Do you hear me mom? I’m sorry.
My personal parenting motto is “Do not raise assholes.”
Well, assholes they have been.
It started Saturday night when I started having flu like symptoms. Full body aches, chills, the whole bit. It was lovely. Sunday morning came, and I had to run with a few dogs, because I promised I would. There is someone in search of a dog that runs well, and the volunteer in contact with her asked if I could test a few out to give her an idea of a dog that’s good running partner. And before you think, Well, why doesn’t she just come try running with a dog! Some dogs are NOT good jogging partners, and when you begin to run, they can sometimes become amped up and begin leash biting and become a little hard to handle. That is not what you want to send a prospective adopter out to discover. Most dogs are great running companions, but I’d feel terrible if she got one that just isn’t down for running.
And well, since I was out that way, why not get the grocery shopping done?
It’s not new news that I’m a stubborn person. Plus, it hurt to sit still. When I’d move, I felt better. Well, better than when I stood still. So when I parked the cart back at the return, I had to give myself a pep talk to be able to sit still on the fifteen minute drive home.
I spent the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself and trying despirately to stay warm.
Matt flew out for New Orleans Monday morning. The kids were fully aware that I felt awful, and Mae and Audrey were on their best behaviors as I slogged through our regular Monday routines.
It really began after dinner when I asked Luca to take a shower, and he said, “No.”
A common phrase around here is, “Do you get to tell me no?”
The answer should be, “No, I don’t, Mom.”
His was, “Yes I do.”
Strike two, little dude.
I was more patient than usual, because he’s getting over strep throat, so he sat and sulked on the stairs, as the girls were in the tub and I folded laundry. He then said, “I want to take a shower.”
I told him, “Too bad, buddy. It’s too late now. It’s bed time. Get dressed.”
“Well, I’m sorry you feel that way,” I said as I plucked him up and plopped him down in his room, as he kicked and screamed.
Then I closed his door and finished the laundry.
Audrey then began to splash in the tub and started telling me no, since, you know, why not? Luca can.
So I plucked her up out of the tub and plopped her butt down in her room, and closed the door. I sat there in the hallway, with crying children coming from two rooms, just shaking my head.
I got them all ready for bed, and even got smiles out of all of the kids before I turned off their lights. I collapsed into the couch,and I promised myself tomorrow would be better.
Luca didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. He didn’t want to eat breakfast. He didn’t want to get dressed.
So lucky me got to dress my almost six year old, keep my mouth shut when all I wanted to do was tell him how I really felt about his attitude, and kick his butt off to school.
Tuesday night was met with more resistance and at that point, I figured, if I can’t beat them, join them, right? So Luca decided to tell me that, no, he wasn’t going to clean up his room. So after I took the shirt off his back, (don’t judge, it works and it’s my house,) he went up to his room to clean up his train set. Audrey, who was also grumpy and screaming no, got to join him.
I closed the door, and got to listen to Luca say, “AUDREY! Stop crying!” “NOOOOOO!” “AUDRREEEEEEEYYY!”
And it was awesome.
When we got home from the gym, he was on a better behavior, and even got himself ready for bed without me having to ask. I figured, yay! We’re over this mood.
If you ever wanted to know how many days it takes to break me, it’s three. It took three days, but the kids broke me. I asked Claire and Luca to take the garbage and recycling to the curb, and at first they both complained, but Claire, seeing the desperation in my eyes, put on her shoes and coat and acquiesced. Luca stood at the top of the stairs, looking towards the basement and refused to move.
That was it. That was all it took. I went downstairs, found his shoes and shoved them on his feet. I asked him again. He did not move. So when Claire came back in from bringing the recycling to the curb, she found me standing in the kitchen crying. Luca, was still standing in the hallway, doing nothing.
“I try not to complain, guys, but I’m done. Do you guys know how hard it is for me when your dad travels? Do you know how hard it is to do all the things I do in a normal day, let alone, being sick, alone, and with kids who are being jerks? Do you know? Did you even once stop and think, my words hurt. By my not doing what mom asks, it’s making her job harder, and doesn’t solve anything? Did you even once apologize for your poor behavior over the past three days? Did you once even think that it would be nice to say, “Let me help you with that, mom. Let me put the dishes away. Or let me vacuum. Or let me put my clothes away without you asking.” Because I keep asking and telling you to do things and you tell me no. You’ve purposely been rude to me and it hurts. My feelings are hurt and I’m sad.”
Luca stood there, looking me right in the eyes, and said, “I’m sorry, Mom.”
Then he walked over, hugged me, and said, “Do you hear me, Mom? I’m sorry.”
Tomorrow will be better.