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The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

It's All My Fault (NOT)

He says that it's my fault...

I tell him that he yells at the kids too much so he is afraid to discipline them, so it is my fault that they won't listen to him.

I should have the house clean to his mother's standards because I don't have a job. He shouldn't have to clean because he has a job, so it is my fault the house looks cluttered.

When we have arguments I provoke so he spits at me, so it's my fault.

I have cut him off so he has to find affection elsewhere so it was my fault when I caught him soliciting other women or found a condom in the car.

If his mother kicks us out of this house because she thinks it is too messy, it is my fault. He accepts none of the responsibility

So much weight is on my shoulders that it is crippling.

I am not perfect, I don't have good housekeeping skills. I don't know why. I try, It seems like it should be so easy. Pick things up and put them away. Throw away the trash. Wash the dishes, put them away, clean the sinks and tub, toilet too. Wash the floors, vacuum,...

Then it slips away and I fall behind. Then I get overwhelmed and shut down. He used to back me up. When did it stop? I can almost pinpoint it to the day. When our son was diagnosed with asperger's. Was it the diagnosis? Was it the therapy that I took too and discussed problems that before had been unspoken. MAybe it was his refusal to participate in the therapy. That is when the disaster of our last house began.

He stayed in the living room, I was in the bedroom. We stopped being functional and the house dissolved into a disaster. I dropped the ball, I stopped functioning and I shut down. We moved, and our secret was discovered. The house was a mess and so were we.

New house, many things have changed. I have been working so hard to not let the clutter take over again. But the issues are still there. I need to start therapy again. I stopped when we lost health insurance and just never started it back up.

I didn't want to move. I felt betrayed by his other when things we discussed didn't happen the way they were supposed to. Since then I have been living under the threat of eviction on an almost daily basis. Not by her but by my spouse.

When the a mess happens he yells and screams and announces to all of us that we will get kicked out if the mess isn't cleaned up. FOr a while we all worked together to keep it pretty clean. We hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner and had two birthday parties in our house. Oh, we would fight when we cleaned, but we cleaned.

Then I was done going to graduate school. I wasn't a student anymore so he decided that since I was home all the time and he was working that he didn't need to clean anymore. He does the laundry (I have fallen into more than one washing machine and broke my ankle doing the laundry. I try not to do it anymore) and we both cook. though if you ask him he will say he does most of the cooking.

When our son was born and we decided that I would stay home with the kids we both cleaned the house. When our daughter was born I still stayed home and still we both did the house work. It was never super clean, but we managed.

In December he decided that he wasn't going to clean anymore. I had to it all and just to make it even better he would point out when I didn't do it and inform our landlord that the house was messy so we could be forced to move.

Nothing I do is good enough. He makes as much of a mess that the kids do. I will pick up after the kids, I will help them clean their rooms, but I will not pick up after a grown man. He put his suitcase on the dining room table and left it there. Then gets mad at me because it is there.

When I manage to get a night out shopping and I come home almost two hours after bedtime to find my son in his underwear playing hockey in the kitchen with canned goods, I get upset. Then I see my daughter in stockings sitting on the couch happily watching the Disney Channel and I get mad. When he tells me that he told them to go to bed and they didn't listen I am furious. The floor of the living room is covered with blankets and toys. It was nowhere near this messy when I left. Oh by the way he is going out and I have to deal with this all, including children that need to be put to bed.

So I shut down, we fight and I start to look for another place to live. Do I start the gardens? Do I dare try to keep the house the way our "landlord" wants it if there is no backup. I feel so alone, so burdened. If she doesn't like the way I keep house she has said that we will get kicked out. How can I keep the house clean if the three other people in the house are set on keeping it messy? Two are children who I can't even blame, we set the example. The example is chaos, so it is chaos.

We don't ever make up after a fight. He hardly ever apologizes because he never thinks he is wrong. But if I point hat out he denies it. It can't all be my fault. I am not perfect. But I am so much better at keeping the house than I ever was before. There is such an improvement. I fear it is not enough.

We have been her for almost a year. We were told if the house gets messy she will kick us out. We can't forget that because my husband tells us this every chance he gets. The kids worry that we will have to live in our car because he tells them that too. Now he won't help me clean so the burden is on me.

