Megan Ryan’s Voice - It’s only week four of this year’s homeschooling, and already I can’t wait until it’s over…sometimes. Most people automatically assume the material/teaching is the hard part about homeschooling aka am I smart enough to teach? That’s not it. The REAL hard part is discipline, especially schooling teenagers. Being the teacher AND the principal and meting out the punishments, then stickin’ to yer guns. Teenagers are professional soldiers when it comes to emotional battles, and it’s all too easy to get stuck in trench warfare with them. Our teens are no different. They aren’t sassy, gum poppin’, eye rolling brats like a lot of public schoolers, but they are stubborn all the same. (Aren’t ALL teens??) They are having the usual difficulty (denial) in getting back into the new/old routine of school, and they are making everyone pay by shirking work and walking around with silent but dark thunderclouds over their heads. I’m SURE I was the same at that age – I freakin’ hated school.
As you know, I already warned them not to try last year’s shenanigans, but they’re doing it anyway. Neglecting subjects A, B, and C because they are at their mother’s house those days, and she doesn’t sit on their shoulders (like us) and ensure they complete all their work by the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t crack a whip behind them all day shouting, “Heeyah mule!”. I write out the days work in a notebook and leave them to do it during the day. When it is finished, THEN privileges begin like having friends over and TV watching. If it isn’t done by 6 PM they have to stop for the day, do some push-ups (disciplinary action), and roll the work over into the next day and even into Saturday if need be.
It’s times like these Marcus and I fantasize about throwing in the towel. And I DO mean fantasize. “Hey honey the kids are in school! What do you wanna do today?! Drink ice cold beer at the beach?? Done! WHEEEeeeeeee!” Then we wake up and stick to our guns for one more day, then another, and another after that.
Liam Marcus’ Voice - Duh gone it! I don’t know how we’ve been able to manage without the public school system for, what, seven years. Well, well, well, a lot of patience and stamina; brain stamina. Ha ha ha. Hey, don’t sweat it, let’s have some fun. You know it’s been fun.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Okay, I need a little encouragement right now. If you recall from this post, I have so much trouble growing plants that I can’t even cultivate weeds. Well, I took the plunge recently and planted some catnip (a weed), sage, italian lavender, and oregano (also a weed). Two months later and what is growing? Only the oregano. That’s a 25% success rate, folks. ~sigh~ Plus, it’s not much of a success when the ONE plant that is growing is a weed, and the other weed did not survive…didn’t even sprout! This past year I have planted FOUR weeds and only one of them grew. Can you guess what the fourth weed was? Dandelions! I. can’t. grow. dandelions.
Oh well, at least we can enjoy homegrown, organic oregano in our favorite dishes (Marcus’ famous pizza sauce!) as well as use it to relieve headaches, fever, earache, and even toothache! Click Here to read even more medicinal uses for the only weed I can grow.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – I. Think. It. Is. The. Sand. Yep, the sand. We live in a sandy area of the continental united States of America. Not just any sand, but construction sand. Something else is that it’s been raining like I can’t remember ever raining around here this summer. It’s been a bliss, but too much water can kill anyone, so I’ve heard.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Wow it has been a busy two weeks! Not only was it our first and second week of homeschool being back in session, but then we upgraded Preschooler 4.12 to Kindergartener 5.0 on Saturday with a little party. He had a blast with his friends being silly, munching snacks, and blowing out candles. The candles on my first homemade, 100% organic birthday cake. It’s a feat I’m proud of and never thought I would (or could) accomplish if you asked me two years ago. I digress. It was so cool to watch him have so much fun. Thank you, Jesus for all of our children. Thank You for parties, and little friends, and big fun.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Kindergartener 5.0 was in love. It is a remedy to being alone with a pair of old peeps like us, right Megan? The little rascal was distributing, “I love you” to everyone he met this weekend. Hey, at least it wasn’t, “Mami, Papi is that lady naked?” – this one is for another post. For now, let’s reminisce on the fact that this little rascal is incredibly outgoing, something I lack from time to time. Hey, I was, but I ain’t no more ‘cause peeps kept drilling my social-ness into the ground.
Last Monday was a great example of this little rascal’s outgoingness. We went to a nearby theme park and it so happened that the park was nearly ours to enjoy, but wait, no not really. We experienced a British invasion of sorts. We didn’t mind. It was like being over there, in England, without having to pay for an airfare to visit them. Well, the little guy went on the River Rapids Ride for the first time and it blasted him, but he enjoyed it so much he proclaimed it to every single Brit that came onboard the (five trips) rafts we occupied. He had a blast, and the people around him had a blast and appeared to enjoy the little guys’ comments, “We are going to get wet… again!” Sure enough. People got wet, and he told them, “See, I told you!” and they laughed.
