Sunday, February 28, 2016

Can Someone Please Just Hire Me?

The job search continues.

Honestly, I didn't think it would be this hard to find something after the monster was born. I've bounced from menial job to menial job most of my life, but I'm good at writing resumes, and at finding things to help me get by.

This time, when I actually have a plan - namely work some crap job until I can save enough for further qualifications, then get a slightly less crap job - everything falls apart. I keep having all these promising things come up and then at the last minute, kabloohey. I was all but promised a bookkeeping job, only to have the guy flake on me at the last minute, then offer me a serving(??) job at a cafe for "slightly less" (the commute would have made this useless financially). I got most of the way through the interview and training process for an online job, only to fail the final test because their results were totally arbitrary and they refused to acknowledge bugs within the tests. I had an interview and was told I'd hear back on Wednesday; crickets. Called Thursday and was told I'd definitely hear something within the week... so here's hoping that that's true, because the lady seemed really surprised to hear from me on Thursday.  Of course the job market sucks right now. It doesn't help that I live in a town that does whatever it can to avoid paying people a living wage.  I have to look for part time work, because I won't be able to afford childcare, with my (lack of) education.

Mr. Wolfman decided to work two jobs last summer, despite my protests. He earned more than the cap for individual earnings for our subsidized housing, and now, even though I don't work and we have zero money, we're probably going to have to move somewhere less nice and more expensive. I have been telling him for 5 years that he needs to figure out where he wants to be and what he wants to do, so we can go there and work toward him doing it - and so that I can finally put some serious work into doing what I want to do, without having an impending move / start everything over / whatever hanging over my head.  I've been begging him for over a year to sit down and make a 5 year plan with me.  I guess it's a four year plan now? He doesn't seem to get that I don't want to be starting a tide us over career at 30. I want to actually have a fucking plan of what I'm going to do with my life. Because right now, I'm very well on my way to being that mum whose whole world implodes the minute her kids move away, because she doesn't have any kind of life of her own. His plan, right now, is to wait and see where we are in Summer 2017 and then make a plan - and apparently I'm nuts for thinking that waiting ANOTHER FUCKING YEAR before starting to make a plan is a really dumb idea.

So that is my rant for this evening.  I've spent today trying desperately to find something that fits with Mr. Wolfman's schedule, and applying for everything I find. If I don't get something soon, I'm pretty sure he's going to start making noise about how he has to work two jobs again... 'cause, you know, ruining my last two summers just wasn't enough.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On Being Poor & "Must Be Nice"

Possibly I'm extra emotional about this today because my kitchen is a disgusting mess*. I grew up with a kitchen that was a perpetual disgusting mess, and this is dredging up all sorts of childhood unpleasantness. But I don't want to talk about messy kitchens, I want to talk about being poor (and yes, I recognize that there are plenty of poor people with clean, not disgusting kitchens).

This post was sparked by a couple of threads on my birth board, but I already know it's going to be waaaay too long for Babycenter, which is why I'm putting it here - that, and I'm not really looking for advice.

The first thing, was the assertion that poor people don't home school - and by extension, poor kids don't get home schooled (and have better access to post secondary, more opportunities, etc, etc.).  The second was a comment basically saying that parents who advocate no screen time for toddlers must have hired help to prepare their meals and clean their house.

To both opinions, let me just say, Fuck you.

I hate this attitude that if you make decisions for the benefit of your family (and I have no intention here to wax poetic on the joys** of being homeschooled, or the evils of watching TV - not what I'm getting at right now), if you make sacrifices and take what you believe to be the high road / better path / worthwhile detour / what the hell ever - then, somehow, you must have had the cards stacked in your favour. You must be some sheltered, middle class, lucky bastard, because how else would you avoid handing your toddler a tablet? How else could you make decisions regarding your kids' education on anything other than convenience?

I was raised poor. Dirt fucking poor (and yet, still nowhere near as poor as a lot of kids elsewhere in the world. This isn't a pity party). So poor that Mr. Wolfman, after being with me for 5 years, is still shocked by stories from my childhood. We were frequently without food, hot water and heat. I took out massive student loans to go to university, loans which, 10 years and no degree later, still haunt me.

So the it must be nice attitude really gets to me.  Because everything I have (not a lot, materially speaking), I worked for. We have a nice, modest apartment, nicer than anywhere I've ever lived before. We have heat, hot water and food on the table - and honestly, those things alone make this the best living situation I've ever had. Mr. Wolfman and I have worked hard for this, and we work hard to raise the Monster the best way we can.

So yeah, it is nice that we have a child who can entertain himself (usually) long enough for us to cook dinner, but then, we raised him that way. And yes, it is nice that I've been able to spend as much time home with him as I have, but I worked and saved and budgeted to be able to do that, and now that that option is no longer financially viable, I'm looking for work.

I'm sure it's nice for those parents who want to home school to do that, but I'm equally sure that it's not without sacrifice. It's not an option that's just magically available to them; they have to work for it. Just like I'll work to get the monster into extra curriculars, just like Mr. Wolfman and I will always work, as hard as we need to, to do what we feel is best for our child(ren).

So you can take your hired help and well-off theories and shove them up your ass. If you want something in this world, you have to be willing to work for it. At least that's how it's always been for me.