She inspect the house. She goes through every room and so far has passed us. Then this week happened.

He was mad that I didn't clean on MOnday so he called her and told her. Then gets upset with me again when I flipped out because he did this. So I am on her radar this week. Yesterday she comes over unannounced and he let her in the house. It is her house, she is the landlord but she is also his mother. This was a mother visit, not a landlord visit.

I didn't clean as much as I usually do during the week. I was annoyed this week and let things go. I had the weekend to clean before the exterminators came on Tuesday. (Big black ants think they can live here with us in the wall of my daughter's room, they are uninvited so the exterminator was called.) I had the plan in my head.

I have asked for a 24 hour notice to be given before any of her inspections. If she is playing landlord I am playing tenant. So far that has been respected and all inspections have been passed. She points out this and that that could be better but we pass. It has been almost a year like this. Talk about pressure!

The Royal Wedding was Friday morning. My daughter wanted to watch it. It was in the very early part of the morning and I caved. I woke her up, we snuggled in bed and watched the festivities. This was a real life princess and it was a real fairy tale. When the kids went to school I went back to bed. I was tired and had no real plans for the day. I was prepared to give the house a good cleaning once the kids when to sleep. So I went to sleep.

She came over, he let her in and she flipped out. Yes the house was not clean, the dishes were done though. The table was cluttered (remember that suit case, yes it was still there) and things needed to be put away. I was protesting his lack of assistance with the kids and cleaning. He was not doing anything to make cleaning the house easier. I am making no excuses, it was what it was.

He let her in the house and though I had no idea she was here and did not hear her say it she decided to kick us out. One bad inspection and out we are. Of course when she leaves he comes upstairs and gloats.

He announces to our children that Mommy didn't clean the house so Grandma is kicking us out. The reaction was chaos. Our son, who has asperger's freaks out and our daughter starts to cry. I am being screamed at by my husband and of course It's all my fault. He works so he shouldn't have to clean.

Then he says she will be back the next day to inspect the house. Do we have another chance, do I even want another chance. Honestly when he said we had to move I was relieved. The pressure was gone, I didn't have to live up to her standards anymore. RELIEF!!!!

Somehow I got him to agree to help me clean last night. There is one room left, my bedroom. When my daughter wakes up I will get that clean. He worked on the basement. He didn't want to do it, but did it anyway. After all he told me more than once not to clean it. His words were "It's a lost cause". Since he gets to be the one who makes the decision that I have to clean I figure if he tells me not to then I don't have to.

He was not pleasant and gave me the silent treatment, that too was a relief. He called me fat and lazy. He was his usual self.

So he is on the couch that he has taken over for the last month or so. I am upstairs in the bedroom. My sanctuary. I am looking for a place I can move too, I need to get away from him, and his family. Still I wonder what do I do about the garden? Do I set it up? I was separated from my Trillium when I was forced to move a year ago. I don't want to be separated from my vegetables. I might finally be growing a purple pepper.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I thought I had an answer today. I thought I had a way out. I found a person who was looking for a family to help. They were offering a rent free place to live for a family in need. I contacted them and it looked like it was going to happen. I was so relieved. I could get out with the kids and not worry about how I could make it work. I could get away from him and start over. It was like a huge weight was lifted off me.

Then she found out I was in an abusive relationship and she withdrew her offer. She was sure I was going to use her help and then run back to him. I said I wasn't going to refuse him contact with the kids so she assumed I would go back to him.

Then he comes home and yells at me because the house is a mess. True I didn't clean today. So what! HSo I walked away. I went upstairs and I crawled back in bed and cried. It is all I seem to do lately. He called his mother and tattled on me. He tried to get her to kick me out of the house.

I wonder what else will happen today to make it more miserable? I can't take much more.


Taylor Swift has a song that speaks to me.

