I'm a little upset right now. Mack said something that hurt my feelings, weather he knows it or not. Hell, with all the teasing and playful banter I can't even be sure if he ment it or not. But I do have this bad habit to psychoanalyze things, and what he said was one of the things I mentaly tried to disect, and now my brain hurts.
He said my kid was out of control. Now, I know my kid is no angle, but I never thought he was out of control. And if you ask me, there are no bad kids, just bad parents. So when someone says my kid is bad it feels like I am being called a bad mother.
So not cool.
So there I was feeling a little upset that someone who has spent only a few hours around my kid could say that, partly because he is the one single thing I am most proud of.
Like, "Look at my kid, isnt he the coolest thing since sliced bread? He can walk and talk and knows more about trains that the lady behind the counter at the train museum. And you should totally see his rad mohawk! Yeah, and I'm the one who made him."
And then he came home from the zoo in a particularly rambunctious mood. I asked him to sit down at the dinner table to eat but he insisted he was not hungry.
So I started to wonder, "is he purposely trying to piss me off or is he really not hungry? Could Mack be right? Is my kid out of control? Is this a sign that your is out of control?"
And I began to think to myself that I would not be defeated by this kid. So I go to grab him and sit him at the dinner table to eat dinner weather he likes it or not. And what do you think he did? He ran upstairs and to his room. So then I'm really frustrated because I suddenly feel like maybe Mack is right, and maybe I am just a really crappy fucking mom. And then I put that frustration out on my son. I yelled, and I was mean.
And then I really felt like a crappy mom. It's not in my nature to yell and scream and loose my cool with James. Five years ago, when he was born, I made a vow to myself to never become the kind of parent my stepfather was. But thinking I won't be like that is a lot easier than actually not being like that. When you grow up with that kind of anger and cruelty it tends to imbed itself into you. As a kid I learned to handle frustration by getting angry, and I handled anger by yelling and fighting. It took me a long time and a lot of hard work to undo that bad wiring.
And when it comes to my son, I had to learn not to get frustrated with him because frustration for me equals anger, and anger equals me doing all the bad things my stepfather once did. And if I were to turn into the monster he was, if even for a second, it would be really hard to live with myself because no child ever deserves to feel that way, not even a naughty one. So what did I do? I developed a really really high tolerance level. Heck, I could stand in a room full of screaming babies and my blood pressure would not rise, not even a tiny bit.
But now, I've gone and done something I can't take back, and at this moment I am here taking a timeout so I can calm down and collect my thoughts.
And James is cowering in a chair, probably afraid that Mamma has lost her damn mind.
And all for what? Because I let someone else’s criticism get to me?
Yes, I know my kid is no angle. I know sometimes he has to be told two or three times to do something, sometimes he whines, sometimes he jumps on the bed. But am I crazy, don't all kids do that? I mean, he is good natured. You'll never catch him drawing on the walls, he's never vicious or full of mean intent. He doesn't hit people, or throw things, or hurt small animals. He doesn’t act out for attention. He's not going to rob me in my sleep so he can buy cocaine.
And you know the worst of it all is that one week he is the best behaved child, and the next his mood can be a bit foul, but he's a small child forced to split his time between three homes because of the divorce. That kind of inconsistency can make any kid a bit restless. Could you blame him?
I think I need to go hug my son now and tell him how sorry I am for being such a mean mommy.
Do they make a Hallmark card for this? You know, something that says "Sorry I was such a mean Mommy. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?" except maybe it could be a picture card? James is smart, but I didn't think he can read all those words.