Captain Adventure got up at 4:35 this morning, and he has been happy for precisely 39 seconds between then and now.
Yeah, OK, I’m exaggerating.
It was 40 seconds, and I know it.
These are the times when his speech delay becomes not merely ‘bothersome’ or ‘a little troubling’, but accelerates right into pisses me off.
And with that, I fully admit to being a rotten parent. I actually get mad at my son because he doesn’t really know how to communicate in words yet. I looked at him late this afternoon, as he rolled around on the floor yowling like a wounded animal and refusing to look at me, and I thought…What the @*^&@ is the MATTER with you?!
I stepped over his writhing form, paused to pat his back (which he did not appreciate, because could I not see that he was being MAD right now?!) and said, “Hooookay, let me know how that works out for you. When you’re ready to TALK TO ME, I’ll be right over here.”
Then I sat down nearby and attempted to pretend the sound of his yowling wasn’t like a thousand nails on the chalkboard of my soul. It remains the fastest way to snap him out of these fits; attempts to coddle him only make it worse, while a heapin’ plateful of ignoring him tends to bring him sniffling over for a cuddle sooner.
Although ‘sooner’ is a relative term. Five minutes having your soul ripped apart by a thousand fingernails may technically be ‘sooner’ than half an hour spent arguing with someone about a parking space, but it doesn’t feel that way.
I often find myself lying awake at night wondering who on earth thought it was a good idea to put all these children into my care without supervision. I have no qualifications, I have no training, no hard-earned skills. Shouldn’t somebody have stopped me, shouldn’t someone have given me a test at the hospital and then said, “Oops, sorry, kids are too advanced for you – have you thought about fostering kittens instead?”
I’m making this “parenting” crap up as I go along. And then I have hard days and I question what I thought I was doing having even one, let alone FOUR. I can’t juggle four! How many times did Boo Bug have to ask for things today, how long did she have to wait for even simple things because I was dealing with a pissy little brother?
I’m pretty sure other moms are better at this stuff than me. I bet they don’t snap, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak ‘whiny child’! Can you say that again in plain, un-whiny English?!” at their five year old when she starts whining about the milk you said you’d get her ten minutes ago, before her brother went into super-nuclear-melt-down mode.
I bet the little brother never goes into super-nuclear-melt-down mode to begin with, too.
Also they don’t pull a napkin out of the drawer when they get slimed by an overly enthusiastic kiss from their toddler and realize that it is positively stiff with…something bright yellow…or go to make themselves a nice salad and THEN realize that they put the salad into the crockpot with the roast and that what they left in the drawer are the braising greens (yuck!).
And they certainly don’t then decide that leftover birthday cake will simply have to do. Stale leftover birthday cake. With icing so hard it could break a tooth.
No. It was not the best of days around here today.
But at the same time, all my kids are still speaking to me – even Captain Adventure, who grudgingly admitted to an ‘owie’ in his mouth [throat] and found his happy again once bubblegum-flavored Tylenol was administered.
So I guess I’m doing OK, overall.
Until tomorrow, when I’ll probably mess it all up yet again.
At least the cake is finally all gone.
On a related note… ice cream counts as a dairy serving, right…?
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
23 hours ago