Mean Lyrics

You, with your words like knives
And swords and weapons that you use against me
You, have knocked me off my feet again
Got me feeling like a nothing
You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard
Calling me out when I’m wounded
You, picking on the weaker man
Well you can take me down
With just one single blow

But you don’t know what you don’t know

Someday I’ll be living in a big ole city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

You, with your switching sides
And your walk by lies
And your humiliation
You, have pointed out my flaws again
As if I don’t already see them
I walk with my head down
Tying to block you out
Cause I’ll never impress you
I just want to fell okay again
I’ll bet you got pushed around
Somebody made you cold
But the cycle ends right now
Cause you can’t lead me down that road
And you don’t know what you don’t know

Someday I’ll be living in a big ole city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

And I can see it years from now in a bar
Talking over a football game
With that same loud opinion
But nobody’s listening
Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things
Drunk and roaming all about how I can’t sing
But all you are is mean

All you are is mean
And a liar
And pathetic
And alone in life
And mean (x5)

But someday I’ll be living in a big ole city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean


Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

Someday I’ll be living in a big ole city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?


The only difference is I would be living in the country.

This weekend has been rough. He is mad at me again for things I have done long ago. He woke me up this morning so he could go to bed. That would have been okay and not bad at all except he had to do it with attitude, screaming, hitting the door and then when he got his way and I was up he stormed out of the house with the car that I needed today.

He doesn't know how to make up. honestly if I think about it, and I do, I can't think of any time when we made up after a fight. He doesn't believe he is wrong so he won't say "I'm sorry". It is just so exhausting and emotionally draining for me. If I point out how I feel. If I try to get him to see that he is like this he can't see it.

I am looking for a job, still nothing. I look for a home for the kids and I to move to and can't see how I can move if I can't afford a place to live. I look at our wonderfully huge backyard and the sprouts growing waiting to be planted, do I set up the gardens?

I went out shopping the other night. The Easter Bunny needed supplies. Bedtime when there is no school is 9:00 pm. The routine is established and it works. I came home at 10:30 pm. I had the good sense to leave the bags in the driveway. Why? Because I know that he does what he wants to do when he wants to do it and time really is meaningless in his world.

I see my son playing hockey in the kitchen wearing just his underpants. I walk into the livingroom and my daughter is wearing just stockings and is watching tv. He is sitting in the corner in front of the computer. I was mad, I yelled, and I got the kids ready for bed. All he cared about was how much money I spent. He stormed off then too. He is good at getting me upset and them running away.

On Easter he yelled at me about things I did months ago.

I have been very good at staying away from him. If he is in the livingroom I go upstairs. He sleeps on the couch and I am okay with that. If we could just not interact it would be perfect.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


When I was in college I had a lot of friends. Some were what I would have considered best friends, other's were good friends and still others people I knew by name. Some would come and go, and others were a staple of my day. These were the people I never thought would be missing from my life. If I thought about life years down the road I always pictured them there with me.

As an adult I have had many people come and go from my life. Another group of people that I am attached to is my family. The old saying is that you can't pick your family. I may not have picked them to be in my life but there they are and I for the most part accept them and love them.

Maybe it is because I was the picked on kid in elementary and junior hight school. Maybe it is because I was so shy growing up. Maybe it is because I have children now. I take it very hard now when I am rejected. When I reach out to someone and they swat me down it hurts more than when I was a child. It is even worse when it is someone I thought was a close friend or a family member.

When I was a child there was no internet. I had my friends, some of which am pleased to say are still close friends of mine today. I knew who to stay away from, it was pretty easy. If they spit in my hair I knew to avoid them. If they teased me I would stay away. It's not like that anymore.

People pretend to be your friend. They can have you believing them for decades. Even if they are family, as we get older and develop our own practices and beliefs they can lead you to believe that you are welcome in their life. Then when you connect with them in person or via the computer they flatly reject you.

Sometimes you think you can reconnect with a friend from long ago. One of those friends that was part of your life every day. One that you could picture with you years down the road. When you find them and are so excited that you can almost not sleep. You send out that electronic touch and wait for the reply. Instead of a reply there is nothing. Not a acknowledgement, not a connection. The rejection is loud and clear.

I know people change, I know I am not the same person I was 25 years ago. Maybe because I did not have many friends growing up I want to cling onto the ones I have. When they slip away and reject me I take it personally. With old friends it is usually someone I don't have much if any contact with. I reach out and they reject me. I fell hurt but I don't have to interact with them at all or hardly ever. I may be upset but It doesn't effect me on a regular basis.

