Despicable Me

My thoughts are slippery, refusing to be pinned down. Every time I try to peer into myself head on, I catch my real feelings in my peripheral vision, already slinking back into the recesses of my secret, dark heart. When I still myself, a rising panic sits heavy in my chest; overwhelming.

I twitch.

It’s that feeling you get when you want to wail and gnash your teeth and weep but you are afraid to start. Or maybe, you do let some tears gasp out because they can no longer be contained, spillover water in a lock and key, but you don’t dare to really let it out. Even while sobbing into your hands in the nursery and your baby boy is toddling around, somewhat confused at what his mommy is doing, you don’t dare let yourself go.

What if you can’t stop? What if you cry yourself hollow? What if you cry so much that your insides are sucked out and then what are you going to do with yourself now that your insides are on the outside and your outside is stretched and gaping and loose and no longer tightly wrapped and ill-fitting and totally useless?

What are you going to do now if you are completely undone?

So you stop.

You stuff everything back into your too small chest and you wait it out. You breathe. You think of something else. You look at your baby boy and smile through the burning in your lungs. You check your phone. Facebook will rescue you. It always does.

That thick, dense boulder is no longer laying siege to your chest.

You get up and close the door.

There is a reason I keep dithering while writing this post. It’s been brewing in my psyche for months now, and coming to the forefront especially this past week.

It is an ugly thing to see your own sin laid bare.

Every so often, when we are discussing my father and my paternal grandmother, my mother mentions that my grandmother acted as if other people weren’t “people” (人家不是人). That in my grandmother’s eyes, only she and my father were “people” and everyone else was contemptible and stupid and worthy only of their disregard. And that is the reason my father never accepts responsibility for his actions, always blaming other people for “forcing” him to act in reprehensible ways. The reason why my father is always seething when other people, even his friends, succeed and surpass him. How could it be possible that people, who are so much stupider and less talented than he, have a better business/career/house/bank account/family when he is clearly far more deserving?

There is a Chinese phrase, “看不起 (kan bu qi)” which means “despise.” Literally, “can’t look upon.” Personally, I think the literal translation is far better at capturing its contempt and scorn.

“You have no idea how you sound, do you? The way you speak to me. To your mother. To your grand aunt. To my mother. To everybody. How you make everyone feel like they’re so unbelievably fucking stupid. Do you think so little of us that we can’t tell? That it isn’t obvious with every word out of your mouth? How dare you? How dare you?

I drown in shame.

When Cookie Monster was first starting to walk, he would often stumble and fall. I remember one of the first times he fell, I ran to his side and I hit the floor with my hand saying, “Bad floor! Bad floor!”

I froze.

A memory popped into my mind, crystal clear, of my grandmother doing the exact same thing when I was a child.

I never did that again.

This past week, a thought has been floating in and out of my mind. Occasionally, I catch a full glimpse of it before I banish it to the nether regions of my soul. Sometimes, I chase the thought down, trying to grasp it before it wisps out like smoke through my closing fist. Usually, I just change the song on the radio.

But it whispers back, sleek and seductive.

Other people aren’t ‘people’ to me until I hurt them.

The thought terrifies me. But it is not a surprise.

“Why are you being so mean to her? Can’t you try to imagine how she must be feeling? To meet you and Mom for the first time? As if meeting Mom weren’t intimidating enough, you’re being an asshole. Stop it. I care about her a lot. And if you’re going to be this way, I won’t want to come home anymore. So stop. Give her a chance. Be nice.”

Until that moment, I had only seen her as someone who wasn’t good enough for my brother (whatever that means and incidentally, is not true) and not as a person. Until my brother pulled me aside to rip me a new one, she wasn’t real. Only when I realized that I hurt her did I consider her a person in her own right.

This was not an isolated occurrence. To her or to other people.

Well here it is then. My not-so-secret confession: I believe that other people aren’t “people.” Only I am human. Only am a person.

At times, if I am feeling generous, I see my friends and family as extensions of myself so they are lent “person” status. Their injuries are my injuries. Their joys my joys.

But left to my default state, other people are obstacles. Roadblocks to getting what I want. If people aren’t interfering with my objectives, then I am easy going and pleasant. But as soon as we are in conflict, I suit up. And I play to win.

I get mine.

And then, if I hurt someone (as is inevitable), I am never quite sure if I feel bad because I hurt someone or because I don’t want to be seen as the type of person who hurts others.

