Friday, June 7, 2013

How a rather insane parental rant somehow led to a peaceful night.

It has been a loooong week.

I think the fact that my birthday was yesterday made the week take even longer to get to the end of it.

And I had a wonderful, wonderful birthday.  I brought treats to work (which I still love to do because I'm still in first grade in my heart) and then my parents took me out to lunch and shopping at re-threads which is my favorite store in the world.  And then Tad and the kids and I played soccer in the school gym until it was time to go out to dinner at Maharajah, which is where I like to go for dinner on my birthday.  The parking lot was nearly empty and I wondered where the four of us would sit as I opened the door.  We walked in and...
There sat my parents, my sister and family, and a collection of some of my very most dearest friends.  Tad arranged a surprise for me and I LOVE surprises. And the surprise was hanging out with a lot of people I love and I LOVE hanging around with a lot of people I love.  Plus he got me a light-up hula hoop.
It was a lovely dinner party and I had a tremendous time.  And I felt very lucky.

But throughout the course of this week, parenting has been hard.  I have felt impatient.  My elder child seems to be on the cusp of adolescence. In fact, the day before yesterday I said to him, "Do you know what tomorrow is?"
"What?" he said.
"My birthday!"
"Well, that doesn't really excite me."


So today when he was asked by a friend to accompany him to a baseball game tonight and I said "no." (Mostly because I was not asked by any adults and the adults who were taking the children -- who I never spoke to directly) I have never met before.  He was - to say the least - unhappy. 20 straight minutes of crying-unhappy.

And later when he asked to watch his usual Friday night movie, even though more than anything, I just wanted everyone upstairs reading or resting or doing anything that wasn't talking to me as soon as possible, I said yes.  Because I know he needs a little love time.  (He is having a hard time with the transition -or idea thereof-to fourth grade and the end of the school year).  He chose Return of the Jedi and I had him showered, both kids fed and Lucy in the bath by 6:00.  I was so excited about my success and I popped in the DVD for him to start while I bathed his sister.  I got it all ready to go.



The screen said that the device wasn't connected and sure enough things didn't look plugged in where they needed to be. And try and I might and plug as I plugged I couldn't get it to work.

I thought I was going to

Because it was suddenly 6:30 and he still wasn't watching anything. Because he was talking about looking around on Amazon and Netflix and Youtube for something and I didn't think I could bear another 30 minutes of him looking around for what to watch and another 30 minutes of him deciding.  Because I thought that if he cried in disappointment one more time about a decision that I had to make I thought I might climb up on the roof and stay there until some sort of fire person came to get me down with a ladder and some Valium.

So I went on some sort of a parental rant.  I'm not even sure what I said. I think I floated outside of my head. It was something to this effect:  I'm just so tired and I want to relax for a little while and sit and read by myself and I am worried about you getting some good sleep and you've been up until 10 every night this week and I am tired of being up with children until 10 every night and I'm tired of not just having one minute to myself and if I have to have another child cry because I did or said something they weren't satisfied with and what the heck is my problem that I don't even know how to use the DVD player and why doesn't your dad just LEAVE things plugged in and what kind of a ridiculous AV set up is this anyway and what the HECK why can't I just figure it out and I just wish your daddy was home but no way am I calling him on his night out and on and on and I think I threw a H-E-double hockey sticks and a G-D it in there somewhere.

Coen just sort of watched me rant and Lucy called from the bathroom, "What is Mommy talking about?!" and Coen asked, "Are you mad at me?" "Are you mad at Daddy?" to which I answered "No. I think I'm mostly mad at the DVD player and myself for not knowing how to use it." And then Coen yelled back to Lucy, "She's mad at the DVD player!" And Lucy yelled back "OH!"

Then I stopped and took a bunch of deep breaths and looked at my child who was staring at me (with the glimmer of a smile I think). I apologized to Coen and he said, "Don't worry Mommy. Everyone gets crabby sometimes. Daddy does too." 

At any rate, the rant somehow gained me two calm and cooperative kids.  Lucy took her bath and put her pajamas on and brushed her teeth and I tucked her in with relatively little comment and mostly smiles from her as I read her book and of course one extra.  Coen and I have been cuddling while he watched his movie and when he moved over to the other end of the couch, I began writing this. His blinks are like nine seconds long and I can tell that he is one worn out kid.  He was completely cool that there is no Star Wars anything to be watched and that I just picked this weird lizard movie with Johnny Depp as a voice that he's never even heard of and he just settled back with a blanket and watched it.

So, not that I'll be going on rants anytime in the near future. I did sort of take leave of my senses for a minute there.  I guess it's okay to just be honest about how overwhelmed and done you are with your week once in a while and my rant did result in a very calm and peaceful evening.

So there's that.

And I'm going to post this now and cuddle with my slow-blinking 9 year old for the last 1/2 hour of this movie, if he'll have me.

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