When they are a family member, and some one that I thought was a friend, that I see fairly often and they reject what do I do? I can't avoid them. They act smug and superior when we interact. Then the rejection. When I get the courage to ask them about it and they look me in the eye with a smile on their face and tell you that they did it, I feel even more hurt. I won't go there again. I just can't. Sadly there is no way to avoid them. So now I fear the next time I must be in their presence. How do I react?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No More Mommies Walking on the Bed

Last night I was snuggled in my bed nice and cozy. My daughter, who was wide awake and bouncing hours after her bedtime, had finally fallen asleep next to me. I was watching a DVRed tv show and ready to fall asleep myself. Then I hear the sound. It was the sound that a firetruck makes as it is idling and earlier I had smelled smoke so my curiosity was peaked. If you remember curiosity killed the cat.

A little backstory; when we moved into this house almost a year ago we managed to squeeze our queen size mattress upstairs but the box spring absolutely did not fit through the doorway to our stairs. We could have bought a split box spring but I want to move up to a king size mattress preferably a temper-pedic type that could be squished through the small doorway. So I didn't want to spend the money on a new box spring. Since then we have just been sleeping on the one mattress on the floor. It may not be glamourous but it is functional.

Because the mattress is on the floor we have gotten into the bad habit of walking on it. I know beds are for sleeping on, but still I walk on the mattress. So last night when I hear the rumbling I stood up on the bed and walked over to the window on the other side and near the foot of the mattress. I looked out and could see nothing making the noise. Oh well, I turned around and maneuvered around my sleeping daughter. I stumbled and fell.

Next to my bed is a wooden night stand. Not a fiberboard one that you can buy in most department stores. This is old school wood and very solid. My head was aimed right for it. To my left was my sleeping daughter and to my right was my floor. Somehow I managed to twist myself to aim for the floor. I can only imagine how this must have looked. If I could have recorded it I bet that I would have won some money on one of those funny home video shows.

Why when you are falling does time seem to go so slowly? It felt like forever before I hit the ground. So many thoughts went through my head. What if I woke up my daughter? What if I knocked myself out and she didn't wake up? What if I hit my head on the night stand and die (Yeah I always leap to the worse case scenario.)? Down, down, down I fell and the floor kept getting closer.

Finally I hit the floor. I landed firmly on my right cheek. How graceful this must have looked. I was half on the floor and half on the bed. It hurt but I didn't make a noise (other than a large crash when I landed) because I didn't want to wake my daughter up. I lay still for a moment and assess myself. I broke my ankle in a fall down the stairs over a decade ago so I now expect the worse.

No horrible shooting pain, okay that is a good sign. I feel my face and there is no blood, another good sign. I can move, good. So I slowly adjust my body so I can get back on the mattress all the way. I can fell the beginings of future aches and pains in my back, hip, wrist, knee and ankle (of course it is the same one I broke). Luckily I have some Tylenol PM near by so I take a couple pills and check on my sleeping daughter.

She is still out like a light. I am glad she would have freaked out if she had seem me fall. Then it would have been another hour or two before I could get her to fall back asleep. I am back under my covers as cozy as I can be as the twinges of pain further develop. I finish the tv show and go to sleep know that when I wake up muscles I forgot I had would be reveling themselves to me and I would not want to move.

So here I am a mother of two and an adult who should know that mattresses are for sleeping on, not walking. I am always reminding my children to not jump on their bed, don't fool around on the mattress, if you fall off it will hurt. And who is the one who is hurt by falling of the bed? Yes, the Mommy! I am so embarrassed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finally A Garden (I Hope)

I think this year we finally will get a garden. I have not had a good track record with vegetable gardens. I did however get a decent herb garden planted at our last house. I did have a garden in the backyard. It looked wonderful and the plants were doing well until the rain came. I somehow managed to pick the worst area in the yard for the garden. It looked like a lake. Honestly birds would come and play in it. I did take some advantage of it. We released tadpoles in it. The tomatoes died but I grew frogs so I guess it wasn't a total loss.

This year I am putting in raised beds. I have six 4'x4' raised beds made out of cedar. They slide together so I don't need tools to assemble it. Good thing because my not so helpful husband has already said he will not assemble them.

