Today we went to gymnastics (Middle Child’s class), came back for lunch. Went to complete a little crafting at a craft show, came back for snack. Went to the pumpkin farm, came back for dinner.
Keeping them out of the house has actually been far easier than I anticipated (no complaints, no fits), but keeping Oldest Child away from Middle Child during computer turns has been impossible. Tomorrow he will be banned from the living room during his brother’s computer time and will have to sit in the kitchen instead. He tried to stay away and could not, he freely admits. He has been scheming how to get onto the computer since he was thirteen months old, so I suppose it is a deeply ingrained habit. The computer is his sun.
Middle Child started his Zoloft today and did better than usual this morning but did exhibit some aggressive frustration when his brother tried to railroad him on the hay bale slide at the pumpkin farm. I put him in time out immediately. He felt bad enough that he apologized to his brother on his own before the time out was finished and argued not at all with me about taking a time out. His brother refused to accept a simple apology, and requested a formal apology card due to the severity of the crime. Middle Child requested paper and a pen, which of course I neglected to anticipate a need for during a pumpkin farm outing. So he instead tried multiple apologies, which his brother did not accept but did allow as acceptable. Later I watched him replicate the scene by himself, as victim, to see what it felt like. So now he knows that people cannot breathe properly with their face down in a pool of corn, and that I meant it truly when I said he can never, ever hold anyone’s face down in anything for any amount of time without risking a horrible consequence. I am grateful that I am vigilant around him.
The pumpkin farm staff knows us. The owner came up and said “Back again this year, eh?” “Every week!” I told him. It’s an exchange we usually have on the second visit each year, so I must be making an impression, if we can have this conversation in the first hour of arrival on the first opening day.
His wife is from a country that I knew a few native words of. My ex had taught me a few words of the local language, years ago. Last year I told her I knew a few words, and mentioned the one my husband taught me to say to children who had big fat faces like my son. She laughed nervously and immediately clapped her hands over her daughter’s ears. So that is how I found out that the children’s father had taught me sexually explicit phrases and misinformed me of their meanings. So embarrassing. I hope she does not hold it against me, that is not the impression I am trying to make. I am one of those people who does not swear or drink or gossip. I don’t want to be known any other way.
I suppose my ex told me those words meant something else so I would not figure out that he was actually talking to his mistress on the phone, instead of the moon-faced man down the road that he told me was calling him every morning. But that was not the first time he had done this. He taught me the incorrect meanings for words in his own native tongue, too. I think so that he could continue to insult me and I would not suspect.
So, even years later he is isolating me, through his gaslighting. The farm owners are lovely people. So are their cousins. My favorite family in town, really. I don’t want them to think of me as the woman who insults women married into their family in their own language. I don’t want to be the lady that people hide their children from.
Today I did not have the hours of whining and complaining that I usually have, and I can only think it is from Zoloft. Middle child told me that he feels calm when he is upstairs by himself on my laptop, watching Minecraft videos. If he can find some channels with decent language and stick to them, he is welcome to spend his turns like that. If Middle Child can figure out how to stay calm, then I am happy for his progress.
Tomorrow we hit another farm, this time for the animals, and go shopping, too. I am tired of my kids shivering through winter and their shoes falling apart six weeks after purchase. I am going to get them some quality things, instead.