You would think that I would at least consider my immediate family “people.” But alas, no. In true fact, I am worst to my family. After all, there are social consequences if I am a complete asshole to my friends and other people. That, at least, keeps me in check. Who, except those who have no choice, would put up with that shit from me?

It is hard to be my children. My husband. My mother. I am a hard person to be with.

I am a fucking two year old.

When I look back on my childhood memories, I have few of my mother. I’m not sure if it was because she wasn’t there, or if my father’s presence was so large, so looming, so hard, that he squeezed her out. I adored my father. His betrayal broke me. It isn’t until this past decade that I feel as if my mother has slowly, ever so slowly, emerged as a person in my mind.

The thought of this makes me weep.

I have no soft memories of my mother. No memories of her love, of her kindness. I mostly just see her, slightly out of focus, hovering in the background. Weak, unable to protect herself – let alone me. Steamrolled by my father.

You would think that now that I am a mother, I would be able to understand or empathize with my own mother better. That I would somehow grasp how my mother feels about me. How she must love me. I mean, if she loves me even a fraction of how I love my children, her love must be vast and unending. She has thirty-six years of loving me compared to my five of loving Cookie Monster. How much more must she love me.

And yet, when we fight, she is my enemy. I cannot fathom her coming at me from a place of love and concern. That she says things out of love and not as an attack.

I remember once, when I was particularly vicious, her pleading with me. Begging. Why did I think she was always attacking me? How could I even think that of her? That she only ever wanted to love me and would never dream of saying things to hurt me.

It is healing to watch her adore my children. Every now and then, it occurs to me that she must have loved me in the same way. Or at least, wanted to.

I don’t know. I can’t remember.

After witnessing years of my father crushing my mother, beating her down, I vowed to myself that I would never let anyone treat me this way. Ever.

And so, instead of turning into my mother, I am become my father.

My therapist says I do this because this was how I protected myself from my father when I was a child. That it is appropriate Hapa Papa says I “suit up” or “gear up for battle” (often with my children) because that’s what I am doing. I am putting on a suit of armor, this inability to see other people as human, in order to protect myself because no one protected me when I was small. And that this defense mechanism has worked for awhile, but now no longer fits. That I now see everyone as an enemy – even my children. That it is time to let some parts of this armor go.

I am terrified.

Jesus, have mercy.

Grieving The Living

The trouble with grief is that it sidelines you at the oddest moments. You think you’re having a normal Monday night decompressing after the children have gone to bed and you click on a friend’s latest blog post about mourning the third anniversary of her father’s passing. At most, you expect to tear up and be moved by a post of this nature. After all, you’re not a robot. You care about your friend and her words. You can understand a person’s grief at the loss of her father even if your own is still alive.

And yet, what ends up happening is you not being able to finish the article without sobbing your brains out for a few minutes, chest heaving, gut clenching, heart aching.

I was surprised.

Let me clarify. I am aware of how grief works. That when you lose someone, sorrow and pain and loss can creep up on a person and stab you in the sides, catching you unaware. A random song on the radio or joke or a smell triggering a memory. A situation with your children reminding you of your own childhood. So, in the sense that I expected heartache to strike during unexpected moments, I wasn’t surprised at all. However, theory and practice are altogether different animals.

As many of you know, my father and I are estranged. I have not spoken or contacted him in three years. He has never met Gamera or Glow Worm and as far as I can predict or control, he will never do so.

He will never know the singular joy of being a grandfather to my beloved babies. He will never play and laugh and joke with my beautiful, silly children. He will never cuddle and cozy and tell stories and pass on his life experiences. He will never know. And I don’t know what is sadder to me: that he will never know these things, or that he doesn’t even care that he’s missing them.

I am angry.

Angry that my children will never know the comfort and joy of having a grandfather. Angry that my kids are robbed of one more person who should be in their corner, one more support in a world that can all too easily tear down. Angry that my father has robbed not only himself, but me and my children as well.

I am angry that I am still so, so sad. That my grief, which is normally dormant, has come to the fore, all hot and wet and full of snot.

I am angry that even years later, I feel as if my heart has been ripped from my chest, luridly beating, pumping out my life’s blood.

I am angry for all that could be, all that will never, and all that was.

I am angry that my father’s abuse and actions reverberate from my history into my present and my children’s future.

I am angry that I miss my daddy and that I still love him and that he still has the power to make me weep.

I am angry that all my tears are wasted on a man who has thrown us all away, like a pair of old, broken shoes.

I am so angry. And so very sad. And I can’t seem to stop crying.

