post a picture of the scarecrow!

13mimosa said...

Do you know anyone who doesn't have those moments - truly - I certainly don't, but I do think at times that I'm just more honest about those moments I have and that makes me feel alone in them. I think you're human, you're managing under pressure and let's face it's, it really disappointing when our kids do react that way, when we are trying to do something nice for them. I think she showed real control, I am not proud of myself and the way I can react in moments like that. Don't be tough on yourself Jackie, the kids won't remember a moment of it in years to come - it's you who will always remember.

Crash Course Widow said...

Oh, honey. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that shit. Yup, I've always wanted to throw a tantrum about Charley's dying and all the shit I had to deal with from everyone else, but nope, I couldn't. Wouldn't it be lovely if you could be just as indulged and impulsive as a tantrum-throwing little kid? Sigh.

I'm throwing a big tantrum right alongside you, for having to get through that. Don't berate yourself for being a shitty mom; you're not. You're exhausted and horribly limited and sad and crabby as hell, but all things considered, you're doing okay with them. They're not about to be carted off to Canada's version of Child Protective Services. You're not about to be thrown in jail. They won't remember this in time, or, if they do, they better damn well remember all the zen mommy stuff you did too.

I felt like a crap mom much of the last year too, as I was a zombie in my bedroom, on my couch, etc. I wanted to kill Anna at times (no, not literally), because she was also in her Terrible Twos/Demonic Threes at the inconveniently same time. I've always been glad, though (as much as I could be at least) that Anna was so young when Charley died; that she'll never have any memories of him kills me, but at least she never grieved for Charley's absence when I was in my rawest stages. And when she does hit those bad stages of grief for her as she gets older, at least (in theory) I shouldn't also still be in them. To have two kids who are also grieving and possibly freaking out a little because Mommy isn't exactly like the mommy they've always know...ouch...that just sucks, Jackie.

Eventually you'll get through this and you'll feel a bit better, though, and it'll get a bit easier with the kids. It won't be anytime soon, but it will happen eventually, and you will have respites from time to time in the meantime. Just hang in there, and throw as many tantrums as you need....


Anonymous said...

There are so many of us who would have reacted the same way you did in this situation and we aren't dealing with the grief that ou are. Jackie, you are human and real, and you are doing the best job you possibly can right now. The kids know how much you love them and that's what's most important. I am sending good thoughts and prayers your way today and wishing you a day with a few glimpses of happiness and hope. I wish there was some way I could help you out. You sound like a really awesome person, someone who I would probably love to have as a friend. You are truly an amazing person and a great mom......don't ever forget it : )

Barb Chivers

Anonymous said...


We could lose it together one day if you want, and go and throw tantrums( without kids) and tell everyone piss off. I have taken my shit out on sooo many strangers~ actually family n friends too, this past year.. like they really know what the hell I am going through. But I do have faith that I we will not going to be like this forever, that one day I will sorta be "me" again. I know that I will never be the same person ever again.. but for me , glimpes come, and in bigger waves now.. so there is hope.

Wanna join boxing together..

katie said...

Checking in here and there. I know we are connected only by friends of friends and the island, but I have had these moments (often lately). It's normal to swear, normal to cry, I tell myslef that as long as I am being genuine and my intentions are good, my children will understand all of this one day. I sure as hell understand where my mom was coming from a lot better than I ever did before kids.
Sending well wishes and good thoughts,