Before I share a story with you that would confirm to all of you that I can be a truly heartless person, I first just have to say this: I’ve read thousands of blog posts over the years (going on eight years). Many of them have either made me reconsider how much I share about my personal life, including my children’s OR they reaffirm that exposing intimate details about myself is nothing to be ashamed of. So I guess that just means your posts expressing either opinion give me pause, and I that’s a good thing, right?
I waffled between not sharing this story (because it painted me in a bad light) and just having to share it (because it makes Dood shine) for the reasons stated above. Also, I am not a perfect parent and while that pains me in some ways, I’ll never be accused of blowing smoke up someone’s ass.
Yesterday was just a mentally stressful day. Some days just are that way for me even though nothing specifically will trigger them. I chalk it up to my untreated depression and run with that and a pair of scissors, pointed ends up. My work schedule allows us to have Tuesday afternoons off to make appointments and run errands that we can’t normally do during the rest of the week. While my contract is "7:30 – 4:30", it’s really just more a guideline. Working for a surgeon means I get to work before clients arrive, and I work until the last one leaves, and that sometimes means 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. So, yeah, Tuesday afternoons are a wonderful respite.
By the time I get the errands done on Tuesdays, it’s time to pick up the kids. Yesterday, I finished early so I picked them up early. I was doing them a "favor", releasing them from the drudgery of daycare and afterschool programs….yeah, right. Before I could even get the second kid to buckle up, there were screeching, snarling and whining at, over, to, over, each other. It makes me want to open both doors and roll their asses out within a block. I hate that 20 minute drive home.
Once I got home, I set Doodicus to task on his homework and tried to give Aitch some busywork. Of course they have to do all of that within 24 square inches of each other and the screeching, snarling and whining only perpetuates. I hid in my bedroom and tuned them out, i.e. ignored the little assholes. And then I heard Dood yell at Aitch, "Get that out of your mouth!" (The boy can focus on every little thing SHE does but he can’t get his name written on his homework assignment. *sigh*)
A couple days ago, Aitch swallowed a small washer. She often puts rocks, coins, squinkies, etc., in her mouth and she’s repeatedly told not to do so. We didn’t have this issue when she was a toddler, so now she seems to be making up for it. After she swallowed that washer, we gave her a good dress-down and the dangers of the habit, so when I heard she had something she knowingly wasn’t suppose to, I blew my top. She tried as desperately as a four year old can to keep me from taking the item away, which happened to be an elastic hair band, the kind that looks like a gummy lifesaver. I easily pried her fingers away and held up the offending object and said, "Watch me." I walked to the deck door, opened it, and flung it out and over the rail. I slid the door shut, locked it with a flick, and turned to watch Aitch break into tearful sobs.
Well, of course I fell like an utter dick, but dammit! I’m sick of telling her not to. I’m sick of Dood telling her not to. And I’m sick of the two paying more attention to what the other is doing that they shouldn’t!
My son, who doesn’t often display empathy, turned to me and said, "That was really mean, mom." I said nothing and walked away.
A couple minutes later I overheard Dood, "See? Look. It’s that blue thing right there," and I peaked around the corner to see the two of them sitting on the windowseat that faces the backyard. Dood was looking through a pair of small binoculars. Without them realizing I had heard them, my son told his sister that he would go out and get it back for her. He put on his shoes and bundled up (it was nasty cold yesterday), and went out on the deck, down the stairs, and located this ridiculous hairband in the grass. Aitch stood at the deck door and watched him return with it and deposit it triumphantly into her outstretched hands.
Those two fight constantly. It’s what siblings do. They have each ratted on the other resulting in loss of many privileges, more so as Aitch becomes impossibly independent and vocal. But yesterday, Dood became a Hero to Aitch, and I was the Evil Villain. She did not come running to me in tears because of something Dood had done. Dood rescued something of hers, selflessly. knowing that the only reward would be seeing Aitch no longer sad.
And this is why I write about the personal moments, because for every ugly and raw moment that makes me believe I am doing everything wrong as a parent, there is something breathlessly beautiful and heart-soothing to remind me that my children are getting it right.