Now Tucker was going to be a grandpa and after he got through calling her stupid and irresponsible and a few other choice words he decided he was okay with it. Tucker’s specialty was ranting and raving, hurling insults that cut you to the quick and then apologizing later and heaping praise on your head afterwards. Much like having the shit beat out of you followed by flowers and gifts. As I’ve said previously, there had been a trade-off taking place where the sweet words and love were so badly needed that I endured one to get the other. Only it seemed I had endured them so long that in the interim, my livelihood and independence had been surrendered voluntarily in the name of our togetherness. In an effort to demonstrate my devotion to him, to show him that I was different from all the rest, I stayed and acquiesced. I had been raised by a tyrant who treated me in much the same way and only was now beginning to realize that I had replaced that bitch with this sonofabitch. It’s oddly comforting to fall into old patterns no matter how abusive or painful they might be.
So Tuckerette had the baby. She came to see us and I have to admit that watching Tucker with that new baby and being able to hold his little swaddled, diapered butt close made me happy. Tuckerette came to party with her friends and left the little peanut with us and since Tucker didn’t do diapers and was helpless with formula and bottles, I got to have a purpose and watch him adore us both. My kids were dubbed Aunt and Uncle which made them both puff up a bit. Even Freddy was sort of proud to be “Uncle Freddy”.
Tuckerette went home eventually, back to her mother and the house she had rented for her there. She was not working and they were paying all her bills there, except for that truck note of course. I couldn’t find a job and Tucker continued to demur on that point. Tucker had reconciled with Tucker, Jr. and decided one day after “discussing” it with me that we were moving to the larger town 2 hours away where Jr. was. He reasoned that we would be closer to the sale barns; he would be able to move more cattle and horses and yadda, yadda, yadda. It didn’t much matter what my part was of the discussion. I consented because the closure of my accounts had caused more bounced checks and I had spent the prior 3 months running around town gathering them up and paying people back. It seemed that my time in that tiny town was spent.
My kids were not happy. Their granny was there, their dad and cousins and friends were all there and they had friends there. It was a smallish town and they felt as if they belonged. They were not excited. I pushed them into it and encouraged them by telling them of all the fantastic things there were to do in the larger town and how many more opportunities we’d have for lots of other things. Freddy hated Tucker and only kept his mouth shut out of the ever decreasing respect he had for me. Harlow did whatever I needed her to and had trepidations but clung to my side steadfastly. She was my little bastion of strength and so often kept my head above water without even knowing she was doing it. Crawling into my lap for hugs, telling me she loved me, spelling out curse words instead of saying them when she was mad, telling her brother off, helping me cook…she just stayed there under my wing making me feel ten feet tall and like I was someone’s mother and that I was doing it right.
We moved into an apartment because it was all we could find. An upstairs downstairs conversion and Tucker and I had the upstairs to ourselves for exactly two weeks. Can you guess who moved in with us? Guess...guess…that’s right. The room right next to us was soon occupied by Tuckerette and the new grandbaby. Her boyfriend was close by (not the baby daddy by the way) and so it behooved her to be in our house instead of the one her mother had rented for her 4 hours away. The baby moved in and I decided it was high time I became employed. I love little babies but the smooshy little peanut newborn types. The kind that eat, sleep, poop and coo, not the whining fussy, teething, need to be Ferberized kind. I love my kids but I often thought I should have never been anyone’s mother. I couldn’t do it. I needed out of there and I needed out STAT so I began to search for gainful employment much to the chagrin of Tucker. He did not argue too hard since our rent had doubled, we now had to pay barn rent, the baby and the Tuckerette and everything else had grown our expenditures exponentially. I ditched my barn clothes and wild hair. I went and got a smart bob, went to Goodwill and bought some work clothes and began papering the town with my resume.
I thought I was taking that tiny secret step as well. I was going to get a great job, start rat holing money and get free. I was going to get right. It was going to happen. I was going to break the patterns. I was going to stop the trade-off. My stock was going to sky rocket. The pep talk was internal and ongoing and silly me…I totally believed it.