Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween and uses and mis-uses for children.

Huzzah! Huzzah for Halloween. This is my favourite holiday. Actually this is my favourite time of year. I am very much an autumn type of gal. I love the colours, the weather, the smell of decaying leaves, the darkening evenings, yep, I'm pretty in my element right about now.
Also I like Halloween. I like scary movies, eating my own body weight in jellies, and all the kids going around in their costumes, as long as those costumes don't them look like hookers from Vegas. I mean, seriously.
I like that you can wander into town and see people wearing devil horns and rabbit ears. It's funny, and because it's a short holiday it's much less bloody wearing than christmas. So yay for Halloween. I have goodies here inside the door for the trick or treaters. They better come this year, I can't eat that much mini Mars and milky way bars. ( or caaaann I?)
Anyway, this neatly brings me on to my next topic, the use and misuse of small children. T'was the bold Gimmie who reminded me of this tale, as he fought the sugar rush and breakage wrecked upon his home by his beloved child.

Sometimes small children and sugar are a very bad combination.

Very recently I was sitting in the kitchen of my eldest sister's home. We were both drinking shiraz, she was cooking, I was flicking through Hello Magazine while her brood argued back and forth over Bratz dolls, (the boy was trying to behead them, the girl was trying to save them and the baby was trying to eat them).
I watched them battle it out for a few moments. 'They're very excitable today are they not?'
'Their granny was here earlier, she brought Smarties with her.'
'You know how they get.'
'I do indeed. I can hear how they get.'
Then my sister told me a story.
She has a friend who has separated from her husband of ten years. Well, he left her, for much younger totty. So natch she's just the tiniest bit touchy and bitter-even though she got the fine house and the kids. Frankly he wasn't all that, I'd take a house over his lady patch hair and moobular self any day but then that's just me.
Where was I? Oh yes. Well he takes the kids every other weekend- they have a girl of eight and a boy of four. According to my sister-and I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this, the night before old wandering dick picks them up, she-the mother- lets them stay up as late as they want, gets them up early the next morning and lets them drink coke and eat crap before they are picked up. Cue, two hours later, a vicious sugar drop and cranky, wild, teary, exhausted children and a stressed father and a new girlfriend who is convinced the kids hate her and that they might just be spawn of the devil and really, she's doesn't like moobs that much.
I did point out to my sister that this woman an absolute shite for using her children as weapons, but my sister just shrugged and went back to making cottage pie while yelling at her own crew to stop fighting so loudly. Or if they were going to kill each other take it into a different room.
I took a sip of wine and stole a carrot and resolved to store this story for future fatcat imaginary children that might one day be babysat by my mother.

Using children as pawns in marriage, I am against it!

Dressing dogs in capes, I'm all for it!



Anonymous Shebah said...

Autumn is a lovely time - I love walking through the park with feet crunching through dry crackly leaves. I have my pumpkin carved with candle inside,ready to put outside the door. Kids over here usually only call to houses that have a lighted pumpkin out. And I agree that using kids as pawns to inflict as much revenge as possible is a low blow that too many couples use - though I can sort of understand why they do it. I guess its irresistable when its the only ammo you've got. The kids are the losers in this kind of warfare, though.

10:08 a.m.  
Anonymous Nonny said...

I wouldn’t be impressed if my little nippers where going off to see Daddy and his mistress, it’s not exactly a stellar example of trust and honesty. It paints a poor picture of how goodies suffer whist badies are rewarded. Although, doing that on the little blighters is just mean; I would tell them that their father had an affair though, just do blame is diverted in his direction.

10:26 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Shebah me on to on the leaves, in fact I have to physically resist kicking swept up piles.

People break up, it's a fact of life. I don't think children benefit from being used. And I don't think it's fair to make them think about adult relationship, thye have no idea what's going on a and should be shielded as much as possible. They're only children.

10:44 a.m.  
Anonymous Nonny said...

I don’t mean explicit details but they should be thought about responsibility and trust. And indeed people break up for various reasons but half the time it is ridiculous as soon as the wind changes they check out. How can somebody like that rear a responsible individual? I would not promote or justify a coward who runs out on his family for a younger model. That man is not a positive role model.

10:56 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

God, I havent had a milky way in ages. Now I've got a craving and its all your fault FMC.

The mother seems incredibly selfish by attempting to sabotage the fathers relationship with his kids. She will inevitably force her issues and insecurites on the children without a second thought for their future adult relationships.

11:01 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

"That man is not a positive role model.'
Maybe not, but he is their father. Her using them to get at him is not exactly positive either.

Sheep, I'm so very sorry. But it's mini bar time of year is it not?

11:03 a.m.  
Anonymous Nonny said...

