I sincerely do not intend to offend. I speak from the very core of my experience and with that in mind, I am 100% allowed to bitch about my own kids. What you will read may seem like I probably shouldn't have had kids. So, I'm nipping that thought bud right here. I love being a mom. I love my kids. They are my world. But. Holy. Freakin. Hole. In. The. Pie! My world, aka: the boys, are also my Hell. My pillar of strength and patience had fallen and crumbled, a lot, the past week. So, set your judgement aside as I share.
a very tired and frazzled mother
Oisin is my wild child. He defies everything, even after a nanosecond of me giving instructions on not to do this or that. Despite my being consistent and strict, my firm hold on him is like holding slimy goo.
For example, we were at Wal-Mart. He got so excited as soon as we got in and said, "I wanna go and check out Nintendo Switch's Odyssey game!!" "wait, let me get my shopping cart, DO NOT LEAVE!!! STAY!!" He looks at me, turns and runs, regardless of what I said. Minutes later, he comes back and declares that he couldn't find the Nintendo Switch. "I told you to stay!!! Why did you go off like that???!!!!" "Oh, I know where it is, it's fine!!" "I don't care if you know where it is, you're in a store with many adult strangers and there are sick people out there!!" *rolls his eyes* "I told you, I am fine. I can do it."
He does what he wants to do, even if he knows that it is wrong.
Aidan. Let me tell you about this kid. He's very bright. He's shy. He observes and comes off as an average kid by manipulating people around him. He does that because he likes being comfortable. He doesn't like challenges. Whoever throws challenge his way will suffer every breath and step they take. Getting a command or request in (which usually consists of one short sentence) turns into an hour long battle.
"I'd like for you to rea-" "no." "....---read at least 2-" "no!" "at least 20 mi-" "no!!" "if you say no one more time, I'm not allowing screen time!!!" "no!!!!!!" "what did I just say???" (and the sentence is overlooked because he shuts his eyes and shakes his head back and forth).
Eitan. Honestly. Bless that child. That poor poor child. The oldest. The most responsible one and probably the one with the most patience in this Motorhome. When he misbehaves, I rarely punish him, because, man... it probably was for a good reason. However, he does put on those bossy pants and push Aidan and Oisin's buttons, a lot. He also uses his age and size to his advantage, not for the good, tho. Today, I had to make a quick run to the store. I came back and found Meraki in a war zone. I was gone for 15 minutes. Oisin had red marks all over his back and Aidan was a wailing banshee. Eitan? He was in the corner with pure evil in his eyes and said, "I quit. I want to go home, I quit being a member of this family." I don't know the details of what happened, and I, honestly at this point, don't give an eff.
He still gets the medal for being the best member of this family.
I'm gonna regale you guys a tale of hell I went through recently.
Few nights ago (when I was very sick with sinus infection and barely functioning), I fell asleep at 11:45pm. I woke up an hour later and busted my boys using Nintendo Switch and MacBooks. WTF. I was half awake and really disortiented. I asked them nicely to please go to bed and that it was almost 1am, to turn off everything and I crawled back into bed, promptly falling asleep. 15 minutes later, the RV shook and someone tapped my shoulder so roughly that I was jarred awake. Oisin said, "Aidan is really hurt!!!" I couldn't see, I didn't have my glasses on. I bumbled around to find my glasses and then saw Aidan screaming and crying in pain. I told Aidan, "be quiet!!! it's 1am and there are people around us!! (hello, we're in RVs next to other RVs)." Eitan and Aidan started to do the "he started it" song and I stopped them. I said, "I don't care!!! I need my sleep, drop it and go to bed!!" Aidan did his growl and stomped to the hallway and just freakin' screamed. I was so so so shocked. So shocked that I texted my husband saying I wanted the boys to go home and for me to finish the trip alone, that I regret being a mom and that I hated being a mother.
I went to bed upset and woke up feeling worse with a fever and felt incredibly discouraged.
There's no easy way to say this or sugar coating this post, they really were and are assholes. I have done my best with being nurturing and patient. I was consistent. Fun, loving, witty and patient. Now? I feel like an utter failure of a mom. As a person. Is my finding meraki journey all about me realizing that I regret being a mother?? The last few days were good and redeeming, however, that little black cloud of regret still stinks inside of me.
