As you might surmise, I've had a day of it with my kid. I say black, he says white and he's only 9. This should not be a surprise to me since he's been largely this way for years now. I'm starting to truly believe that they come out of the chute who they are. What we as parents do or don't do may very well be of little consequence. (So, why not send their impertinent asses off to military school while they're still young and no homicides have been committed?)
I know there are moms out there - I know this - that don't bat an eyelash when their kids resist cleaning up, doing a chore...etc. Those women (they are my idols) just toe the line. Their kids will do what's asked, period. If they balk, so what. Me? I just cannot stomach the resistance. It isn't that I feel guilty for asking Jack to do something or that I think he shouldn't have to do such tasks. I just get so disgusted and angry about any fuss he puts up - and it is often considerable and relentless - that I feel that I can go one of two ways. I could beat the ever loving crap out of him or I could cave and say, never mind. Since the former will put me in trouble with the law, screw up my kid mentally and physically (I have a huge temper), while the latter will only do subtle (albeit lasting) damage to my child, I often just go with the latter. I do know better. Really, I do. But I CANNOT STAND TO ARGUE WITH HIM AND HE DOES NOT STOP. SERIOUSLY. DOES NOT STOP. Even after I stop, he keeps going. He can't stand to win or lose and even when I let him have the last word, he has more to say. It's something. (I know, I know. He is a little version of me. It is painful. I'm sorry Mom and Dad. Truly. I don't know how you didn't just throw me in front of a truck on the New York Thruway.)
If you had told me I would be this kind of a crappy parent before Jack was a glimmer in my eye, I would have been offended. But, the truth hurts. And the truth is, I have no business on some days being a mother. The problem is, I don't get to skip those days. And they tend to happen when it's just Jack and me...all the live-long day.
But, as Scarlett so aptly said, Tomorrow is another day. And, Loyal Readers, I intend to start fresh in the morning give it my best try. I will be patient and gentle, yet firm and consistent. I will be supportive and provide many opportunities for my child to be appropriately challenged and to develop his character. I will toe the line when necessary without once raising my voice. I will be June Cleaver. I will wear a circle skirt and pearls and when working in the kitchen, the ever so lovely apron.
And pigs will fly. Keep your eyes out for them.