Since I am building up this year I need more soil. The problem was that I had no idea how much soil I needed. Fifteen years ago that would have been a problem. But now I have a computer and I am not afraid to use it. I did a Google search on soil calculators and found many. Somethings on the internet really are useful. I am buying the top soil this weekend and only need a little more than 2 cubic yards. I even found top soil on sale. I love a good sale!

Early this week we planted our seeds. We went to a couple different stores and the kids had so much fun picking out the seeds they wanted to grow. Some of their choices are a red colored corn, kaleidoscope (multi-colored) carrots, purple peas, sunflowers and mini pumpkins (called Jack Be Littles). I hope that growing their own vegetables will encourage them to eat what they grow.

Already most of the seeds have sprouted. It is the corn that is growing the fastest. The mixed color pepper however still are not appearing above the soil. This is the third time I have tried to grow peppers. All I want is a purple pepper.

One of our local grocery stores sold them a few years ago. When you cut them open they are green. I fell in love with the flavor and then they stopped selling them. Same thing with purple potatoes. Why do grocery stores do that? They suck you in with something new and exciting then yank it away as soon as you start to rely on it.

So I had the bright idea to grow them. That is how this garden quest began. One year I thought that I had succeeded. I bought a packet of mixed color peppers. I started growing them and they sprouted. I planted them in an upside down planter and they grew. They got bigger and bigger and they were tomatoes. I planted peppers and tomatoes grew! My first garden failure, though we did have some tasty tomatoes that summer.

Now I am preparing our backyard for planting. There is one obstacle still. Our backyard is like a swamp right now. I was out yesterday and the mud grabbed onto my boot and kept it. I of course kept walking. Into the mud my foot went, the mud squished between my toes and it was cold. YICK!

Bonus, we are between thunder storms right now. One just passed and woke up my son (he is in the bed next to me pretending to be asleep.) and another is aimed right for us. How long does it take a yard to dry out? Will this be another lake? I am thinking positive thoughts and firmly believe that I will finally have a garden this year (I hope).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good News, I'm Not Dying

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a lump on my wrist. It didn't hurt and would go away for a short while if I pressed down on it. I watched it to see if it got worse or went away. Well neither, and I still had to look at this mystery lump. I have to say that mystery lump = worry in my brain. So last week Friday I called the doctor. I got an appointment right away. No one said don't worry, no calls from the nurse hours later suggesting a treatment, just an appointment on the next day the office was open. Well that didn't exactly put my mind at ease.

I am a worrier. If you are late I automatically think you are dead. That is just what I do. I know not everyone is like that, but still I would think mystery lump should earn me some concern from my spouse. I told him about it a few days after I found it. I didn't even get a reaction. So I asked if he heard me. Yes, lump, wrist, I heard you he said. Seriously I am trying not to freak out and he pretty much ignores the fact that there is an uninvited lump on my wrist.

Today I went to the appointment. I had a couple other things to talk to my doctor about. I have a patch of ick on my ankle that sometimes hurts (another thing I am trying not to worry about) and I want to ask him about dyspraxia - a movement disorder that I seem to have a lot in common with.

So let's talk dyspraxia. My son has asperger's and his handwriting is awful. I mean doctor level. Watching him write is enough to make you cringe.

So I Googled "asperger's and handwriting" I found a lot of information on dysgraphia. Why didn't I think of that? I just finished my Master's in elementary education. I remember the classes vividly where we talked about learning disabilities. I never connected that to my son though. So I read many articles and did many searches. I asked the school to evaluate him for dysgraphia and he finally is getting some handwriting help. One of the words I kept running across was dyspraxia. I had never heard of it and I was curious so I clicked on it. I guess I just stumbled on it. That will be funny in a couple of paragraphs.

Wow, it was like reading a description of my life. I have to go back to third grade. I met with a guy many times during the year. I loved the times he would pull me out of class. He always gave me a piece of Fruit Stripe gum. The one the multi-colored zebra was pictured on. I loved that gum. He would have me draw pictures and do some fun stuff. Fast forward a few years I was struggling at school. I couldn't spell or do math. My parents had to hire a tutor for me and sent me to a special learning center. This continued through high school.