They, and I, are fortunate because I am able to acknowledge that what I am feeling is normal and I also know that I am not alone. I've come to the conclusion that, in the dictionary, the definition of asshole (aside from the obvious physical part of the body) would have a portrait of an adorable smiling child next to the word.
When you’re sick with flu, you’re supposed to drink lots of fluids and sleep for days, right?
Not possible with this trip. Yesterday was “moving day,” which means, I gotta pack up everything and hook Finder to Meraki and get the Note (car) attached properly. That procedure requires 110% of my focus. I told myself to be slow and be careful.
Welp, I failed.
Let me back up a bit. When I pull Note up onto Finder, I have to make sure the ramps are leveled or set up in the right spot. There were some roads (rocks only) that can cause the metal ramp to pop off when loading. I always had Eitan there to watch and make sure. This time, I just wanted it over with. I was feverish and walking around was painful.
I had to put Meraki close to the grassy area so I wouldn’t block other RVs from moving through. As a result, the left tire was on the road and the right was on the grassy area. Leveled, but iffy.
I slowly pulled up and it seemed to be fine, so I went ahead to complete the “landing,” only to feel the left ramp pop out. I moved too fast which resulted the left side of Note on the ground and the right side still up on the metal ramp. What I didn’t expect was, the right ramp was about to pop out as well.
I slowly backed out and… felt a loud crunch and everything went into slow motion.
Boom, I landed hard on the road and the entire front part of Note twisted upwards, slowly curving into a C, where the tip faced me, like… “hello, stupid.” Shit, I thought. I got out and looked… the entire bumper from bottom to the hood was ripped off.
I just stood there, feverish and all, and gaped with my mouth’s shaped in an “o.” Normally, I would have cursed, but I was too stunned. A good slow few seconds passed and I looked up to look around to see if anyone witnessed my stupidity. Thank god nobody did.
I then texted to my husband telling him what happened and asked what I should do. I knew he was working, just started in fact, and probably wouldn’t respond for at least 45 minutes. At that very moment, I just wanted to crawl into my bed, curl up and sleep.
A minute or two passed, I realized that the front piece actually came out clean, that I was able to put it back in, like a puzzle. So, I proceeded with attempting to pop it back in, doing that, I attracted two European looking men, who quickly came to my aid. They helped me put it back and we used spare bolts I had for the awning to screw it in. It was such a DIY approach to fix the cosmetic damages I did to Note. Still, it worked. The entire time we were working on the car, I kept coughing, blowing my nose and sneezed, I wonder what they thought of me.
When I hooked Note to Finder, they watched me and kept offering to help. I told them I was fine and thanked them. They still stood by to make sure I was okay. At one point, Richard told me the tires seemed low and I gave him my air compressor, he filled up my tires (they were low, I honestly didn’t see a difference, wow).
After an hour, I was finally able to leave. The men gestured to me, pointing at my car’s license and said, “you California??” “Yes.” “You drive far??” “Yes, we are traveling for a year.” “Wow, you strong!” Awwww.
“We watch you go.” I thanked them again and left, seeing them wave at me from my review mirror. I swear, RV people are the friendliest bunch, and I am sure it is because we all collectively share same shitty moments.
Tomorrow we move again. The place we are at is very tight with space which means, I have to give ZERO consideration to traffic when hooking up Note to Meraki. And I absolutely vow to not be self conscious about it.
We went to Zoo Miami today. Our RV resort is right next to it. I hate going to the zoos or to public places such as museums or amusement parks. I know, I’m weird. I don’t do well in public places, especially with a crowd, because of my anxiety relating to vertigo attacks. So, the fact that I actually took the boys, solo, to the zoo today is considered a feat.
The best part is? We had a good time, including myself.
And of course, with the life I get, there’s never a moment that is without drama.
At one point, near the end of our zoo day- after walking for over 4 miles, we sat back and chilled at this tunnel that was under the water. It was a beautiful spot to completely collapse and soak in the sunlight.
