Friday, April 30, 2010
Confessions of a Bad Mom
OK, so go ahead and disregard that other post about coming around as a mother, blah, blah, blah. This parentis is still incompetis. I think making your kid cry definitely qualifies for that category.
Take Wednesday, for example. I know that a huge trigger for me is operating under the pressure of being on time. It's practically an emotional outburst waiting to happen. I take precautions: meditate (then medicate) for twenty minutes before everyone else wakes up, recruit Brooks' support by delegating morning tasks he is willing to perform, and having the boys create a check list of things they need to do in order to get themselves ready for school.
I also realize that I am the only one that cares. Well, they realize it, too, and they do their best to support me in my punctuality but in the end it's really only my own little sef-imposed deadline. I know the world will not end if we're not in the car at 7:46 am. The world might not end, but I might get a little crazy.
Like Wednesday morning. We're out the door on time (phew!) but then I realize I left my cell phone in my office so I give Oliver the keys and say to both boys, "Please go unlock the car and get buckled in. I'll be out in a few seconds."
Believing that they will do this is my second mistake (believing in the punctuality myth is the first). As I rush back out the door, I'm caught off guard by the sight of Brahm scaling up a ladder to get on to the garage roof while Oliver is disappearing into the garage to fetch him a shovel. A shovel?! I ask you, what is a nine-year-old going to do with a shovel on the roof a garage at 7:51 in the morning and why is his little brother aiding and abetting him in this logic-defying pursuit? And so I posed the same question to them, only phrased slightly different.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Look, I am the first to admit that that phrase is unlikely to be found in any child-rearing manual in the top ten ways of addressing a child (if you 1-want him to listen or 2-love you back) and yet, there it was. As mild as that is compared to other phrases I have uttered in my lifetime, I do admit that I was surprised to hear me say it. In fact, I don't recall ever having said it to either of my boys before (out loud anyway).
So that's what made Brahm cry. I think Oliver was over it in about 3.4 seconds but Brahm put his head down the whole way to school and couldn't look at me for all the disgust he felt at a parent who should know better but doesn't. "You swore, Mom!" And here I was patting myself on the back for blurting out that word instead of all the others at my disposal. Significant, if you think about it, since that's probably where I'll be going for saying it.