Then college I was still struggling but now I didn't have to go to class so I didn't do very well. When I was ready to go back to school I mentioned my trouble to someone and they asked me if I had a learning disability. No, I said, but my mom said oh I thought so in elementary school and I had you tested for it. What? Why didn't I know about that? So she told me that nice man who pulled me out of class (she didn't know about the gum) was a school psychologist and he evaluated me and didn't find anything. I wish I knew who suggested it but they said I should pull a copy of his evaluation.

I went to the municipal building and got there only a few months before they got rid of my records. My mom and I checked it out as soon as we got to the car. My mom is a special education teacher. She know what all these results mean. I really didn't understand what a Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children was or what a stanine was. But as soon as she saw it she got so upset. There was a gap in my stanine levels and if she had known that she would have had me reevaluated.

So now I wondered if I had a learning disability. But no one would tell me how to find out if I did. I spoke to people who told me to forget about college, I just wasn't meant for it. Seriously. And I did for a while.

I am going to pat myself on the back here. When I went back to college I made the dens list constantly and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I went on to graduate school and am graduating this May with a GPA equivalent to an A-. I just had to change the way I learned in the classroom.

Now it has been many years since I was evaluated in the third grade and I have moved many times. Boxes of my life had been thrown away or lost. Things I treasured are no more. But those two Xeroxed pages of my psychological case file I still have. And I know exactly where they are. I recalled that one of the things mentioned in it was that I was uncoordinated and had problems with gross motor skills.

One thing that I can't get away from is if I walk I will trip. If I am holding something I will drop it. If I am eating I will spill it on my clothes. I cannot get my hair to part or apply make up. I try, but it never turns out right. Friends of mine still tell stories about the silver eyeshadow that flaked onto my face. I am uncoordinated. I can trip on a flat surface and miss a door and walk into a wall.

When I looked at the signs of dyspraxia I swear I was reading a biography of me. Was someone following me? One of the signs was difficulty driving. I had such a hard time learning to drive that I was in my late 20's before I learned and even then I didn't drive. Another symptom was difficulty applying makeup, poor hand eye coordination. I still can't catch a frisbee, baseball or any ball for that matter.

So I went into that doctor appointment with a lump, ick and dyspraxia. The doctor walked in looked at my wrist and announced it was just a cyst. No worries it is common and I can get rid of it if I hit it with a book. No jokes, when I looked it up online that was a real treatment for it. I opted for no books hitting me and still have my lump.

He prescribed me a steroid cream for my ick on the ankle and after he read my report from the third grade and watched me move he is sending me to a neurologist for a movement disorder. So I am not dying, my foot isn't going to fall off and I may be clumsy but I have a movement disorder and hopefully will get some exercises or something to keep me from running into walls.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Fiasco

Last night we went to a acrosse game. I didn't want to go. I find more and more that I don't like leaving the house. Is it because I know when we go out as a family that my husband will snap about something and the fun will be gone? I don't know, but I do know that I have to force myself to walk through our door into the world.

The evening started well. As usual we got refreshments at the stadium, My daughter and I got Italian Sausage while my son devoured a slice of pizza. My husband chose chicken fingers. Then he bought the kids ice cream and popcorn and of course we all had drinks. The game was fun to watch. He calls it "Kill the guy with the ball" and that is an apt description. Seriously it is okay to hit the player in the head with a lacrosse stick if they have the ball. This is a sport that I have no plans of participating in.

Of course my daughter gets bored early but she entertained herself by dancing to the music they played during the game. I wish they played music during other sports. It does make watching them more bearable. We also happened to be sitting in front of protective rails. To keep us from falling down two steps. This entertained both children as they were like monkey bars. They climbed on them like we were at a playground.

When the game was almost over my daughter and I went to the store in the lobby so we could avoid the crowds. Walking among so many people makes me anxius and keeping track of a little girl in that mass of people is a nightmare. Plus getting on the escalator with so many people around and trying to get on the same escalator terrifies me.

So we go down and look for souveniers. That is a normal ritual, we always get the kids something from the store. Little did I know this was the beginning of a husband flip out that has never been this bad before. It was the calm before the storm, and a pink pare of pajama pants woud be the trigger.