We were relaxed and all of the sudden, Oisin started doing the shit dance, you know, the kind where he gotta go NOW, like STAT.
I was extremely annoyed because not 10 minutes before, I went to the restroom and told the boys to PLEASE go now so we could enjoy the tunnel and then the monorail. They all insisted that they didn’t need to go.
So, I was already lying down in the tunnel (it was small, you’d have to crawl) and completely comfortable. I told him, “are you kidding me?! You’re gonna have to wait!!!!”
And Oisin being Oisin, he bolted. He just fled the tunnel and ran out. I watched him run towards the wrong way (the tunnel was clear and you could see everything) and then run like a maniac into the right direction.
“Fuck,” I thought. I told the boys to stay there and I’d need to crawl out and to follow Oisin to the bathroom. I crawled out and to my dismay, the restroom closest to us was closed due to construction and now, I had ZERO idea which way Oisin went (there were three different paths).
I returned and informed the boys that Oisin is somewhere and I needed to go and find him. Eitan’s anxiety kicked in full force and he wouldn’t let me go. I explained to him that he and Aidan needed to STAY in the same spot in case I missed Oisin.
It became a battle of Eitan wanting to go with me and me telling him to stay and Aidan refusing to stay because he wanted Eitan to be with him. More than 10 minutes passed and I started panicking. I told Eitan, please!!! Just STAY!!!! I pointed to the building where I assumed Oisin was at and said, “trust me, I will be back in 5 minutes or less.”
“No!” He proceeded to follow me. The zoo was empty, seriously, literally ZERO people around and I, in my complete frustration, yelled. I told him that this was an emergency and I had to go and find Oisin.
Few more minutes of me yelling at Eitan and Eitan finally relented because I started crying. I told him that Oisin’s “missing” is more important than your anxiety and I stormed away. I looked everywhere and I couldn’t find Oisin.
I returned back in 5 minutes as I promised and Oisin was still missing. It was over 15 minutes already. As I realized Oisin wasn’t with them at the tunnel, I turned around and found him slowly, without a care, walking back towards us, with a happy content smile on his face.
He said, “bad news, I crapped in my underwear- but good news, I have wads of tissues between my butt and the underwear.”
I was livid. Seriously livid. Both at Oisin and Eitan. I made Oisin go back to the bathroom to throw away the underwear and I turned to Eitan and said, “I am SO disappointed in you. It was an emergency situation and you made it about you.”
We all proceeded to walk to the monorail instead of going home because I already paid for the ride. Envision a walking line of a happy underwearless boy, a pissed off mother, a sulking oldest son and a very relieved middle child, because he’s not the problem this time.
We got on the monorail, I was able to process everything and I apologized to Eitan saying that I understood his anxiety. However, I stood by my comments about him needing to trust me and to know the difference when it’s minor or an emergency.
I also was very proud of myself because I didn’t throw in the towel and ended the zoo trip on a sour note. I stuck through with it. As Oisin, Aidan and I were chatting away in the monorail, Eitan was in the corner, with an angry body posture. I waved to him to get his attention and said, “you have two choices, one… sulk and be angry for awhile or two… let it go and wrap up the day with a good feeling.”
He picked the latter. We all left the monorail (35 minutes later) in a happy mood and Oisin said, “this was a great day!!” Aidan chimed in, “yes! I love you mom!!” and Eitan? He took my hand and held it as we walked towards our car.
Here I sit outside, learning how to breathe in this sticky air of South Miami. Today was a good day. It is still a good day.
My life is totally unplugged. Even if it seems like we have zero structure and complete freedom to do whatever, it isn’t easy. What does one do when the mind is idle and time is long?
The thought process goes into an insane amount of speed plus an influx of past, present and if’s. Basically, it is a vomitville of creative boredom, anxiety and complete calm.
I blame it on our way of life prior to this journey. Even if we are “unplugged,” are we really? I envy people who are able to be fine with the 9-5 jobs. My envy doesn’t mean I wish I could, it simply means, it isn’t who I am.
I loved to teach, I was good at it, but I resented waking up in the morning for them, not at my own time. It seems like a trivial complaint, waking up in the wee hours and relying on a lot of coffee to get through just the mornings alone. It isn’t. My body was not physically able to tolerate that shit, believe me. I remember waking up every morning and thinking of 1,00,000,000 possible excuses to not come to work on time.
