Friday, April 30, 2010

Confessions of a Bad Mom

No, this isn't the mom nor the confession. This is the non-related photo interest for this entry. It's a picture Brooks took on his morning commute. It appears to be a woman painting her toenails on the train. Beyond that, we'd have to ask Brooks who it is and why he took it. Or better yet, you can post a comment with your own caption of what's going on here. A free round trip ticket to the person with the most original reply.

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.


Sarah said...

I've let a few...umm, "choice" words fly while expressing frustration to my children before. The phrase you mentioned has actually come out of my mouth more than once, unfortunately.

Usually what happens next is 9 year old Brandon will say something like, "Mom, why don't you let me watch Lilian for a bit while you go read your scriptures." Sometimes it makes me laugh. Sometimes it just ticks me off even more... :)

Mindy Gledhill said...

I love Braham. P.S. We got some chickens!

Sue said...

Well, if this is the first time you've said that to your kids then you're doing much better than me. I know I've used that phrase a handful of times, and "Dammit" has preceded a child's name more times than I'd like to admit.

Yes, we are Mormon mommies, but we're mommies on Prozac so cut us some slack!

By the way, my trigger is a messy house. It just makes me super cranky. And as you can imagine, the house is rarely clean, thus, the Prozac.

jai said...

This is probably why I don't have kids. I'd be on the roof with the shovel too. What was UP there?!?

Elisa said...

I think a ladder to the top of the roof when supposed to be entering car is definitely sufficient provocation for "Hell." As a matter of fact, I think it's a good thing Brahm knows that. All attempts to climb on the room will be met with the word "hell."

Cimblog (tm) said...

How else does one get into the car except from the roof with a shovel...geez, don't you guys know ANYTHING?!

Anonymous said...

So, I don't think it's a bad thing to let your kids hear you swear occasionally. Makes you more human, you know? I've told C that I shouldn't use that language, but sometimes I do, and that it's one of those things I'm working on. Also, it's also a good thing for kids to learn, "When I do this, Mom gets mad. Maybe I'd better not do that anymore." We have our triggers just like anyone else, and I think sometimes it's healthy for our kids to be scared of, that won't be showing up in any parenting magazines either...

Liz said...

So? What in the hell was he doing? Inquiring minds want to know.