Alexandra Teagan

Profile: My childhood was pretty normal. I was born in 1969 and have two parents, a male father and a female mother. There are six children in my family: 3 girls and 3 boys just like the Brady Bunch, I was Cindy- without the lisp. We even had an Alice. My mother's only sister. They were very close and even though my aunt never married and had kids of her own, my mother shared us with her and we were her kids too. She was our second mother and more importantly as we grew up she was our friend. She didn't live with us like Alice lived with the Brady's but we would have loved it if she did. She died just a few years ago and I miss her very much. We all do. My parents opened our loving home to foster children and through the years, not all at once, they took in somewhere around 40 foster kids. When I was growing up my dad had a main job and at one point had three jobs to cover the cost of raising such a big family. He took care of the bills and although mom had jobs here and there throughout my childhood she was mostly a stay-at-home mom. We weren't rich by far but we had clothes on our back and a roof over our heads. Our house was clean (because we all had chores) and our parents were loving. Even though we were disciplined in what today's society is taboo: spankings and smacks upside the head, we were close and loved each other. Dad was the king of the castle and mom was the queen. All of us kids were the princesses and princes and no one was treated any differently than the other. We did not have a democratic house it was more of a dictatorship. We were told what to do and we did it. We had our hard times like everyone else but we kids never really knew they were hard times. I remember one time when dad's company went on strike. I didn't know this until I was older but my dad had to go down to the government offices and get help with feeding the family. As you know this meant we were in poverty and with the government's help we were upgraded to poverty with cheese. My memories of this time are anything but “The Summer We Were Poor” I remember it more like “The Summer We Had Our Own Garden”. Looking back it was probably one of the best summers in my childhood. We were all always together (no money to go anywhere), we worked together on the backyard garden (food to go with the cheese), and we invented games that didn't require equipment or gadgets. Since dad was in charge of paying the bills it makes sense that he is the one who taught me how to manage money. He taught me important things when I got my first job like taxes and saving half my paycheck for a rainy day. I was instructed to forget that I had that money once it was in the bank but when I turned 16, I remembered it and bought my first car. It was very satisfying to have something of my own and even more satisfying knowing that I had earned it on my own. Once I bought the car, my dad continued the cash-coaching and I learned to budget my paychecks for insurance and gas. I still put money in the bank for things that seemed to always come up with that car like new tires and a blanket to put over the ripped seat that used to cut into the back of my legs. Budgeting wasn't easy and dad was there to help me with cost efficient ideas for the car that seemed to run on money rather than on gas. He showed me how to change my own tires so I didn't need to pay anyone else to put the new ones on. He showed me how to change the oil and other things I pretend I don't know how to do now that I'm married. Even with dad's advice I still learned lessons the hard way. It doesn't mean a whole lot to have a car and not have gas money. That's the aha factor that made me think “Maybe dad knows what he's talking about.” While dad taught me how to manage money, mom taught me how to manage everything else. Although it wasn't as cut and dry as that. Of course mom had a hand in teaching me about money too and of course dad taught me more than just money facts. I learned everything I was supposed to as a child so that when I grew-up I would become a functioning, healthy adult. There was not any pixie dust sprinkled on my 18th birthday cake. I still ask mom and dad's advice and bounce ideas off them. I'm still very close with all of my siblings, their spouses and their children. We have a huge extended family and get-togethers are always filled with many, many mouths. I graduated from high school and had some college classes in my pocket when I got married to DS. I was working in a clothing factory one summer to help pay for more college classes in the fall when we met. He was a lead guy on the line and I was a lowly summer-help girl. We worked 2nd shift and my girlfriend's and I would head to the bar after work. DS and I really got to know each other at the bar rather than at work. I look back now and realize I had beer goggles on for most of that summer. My beer goggles had hearts on them and we were married before I went back to school. Our first child was born very quickly into our marriage and the second child followed very quickly after the first. Our third child was born 10 years after our second and our fourth child was four years after that. None of them were planned but all of them are loved. We have 2 boys and 2 girls. The boys are the older two children and the girls are the younger two children. It's hard to manage a family that has such big age differences. Vacations and family outings are by far the most difficult. The boys aren't really into the same things their younger sister's are into and vice versa. No complaint about that though, I would be very worried if they did have the same interests considering the ages and genders. It is always a challenge to come up with family events to keep everyone occupied. I can't wait to hear their version of their childhood. I'll bet a few therapists can't wait either. I am primarily a stay-at-home mom but have other interests as well. I went back to school and earned a degree in herbal medicine and love to travel so took some courses and am also a travel agent. I researched my family genealogy for fun a few years back and have not yet found the rumored link that we are related to the Queen of Holland. I love to cook and do the occasional craft project. I wish I was better at things like organizing my pictures and I wish I hadn't learned what drugs and alcohol does to the body because I really would like to be an alcoholic or drug addict. Instead I am a mother of four, well 10 if you count DS, and very much love my husband and children (no matter what you read). I am currently trying my hand as a blogger so I have a place to vent and hopefully stop plotting DS's death. DS is an interesting person, to some people, to me he is the reason I am exhausted. He is educated but has no common sense. Try having a conversation with someone like that someday. Then try to talk to him (or her) about something serious like a child of three not being old enough to cross the street by themselves. The no common sense person comes up with comments like, “I'm watching him and I tell him to stop if there's a car coming.” I'm left not only teaching the child to hold hands while crossing the street but also teaching the dad the importance of his role in holding the child's hand while crossing the street and apparently teaching common sense about three year olds not always stopping just because you told them to. My knight in shining armor looks at the world much differently than I do. He sort of floats through it and figures whatever is supposed to come his way will fall in his lap and everything will work out just fine. Meanwhile, I'm in the trenches doing things like teaching the child to hold an adults hand when crossing the street (no matter if daddy says it's okay or not). Now that may sound like a simple solution but it's actually very technical because you can't raise children with one parent saying one thing and the other parent saying another. One parent can't walk around pointing out that the other one is an idiot either. That would leave for a very unhappy childhood and some very confused children. We already have one DS in this world, I refuse to raise four more. So while I'm busy teaching the child about the dangers of crossing the street and explaining that drivers can't always see little ones and sometimes daddy's can't see cars coming from behind the pine tree that is a blind spot from where he sits on the porch, it always important to have an adult with you when you cross the street. We must always practice safety and sometimes daddy will give you a safety test. It works like this: Your ball rolls out into the street. You ask daddy to go with you across the street to get the ball. Daddy says that you can go yourself. That's the safety test. You need to tell daddy, “No daddy, you come with me.” And if daddy still says it's okay for you to go by yourself then you find another adult to cross the street with you. The child is excited because he just got an answer to a test and DS is excited because he gets to give out tests. I often wonder why DS hasn't been fired from every job he's ever had. I know I have tried to fire him plenty of times around here. Maybe the bosses have fired him and he just keeps showing up for work like he keeps showing up at the dinner table. Kind of like that commercial... oh, what is it? It's a cereal commercial on TV where the boss fires the guy and the guy can't hear him because he's eating the crunchy cereal. The guy ends up annoying the boss so the boss goes to get the bigger boss and the bigger boss finds it an admirable trait that the guy hasn't thrown in the towel. The guy ends up with a raise and everyone except the boss likes the guy in the end. That commercial wraps our whole life up. I am like the boss in the commercial, DS is the guy, and the world is the bigger boss. DS drives me crazy and if the world really knew that he was oblivious to everything going on they would wonder why I stay. I ask myself the same thing everyday.

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