I know to discuss money with him. I also know about how much we spend on souveniers from the store almost everytime. The price of the pants was within the usual range. She like the pants so much that she picked them over the pink teddy bear wearing a hockey jersey. If you know my daughter pink fuzzy things are her thing. For her to put back a pink fuzzy item for a pair of pajama pants was a huge indicator for how much she loved them.

Now we had been in the store for a while and I was getting impatient. The crowds were coming down stairs so I was pretty sure the game ended. People were talking like the gme ended, our team lost by the way. It wasn't even close. I was looking for him and my daugher was getting bored.

A child bored in a store is never a good thing. In department stores or supermarkets I can contain them in a cart if I have to. But I couldn't do that here, there were no shopping carts. Just many racks of clothes and various souveniers as well as a growing crowd of people that can offer many hiding places for a small child. Yikes, where was he.

Finally I see him coming. My son runs up to me and gives me a huge hug. My husband slowly strolls into the store and barly acknowledges my prescense. I try to show him the pants and believing this was like all other trips to the arena said that she wanted the pants. He didn't look at them and loudly said "no" completly brushing us off. I asked what took him so long and he lost it. There was a lacrosse brawl and the game took longet to end people were leaving early because our team was losing so bad and why was I being a nag.

I took a deep breath and went back to the idea of souveniers for the kids. Remember this is something we always do. We don't get to go to the games often. We got these tickets with the enrollment of the children in a kids club for our hockey team. I knew we had set aside money for just this purpose and I asked him to at least look at the pants. My daugher at this point is in tears.

He then gets upset because we spent so much on food (again I knew we had the money set aside) and then he says our children are slefish because they wanted a souvenier. Well if they expect a souvenier at arena events we attend we were the cause of that because in the past we always got the kids something. So I put down the pants and ask him if the pants are too much then lets set a price limit for a souvenier and let the kids pick out somehtin in that range.

I wish i could remember tha words he spoke with his reaction, I believe he called me a cry baby and I didn't want to get in a fight in the middle of the store so I walked out. Of course he anounces loudly that I had beeter leave and go to the car. Deep breath, nice and slow do not turn around and engage I told myself. I went into the lobby to wait assuming that he would have the kids pick out cheaper souveniers.

WRONG!!!! He comes out of the store with the kids. My daugher has the pajama bottoms and my son has a lacrosse stick. Another deep breath and then he loudly says the kids are selfish. He has bought them souveniers in the past and how dare thay think they would beable to get one this time. They are cry babies and now they could have no activites next week (spring break) because they were so selfish.

The kids start to cry and once again he calls all of us cry babies and says I shmoed him into buyng the kids these souviners. It is my fault that he is so upset and now they would be bored all week. No Bounce Magic and no lunces out with mommy. On that note we walk out of the arena to head to the car. I take both kids hands and try to hang back from him. I don't want them to hear the awful things he is saying.

This makes him more upset and he announces loudly that he was going to the car and leaving the three of us behind. Seriously!!! Now I was more than mad. How dare he say such a thing infront of his kids. They both start crying hysterically because they think they are being abandoned by their father.

We get to the car and of course he didn't leave but the kids thought he was going to. He says that he didn't do anything wrong because he never left and his father made him walk home after he was left at hockey practice when he was a child. Nothing I say can get him to understand that he can't do things like that.

The evening is ruined. We drive home pretty much in silence. Sadly things continued at home.

One of the things my daughter did to entertain herself was to hide under an empty section of seats behind us. It was adorable, she was having fun and enjoying herself. Of course she didn't think of what icky stuff could be on the floor of an arena, but I did. So when we got home I asked her to take a bath. Yes it was late and after her bedtime but I couldn't let her go to sleep without washing. He now decides to play "let's challenge everything Mommy does".

He didn't want her to take a bath. He didn't want to read a bedtime to her, he didn't want to turn off the upstairs tv (that he never watches) so she wouldn't get disturbed as she is trying to fall asleep. Our room and her room are next to each other upstairs. To get to our room you have to walk through her room. There also is no door between the two rooms. If someone is in our room while she is going to sleep she fools around and does anything she can to interact with them. I try to explain this to him, but he just saw it a s me trying to control him.

Finally both kids are asleep and I go upstairs to hide in our room while he watches tv downstairs. He slept on the couch and I was okay with that. This week will be challenging. I hope we all survive spring break.