I think I'm going to write a book.
After standing in the psychology section, the parenting section, and the self help section of the bookstore, I'm seeing a decided lack of realistic books on parenting. Let's cut to the chase and stop using all the euphemisms. Spirited child? Yeah, come to terms with the fact that your kids is WILD. It's like AA, once you speak your problem out loud, it becomes easier to tackle.
I want to write a book called "How To Not Fuck Up Your Kids".
Direct and to the point.
Obviously, there is a need for it.
Reading the stories of local child abuse trials, listening to horrifying stories in group, and knowing what my stbx did, there are a lot of people out there that need a "Dick and Jane" type easy reader book with large font and lots of pictures that has a simple directive on each page.
Don't raise your child in a meth house.
Don't fill your baby's bottle with rum.
Don't twist your child's arm until you hear that annoying cracking sound.
Don't show your child pornography.
Don't use your child for pornography.
Don't let "Uncle Joe" babysit for the kids. What he learned in prison isn't going to involve positive early childhood education.
Don't hold your child's head under water.
Don't hold your child's hand on a hot stove.
Don't work as a prostitute out of your own home (I learned that one from Watchmen. For God's sake, get a street corner).
Don't pass out drunk among the Legos (those little bastards are sharp!)
If it feels wrong, then DON'T DO IT.
There will also be the section for the mildly awful parent.
Don't call your child stupid.
Don't live your obnoxious dreams through your child.
Don't shame your child.
And for God's sake, don't be one of those piss awful hockey Nazi parents that scream obscenities at the ref and beat other parents up.
Oh, and if your kid doesn't make the cheerleading squad, don't plot to kill the kid that did.
This whole life of mine lately has really made me think about the legacies that we pass on to our kids. I see so many horrible things (and when you're going through this, your vision is terribly clear) and I want to grab people and just shake the shit out of them. My kids asked me, long before this, why I was still married to such a loser. That was the beginning of my awakening to the truth of my marriage. It took the honesty of kids to point out what I was trying to ignore.
When stbx told me he was cheating, I brought up the fact that the kids had wondered for a long time why I was still married to him. "Is that ALL they said?" he demanded.
Yeah, what he was fishing for was whether or not my daughter had told me what he did. Once I found out the truth, I looked back on this conversation in absolute disgust. What a good dad! Trying to save his ass to the bitter end.
Perhaps the last page of my book will be for people like me.
Trust no one.