Today was one of THOSE days. Actually it has been one of THOSE weeks. The kind of days when I have to turn in my super hero cape and realize my parenting sometimes sucks. You ever have a day when you are out of sync, the littlest things set you off, PMS is kicking in and it only takes one more annoyance before you are really set off? Imagine having all of that and then dealing with two kids having their own emotional meltdowns. The end result is not pretty.
I was in my funk and the baby was in her funk, then Ume added her funk. I was screaming inside and using my authoritative mommy tone a little too much in one day. It gets Ume to stand a little straighter but is she really learning? I try to have this deep conversation with her about how she needs to listen better, how I don’t want to have to tell her multiple times before she actually listens to me and her eyes just well up and the waterworks begin. This day it was asking her to get a book to read, she drags, stays on her iPad, messes with Violet; I ask her again to get a book to read, she grabs a drink, plays with her Shopkins, continues to drag. After the third time of asking, I really blow up.
Granted this has become a pattern of having to ask her multiple times before she gets things done, but the tasks are very minimal in importance. Collectively the underlining theme is that she doesn’t listen. How important is that to me? Do I really need her to jump when I say jump and drop what she is doing when I call on her. That just serves my purpose but then I am not valuing her purpose.
Yesterday when I picked her up from school she wanted to play on the playground. I said yes and she ran off. The playground is always chaotic after school with all the students there at once, so it takes me a while to scan the structure to locate her. I can’t find her so I broaden my search and I find her by the school building messing with her teachers. That really made me upset because I have already let her know that if we are in public and she is playing in one area, she needs to ask me if she can go to another area so I don’t lose her.
I remind her to let me know if she is leaving the playground so I always know where she is. I let her play again in the playground. Sure enough I am watching her like a hawk, she goes off the playground again and is back by the school building. This time “scary mommy” kicks in. I grab her attention and let her know that she did not listen to me and that we are now leaving. I continue to lecture her on the importance of letting me know at all times where she is and the safety issue it presents.
In this case Ume not listening was an important issue. The idea of not knowing where she is or losing her in public freaks me out. It is an experience that I don’t want to have and I really try to make my message clear to her. She ultimately cries and tells me “mommy you are making me cry”. I do not feel bad for this. Okay Ume you are having an emotion because I scolded you, but this is an important lesson. You will live.
This is an ongoing battle that I have with her that I am pretty sure is not rare. As she gets older I am sure we will have some epic arguments where she will be calling me a “nag” or a terrible expletive. I hope by then we can figure out how to communicate with each other so I won’t be the mom who drives herself crazy by hounding her kids every day. I wish every day I can have the patience to guide my children to be the best of themselves. Reality sets in. You can’t be the best YOU all the time and that is okay. Today was just the type of day when I needed her to listen to me and do what I needed her to do without any negotiation or back talk. Alas, I look at the time and realize that the day is ending soon. It is comforting to know that the trauma from today can be washed away and we can start fresh again tomorrow.