Didn’t sleep well last night. Not because of the whole rant thing I had yesterday, I’ve gotten over that, but because of other problems in life right now. My wife is going through a period of self-analysis right now and has talked about it on her blog, which is good, but the discussion does leave me feeling a little bad like I haven’t done enough to support her or something. She’s quite emphatic that I’m doing more than my share, but I can’t help but feel bad that she feels like she has to change because Courtney and I seem to be incapable or don’t wish to. People should change because they want to, not because they feel that they have to in order to be with someone they care about. I’ll be spending time reflecting on what I should be doing differently.

I’m at a loss on what to do about Courtney and her habit of ignoring big school projects until it’s a crisis. Anne gets frustrated with her because we’ve been over these things time and again with Court. I don’t get as angry because I’m also ADD and I can see from where I’m standing how I would have probably failed in the same way when I was a kid. Difference being that my parents didn’t know I was ADD and the family as a whole was so busy just making it day-to-day that they didn’t keep up with me on whether or not I was doing my homework the way I try to do with Courtney.

Note: That is in no way a slam on my parents.

I can’t be doing much better because even with trying to keep on her about it she still manages to forget about big projects until two days before they are due. I had dreams all last night where Courtney was doing the teen-aged angst thing and defying me and I kept escalating her punishment until, finally, she was grounded from everything for the next year and a half. How stupid is that?

Anne is talking on her blog about giving up on the idea of having a baby and part of that is my fault. She’s right in that I never wanted to have kids. I grew up being reminded constantly of how irresponsible I am and I realize my own selfish tendencies so I’ve never really thought I was much in the way of father material. My brother would probably tell you outright that I’m not much of a father, but my brother has always taken the tough-love approach of hoping to shape me into a better person. I know Anne wants to have a baby with me and there’s a part of me that really wishes I could say the idea is exciting and something I really want too. The best I can manage right now is that I am willing to take on another child. How self-centered is that? Deep down, no, I don’t want another kid. I can’t seem to get things right with the kid I already have, why the hell would I want to risk screwing up another life? Parenthood for me is scary and confusing. I have a hard enough time not allowing myself turn into a total asshole, let alone any kids I might have.

Anne wants to be a mother as well as a step-mother, though. I want Anne to be happy. I’ve managed not to be a total screwup with Courtney so I figure I should be able to handle another kid without too much trouble and it’s important to Anne. There would be the fact that I would be there at the start and would have more time to get things right. Anne wants me to be excited about the idea, but I just can’t. It’s too scary. I’m willing to do it and I know I would love the child the same way I do Courtney and I would do my best the best way I know how and things would probably be OK.

As much as I didn’t want kids, Courtney is arguably one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Anne would be one of the other best things. If I am at all a better person today than I was just a year ago, let alone 5 or 10 or 20 years ago, a good part of the credit would go to Anne and Courtney. They both make me want to be a better person. I have lost 33 and a half pounds because I need to be healthier so I can stick around and take care of them. I am type-two diabetic because I am too damned fat and I wouldn’t have had a clue had I not gone to the doctor’s for a physical and that wouldn’t have happened if I were still single and Courtney still lived with her mom. I gave up drinking Coca-Cola Classic, the company’s stock fell 20 points on the news alone, because I needed to be healthier for them. For 20 years of my life I swore up and down that I would never be caught DEAD drinking diet cola.

Shit, due to money problems this month, I’m down to one diet cola a day at work with lunch.

Every good change in the last three years has been something I wanted to do because of them, not because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to. So why can’t I be excited about the idea of having another kid? Why can’t I figure out how to best help my daughter get her shit together? That’s why I slept shitty last night. That’s also why I’m going to be late to work this morning.

Oh well, another day, another chance to improve.

3 thoughts on “TGIF.

  1. I just spent a few minutes typing on your wife’s web-site giving her my opinion where it wasn’t exactly asked for so hey why not you.
      People might say I’m bias, but I think at times family can be your toughest critic.  No you didn’t plan to be a dad.  You are a good dad.  Don’t want more kids, better to admitt it then trying to convince yourself otherwise.  I don’t want any either.  Your child needs to fall on her face a couple of times and fall hard.  Teenagers need to take the responsiblity for their actions. Homework, projects and such are HER job.  If she chooses to “forget” she should take responsiblity.  Maybe it will take her going to summer school or repeating a grade to get the point, but it will be her choice.  Both you and Anne are very open and caring about her schooling and assisting her where you can.  Let her eat some dirt.
      Nobody loves your wife more then me, but she has to quit feeling like she is responsible for everything.  Make people do their own laundry, take turns cooking balanced meals and running the vaccum.  Three years isn’t a long time, but when she is at seven like me, she will learn to fight only certain battles.  My old man knows not to ask me to wash underpants.  If he is out, he goes commando or washes them. 
      There are so many people out there who would die for the kind of life that we have.  It’s not perfect, but we’re fed, dry and loved, what more could we ask for?

  2. First, I’m changing because I want to.. husand…

    I chose to marry you.  I choose to be Courtney’s stepmother.  I know choose to be a career woman and a student and the type of teenage stepmom that steps back and allows her teenager to blow and wallow in her own messes.  Maybe she’ll get the knack of be responsible for herself before HS and maybe not.  Whatever…

    Those entries are more an exercise of me breaking out of the chrysalis than anything else. 

    You are holding you end + in our marriage, in our financial realm and in our parenting mission.  You never wanted children.  I knew that and know that.  I decided when I proposed to you that I would rather live life with you than without you and with children.  Sure, I could have found someone else (as could have you)… someone to have children or a child with… but I didn’t want to and I still don’t.  Teacher and Mother are no long my defining characteristics. 

    Student/Wife/Stepmother/Career woman are my defining characteristics.  PERIOD and that’s not so bad. 

    I want to be retired without kids by 55.  I want to own a house and go on trips with my husband.  I want to feel successful because I have a job/career I do well and get paid extremely well to do. 

    Honey, It is wonderful that you are willing to change with me.  I think that’s what makes us work.  We expect nothing from each-other, but want to be better together. 

    We aren’t going to have a baby.  I may always have a small regret in relation to that, but there are always regrets in life.  So, now it’s a matter of defining what I am not willing to regret an go for it.  I want this education and career.  I want a home we own.  I want away from the public educational field as soon as possible.  I do hate subbing, but I can’t find anything part-time that will give us equivalent income to make end meet right now.  Though, I am searching and I will continue. 

    I love you.
    You love me.
    We are good parents.
    We are fine.
    You are amazing and wonderful.
    Don’t fuss so much…
    And I do appreciate all the helping you do give me.. you do help with laundry… you do make dinners, you do deal directly with the assignment book thing now, you vacuum (and very well I might add) and you do well lighting a fire under Court’s ass to get her to follow through on her chores.  So, hey, DON”T STOP… but realize what you do… do.  You do a lot of sharing responsibilities.  I’ll get over the biological clock thing.  I might always have an annoying tick in the back ground, but it’s getting fainter and fainter… And truth be told, Not having a baby is appealing too.  Courtney is 12, she’ll be 18, 20, 22 soon (10 years) and being parents of an adult child takes a lot less out of ya on day to day basis.  We’ll also be free in less than 10 years to live where we want, go on vacations where we want, whenever we want… without having to consider School issues for the kid.  SO, ya, know there are benefits on both sides.  Don’t sweat it so much.  Get some sleep.. oh ya, and do me tonight already.

  3. smile  What a nice reply from a loving wife…  I could feel the love and caring in her reply…  sounds like you’ve got a hell of a woman there, Les – I hope to be as lucky in the future…  smile

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