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Punk Grew U

Trigger Warning

“We need to talk tomorrow”
“About what?”
“You know what we need to talk about. What happened at school earlier.”

My son lowers his head to shoulder-length, pulling his favorite green and blue blanket up over his head. His eyes raise to the video chat, wide, filled with a mixture of uncomfortable sadness and embarrassment.

*****

I try to remain composed as my ex-wife explains the phone call from the school. My son, at six-years old, is saying he wants to kill himself. I try to focus on my breathing, fake smiling to the people passing by. I grit my teeth, asking what we do. She doesn’t has a clue. She’s ‘tapped out’, as she puts it.

What the fuck do you do?

She lets me know I can expect a call in an hour or so. I hang up before I lose composure. The next hour, the motions of work seem to drain by in slow motion. I’m here, but my heart is seeking out the murmurs of my son; trying to divine a connection from the many miles between us. Maybe if he somehow feels the thumping, through some cosmic miracle, he can unload whatever hurts; allowing me to carry his pain with my own.

******

My ringer goes off an hour and five minutes later. The social worker has a pleasant, calming, voice as she asks me if I am busy. She outlines what happened. My son had become fixated on a toy at school. The little magnetic ’T’, he, for some reason, had no interest sharing when the time came. As the teacher took the toy, he quietly said to himself, “I want to kill myself”

I try to wrap my head around it. I hear the social worker talk about risk management, this and that, I don’t know- I am not in this conversation. I’m thinking about my mother telling me how my sister is dead, via self-inflicted gunshot wound. I’m years removed, in the tufts of morning light with a bunch of pills and a bottle of Jack Daniels.

I try to bring myself back to this point. To my child with the infectious grin. The clever boy, who daily outmaneuvered his siblings using tact beyond his years. My gifted little artist.

The voice on the phone tells me she doesn’t believe he understands the concept of suicide. How he can be attention-seeking at school. I bring up his goodnight phone call a few nights ago to his mom where he mentioned being called a ‘loser’ by one of his peers.

She tells me of her extensive time in his well-supervised classroom setting. How she’s ‘NEVER’ heard the children behave that way towards one another.

I wonder if it’s my heart miles away, or my mind years into the past, but through the fog of not being here; all I hear is blame.

And I am angry as fuck.
My six-year old said he wanted to kill himself and you want to tell me he has attention-seeking tendencies? You want to talk about how he doesn’t understand what he was saying- he was just saying it to get a reaction. Didn’t you just tell me he said it to himself?

Rage fills me.

“I’m trying to tell you my son stated he was bullied. In today’s society, with how serious the repercussions of that are- you’re going to chalk it up to him being disruptive, minimilazing my concern because of how well-supervised he is?”

Minimalizing. I’m so angry, I know the word is wrong but I don’t fucking care. I’m aching sixty miles away. I need to hold my son. I need to protect him.

“I’m worried about my child’s mental health right now, you know, since he is six and saying he wants to kill himself.”

She backpedals, and I can hear that pleasant, calming voice, become exasperated.

I’m breaking. Rambling angrily at this lady through the phone. She tries to course correct, apologizing and promising there is no minimizing of my concerns.

twenty-seven minutes later, I’ve spent an hour and forty minutes torn between the here and now, and everything in between.

******

Bedtime rolls around, and I make my nightly call to say goodnight. Before I talk to my kids, their mother and I talk about what’s next. We don’t know.

Who the fuck knows?

My son is his usual cheery self. I tell him how much I love him and miss him. I place emphasis on loving him so goddamn much. I let him know I know and we will talk about it.

******

The drive home from work is about an hour of talking to myself and sad music. Forming what I will say to a six year old with the rest of his life ahead of him who said he wanted to kill himself.

I get home, grabbing a beer to decompress.

The crying begins

*****

My six-year-old son sits on my bed, and I tell him a story he’s never heard about an aunt he never knew.

11

My Parenting Foible

It’s hard out there for a newborn. And youngest child. And being one of three boys. And having twins as older brothers. And those twins being crazy toddlers. When mom and dad have to chase toddlers around, sometimes the baby gets lost in the mix. Sometimes the only person looking out is the dog, who slowly drags her disgusting tongue across baby face in a caring, yet gross, way. Another day in the life of Ezra, who is known as Emu. Another day of dad forgetting I’m in the  cart momentarily.  Continue reading

16

Green skinny jeans and spaghetti stains

It’s always fun to take the circus i affectionately call a family out into public. Behold! The tattooed punk and his freakish family! The identical boy twin wonders! The wife two inches too short; it is quite possible she is a dwarf! A grumpy new born; he oddly reminds us of Benjamin Button! And a ferociously adorable pitbull, the ferocity of her kisses! How can that mohawked man be a good father in those green pants?

I guess we don’t exactly have that nuclear family look.

That’s fine.

Fuck normality.