Yes, a few times he said, “Papi, it was all right, but there were some ladies naked.” i.e. wearing skimpy clothing. Nevertheless, I think he will rise to the occasion again and again.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Woohoo! I’m so excited! I feel like a little kid again. Why? One word….tadpoles. Yep, those little squiggly things that turn into frogs. We found approximately one billion tadpoles in our rain barrel today, and I started jumping up and down like a kid on Christmas morning. They are tinier than the ones I grew up catching on the farm (think big fat North American bullfrogs) so I’m guessing they are the offspring of the tree frogs who recently made a home of our back porch. (Sigh!) I have great memories of growing up on the farm and catching about a million tadpoles and other watery creatures with nets and bare hands. Preschooler 4.11 was napping so I grabbed an old giant pickle jar, scooped some inside, and brought them inside for him to find when he woke up. He was delighted too. We talked about how they would transform into frogs, and how we would then put them back outside to catch all the bad bugs like mosquitoes. Honestly, what could make a better homeschool science project for a little one?? Stick ‘em in a jar and watch them grow. No feeding, cleaning or death involved! Only we had to cover the top with a rubber band and a coffee filter so the cats wouldn’t drink the water. :-S
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Ah, well, yes you do have to feed them ‘yo. I dropped a few bread crumbs after you went to bed, sorry. The little creatures started acting like piranhas over the crumbs. It is always delightful to see creatures enjoy themselves from something one gives them. I know the little guys will have a ton of fun watching them, and feeding them.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We spent last week getting ready to start school today. I planned out the subjects the Teenagers would be learning on a marker board while they assembled the needed folders, notebooks, and textbooks. Then we mapped out each subject and wrote out a course outline to help us determine how to pace the school year. I decided to imitate the same style we had last year where they do subjects A, B, and C at our house and subjects D, E, and F during the days at their mother’s house. Since she is too busy to help them with their work they can bring the finished assignments back here with them for me to grade. I can already smell trouble brewing though. Last year they started to slack off at mom’s house and come back here with little to no work done on those subjects. I fear they’re going to give that another try this year. I’ll just have to be very frank with them and warn them ahead of time not to try it. It didn’t fly then, and it won’t fly now.
This will be Preschooler 4.11’s first official year of school On his 5th birthday coming up I’ll have to upgrade him to Kindergartener 5.0! Even though we’ve been doing preschool and kindergarten workbooks since he turned four, he is still excited about having ‘school’ like his big brothers. The only thing I’ll change is to switch out his Pre-K workbooks for K and start teaching him to play the piano and read music. He has Marcus’ gift for music so we want to give him the tools to unlock his potential as soon as possible. As always, the biggest challenge will be to keep order and a loose daily schedule running smoothly. And most importantly, keep the TV turned off! It’s nice to have that ‘electronic babysitter’ for Toddler 1.0 at times, but the trick is to keep it to a maximum of thirty minutes per day – if I have to turn it on at all!
Liam Marcus’ Voice –It’s special. Once in a lifetime event. Okay, hey, maybe he can do some ka-ra-TE too. Just read an invite to “Meet ups” karate event. It seem inexpensive too. $40 per month for 4 lessons. One can even pay as one goes – kewl, heh?
I’d rather he start playing hockey, but hey, we will have to resort to roller hockey for a while instead. Musical talent?? Ah, shucks! I don’t have talent at all. It’s been hard work my lady, hard work, and even then, the work one has to continue to put in is even harder.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - You turned one year old today, our beautiful daughter. It happened while I wasn’t looking. You’re still a tiny baby in my eyes even though you are walking and talking already. Every day I look at you and vow all over again not to make the same mistakes my parents did, even though I find myself making those mistakes…every day. You are smart. You are kind. You are important. You are you. You are not the sum of my own achievements – you are a unique child of the almighty God. Given to me by Him on loan. The job He has given me is to avoid screwing you up, and to teach you about Him. He will do all the rest, if I don’t get in His way. I love you, precious girl. May God bless you all the days of your life.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Yes, she is beautiful. A gift, and yes, time doesn’t wait for anyone.
