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winning at parenting/the pestilence continueth

The baby has not had a full day of school in close to two weeks due to various things like holidays, school closings, doctor’s appointments, and Surprise! Your Strep Test Is Positive! parties. I’m not entirely convinced that he has retained the ability to read.

On Sunday, I started displaying symptoms of the husband’s Man Cold that he was just getting over.

This resulted in me doing things like NotLaundry and NotGrocery Shopping. The husband and I both ended up passed out on the couch for a good two hours in the afternoon. During that time, the baby turned on Adventure Time and helped himself to a bag of Cheetos (aka our AFC Championship buffet). I half-opened one eye about 1.5 hours into my nap and mumbled, “Yo. Take it easy on those Cheetos, dude,” and went back to sleep. It was a proud moment for me as I have long yearned to reach the same level of parental competence as Britney Spears.

After a night of sleep that could only be described as, “Really weird…and moist,” I went to work yesterday fueled entirely by DayQuil. Aside from being rather drippy and cycling in and out of sweating spells, I felt surprisingly okay. But last night, I started to feel kind of woozy. I told the husband this and he cackled and told me that I had not yet reached the zenith of my sickness. Yay.

Speaking of parenting, over the winter break, I started watching…nay, devouring episodes of Intervention on Netflix. The husband finds this habit of mine entirely absurd and even I reached a point about halfway through season three where I thought, “I can’t watch this anymore.” The situation was so disturbing and I had a pretty sick feeling that we only knew the half of it. Just to be clear, I’m not referring to the episode featuring Sylvia, the alcoholic Southern belle. Though that episode was disturbing because when they first showed her cracking open a mini-bottle of vodka while driving, I said, “Holy shit, is that Lucille from Arrested Development? Is this like the April Fool’s episode of Intervention?” The resemblance was that uncanny.

See what I mean?

But the whole thing has me freaked out about parenting. I mean, plenty of the people featured on the show had some really horrible experiences and I don’t think anyone can blame them for just checking out of life. But then there are some people who had relatively good existences and then blam. “My mom pushed me to get good grades so I started doing heroin. My dad criticized my cooking this one time so now I weigh 30 pounds. My mom was tired that one time and couldn’t devote her entire consciousness to me so now I’m 90% Jack Daniels.”

I’m not terrified of the baby trying alcohol or even some drugs when he’s older. But I am scared of him finding any number of my imperfect behaviors devastating and running with that to the crack house. Now, every time I shout, “DO. YOUR. HOMEWORK!” I panic and hide all of the liquor. But I know I’m oversimplifying and overreacting. If something as crazy as addiction could be simply boiled down to bad parenting, I doubt it would be so hard to overcome. I just…I just see a bunch of people who love ya like crazy and they feel like they’re losin’ ya.

(Sigh. Right after I finished writing this, I had to angrily reclaim my iPhone from the baby after I asked for it three times so now I’m wondering what in our house can be used to cook up a shot.)

7 comments to winning at parenting/the pestilence continueth

  • My boys and I have started a ritual of watching ‘My Strange Addiction’ every week, and every week, they cut into the, um, addict’s (?) story with a black screen with stark white type that says things like “Sue’s parents divorced when she was 10. She’s eaten 10 couches in her lifetime.” Every time we watch, I spin through my brain and wonder what I might be doing to MY kids that will have them spiraling into doing something like wearing a fur suit by the time they’re 20. I think they’re story will be “My mom constantly asked me if there was anything I wanted to talk about or was feeling sad about. Please say hello to my doll wife.”

    • “Sue’s parents divorced when she was 10. She’s eaten 10 couches in her lifetime.”


      I mean, I definitely have *some* issues surrounding irritating stuff about my childhood, but otherwise, I’m really normal. But it just seems like dumb luck that people are like, “You made me wear that sweater and now I inject cough syrup into my eyeballs. Obviously.”

  • They’re/Their…sigh…to think I used to be an editor.

  • Linda

    OMG! I cannot watch this show anymore either for the exact same reason. I feel so helpless…

  • I used to devour episodes of Intervention as soon as they aired, but ever since having the baby, there are about 10 eps sitting in my Tivo at all times. I have to wait until I’m feeling strong enough to watch one. Most of the time I just keep telling myself “they had a fucked up childhood & their parents were total dickshits, that’s why it happened!!” but then again, like you said, sometimes…it just happens. And that’s when I have to ignore Intervention for a little while.

    As an aside, don’t you get the feeling that Candy Finnegan TORE IT UP when she was using? I want to sit next to her on a plane and have her tell me stories.

    • The episode that I watched last night totally cheered me up because the guy was from Pittsburgh, so I spent his half of the episode going, “I know that house! Oh my god! Look at the library!” and going berserk over seeing moving pictures of the city that I’ve lived in for more than 30 years. So the dude was addicted to DXM and relapsed, but whatever. The city looked cool!

      Dude, I bet Candy was a fucking MONSTER. Notice she’s always wearing long sleeves.

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