We're half way through the deployment, and this is when it starts getting hard. The newness of it all has worn off. I'm tired of the kids in my face 24-7. People have stopped calling to make sure I'm ok. The other day, Tony wanted to chat online, and he got himself a webcam. I hate webcams, because all you do is look at the person typing. I told him about oovoo and how we could talk through the cameras, but he didn't download it. Anyway, as he is sitting there in the quiet villa, with guys going in and out and cracking jokes with him like some type of dorm, drinking his beer and talking about his upcoming weekend off, I honestly wanted to claw his eyes out. I was struck with such a white hot flash of bitterness, it surprised me how strong that feeling was. It probably stemmed from the fact that here it was 3 pm and Aislinn had just come home from school, and everything was crazy here. So, while I'm fielding questions, breaking up fights, fetching drinks, telling kids to do this and that that last thing I want to see is him sitting at 10 pm his time, chillin' with a beer.
I find the bitterness creeping up at different times lately. Like the stress of care packages. You should always send your overseas loved one care packages, yet the same is never expected of the overseas person. I don't get that. Especially this time around. He's not on a ship, they've only been to sea once, he's living in a house in town. He can't send a package? He couldn't send the kids birthay cards? I mean honestly. Here I am busting my ass to make sure he has a package, a package of stuff he can buy at the store, just to show how much we love him, yet no one thinks "Hey has he sent YOu anything?"
That is another thing. Everyone always thinks I should be SO accomodating to him. He's the one that is gone. This probably irks me the most. Look, as much as we want to romanticize this whole deployment thing, he's not getting shot at in Iraq. There I said it. People hear "deployment" and think he's off defending the American way. No. He's not. He's working on a broken ship and coming home to the Villa every night to watch movies. Don't feel bad for him. Truly. He's getting paid for this. Trust me, I get that it's hard for him to be away, but you know.. gotta figure if you JOIN THE NAVY this shit was going to happen. Just sayin'. I guess you could say well you gotta figure if you marry a man in the Navy this is going to happen. He wasn't in the Navy when we were first together. He joined.. behind my back. So you know there's that whole aspect of it too.
Meh so you know.. it doesn't get easier the longer it lasts, it actually gets harder. Not only are you kinda done at the half way point, you're also on end of it, and you are also excited as the end is in sight. That takes a lot of energy, reigning in your excitement.
On a more positive note, Aislinn will be nine on Sunday. I just can't believe it. I had a parent teacher conference yesterday with her teacher, and it was a good one. We've been in contact through out the year over Aislinn's homework woes. Basically the teacher told me that I should not allow myself to get sucked in by helping her. She said that she should no longer need me to sit right there, and help her. Thank God. It has really gotten on my nerves. She also told me not to check her homework to make sure it's right. I admitted to her that I had kinda stopped that for awhile because it just made my night SO much easier. Aislinn would freak out when she would see me marking things wrong on her homework, and start crying. So, in turn she was to afraid to write answers down, she wanted me to verify the correct answer BEFORE she wrote it down. As you can imagine this was frustrating. This was our conversations for homework:
"Mom? I think this answer is five. Am I right?"
"I don't know. Are you?"
"Can you check to see if the answer is five?"
"No Aislinn, just do your homework, I'll check it after and if it's wrong we'll go over it together"
"But! Why can't you just tell me if it's five?"
"No, Aislinn. It's not my homework ok?"
"But, I don't want to write the wrong answer down!"
"Don't worry about writing down the wrong answer"
"But, jajdkakdkjakjdaddk" (this is her blubbering and crying)
"Geez, Aislinn crying isn't going to give you the answer is it?"
"I just wiajdkasdfajsdfafjjf"
I walk over and look
"No, the answer is not five, there happy? Now that is it! Ok?"
"Sniff. Thanks mommy"
"Is the answer four?"
Do you see how much time gets wasted? Why homework lasts two and half hours? She won't go do her homework upstairs, so its 2.5 hours of being absolutely silent so as not to distract her. The teacher said read the direction with her. If she still pushes on the whole "I don't get it thing" (something the teacher says she DOES NOT do at school) then do the first one with her, and stress that was all I was going to do. Then ask her how long she thought it would take her to do that particular thing. Set a timer for 5 minutes more than she thinks she'll get it done. If the timer goes off and she's not done, set it aside, even if unfinished and say Mrs. Morgan (the teacher) will help her tomorrow, but more than likely she'll have to skip recess to do it. Then move on to the next. The hope is that if we work together, if she realizes that what happens at school affects home, and vice versa, she'll stop farting around and focus. I plan on getting a pencil box while out today, and sharpening a ton of pencils and filling it with erasers as this is another stalling tactic of hers. Break teh pencil lead know it is going to be a hassle to get a new one sharpened. Bite the eraser off so we have to find another pencil with a decent eraser. What's hysterical is that she expends so much energy NOT doing her homework, energy that could be used to JUST DO IT GOD DAMN IT!
She is so smart though. I just want to focus this energy into more positive things you know?
Speaking of smart... here are a list of Louies commands he can do consistently:
wait.. I make him wait at his bowl when it's time to eat, I put his bowl of food down and he must wait until I say ok, then he goes to the bowl and eats.
get the ball... this one is when he has dropped the ball too far away. I feel as the master I shouldn't have to go and get his ball to throw it. He should bring it to me. So I say "Get the ball" and he knows to bring it closer. Whatever it takes to get me to throw it, he'll do.
What we're working on
Beg ...he really just wants to jump up and snatch the food out of my fingers. I can't figure out how to get him to stay on his butt.
Roll over...he got this one right away this morning, but he rolls on his back not all the way around.
Other one... shake with opposite paw.
There really is no other reason to teach him these things other than 1. I think it's kinda fun and 2. I think it keeps him on his toes mentally. He's such a curious little guy. I watch him around the yard, and I've honestly never seen such a curious dog. You can just see his mind working. It's so me to get an ADD kinda dog. When we do the tricks, he likes it. I'm sure its the food in my hand he really likes, but I also think he likes his little mental work out. I love to watch him try to get around the tricks to get the treat. When he sees the clicker in my hand, he immediately sits, and then will go through the gamut of tricks without me asking. Like he knows usually shake is the last trick to get the treat, so he will immediatly shake right off the bat. The clicker is what sealed it for us. Louie hears praise from us all the time. So, having that CLICK lets him know.. Yeah good boy you did it! Then he knows the treat is coming. What's funny is I've started to chain the tricks together. Sit and then lay down and then shaket before he'll get the treat. After lay down though, sometimes he'll look at the clicker willing me to click it. Then huff a bit when I don't and then goes ahead and shakes.
The cat.. she's a cat. She eats poops and sleeps. She doesn't do anything cool.
Jonny is doing well. Loves school, becoming a little man. Still my snuggy butt.