Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What parenting sometimes means....

Let's face it.  Parenting (albeit magical, wonderful, deeply moving and life-shaking) is just really hard sometimes. 

Especially when you parent a child who looks like this in her class photo:

Who just this morning stood in my closet crying loudly and yanking down some of my shirts because I wouldn't let her wear a tank top to school when it was fifty degrees outside. Because her dress just didn't feel right with a shirt underneath and she tells you this in a high pitched shout as she flails dramatically on the ground.
Or when you have a child who looks like this in his class picture:

Who makes this particular ridiculous face at you even as you try to tell him some serious etiquette or other parenting type rule. 

Yesterday was one of those days where I wasn't really at my best, as a mom.  My intentions were good. I picked them up from school, excited to see them both and immediately was met with a semantics argument from Lucy
Lucy: Do you know what I'm going to do?
Me: Yeah?
Lucy: (crossing her arms haughtily) Yeah? You DO know what I'm going to do? Okay, what am I going to do then?
Me: I don't know what you're going to do. Tell me.
Lucy: Well, you said 'yeah' so you know what I'm going to do!
Me: I didn't mean, 'yeah' like I know what you're going to do. I mean 'yeah' like 'what' What are you going to do?
Lucy: I don't want to tell you now.

I threw up my hands and just sort of drifted away as she went back to the playground. But what I wanted to say was this:
You know WHAT, sister! I don't give a &#!% what you're going to do!

Being a parent sometimes means keeping the things you really want to say inside your head.

Then Coen came running up to me to say he'd been invited to play at a friend's house.
"I'm sorry." I said, "Not today honey, your Baba and Papa are coming over." (my parents who were generously coming to be with my kids so Tad and I could both attend to our extracurricular plans)
I was met with immediate anger and then big time tears.  He went over to the other side of the playground and sat with his arms folded.

He got over it. But got mad again when no friends were outside to play with, and again when I wouldn't let him drag my parents back to our neighbors so they could watch him jump off the swing, and then again when it was time to come in. And then again when he was in his pajamas and he saw friends outside and wasn't allowed to join them.

Being a parent sometimes means making unpopular decisions that people get really mad at. 

In addition to all this, my sensitive boy has been going through his 1-2 times a year nighttime neuroses where he can't sleep because he's "thinking about things he doesn't want to think about" and I try to be patient and lay with him and rub his back and tell him that everything is okay and that the world won't end or Tad and I won't die or 4th grade won't be as scary as he thinks it will. When what I'm really thinking is this:
Honey, everything is fine. Look-the moon is out, the stars are glimmering; Daddy I are both home. Now shut the #*@% and go to SLEEP!!!!

Being a parent sometimes means that you don't get to sit down and relax until you're unconscious and don't even know you're relaxing.

It's a hard job. It's a twenty-four hour job.  And it's a job I chose.  And I love it. And sometimes I want to call in sick from it.  But since I can't, I have half-assed parenting days like I did yesterday.  But there's always today and tomorrow and tomorrow. 

Being a parent means you are a human being who is trying her best to be all the things a parent should be.
Being a parent means that even though you have a bad day, you're still the parent and you get to try again another day.
Being a parent means, even with all the hard stuff, you get to look at those two pictures above and know your kids are totally weird and wonderful.
And that's pretty great.

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