She will continue to grow and soon one day become a wonderful grown woman, hopefully in love with Christ. I pray she’ll be prepared to avoid what you mother didn’t help you avoid. It will surely be a blessing for her for I know you love her, and you will be nothing like what your mother was with you.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – I know this guys who knows this guy, he is looking to start a band, and they need a female vocalist. I hear it’s going to be country music. Now, I personally know very little about country music. The only band I’ve ever heard coming from that genre is Shania Twain, and that was a big if, because as I learned a little more about her style of music and true country music it so happens that it isn’t true country music but what they call in the music business, a crossover. I didn’t mind that much ‘cause I loved rock, and that’s what Shania’s cross over sounded like. That other country music I hear, Brad Paisly, and Toby Keith, I cannot even pretend to like. I do like a little of Sugarland and Lady Antebellum, ‘cause like Shania, they do a bit of that old rock n’ roll, too. Now all I need is to find some Christian country-rock music.
Megan Ryan’s Voice - I dunno. All that categorization sounds like splitting hairs to me. Country is country, right? Okay I’ll settle for modern country and classic country, but don’t ask me to remember much beyond that or the synapses in my brain will start to burn out. My personal favorite country music comes from an as yet unknown band called Alien Country. You can’t help but tap your foot to that stuff! Why does your friend want a female singer? What difference does it make as long as the singer sounds good? Will he reject a man even if he sounds like the angels of Heaven singing?
What other sub-genres can you think of? Does country music have the most, or can you think of another music type?
Liam Marcus’ Voice – I recently rediscovered a TV series of interest to me from the mid-‘90s. “The Pretender”. Simply, it was a man who could pretend to be anyone he wanted to be, i.e., a medical doctor, an FBI agent, whatever. There were other elements to the show I didn’t care for back then so my interest solely lied on the action, the pretending, and the climax of the show – how Jarod, the main character, got away with acting up a part, and putting the evil guy behind bars. What I didn’t realize then was the enigma of living in the middle of a narcissistic circle.
Since I resided for a time inside a narcissistic circle propagated by Megan’s family, it has brought the side that I didn’t care for about the show in a new, more attractive perspective. The “Parker” family circle in the show is supposed to be Jarod’s enemies. The people behind Jarod’s sudden disappearance of this dad, and mom when he was just an adolescent. A few decades passed and Jarod was finally able to escape the brutal and sadistic measures of enslavement dropped upon the now grown up Jarod. The Parker family business, “The Center’s” new business is seeking and re-apprehending the boy-genius, now man-genius that Jarod became.
The writers of the show are geniuses in their own right. The way they capture the elements of a narcissistic family is incomparable to any other show attempting the same thing. I can honestly say, and Ryan agrees, is that the only thing that has kept me alive has been the fact that her family doesn’t have enough money to buy me off. Seriously, I still live in fear of her family because they could easily have me killed if they wanted to. It is not a tremendous fear. However, it is a fear I can live without – more like a possible change in my life that I know can happen at any moment in my life. A splinter in my mind.
This sort of elemental circumstances can be found in “The Pretender” show.
The show’s last season was in 2001, followed by two movies made for TV, and that was it. It was a terrific show, though it would have been better without the curse words. If you want to know what a narcissistic family is like, in all of their elements, including their complacency to murder, watch this show from beginning to end. It is an educational, yet frightening realization of the true nature of a narcissistic family circle.
However, I’m not saying that this could happen in every narcissistic family circle, simply that some of the elements are basic, that is, excluding murder. Murder may be an extreme, but know that it is always a possibility, especially against those that get in the way of the narcissistic family’s flow of life.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – After reading Marcus’ voice above, some of you may say he’s being overly dramatic. Well, he isn’t. Those of you who come from families with one or more narcissists can relate to us. In the show you see this witch of a woman called Miss Parker. She starts out as one of the bad guys, but eventually the writers develop her character more and we see she is the daughter of a narcissistic father. Daddy is also the head of an evil company with lots of money. Her one goal in life is to earn the approval of her father, but when she eventually falls in love with an ‘outsider’ she feels the need to leave Daddy’s company and make her own life. When Boyfriend can’t be bought off by Daddy, the boyfriend winds up dead. What really happened, is the outsider boyfriend helped her to wake up to the sick web she was caught in with Daddy and Brother.
It all sounds like typical American soap opera crap, but to the children of narcissists it is all too close to reality. A narcissist will do terrible, hateful things to keep his or her “loved ones” enmeshed in the sick circle of give and take. Meaning the narc takes everything and gives nothing while the victim gives all and gets nothing but more demands.
So if you’d like a peek into the not-so-far-from-the-truth world of narcs and their children, take a look at the old TV show “The Pretender”. Just keep your trigger finger on the mute button for the occasional curse word. Why do they have to put that junk in there, anyway??