Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dost Thou Like the Curtains in Mah Window?

Well, daily readers from The Ukraine, I'm in The Window - which, being dilligent readers, you'll remember is my special window of Zombie PMS. It's all weeping and eating brains over here, ALL the time. The Man dreads The Window the way most people dread tax time, only tax time might give you a refund check that you can use at Qdoba with friends. The Window has NO refunds and it might end up with you getting shanked with a sharpened hair-brush handle. I have time on my hands here, people and I might just start the 'things from which to make shanks' section of Pinterest.

I know it's shocking, but I try to ignore The Window, until I finally say something like "why am I crying while I throw candles at your head, The Man?" Then I check my handy-dandy Window-Tracking App. Unfortunately for The Man, The Children of the Corn and society in general, The Window is about 10-12 days of my mood being frighteningly unpredictable. By unpredictable I mean I might suddenly want to bake you a cake with love as the secret ingredient, but then weep uncontrollably because I realize I don't HAVE any love. Just like Lil' Wayne.

Today though was a toughy. Here I am, basking in the homicidal glow of The Window when I have to wrestle a very depressing girl child onto the school bus. If it isn't one, it's the other. Seriously. I'd like to get through a morning without someone yelling or crying about having to use the nebulizer, eat cereal they suddenly hate, wear a jacket and/or ride the bus.

Although The Man would like to assume I'm a robo-Nazi mom with no feelings but determination to end resistance (maybe I'm a borg mom), I actually really dislike seeing my kids sad. They're sort of like our canine friends though - they can sense weakness. I have to project firm, ironclad control at all times - even when their tear-stained faces are sobbing at me through the bus window.

So. That was how my morning started here at Casa de Hausfrau today. Princess was tired and didn't want to go, Casanova (mercifully) was in a self-proclaimed 'good mood' and The Man was stage-whisper accusing me of Nazi mom tactics. 

Once everyone got where they needed to go (like it or not), I refueled with four cups of java-and-Coffeemate, and took a break from playing with my cats long enough to check Facebook. My days are *highly* demanding, Friends. Yesterday, I will have you know that I painted my front door. I dislike the color and will re-paint it soon. I digress.

On Facebook, I saw that Sassy had posted an inspirational quote from Montel Willians, then added that she has always lived by that sort of philosophy because of her step-mom. You know, me - a.k.a. Your Favorite Writer. Well then.

I stopped sniffling long enough to smile, before sniffling some more. There are a lot of days when I am hard on myself. Harder than, according to my well-compensated therapist, I should be. I often wonder if I did enough for Sassy, or if I'm doing right by the two little people currently terrorizing my house. I Monday-morning quarterback my own parenting, usually upbraiding myself for things I didn't do or say or did wrong or said wrong.

I'm glad that there was at least one thing that I said right at the right time; Sassy herself credits me with doing it right. *Something* I tried to teach her on her journey into adulthood stuck, and helped her. Now a young stepmom herself, she'll face all the trials and tribulations of being a parent to a child who already has them. It's hard to balance on that tight-rope; too much authority and you risk usurping his/her bio parents, too little and you're nothing more than a colorful - but useless - roommate. There is no manual for being a healthy blended family, and it's more often than not learning from error and trying to improve day by day. It's like making a casserole, only if you screw up you don't just melt a spatula, you mess up a kid's head. No pressure. I know I'm not aiming to be the bottom-line in some therapist's office in the future!

"Ach, tell me MORE about how your mother made you ride the school bus while you were crying?"

So when I trudged back to my garishly-painted red-door house, after waving cheerfully to a little girl with tears dripping into the place where her dimples normally are, it was nice to read that my oldest proof-in-the-pudding thought I had given her something that helps her get through her days.

It's really all you can hope for as a parent, step or otherwise - sort of like doctors: first, do no harm.

And try to do some good, Zombie PMS be damned.

Comments, questions, what's the view from your window?