Consequences of our Behavior

The Wizards hardcore sense of fairness continues to please and impress me.

Yesterday, I got to take the kids to the jail to visit The Husband, and then immediately had to drop them off with my dear sister Brette, who The Squid has taken to calling “Auntie Butt” which gives both me and The Wizard much entertainment.  However, I ended up doing decently well @ work (especially for not being on the schedule, which provided me with the opportunity to yell “I’m not even supposed to BE here today!” in an enjoyable homage to Kevin Smith), and so after I got off, I took the kids out for a rare eating-out type experience (fast food yes, but we need to find our highlights even while balls-deep in poverty, and 5 dollars for 2 burgers, fries and an ice cream cone cannot be complained about), in order to discuss their feelings about our visit, and have a nice chillaxing time.

Beforehand, we discussed how ice cream would be an option if everyone did a good job and was well behaved in the restaurant.  For The Squid, the most I can really ask is not climbing out of the booth and running around, and this was one of those running around kind of occasions.  Poor kid.  I never was angry with her, rough with her, or raise my voice, but we did discuss the fact that she had lost her ice cream opportunity.

The Wizard, who, having six years on The Squid, of course had a much better time managing his behavior, and was well aware that he was going to receive an ice cream cone for this.  However, he asked me if he would be allowed to share some of his cone with his sister, and let me know that if this was not an option, he would pass on the ice cream, because having an ice cream while his sister couldn’t have any violated his sense of fairness.  Is it strange that I’m pleased to be the mother of an eight year old communist?

I told him that his ice cream was his own and whatever he chose to do with it was up to him.  So he did share with his sister.  This might go against the common perception of “punishment”, but while I don’t tend to have a really big reward system for good behavior (other than letting my kids know that I’m proud of them), because I want my kids to know that good behavior is what is expected from them, my “punishments” tend to run much more along the lines of consequences.  I try for those consequences to be as natural as possible, but at the same time, there’s only so often that natural consequences even apply.  The most common consequence for The Wizard is a loss of video gaming privileges, or an occasional writing assignment when I feel like he really needs to take time and think about his behavior.  The Squid’s most common consequence is a time-out.

I also try to always take into account the circumstances surrounding my children.  This will not prevent them having consequences for their behavior, but it may gentle them.  The Squid, for example, is acting up a lot since her Dad-Dad’s incarceration.  Her potty-training came screeching to a halt.  She started having tantrums, and has even taken to using a pacifier occasionally.  However, even at the ripe old age of two, she needs to know that regardless of circumstances, she is still accountable for her behavior.  I feel for her.  It’s impossible to explain to her when her Dad-Dad is getting out, or why he’s gone.  She cannot understand why she only gets to see him through a little window one hour a week.  All she knows is that Dad-Dad is “in a big time out”.  I believe she understands it better than she can communicate, but it still is a difficult situation.

I do not agree with the legal system in this country (nor any other, as far as I know), but I believe the best way to keep my children from becoming involved with it one day, and to show them how to deal with it if they ever chance to become involved, is by teaching them accountability.  No matter how much we hate the figures of authority that come down upon us, the only way to be able to exist as sane individuals within the insane system of government, is accepting accountability for our choices.  If we make the choice to protest, we are accepting the possibilities of pepperspray, police brutality, and incarceration.  Does it make it fair or okay?  Of course not.

But that’s the way it is.  This is the world we live in.  If anyone is to change it, it will not be from fear or anger at our unjust punishment.  As unjust as it is, it is a possibility every day in this world, and we must be willing to accept the consequences of our behavior with our heads held high, and with a righteous disagreement.  I don’t have to agree with the fact that when I had 5 police officers beat the shit out of me in Santa Barbara I got charged with assaulting an officer.  But I do accept that I am the one who placed myself in a situation that brought about those consequences.  I wish we lived in a world without those consequences.  I believe someday we will.  But the only way that Anarchy will EVER work is if humanity is able to start personally, one by one, to accept their own accountability for the things that happen in our lives.