That is all for tonight. Thank you for reading.

Temper, Temper

It has been a rough morning. Not sure exactly why since it really is your basic morning where my kids refuse to eat breakfast, I worry they will be hungry, then I scream at them at new volumes and crush their little souls and see them slump into their chairs, zoning me out as a coping mechanism because Mommy is yelling and mean and cruel and I know I am making things worse but my fury is so acute and I feel helpless and angry at myself and at my recalcitrant children and GAH. It’s not even 9am.

I always apologize and hug them and kiss them and tell them I love them, but you know what? It sounds really familiar. Both because I do it to my kids so often, and because I remember my father doing this to me. Well, perhaps not the apologizing. He never apologized. But he would say he loved me and hug me and kiss me after beating me or screaming at me or in general, making me feel worthless.

I feel the sweeping tide of violence rise up within me in moments of great frustration. It takes a lot of control to not want to physically throttle my kids – or worse. I abuse my power over my small children, using my voice and love like weapons to browbeat my kids into obeisance.

I make my children – especially Cookie Monster – feel small and helpless and incapable of pleasing me. He lashes out. I hear him change his voice to please me or just to clown around; insecure. Gamera will tell me not to yell at Cookie Monster and tell me I’m not kind. She will also cry so piteously. Glow Worm just stares.

I am a monster.

I am a tantrum throwing toddler.

I am my father.

I am sad and ashamed.

I realized something this morning. When I get this angry, it is the same type of anger I get when I am trying to assemble a piece of furniture only despite hours of sweat and labor, I can’t find the right part, or the piece doesn’t fit, or I’m done and there are too many leftover screws to be safe. Only when I kick the instructions or throw down my wrench in disgust and curse and bellow, I am mad at an inanimate object. I am mad because the things I’m trying to bend to my will aren’t bending the right way in the right speed with the right attitude. Except when I’m mad at my children, they aren’t things to be manipulated; my children are tiny people.

Tiny people to whom I’ve been entrusted not to break, to handle with care and dignity, and to protect (at a basic minimum). Even more so, my children are tiny people to whom I’ve been entrusted to nurture and teach and grow and help thrive.

It’s just, why can’t they be tiny obedient people?

That really would make my job a lot easier. With a lot less yelling.

Truth is, I like yelling. I mean, I hate myself when I do it, but I feel slightly less out of control (even though it’s the exact opposite). It feels like “parenting” to me. (Sigh. Just when you think you’re past a lot of brokeness, you blink and you discover even more.) Yelling makes me feel powerful. And I am. Yay me. Way to go. Yelling at small children. So strong and brave and courageous I am.

Ever since coming back from Taiwan, I have felt off. Either a mild depression or some mild dissatisfaction with my life. But I feel it seeping out in the ways I treat my family, the way my discontent sinks deeper and deeper into my bones. I’m not sure I have figured out what it is, yet.

I want to blame external circumstances and other people, but let’s be brutally honest. It’s me. I have a problem.

I want to believe that I can just power through and solve this on my own. I want to re-read good parenting books or just hope that re-reading the Bible or whatever trendy parenting blog will fix me and yay! I’m all better! But I know myself. I will get better for a few days – if I’m lucky, a few weeks, and then slowly but surely, I slip back into who I really am.

Water always finds its level.

Holy crap. I think I’m depressed. As in, not an emotional state, but a physical state of being. I will need to think on this some more.

I hesitate to end the post on such a Bleh note. Hopefully, I’m just in a funk and not a full blown episode of depression.

Wish me luck, friends! And Jesus. I’m sure I need lots of Jesus. And babies. Lots of fatty babies for me to snarfle and kiss and devour and then hand back to their mommies.

My Language Is Not A Cool “Picture” For Your Ass

Today’s post is super short because I hate ranting for too long. And be assured, friends. I am doing you all a favor by cutting it short.

So, I really should be used to Chinese characters being used all over the place, most often, incorrectly and full of gibberish – especially on people’s bodies as permanent body “art,” but I digress. Even though butchering foreign languages and exoticizing “Oriental” words is commonplace on both sides of the Pacific, (eg: hilarious Chinese to English translations), this is still cultural appropriation. (Usually by some New Agey white dude spouting off pseudo-philosophical nonsense and passing it off as “Ancient Chinese wisdom.” Here’s some Ancient Chinese wisdom for you, “Shut your fucking pie hole, you douche.” I would say it in Chinese but my parents never taught me how to properly do the swears in Chinese. A terrible oversight on their part, in my opinion.)

