My honey-do has been out of town for a few days. The absence is great in that I can get tasks done with little interference. That’s not to say that honey-do purposely bothers me, but he has a way of asking questions or initiating conversation when I’m trying to be absorbed in a given task. So for three days I have been able to tidy up the storage room, It’s an old porch that was closed off, but really isn’t big enough for a suitable bedroom, unpack many boxes, organize my dining room which is the current study room for the girls’ homework, crafts, and computer, and spend many hours sorting through old papers and receipts on the hunt for one particular receipt that never made it into my truck folder.
Since honey-do is coming home tonight with his mother in tow for a belated birthday party for the ten year old, I still have to find the time to get all my floors swept and mopped. Knowing the house we moved into had mostly hardwood floors, I purchased area rugs to help with the feeling of warmth in the winter. I hesitate to put them down after all this cleaning because I am the proud parent of four dogs and my yard has been a mucky mess. I think I will have to wait until it gets a little colder before I worry about ruining my rugs. Maybe that will give me time to get a carpet cleaner so I can clean up the messes that are sure to come.
With honey-do gone for these few days, I can see the love my children have for their dad. He worries that he is not appreciated or loved because we have all girls and he is very strict with them. We have been having minor melt downs since he left to go out of town. Most all have been handled with calm, soothing reassurance, but this morning it came down to stern yelling and threats of spanking. Please don’t think I’m that parent that beats their children. I am the parent that gives a spanking when all other avenues have been exhausted. Said ten year old has an anger problem. She gets upset and has a hard time processing it. When she was but a year old, she got upset that she couldn’t have something I can’t remember if it was a toy or treat or what. She held her breath until she passed out. This went on for at least a year with nothing more than a headache when she was done.
I used to be a purveyor of the day after Thanksgiving sale every year. On this particular year, I purchased a DVD player and a handful of movies for my dad. I was trying to bring him into the modern world because his VHS tapes were wearing out. We had gone to Dad’s so that I could hook it up for him. My lovely little angel was upset that I wasn’t holding her. She did her thing and passed out, but it went further and she had a seizure. Honey-do and I raced to the hospital. We didn’t just race. We discovered that the governor on my minivan was 108 miles an hour. While I cradled my angel in my arms, honey-do drove like he was in NASCAR while calling 911 to let them know we were on our way and were not stopping until we got there. He even told the operator that they could write him a speeding ticket once we stopped. No ticket was written.
This event sparked a few years of breath holding incidents. It wasn’t until I had confided in one of my coworkers that we came up with a solution. He relayed a story about a family at his church with a similar issue. They had gone to specialists looking for problems. Finally, one person told them to spank the child when it happened again. One spanking while the child was holding its breath and the problem was cured. I took this methodology home to honey-do and we tried it. Of course, it couldn’t be as simple as one spanking, but two was enough. Last year we had our first incident with breath holding since she was four years old, and this morning I had to threaten the spanking because I recognized the issue nearing occurrence again.
All these melt downs and misbehavior I believe are because they miss having their daddy home. As strict as he is with them, he always shows them how much he loves them. Besides, he is the one who plays rough and gives them a hard time. I’m the mellow one that just wants them to pick up their toys off the floor and hang up their shirts rather than wad them up into their dressers.
So I’m off to refill my coffee, crush a few candies, and psyche myself up to sweeping and mopping nearly 2000 square feet of floors before honey-do brings home my mother-in-law.