What that woman is doing is terrible and blatant abuse of her position. I would tell the children who is responsible though the need to know the repercussions and just because he is their father it doesn’t make him a good person. Why would you want your children to think what he did was ok? If you are prepared to bring a child into the world and marry somebody you should be prepared to make them a priority. I cannot stand excuse makers they are the ruination of modern society.

11:19 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Thats a lot of supposition there Nonny. Maybe he is a prick, or maybe they were both unhappy and she is using him as a scape goat...

11:59 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Nonny said "I would not promote or justify a coward who runs out on his family for a younger model". Nonny, you can't force people to stay together if they no longer like each other. Better for them and the kids that they split up, sooner the better, so each can have a chance of a new life. Nothing worse than kids growing up with two parents who can't stand each other. That's an even worse role model.

12:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Nonny said...

How do you marry somebody like that? I don't really buy that all of a sudden you wake up one morning and realise your partner/wife is an auld cunt. And having an affair that is wrong I would want my children to know that. If I was to bring a child into the world I would be prepared to set up shop with the father for the long haul. Unless off course he was a wife beater or such. If you are not prepared for long term commitment then don't have children, simple as that. Causing undue heartache to your own children in favour of another woman is pathetic.

12:33 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I love Halloween also, FMC. It's the only holiday that I get worked up about and throw up decorations. I have been eating Reese's Peanut Butter cups for the past week and really need to unload the candy.
People do fucked up shit with the kids when they break up and don't think the kids don't know it.
The dog is adorable, btw.

1:11 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

Autumn - sweaters and big boots! YAY!!

See, though, I don't see giving the children sugar before a visit with the ex-spouse all that bad. If the mother has to deal with the kids MOST of the time, and sees the entire range of behavior, from angelic to demonseed, the father needs to get a glimpse of all the behaviors, in his limited time with them. And the kids aren't suffering- they're getting all these treats, which is all they're really after.

All I'm saying is that in the scheme of things, this isn't the worst thing a mother could do. She could continually demonize the father around the kids, and exposing them to the sordidness of bad-daddy's behavior when they're that young is more damaging in the long run than an afternooon of sugar drops and tears...

1:40 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I see Michael K has a picture up for you of a shirtless ginger dude.
Hee hee.

3:11 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evening chumlies, I was out and about getting my foot checked out at this awesome place called Swifthealth in Dundrum. You pay, they look after you IMMEDIATLY, no faffing about. I've pulled my tendon, the one that stabilises my foot, that's why it hurts when I walk but not any other time. So Huzzah! At least I know what it is and more importantly, what it is not.
Andraste yay indeed for big boots,and also for scarves and hats. I do like to wear hats.
Medbh, I saw it, I have it on my desktop, who could resist such a ginger specimen.

4:37 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Jesus Christ, Nonny, lighten up.

6:48 p.m.  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

The thing about kicking the leaves all around in glee though, is that underneath there is often a great big dog poo. It's a metaphor for life, maybe.

I reckon that there are a million and 6 reasons that people split up, and it is almost never just as simple as He have affair = Bad; She = suffering wifey = good. There are thousands of ways she might torment the man completely outwith the spirit - if not the letter - of a loving marriage. People are people, not machines and we change. We can't help it - it's part of being human. Bad things happen to us, good things - they all leave some sort of imprint on us whether we realise it or not. Lucky are the couple who are still compatible after all the changes have been weathered.

Nonny, I think you're talking about the type of people who divorce right after their first post-baby argument and you're right - they are gits if they can't even try to work it out for their kids. I don't think that telling kids what a louse their father is is a good idea though. Such things often backfire plus the mother would be hard-pressed to separate out her own bitterness from the mere information she might want to convey about the lousiness. Kids pick up on bitterness in a heartbeat and I think she'd be as guilty of trying to manipulate the kids to her end as the sleep-depriving over-sugaring mother

Using your kids as a weapon against your husband is always shite. And chemically manipulating them to become brats for the day is just mean.

6:51 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Sam, I was running down Orwell Garadens the other week in pre-M training, Now Orwell Gardens is just of Dartry Rioad in Rathgar and it is a short street, but choca-bloc full of delightfully GORGEOUS red brick homes with ornate greenhouses, box hedges and mature beech trees, which at this time of year are shedding piles of yummy crunchy leaves in reds and umbers and ochre and buttercup yellow and nutella brown.
I was toodley poodling along, my heart full of sunshine and lollipops when I spied the largest pile of freshly swept leaves my beady eyes ever did see, just sitting there on the footbath, with a person just inside the wall of one of the gardens, unwinding a refuse sack from a roll.
As I was telling the paramour later that evening, it took EVERY ounce of my will power not to leap into that pile and kick it to smithereens screaming 'WEEEEEE!! WEEEEEE!' at the top of my lungs and then run away. EVERY SINGLE OUNCE. I daresay even if I had done it and been caught and given a good stern kcik in the pants it would have been worth it. I mean it was almost waist high. And just SITTING there.

