Down But Not Out

I’ve been thinking a lot about Lyle Waggoner lately.  Lyle Waggoner was one of the ensemble players who used to be on the Carol Burnett TV show.  (I interviewed him by phone once for a newspaper story–  I was a teenager working part-time at my hometown paper. He was about to star in some made-for-TV movie… I actually have a tape recording of the interview and boy is it funny—it reminds me of the celebrity interviews that Chris Farley used to do on Saturday Night Live!!)  Anyway, Lyle went on to start a successful company, Star Waggons, that produces custom, luxury, portable dressing rooms and wardrobe trailers now used all over the entertainment industry.  And I’ve been thinking lately that Lyle needs to branch out and make one called The Mom Waggon or Dad Waggon or how about The Mad Waggon… a soundproof “hideaway” you can park in your backyard, tricked out with all the things you’d like to have to chill out, to get away from your family when no one appreciates you…maybe it could have a hot tub, a massaging chair, flat screen TV, refrigerator, whatever it takes…

Yes, I am in escape mode right now, fantasizing about getting away and leaving everyone to fend for themselves completely…because Mom is “annoying”, Mom is “stupid”, Mom is “lame”, and you can punish the kids’ meanness or laugh it off, or blog about it, but there’s been so much attitude lately from BOTH of my kids,  that right now it just downright hurts.  And when you work from home and put so much of your time into helping out your kids, by spending endless hours driving, grocery shopping, calendar juggling, cooking, Christmas shopping, Christmas cooking, etc., etc., etc., and get a lot of unappreciation, you feel, well,… — USED.  And when I really stop and ponder hard about it, I seriously think it’s been years since anyone in my house has spoken the words “I love you” to me (except I do choose to interpret my dog’s wagging tail as a form of that).  For my oldest, I know for certain it’s been at least 10…

When I wrote about unappreciation awhile back, someone responded with an “Oh, poor you, that’s just the way it goes when you’re a parent” kind of comment.  But he was wrong.  Especially when your kids are older and can do a lot more for themselves.  And especially if you want to teach them to take action when they are being mistreated by another.

And so, I dive into this “most happiest of seasons” with a few changes…I’ve been combing the job ads for full-time work outside the house, and refusing to fix sack lunches for anyone.   Need to get your gymnastics team jacket personalized at an embroidery shop? Ask Dad to take it there. Since I’m fed up with trying to plan and cook their favorite meals and then hearing complaints about it, I’ve started cooking whatever I want to eat and have purchased lots of boxes of Easy Mac and frozen chicken nuggets for the kids.  Don’t like stir-fry on brown rice? Feel free to go fix some nuggets.  Don’t like Greek Shrimp on Orzo Pasta? There’s a jar of peanut butter on the shelf– and don’t let the pantry door hit you on the way out…

As I’ve said before, I can’t force appreciation.  But I can try to help myself from feeling like a perpetual doormat.###

15 thoughts on “Down But Not Out”

  1. Poor Pat! I’ve been too busy to read many of your blogs lately but this one landed from cyber space as I was eating lunch at my desk so I read it. Funny! Com’on Pat; admit it, you love what you do and somehow I think deep down, you know that your kids remind you exactly of yourself at their ages. Either that or you know that your “thank yous” won’t come until much later. When you get right down to it, the girls are exactly what you’ve trained them or allowed them to be. “We must allow them to be free and express themselves. That way they will have confidence in themselves.” You know the theory!

    I have a very close friend who will remain nameless who absolutely falls all over herself doing for her daughter. I believe she bugs her daughter to death doing every little thing for her. She makes her daughter take money; she reminds her daughter that she needs to buy a gift for a friends’ birthday; she insists that her daughter needs to go shopping with her. “For God’s sake, leave me alone Ma!”, I bet she wants to say. Let’s be honest, Mothers just love to be needed or “feel needed”. The nursery rhyme had it right: “…Leave them alone and they will come home, wagging their tails behind them.”
    Tough stuff but meant in LOVE!

  2. Pat, even when they don’t appreciate you they should tell you they love you at least once a day. That is awful not to say it! I’m going to call France and tell Pere Fouttard to visit your house. (Pere Fouttard is Pere Noel’s helper…he spanks the bad ones while Pere Noel give gifts to the good ones!)

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