Put the "F" in Frustration
Frustration is a bad word.
Just like a lot of the other "F" words I can think of.
Being thwarted at every turn can bring out the worst in even the best moms... and I've never claimed to be among that set.
One of the blogs I regularly read, "Mommy of a Monster" has a quote by Roseanne Barr (of all people) in the title, "If when my husband gets home, and the kids are still alive, I feel I've done my job."
And I guess I subscribe to that philosophy. I try to throw balanced nutrition, educational programming and even church into the mix, with varying degrees of success. I often tell my kids to "be good humans" and sometimes I'm impressed with how that is going. Often, I'm not.
I've had other mothers tell me, "I don't know how you do it. I would lose my mind if my kids (had that much energy, screamed that loud, wouldn't sit still, etc)" And I'm not sure how exactly to take that.
|Yes, this is me|
And I'm not talking genetics. Not only was I an active child, but my husband's parents totally cut sugar out of his diet to curb his "hyperactiveness."
Is there something I'm doing or not doing that makes my kids so relentless in driving me nuts?
I read other blogs in which a mom drowns herself in guilt because "I yelled at my kids today." What the hell? I think I yell at my kids, not just every day, but several times a day. Whether it is because I just got whacked for the fifth time right on that sensitive part of my nose by a book or wooden puzzle, or because she's pulling his hair or he's putting his feet on her and making her emit this blood curdling scream that makes my brain ache.
All the time, I'm hollering at these kids.
I was making cookies yesterday. Homemade Paula Deen's peanut butter cookies... yum. But while I was nuts deep in butter and sugar, the shrieking began. "Leave her alone..." I droned from the kitchen, a warning tone in my voice. I walked around the corner and gave the Mommy Glare, the look that's supposed to strike cold terror in the hearts of misbehaving children.
They stopped, for a moment. Just long enough for me to get peanut butter cookie dough in a ball between my palms.
"Hey!" I barked sharply, and put my head around the corner again. "If you two don't want to spend the next few hours sitting in bed while I eat these cookies, you're going to stop right now!"
They stopped and went back to reading the I Spy book and watching Blue's Clues.
I was nearly done with the first tray of cookies, when I heard the same scream only muffled. (Which is NEVER a good sign) I look around the corner to see him pinning her face in the carpet by sitting on the back of her head. Oh, did I mention he doffed his big boy pants in order to accomplish this task?
"You! Get off of her this second!! OR NEITHER OF YOU WILL HAVE A SINGLE ONE OF THESE COOKIES!!!"
By the time I've opened her little hand, everyone is out of breath and crying.
I distract her with her new Princess and the Frog toy, and sit him back down with his book, finish up the cookies and decide that the living room is peaceful enough... I REALLY need a cigarette after all this.
I get about three drags into it and I hear a noise, nothing big, but I have developed Super-Mommy Ears that hear danger and mischief in it's many forms.
I go out there, just in time to catch Kendyl scaling the baby gate to the kitchen with her eyes on the 2nd batch of cookies, rich in raw eggs and salmonella poisoned goodness.
I know then that my plans for a smoke have failed, and I must not leave them unattended for a moment, no matter how happy and quietly absorbed in TV they appear.
I sit down with my book. There must be some kind of break I can take, as not to reach my Ultimate Boiling Point.
But thats when Kendyl smacks me in the face with her board puzzle, sits on my open book and demands I tell her the names of all the shapes over and over until my brain bleeds.
This has GOT to be my fault. Some terrible failing in me as a parent. Not everyone's kids can be this relentless, people would seriously not have kids anymore.
But then, at the end of the day, everyone's bathed, the cookie crumbs are no where to be seen and both the kids are fuzzy and adorable in their footie pajamas, Kendyl curls up in my lap and puts her head on my shoulder and her fingers in her mouth. Sometimes she pats my back or my cheek, like I do when I'm trying to comfort her.
And later in the night, Tyler climbs into my bed and lets me curl around him and hug, like he would never let me do during the daytime... it becomes all worth it.
When I sneak Tyler a cookie without his sister seeing, and he gets her attention, breaks his cookie in half and gives it to her... it's totally worth it.
When we lay him down first, right before she goes to bed, like we always do, and she leans over to give him a goodnight kiss... it's worth it a thousand times over.
I don't know if I'm doing any kind of a good job by these kids. But I try. And honestly, I've met some awesome grown people who had the world's shittiest parents... so maybe these kids have a chance in spite of my ineptitude.