7:34 p.m.  
Anonymous laughykate said...

Nonny - shit happens, people break up, people get hurt. That's life. But when you don't know the facts its incredibly arrogant to judge them from the security and safety of your own world.

8:53 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Ok. Its quarter past 10 and the bangers/fireworks/bombs are still going off. Bah humbug, I says.

10:20 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Humm, it has stopped here, but it was nuts earlier, some real humdingers. Although Puddy slept through it. Unflappable.

10:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Sheesh said...

Hhmm ... on telling the kids about an affair ... my Mother told me when I was 16 that my Dad had an affair years prior to that. And had clearly wanted to say it for a long time. And as someone said, hard to separate the telling from the bitterness - and quite impossible for her. Anyway, I really disliked him for about 10 years after that. A lot. And elevated my Mother to minor saint status. Which I'm quite sure was exactly what she wanted.

I should've been able to see things a little clearer; but I wasn't. Martyr Mother; Bad Dad. That's how it went in my head - "how could he do that to us", and all that. Until I was old enough to see them as real people, and not mainly in their roles as parents. And then, not that I particularly agree with what he did, I began to see things from his point of view ... how wearing constant nagging and picking and blaming is. And how unhappy he must've been. And how he will never, ever be allowed to forget how she "put up with" him after that. Notice she never says "forgive". And how if you are invisible to your partner, and constantly criticised, maybe you look for something with a bit more warmth elsewhere. And how we were on occasion reminded that she "stayed because where do you go with two young children".

So no late nights and sugar - just emotional bullying of the kids into "being on her side" - as we were for years, until we all grew up and realised that there is no black and white in these things. And that the self-portrayed "goodie" was very far from the only one who was sinned against.

What Sheepworrier said describes my feelings precisely "The mother seems incredibly selfish by attempting to sabotage the fathers relationship with his kids. She will inevitably force her issues and insecurites on the children without a second thought for their future adult relationships." Yep, mine did this for years. And guess who we are closer to today. Kinda backfired on her really! Speaking from purely personal experience, I would've preferred if details of my parents relationship was kept between them. All the knowledge that my Dad had an affair did was mess up our relationship with him when we were teenagers - and completely sour our relationship with our Mother when we were old enough to understand shades of grey - and recognise being manipulated into reflecting how she felt about him.

12:42 a.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

Hey FMC,
I'm too drunk to read through all the comments before this - on this subject - I'm busy trying to find the keys on the bloody keyboard.
Amazing how difficult it can be after a bottle... or two...
Hate to tell you though - I don't like Halloween.
Actually, I can't think of any holiday that I like?
In any country, anywhere.
I hate them all.
Commercial-f*cking-b*llocks, all of them.
That's how I see them.
F*ck them and the Pope!
But I agree completely with you on the child thingie though...!
Eh, I can't speak anymore, so...............
A domani, cara

12:57 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Go raibh máith agút, you drunken hussy.

Sheesh, that is very unpleasant and familiar to read, the smell of burning martyr is very strong in some people.
I would be firmly against anyone using children to win affection or trying to force kids to choose between parents. I think kids can see for themselves when they are adults what sort of people their parents are and treat them accordingly. I don't like manipulation of the easily manipulated and think it is deeply unfair to expect children to think like adults and understand strictly adult themes and emotions.
No, I think the greatest service anyone can perform for their children is to raise them lovingly, annd if parents split-as can happen- to make that splits as painless as possible for the children involved. Even if that means biting your tongue a WHOLE lot.

8:05 a.m.  
Anonymous Return of The Mac said...

"Using children as pawns in marriage, I am against it! "

haha - the clever "in marriage" qualifier sneakily entered by FMC to leave the door open for (possible)(future)(imaginary) weapons of kiddie destruction on her mother!

9:31 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Eeek! Damn your observant hide!

9:59 a.m.  
Anonymous Sheesh said...

Yep, with you all the way FMC. I actually didn't mean to say all that ... I guess a nerve was hit! The burning martyr smell is much less these days - I find it lessens if roundly ignored!!

Well done on the marathon, much respect.

And am I the only one who finds the new profile cat ever so slightly sinister?! Like a cat that has seen you getting dressed, and quite frankly finds you lacking? (and I mean 'one'; not you!)

8:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Quite all right darling, better out than in, I say.
I like the cat's prissy face, I can imagine her clutching a handbag in one paw a drink in the other saying, 'so what DO you do?'

8:45 p.m.  
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