I have lead a devastating life.  I have been abused by countless people in pretty much every possible way.  My mind was twisted at an early age.  I am not responsible for the things I have suffered.  …I am accountable, however, for the person I am today.  Each day, we choose our own behavior.  Regardless of our circumstances.  We choose the risk, sometimes, of very negative consequences.  If you believe the risk is worth it though, you have already accepted accountability.  If you say, “I am aware of the things that could happen due to my behavior, but this is important enough to risk it.” you have accepted accountability.  No matter what comes of your behavior, you can hold your head high.

To everyone who has children, I encourage you to raise them with a sense of consequence and accountability, but respect their right to make their own choices.  Don’t be angry at your children for choosing something against your wishes.  Do make sure that they’re aware that there will be consequences for their choices.

To everyone without children, I encourage you to greet each day with a sense of accountability.  We are not victims.  We are warriors.  We make our own choices.  Each creature on this earth makes choices each day, and our consequences can vary.  As long as we believe in our choices, we have no reason to feel shame.

This post is dedicated to everyone who is being a strong voice in the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  Keep your heads up, and continue the fight within yourselves every second of the day.

-Domestic Anarchist

Housewife, no. Anarchist, yes. Domestic…? Trying.

Since my last post, I have moved into a new apartment, briefly separated from The Husband yet again (he got to go on a bit of a soul-searching experience himself, spending a couple months training for forest fire training, and doing flood relief in North Dakota), and made some absolutely horrible life decisions.  While we were separated, there was a tragic loss of a much loved friend.  I dealt with it poorly.  I also realized the pettiness of so many of our arguments, and I urge all of my readers to try as much as they can to set aside the petty things, the beef that will inevitably arise between all of us, because without a moments notice, people whose presence we’ve taken for granted can leave us.  Arguments we assumed would be resolved can be left hanging forever, without us ever having the chance to say how we feel.

After The Husband completed his venture, he returned home to me and the children, and I am still amazed by how well we’ve done since then.  We still, of course, have our petty arguments.  But we now have the knowledge of their pettiness, and that no matter what happens, our family and our friendship, comes first.

So, now my beloved Husband finds himself incarcerated (apparently, doing public services and working on personal growth isn’t acceptable reasoning to the municipal courts to leave state while on probation, nor is honesty in court appreciated.), and I find myself struggling to balance everything.

I have left my previous bartending job, and acquired a position at The Grove Street Brewhouse, our local neighborhood brewpub.  I like it a lot.  It fits much better with my mindset, and hopefully all will continue to go well there.  I love the idea of DIY beer, and plan to start my own batch at home sometime soon, and being surrounded by this business that is truly an effort of people who deeply love  the process and culture of brewing so much that they’ve built a life around it is inspirational.

Regardless of my contentment with my employment, I’m struggling financially, and have used my poverty as a silly, silly excuse to let my domestic tendencies slide.  Of course, the concept of poverty preventing domestic tendencies completely collides with everything I’ve ever said.  I’ve just been slacking.  This is something that I desperately need to get on top of in the next couple of months, since I plan to start school in winter Quarter, attending Evergreen State College in an attempt to acquire my bachelors degree in Social Anthropology.  Hopefully I won’t butt heads with too many trustafarian hippies.  …yeah, right.  We all know I will.

It will, however, keep me busy while waiting for The Husbands release.  But my goal now is to balance it all.  I have to balance a semblance of single-motherhood along with a fairly full work schedule and education… is it possible to continue to create a creative, encouraging, thought-provoking environment for my children?

I believe so.

Am I going to undertake the challenge?

HELL YES!

Am I going to continue to log my socio-economic experiment in parenting while supporting an anarchist mindset?  …I shall at least thoroughly attempt!

Thank you for everyone who continues to read my staccato blogging.  This post is dedicated to my Husband, the love of my life, father to my children, a man who stands up honestly for what he thinks and could never be anyone other than himself.  My lover, my best friend, and the finest person I have ever known.

You are so fine to me, my love.  See you friday.

-Domestic Anarchist