Guest posted by Jessie
It seems like the only time I was ever an effective parent was way before I had kids. Honestly, I am having one of “those days.” I have recently found out that I am overweight, and that I am looking my age, in addition to all of that, I’ve become whining intolerant. I am currently self-medicating with things like yelling, having tantrums and locking myself in the bathroom, though I hear wine works much better. I will be trying that in a bit.
Today, my eight-year-old and I locked horns in a big way. I think I have always (stupidly) encouraged him to speak his mind and never to back down in the face of adversity. I had no idea he was listening to that. I could see if it was something major, like he wanted purple hair or maybe ugly sneakers, but all I asked him to do was pick up his room. You really would have thought I asked him to cut off his own feet. He stomped around, he slammed doors, he yelled and screamed, and finally he followed me around berating me while I cleaned that pigsty. Ordinarily, I would not have done such a thing. I would simply close the door and walk away. I don’t know what came over me.
Meanwhile, my younger children were locked in a battle over who got to use some toy or another. After I pried them off each other, I decided to punish myself some more with a reading lesson for my six-year-old. After 20 minutes, I had mastered the art of accomplishing nothing, and I finally began the bribery. To no avail. Finally, after another tantrum, I moved on.
After a short reprieve, my eight-year-old is back; he has made a disgusting potion, which I have forbidden him to do, and now he wants to empty my bottle of Windex so that he can squirt his brother with the stink. I think about it, and finally tell him to look elsewhere. When he returns, he is carrying a bottle of something that was hidden in my bathroom next to something else hidden in my bathroom, something that the kids are not supposed to see, that is very private, and that NO, he can not use for his potion! I’m inching closer to the liquor cabinet.
Finally, my husband calls to say he’s on his way home, this is when I shift into high gear. I can not have him walking in on me and finding out that I have no sort of grip on these people. I manage to convince the little two to share a game on the kiddy tablet thing, and my oldest is locked in his (very clean) room listening to a book on tape, and when their father walks in, all is calm. I have created a delightful illusion, and I am basking in it. I am also pouring a glass of something stronger than wine.