*My dishwasher broke and sprayed dirty food all over the load that was in there. I thought it was a freak thing, and tried again... so now there are 3 loads worth of dishes piled on the counter, 1 that came out dirty and 2 that built up during attempts to get the first load clean.  And yeah, I could wash them by hand, but I actually feel an anxiety attack coming on every time I go in the kitchen, right now.

**in my opinion, all but nonexistent

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, Part 5

LM: *rips a wipe in half* Broken.

Me: Yes, it is broken.

LM: Fix it.

Me: I can't.

LM: *trying to smush the two pieces together* Fix it!

Me: I can't, it's broken forever.

LM: Noooooo.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Nos are Coming

Overnight, No! has become the monster's favourite word. Or, more accurately,  Noooooooo! has become his favourite word. Said with the saddest, most forlorn voice imaginable.

He's picked up a tonne of other words recently.  We counted yesterday, and we've written down 60 words (across 2 languages) that he says fairly frequently. I estimate he actually has about 70, because I keep remembering ones I haven't put in.

He's said a few 2 word sentences in his life, one today, which was "go door" after he saw a door that he wanted to explore. Kinda wish I could have rewarded that by going to the door, but he literally pointed out every door on a building or car for a 20 minute walk, before I had to put him in his stroller (not because he was pointing out doors; he kept trying to wander away).

Also, he apparently hates being tickled. He always used to laugh hysterically at it.  Last night, he told me, "tickle no" and pushed my hand away. Obviously I respect that, but it kinda bums me out, 'cause his neck and ribs are just so tickleable. He tickles me, though, oddly.  Well, he rubs/hits/pinches/slobbers on/headbutts my back while announcing loudly that he's tickling me.  In fact, he is doing this right now, and it's making typing kinda hard.

I was going to leave this as it was, but the monster just said his first 3 word sentence! "Dog go google." Meaning that he wants to look at image search results of dogs, of course. Because why wouldn't a 17 month old know what google is?

Conversations with my Monster, part 3

Me: Are you going to put your shirt on?

LM: Noooo.

Me: No? But then you'll be naked.

LM: *throwing his arms in the air* Naken!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Great Potty Training Saga: Part 2

So, things have gotten a bit derailed.

Monster was doing great, and had peed in the toilet first thing in the morning, two days in a row. Then I had to fly to my parents' place for a funeral, and while I brought the monster (and his toilet insert), that meant no opportunity to use the toilet at either airport, for the drive back to my parents' house, or for the two days spent at the funeral home for the visitation and funeral.

And then, at the cemetery, the gut pain started.  And by that evening, I was suffering from explosive diarrhea and bouts of vomiting.  I was about 100 x worse the next day and days after, and ended up having to reschedule my flight - the end result being that, while my family was really helpful, the monster only got to sit on the toilet maaaaybe twice, for the entire week I was there. He also only got one bath, and I'm pretty sure his teeth got neglected, too.   I was too sick to even give them instructions, and to be honest, I still feel guilty about this, a month later :(

It took a bit to get back into the swing of things, but I did - for a while, at least.  I made a dry erase board (see below) with check lists of things to do for morning, afternoon and evening. Basically, Toilet, breakfast, make bed, get dressed, brush teeth, toilet, snack, toilet, lunch, etc.  I set up a scheduled toilet break for before every meal and snack, plus first thing in the morning, and right before bed.  Plus, if he asks to go we take him.

He was actually peeing in the toilet a lot for the first little while.  Once he peed pretty much every time we put him up there (plus in between, but as I said, we don't want him to hold it yet). He even pooped in the toilet once, after asking to use it.

I don't know exactly what happened since then, but somehow we fell out of the routine, and fell out of using the dry erase board.  The past week or so, when I've put him on the toilet, he hasn't gone, and he always wants to get down sooner. He does still like to sit up there to read a "manko" (magazine), but he's not doing the excited dash to the bathroom, or grabbing his insert and putting it on the toilet anymore.

So that's where we are.  Today was kind of a nothing day, as I still feel pretty gross and I really don't have the energy or firm stomach needed to be bending over repeatedly to put him on and take him off the toilet.  He is newly interested in his potty chair, though, so maybe I'll go that route.

On a positive note, when I use the toilet, he'll point at the toilet paper, and once I'm done, he reminds me to flush, points to the sink so I'll wash my hands, and tells me "Towel!" once my hands are washed.  He also occasionally grabs a piece of toilet paper and shoves it at my legs while shouting "Bum!"... I'm not really sure how to get him to stop doing this. It's super awkward, but then it's kind of good that he already knows that step.

I kind of lied.  I didn't make a dry erase board.

I took a matted 11 x 13 picture frame we already had and decorated the mat with pages from a mid-nineties comic book (Superman is known as "Man!" around here).  Then I put a piece of cool-looking scrapbook paper with daily check lists where the picture would go.

Then I put the glass back in the frame, because apparently, glass is already a surface you can use dry erase on.  I already had a dry erase marker kicking around.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, part 2

*Get to the grocery store and notice the monster's hat is MIA*

Me: Where is your hat?

LM: *exaggerated shrug* 'sgone!

Me: I can see that it's gone.  Where did it go?

LM: *Mimes dropping something out of his stroller*

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, part 1

*While eating applesauce, the monster inserts the spoon at 90 degrees, and it comes out empty*

LM: All gone.

Me: It's not all gone, baby, there's lots left.

LM: Where'd it go?

Me: There's lots left.

LM: Gone.

Me: There's lots.

LM: Noooo.