I do realize that most people wouldn’t know the difference between crap Chinese characters and the Real Deal Holyfield, but FFS people, Chinese is an actual language which over a billion actual people read and write. Some of whom, LIVE IN THE GORRAM UNITED STATES. Now, not all of us can read or write Chinese with facility (mine is mediocre at best), but there also exists GOOGLE TRANSLATE as well as the fucking internet in general. Don’t be trying to seem all “zen” or whatever by throwing in random Chinese words in the mix.

Alright. I’m sick of hearing myself rant so in closing, I direct you to this blog, where Americans immortalize gibberish Chinese words on their bodies. It makes me feel better.

Happy Monday, people!

Starving the Beast

You guys, I really am an ass of monumental proportions. I really don’t know what is my deal lately, but everything (and I mean everything) makes me angry or cranky or hypercritical or entitled or snipey or sarcastic (which, as much as it is funny to watch on television, is not really helpful to situations or a particularly kind way to deal with small children). Even attempts by Hapa Papa and poor Cookie Monster, who so desperately wants to please me, fall flat and either make me meaner or only temporarily make me feel better. Then I revert back to my horrible, beastly, selfish self.

I really want this to be a hormonal problem. Or an “other people” problem. Or even a situational problem.

But really, it’s a character problem. My character problem.

I really hate that.

I mean, even the way I wrote the first paragraph is telling. I’m some poor victim, reacting and blindly lashing out at all the cruelties and insufferable indignities my lousy children and husband are lobbing in my general direction. It’s their fault I’m cranky or mean. Why can’t they just get their shit together? Why am I the only one who has any sort of fucking sense?

But I know, deep down, that it is all my fault. I am choosing to be an ungrateful, cruel, short-tempered, exacting, whiny little child throwing a pique because I can’t have all the things all right now in the manner that I am accustomed to. I have no care for how my actions affect my children or Hapa Papa or anyone else. All I am thinking of are my needs. My wants. My preferences. My desires. Everyone else could just go suck on a rock.

Of course I know what I’m doing. I am a grown up who is not completely oblivious to social cues and how people work. And yet, I keep feeding my selfish inner beast. I choose to be a jerk and each time I give in to my baser desires, the choices become less and less obvious and become more and more a way of life and a way of being. It is becoming harder and harder to stop. (Oh, let’s not sugarcoat. I rarely rein in my sharp tongue these past few days and weeks. I’m not even sure for how long it’s been going on. This is a super big problem.)

Telling myself to knock it off already isn’t really helping either. I’m just going to have to accept the fact that vices are easy to fall into, but climbing out of them is like detoxing – rather difficult and full of withdrawals. I think first and foremost on the list is for me to just STFU. That awesome zinger I want to throw at Hapa Papa? Not helpful. (Particularly when he’s been graciously swooping the kiddos out of the way of my immediate wrath.)

Constantly criticizing Cookie Monster for whatever four year old thing he did to get attention because his mommy has been a real bitch lately? Not kind. (Gamera constantly scolds me for being unkind to Cookie Monster. She is quite a fierce little sister. Also, when I scolded her this morning, she growled, “You can’t talk to my ear! You don’t know what you talking about it!” She escapes most of my criticism because she is very good at manipulating me. Cookie Monster, however, is like a giant golden retriever puppy. All enthusiasm. No cunning whatsoever.)

But really, who wants to be a screeching banshee all the time at their kids? I’m not even yelling at them so much as tearing them down, little by little. Gamera might hold up just fine since she’s a brawler, but Cookie Monster? That sweet boy’s soul is withering right before my very eyes. (Although, come to think of it, he’s a pretty good manipulator, too. He constantly looks up dolefully with his big, brown eyes and says all wobbly, “You scream at me, Mama.” Even when I didn’t! Just because he knows I will immediately apologize and then he’s wriggled out of getting in trouble. My children are way too smart for me.)

Anyhow, before I got sidetracked by the brilliance of my own children, where was I? Ah, yes. Shutting the proverbial fuck up.

We are going DefCon1 on my inner beastie. It is times like these when I pray desperately, “Help me not be me!” I think it will take both divine grace and all my humanly power to fight my natural evil inclinations. I know at the root of it is my heart being a hard and recalcitrant piece of coal. I can only hope that a combination of God’s mercy and my tackling the outward symptoms of being mean will help.

As for being silent ? That will require a miracle. Or some metal wire.