And then the commute to my workplace, which was usually 40 mins tops, was full of a doom and gloom cloud hovering above my car, raining different scenarios on why I shouldn’t go to work that day. I remember low points where I wished I was in a car accident so I didn’t have to show up. It was THAT BAD.
Don’t get me wrong, I really loved my job, I loved my students and coworkers. I just did not love the lack of freedom in time it came with. I was drowning and during the process of my suffocating underwater, I was basically told to breathe.
It didn’t matter if I was gulping water into my lungs, it didn’t matter if I looked frantic, bulged eyeballs and all, as long as I could stay afloat, somewhat. All because it was what “life” asked me to do.
This brings me to a childhood tale my dad used to tell me. One day, it rained heavily and a man, who was quite a devoted believer of God, refused help from anyone but God only. It rained all day to the point where flooding happened. That man stayed in his house because he had faith in God to help him. The water kept rising, forcing him to flee higher, up onto his roof. Different rescuers came by with a boat and offered him help and that man said, “no thanks, I’ll wait for God.”
He waited and waited until he drowned.
He died. He met God and asked God, “why didn’t you help?” God said he did, he sent all those rescuers his way. That story sticks with me, the very concept on principle of life is in that tale. I am not going to wait until it is too late [retirement] to enjoy life to the fullest. No. I will take whatever opportunity is thrown into my path. If it leads me to my demise, so be it, at least I didn’t sit on that roof and said no to everything and still met death. Because, you know, whatever paths we take, it leads to one same end story: your last dying breath.
My son just politely informed me that he was bored, as the golden hour light hit his face, I told him, “good. Find a stick and make something out of it with your new knife.” Sorta of a homeschooling approach to the Art of Boredom.
My telling him this is one of many life rings I am going to toss his way. I just hope that he will grab onto whatever floatations [opportunities] is given, rather than wait and succumb to drowning.
There are people who would be perfectly content with sitting outside of their airstream, enjoying the nice breeze and drink beer everyday. Not just that, they would have zero interest or need to move, aka the travel bug.
Not me. I doubt I’d ever reach to that point of contentment. It’s a good thing that meraki got wheels, so I can make my “contentment” portable.
Now, let’s talk about Louisiana. Despite the awful start, it is, thus far, the favorite state for all of us. Unanimously. I admit, I did not expect to fall in love with Louisiana. The foods, the buildings, the nature and the people… just basically shot Louisiana all the way past the top of the pedestal.
I cannot thank Sarah and Tate Tullier enough for being there that night and for being the best host/hostess, they represented the state of Louisiana very well, y'all!!
Not only we were fortunate with fun company, my husband got to experience the trip with us for a week. We were a whole family at the best possible spot. Heck, my husband and I even got to go out on a date (we probably didn't get a date for MONTHS before I left on this trip!!) when we were at new orleans.
With daddy in town, we grabbed every opportunity to see places around nola, layafette and baton rouge.
Our favorite part of the week probably goes to nola, especially the double date we had with the tulliers. we explored the french quarters, bourbon street, jackson square and had the famous beignets at cafe du monde (cajun village at sorrento actually has my vote for the best beignets). We also visited those old cemeteries and stopped at the Ninth Ward (where Brad Pitt rebuilt homes for those damaged by Hurricane Katrina).
The boys were now taken care of at a nice hotel while we went off to our double date fun.
I literally crawled into the hotel's bed and fell asleep as I held onto my favorite Agnes and Dora leggings (vintage camera print given to me as a gift by Karina- @sweetonagnesanddora). I was too tired to put it on (and as a result, it fell in between the bed slabs and I forgot to take it with me, wah!).
The next day, Jason and I took the boys to explore the city before heading back to the "suburbs" in Gonzales.
We did SO much that it simply knocked out our boys and y'all, eitan NEVER naps.
We loved it so much that we'll be back in January. Yo!
just a mother who fled from society's constraints and is super excited to wake up to the outdoors, remain braless daily and teach her boys the art of boredom and discovery.