Continue reading

1

Punk Rock Parenting: How To Feed Your Tyrant

Want to raise your kids right? As a young parent, your credentials are forever questioned when it comes to child rearing. There is a whole section at your local bookstore with conflicting methods of raising a kid so they end up like Bill Gates and not Charles Manson. You can be taught by some stranger how to raise your kid for $23.95! Well, unfortunately, not everyone has $23.95 to invest in parenting. How horrible, after spending your entire paycheck on diapers and wipes you can’t afford parenting advice from Dr. Snobby McBowtie. Good thing is, there is a certain Punk Rock Papa willing to teach you his ways in return for likes on Facebook. So, let’s not take out a second mortgage on the house and just get yourselves a copy of the FREE Punk Rock Parenting.*

* It’s FREE!

Here is installment ONE of Punk Rock Parenting!

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How to Feed Your Child

Your kid is going to begin looking and acting like a monster around six months. When they become completely intolerable, you will notice lovely little chompers poking out of their scream holes. This is the go ahead sign to transition into solid foods.

It’s statistically proven that all children are unable to properly get food in their mouths. Like magnets with opposite polarity or a force field, getting all of the food in your child’s mouth is scientifically proven to be impossible. With this knowledge, you as a parent need to prep not just yourself for every feeding, but your home as well.

Ever seen Dexter? Whatever room you are feeding your child in should look like Dexter’s kill rooms. Floors, walls and ceiling need to be covered in plastic. You don’t want to miss a corner, or forever stains will adorn the walls.

Now that you have quarantined the hungry little hooligan, take that adorable and expensive outfit you bought off of the child. Trust me. If it isn’t removed it will be forever stained with your mistake. Set your diaper baby up in a high chair. High chairs are amazing. Favorite time of the day should be imprisoning your kid in this chair. It would be too easy to slip into a tangent over how awesome it is to belittle your kid with airplane noises as you shove broccoli in their mouth. Word is you can’t do this as they get older, so embrace it during their younger years.

Now, it’s going to get messy, hope that’s clear by now. But what about a baby bib? Oh, man, why didn’t We think of that?!

Bibs are these disgusting washcloths that you can strap around your kid. They cover a small portion of the chest, because the person who created them apparently didn’t realize kids enjoy getting food everywhere. The bib is good if it has something stupid written on it, but other than that is rather useless.

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Now, you have the child locked up, ready to eat. There are a few tried and true methods to go with when you enter the kitchen coliseum.

-Method One-

This method involves taking the food and launching it at your child from three feet away. Think of it as the catapult method. Just scoop up whatever slop Gerber has convinced you to buy and sling it at the kid. The nutrients your child need will find their way into their mouth.

-Method Two-

Don’t ask why, just put on some heavy metal. Not talking armor, although it is optional to also strap up, this is about music. The amount of thrashing involved in this method requires the music. This approach is much more hands on and will leave you covered in puréed mystery food. It involves actually trying to make contact with your child during feeding. Properly making contact between mouth and utensil. Kids HATE this. It is too clean for them. Little known fact, children are odd little beings that think they can absorb nutrients through there face. You have to be quick to get any food in the mouth and watch out for flying hands! Kids flail out when approached with a wild spoon. Just keep trying to make contact and pass off the nutrients. You will know when mealtime is over by the Rorschach print on your shirt.

Now these are two sure fire personally tested methods. However, my editor informs me that not including other methods would be insensitive and open the company up to claims of cultural insensitivity. So, here are a few more methods. It should be noted they are not tested and if it wasn’t for the editor, these methods would not be included in Punk Rock Parenting

-Method Three-

Take your child’s food in your mouth. Make sure whatever you are feeding them is thoroughly swished around, to gain any parent wisdom, spit the food in your child’s mouth. The bird feeding technique is popular among celebrities who got tired of Kabbalah but still want to be progressive and new age.

-Method Four-

Thank the hippies. So new age. Gently place the food and utensils in front of your kid. Watch in wonder as your child auditions for a part in Blue Man Group. This method is super effective at discovering any book or cranny you might have missed while plastic covering the room.

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-Method Five-

Popular among many parents with too much time on their hands this involves feeding your kid while pretending you are paparazzi. You need to have your phone at the ready and a fake smile on. Snap as many pictures as you can cram down your friends throats while simultaneously cramming food down your kid’s food hole. Facebook allows twenty-five photos to be uploaded at once. With this method you can make your friends feel obligated to like at least seventy-five to a hundred photos of your food art project a day.

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Whatever method you choose, as long as you are feeding your kid a few times a day people will be proud and amazed at the responsibility you show. No one will remember all the plants you forgot to water or goldfish that died of starvation at your hands.

And there you have it! Part one of Punk Rock Parenting! Tune in to next week’s installment to learn some games to play with your children that do not raise them into little Hannibal Lectors!

What would you like to see covered in Punk Rock Parenting?

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