Sometimes, My Day Needs a Delete Button

Today was horrible. It’s not even over yet. I can only hope that with the last remaining 4.25 hours, nothing explodes. I might explode. I am so furious, I just may spontaneously combust.

It’s Mother’s Day, too. Irony.

I woke up in a spectacularly shitty mood. I’ve been doing that lately. I keep hoping it’s hormones. Maybe I’m pregnant. (Nope.) Maybe I’m getting my period, finally. (Nope.) Or maybe, I ‘m just choosing to be a complete terror of a human being. (Maybe.)

Whatever the reason, I tried to snap out of it (ok, not really) but I would snap back into my funk almost instantaneously.

All I wanted was time to clean my bathroom. I hate cleaning bathrooms. I hate dirty bathrooms even more.

That’s a really fucking low bar for a happy Mother’s Day, but I don’t really care for holidays, anyhow. Besides, it’s not like I could just sleep all day, read, and eat without any small humans in the way – which is what I would REALLY LIKE RIGHT NOW.

I love my children. (I say through gritted teeth. Note to self: When you have to repeat “I love my children” like a mantra or a reminder or a last shred of sanity, it’s probably time to call it a day.)

I did not love my children well at all today. I still kinda don’t want to.

Hapa Papa left for London until Wednesday and I’m stuck alone with three small children who are conspiring to drive me crazy. He even took all three kids to the park this afternoon so I could have some alone time for a few hours. But it was not enough.

It all started when Cookie Monster and Gamera took forever to eat breakfast. They’re always laggards with eating, but whenever Hapa Papa has them in the morning, it’s even worse. Then, when I get them back, they backslide and suck and I get mad both at them and Hapa Papa for inflicting me with this. They eventually finish as well as eat lunch. They stuff their face full of snacks. It’s my own fault. I know. Then they complain and whine and whine and whine about being hungry for dinner so I make them dinner and what happens? They refuse to eat dinner. So I take it away and don’t even bother. I banish them to their rooms; I am so mad. Even Glow Worm, who normally eats just fine, is in on the hunger strike tonight.

All night, it is one thing after another. Glow Worm won’t go to sleep. Gamera and Cookie Monster burst into his room right when he is about to finally fall asleep again. I lose it and yell at them and tell them I will give them away. I force them to sit in the corner of my room. Glow Worm is screaming his brains out because hey, why can’t he sleep through his mother going ballistic? I try to comfort him, but he isn’t having it. I leave him to figure it out on his own.

And then, when I go back to my room, I turn back my sheets and what do I find all over my bed? Sand.

OMG MY BED IS FULL OF SAND.

I HATE TODAY I HATE TODAY I HATE TODAY.

There, I said it. I hate today. Fuck today. It can go suck on a rock. Mother’s Day be damned. I’ve never cared for Mother’s Day. Haven’t really even had a good one since I became a mother. I mean, they weren’t bad, really, just not anything particularly great. And today? TODAY WAS REALLY BAD.

Sometimes, when a day is going poorly, I want to hit “reset” and start over. Today is going so well, it needs to be deleted. As in, excised from my life. Poof! Monday better be a whole lot better or I’m gonna have some words.

Sigh. I better get over whatever malaise I’m going through because this cannot stand. My children will be rioting and I will be paying for their therapy for years to come. Poor little things. Too bad they’re such little shits sometimes. But what can they do when their mommy is determined to be a bitch and go rampaging?

They are much easier to love when they are asleep. (I think I am, too.)

Tomorrow will be better. I will it to happen even if it kills me.

Attitude Adjustment

I’ve been super cranky lately and have reverted back to yelling at the kids. Still yelling less than before, but more than I am happy with. Especially since it reminds me of sad childhood memories.

Part of it is because I’ve been making unwise sleeping choices and three weeks of crappy sleep are taking its toll. (Mental note: Go to sleep!) Another part is that Gamera has become extremely stubborn and willful. Now, everyone has always told me that Gamera is super stubborn but I wasn’t sure if she was more stubborn than your average kid or if it was a gendered comment like “bossy.” For instance, perhaps if she’d been a boy, instead of being stubborn, people would say she’s decisive, sticks to her guns, independent, or even unphased by peer-pressure. After all, Cookie Monster can also be stubborn and no one ever tells me, “Oh, you have to watch out for that one.”

However, I now see that Gamera takes stubbornness to another level. Gamera would cut off her nose to spite her face. The other day, she refused to eat breakfast and no threats or bribes would sway her. In fact, she chose to miss out on a birthday party rather than give into me.

