Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gallows Humor

(I'm writing this in response to a minor windstorm over at Navigating the Maze. Partially in defense of Abba, and partially in my own defense because I know I have thought and uttered many of the same things.)

As a parent, I find that I laugh at strange things. As an adoptive parent, I laugh at even stranger things. As an adoptive parent with special needs kids, I laugh at some seriously weird shit.

As the kind of parent that I am, I find that my coping mechanisms may not always be socially acceptable. In fact, some of my coping mechanisms would completely horrify people who have not had the day-to-day stress and frustration of dealing with my family.

Don't get me wrong: I chose this path. I chose my children. Granted, I was lied to A LOT about my kids before they were mine, but even after the lies were uncovered, we kept them.

Our choice. Since starting to blog, I have found some other bloggers out there who have similar lives, with similar kids, and similar coping styles. I found other bloggers who have similar lives and kids, but very different ways of coping.

We are all humans. We are going to face out situations with the sum total of our past experiences. And the sum total of who we are and how we think is often on opposite ends of the spectrum from those around us.

But does that make us wrong? I read somewhere today that there are a million ways to raise kids correctly, and a few tried and true ways to royally screw them up.

That being said, how I do and don't cope is all about me. I don't expect everyone to get the fact that when my teenage daughter starts to be completely obnoxious in the Great Big Store That Sells Everything at All Hours that I burst into a loud, purposely horrifically off-key rendition of the Oscar Meyer Weiner song. Complete with dance moves. I'm a size 22, so me dancing and singing like I'm on Broadway gets attention. And it's not usually applause.

We joke about bodily functions way more than most people think is normal. We tease our children about things that other people may see as completely inappropriate-- Leigh's ridiculously smelly feet and bedroom. Danae's naive nature and newly announced taste in women. Dawn's ditziness and promiscuity. Other people wouldn't even discuss such things, let alone be okay with all of it. The fact that our babies clearly did not come from our loins is a constant source of entertainment and probably inappropriate jokes.

And I don't often talk about the crazy things I do in my head. But I will say this... the difference between people who abuse their kids and people who don't is CHOICE. I might choose to imagine punching my daughter's teeth down her throat, and yes, I have. But I don't. And honestly, it doesn't mean that I love her any less. I love her enough to NOT punch her.

I might choose to imagine driving to Social Services and dropping her off on the curb and driving away with the windows down drinking (read that as power-chugging) a margarita. But I don't.

I imagine testifying against her in court. I imagine her going completely boxcutter crazy and having to physically defend myself against her, but this time I turn the tables and beat her into a bloody pulp. (Notice that I said "this time." It's happened before.)

There are moments when I fantasize about packing a few changes of clothes and just driving away. There are moments when I wonder what would happen if I approached some of the kids I teach who I KNOW get baked during lunch and ask if I could join them to see what feels like. I have even had completely inappropriate thoughts about the young actor who plays Jacob in the Twilght series.

Fantasy, yes. Action, no. Everything is choice. I don't choose these paths for a variety of reasons. Mostly, I think they remain fantasy because I believe them to be fundamentally wrong, or I don't like some of the possible consequences.

Now, having brought this up, I guess it would be appropriate to look at the motivations behind blogging. Why do so many of us get on here anonymously and vent and spill our guts, but not use our real names and addresses?

We blog because there is something in us that compells us to write, that moves us to share. And the cool thing about this is that anyone who doesn't want to be apart of my little corner of the world doesn't have to stick around.

I hope you'll stay. I really do. I like thinking that what I say and think matters to someone, even if you don't know my real name. But if what I say and believe and the parenting path I'm hiking doesn't suit your tasts, there are plenty of bloggers on the menu.


  1. You're welcome!

    And thank YOU for not thinking that I'm a creepy blog stalker!

    This is just an issue that I have had to deal with in real life, too, as we have lost several people we thought were friends over the reality that is how our children behave and how we manage it all. I feel your pain, and your hard core honesty has been inspiring my own.

    Have an amazing Friday!

  2. Nah, you aren't a creepy blog stalker. Creepy are the ones like the commenter this morning who hopes I will die in a fire. Fortunately, I have a thick skin, and I don't take those remarks seriously.

    You are harmless, and I consider you one of my bloggy buddies. If we lived close by, I would come to your house and share adult beverages.


If you are an adoptive parent or have one in your family somewhere, talk to me. I could use some insanity that does NOT call me mom!!