I was livid. Then, as I mulled it over, I realized she was exactly like me when I was little. Karma’s a bitch.

When I was younger, anytime my father tried to force me to his will, I would dig in. I would rather suffer any punishment just to be right and make him regret trying to control me. Some of it was justified. My father was a bully and a control freak. (Doh! This is sounding familiar.) He would yell, “I know what you are thinking! Stop it!” He would actually punish me for my alleged thoughts. That’s ridiculous. A person should have the freedom to think whatever the fuck they want.

I remember once when I was around six or seven and I was drowning my food in soy sauce. My father said I needed to use less or I would have to drink a mug of soy sauce. I chose to drink a mug of soy sauce. Then, I proceeded to vomit all over him and his bathroom. To this day, I take immense satisfaction and think the barfing was totally worth it.

Another time, I yelled something about freedom (as stupid teenagers are wont to do) and my father said I didn’t even know what that word meant. He told me I could either apologize or copy the definition out of the dictionary one hundred times. Do we even need to guess what I chose? My father had to force me to stop copying the definition over and over again. I took sadistic pleasure in martyring myself to hurt him.

In fact, I often chose to deny myself food or cut myself, or take a bunch of pills or cut up my own picture or jewelry he gave me all in an effort to punish him. A way to physically say, “You’ll be sorry!” Although, in retrospect, who was I hurting, really? Certainly, not him! I was young and stupid and in a lot of pain for nothing.

Also, my father really was a prick.

So anyway, Gamera refused to eat her breakfast for about four days in a row. Some people would just tell me to change up her breakfast from oatmeal to anything else. But you know what? I can be stubborn, too. I was not going to change things up just because she didn’t want to eat oatmeal. When she’s grown or can make her own food, she can eat whatever the hell she wants. But until then: oatmeal it was.

Anyhow, I finally got so annoyed that I decided to serve her glue-like oatmeal for every single meal until she ate it. This girl lasted a whole entire day until 7:30pm. That is some iron will! Then she obligingly ate all her oatmeal. Since she was still hungry, I made her dinner as well. She didn’t want to eat the carrots and wanted more meat, but I told her she could get more meat if she just ate two carrots. I left for an outing and when I came back, her plate was completely licked clean – down to the last grain of rice – except for four, perfect carrots.

Hapa Papa asked my mother if I ever pulled the same stunt for refusing food and I cut in replying, “How do you think I learned the trick of serving the same food repeatedly until they eat? I have distinct memories of the same thing done to me!”

My mother just laughed.

My parents often tell a story of me refusing to eat my dinner and them leaving me in my high chair until I ate my dinner. When they came back downstairs to check in on me, I’d fallen asleep in the chair, mouth still full of food.

As they say, the Gamera doesn’t fall far from the tree. Blergh. Well, at least I know better than to force her to do anything. That would be guaranteed failure. I will just have to keep my inner control freak in check and not care what she chooses. After all, it is better for her to suffer the consequences of relatively minor things than whatever nonsense she’ll have to deal with when she’s older.

Sorry. That was quite the tangent.

Anyhow, back to why I’ve been so cranky.

The last reason, I think, is that I’m not getting what I want to do done during the day. I feel too much like I’ve gotten nothing accomplished and to be fair, I’ve slacked off a lot lately. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ve always been a slacker. Tiger Mom I am NOT. So I’ve come up with a list of things I’d like to do on any given day. Of course, the danger comes when I bite off more than I can chew and then I feel like even more of a failure. (Wait, I want to homeschool??)

I know I’ve got to slowly phase things in so they become a way of life/habit vs just something I do on the spur of the moment. sigh

Here’s my list of what I’d like to get done any given day:

1) Make and drink a smoothie. (For everyone in the family. That will take care of our vegetables.)
2) Write an hour.
3) Spend 15 minutes per subject teaching Cookie Monster: to read, basic math, and Chinese
4) Make at least one meal (that is not processed)
5) Clean for 15 minutes
6) Read the Bible
7) Have the kids play outside for at least 30 minutes.
8) Read at least 3 books to the kids. (Sadly, something I hate doing. I’m a jerk.)

Other things I’d like to build into the family schedule and make time for:

1) Hiking/walking outdoors and naturey stuff (like camping)
2) Cherry picking/strawberry picking/farm related activities

This will be My Grand Experiment to see if I can do this. If I can for a month or more, I think I have a decent shot at making homeschooling work. Wish me luck – if only for my children’s sake! Seomtei