I love my children…
I love my children…
I love my children…
If I repeat this mantra one thousand times over, it will come true, right?! I had a rough night with the little buggers tonight. It doesn’t help that I am exhausted between trying to sell our house, renovating the new one (why am I exhausted – Jon has been doing all of the labor!), and pouring over major projects at work.
I came home to Mario watching tv and Jon in the shower and Maria over at her friend’s house. Jon and I were both tired and Mario just wanted to fight and wrestle. Every time that we tried to talk, Mario dove in between us wanting to play. We scolded him. We continued to talk. He continued to try different ways to get us to wrestle. We told him to stop. He grabbed me around my neck and squeezed me. I yelled at him. Jon told him to stop, too. We finally moved downstairs. That was the start of the night.
We ordered a pizza because it was definitely a pizza type of night. Mario and I went to pick it up. When we got there, I asked if he wanted to stay in the car or come in with me. He wanted to stay in the car. I asked again and got the same response. I parked right in front of the door to the pizza joint, rolled down the windows a fourth of the way, and locked the doors. As soon as I walked in the pizza shop and looked back through the window, I saw him standing up and crying. I walked back out and he screamed and yelled and threw his fists. “I wanted to come in, mom!” I explained to him that he chose not to come in so it was too late. He did not like that answer. He got more mad and demanded we “do it over” so that he could go in with me. We drove home together with him crying in the back seat and me ready to call it a night and hit the sack.
When we got home, I got him out of the car and asked if he wanted to hold my hand to the house. He refused. As soon as I walked in the house, I heard sobs from outside. “Mom, I wanted to hold your hand!” I am proud of myself for keeping my cool when I felt like screaming “YOU ARE INSANE!” to him. I calmly walked back outside and asked him if he wanted to “do it over.” He did and we did it over and it was all better, somewhat. At times, I think he may be dealing with OCD to some degree, and I can only hope it doesn’t get worse. The question is: what should be my response when he acts this way? Do I “do it over” in order to allow him to calm down and re-create the experience as he needs it to be or do I put my foot down and explain to him that I gave him a choice and he made his decision? I am in-between at this time. If it is easy enough to “do over”, I do it over. If not, I say forget it and try to explain to him the rationale as to why we aren’t doing it over.
Maria had her issues, too, tonight. I took her and her friend to the yogurt store tonight. Her friend talked about eating McDonald’s for dinner. Maria told her friend she didn’t really like McDonald’s but she ate it with her because she did not want to be rude. Her friend told her that she did not have to worry about being rude – she needed to tell her if she did not like the food because her family does that. Maria must have responded that she should not be friends with her then since her family is rude to each other and her friend got upset. Maria can be a little bossy and domineering and I saw this come out in her tonight. I scolded Maria about talking that way to her friend and she immediately went into the “you don’t love me mom” state. I explained to her that she could not be so domineering with her friends and she explained to me that she felt weird around her friend and sometimes just didn’t want to be around her. We decided maybe it was time to take a break from each other but that we did not need to tell that to her friend right at this time.
When we got home, I felt spent. Emotionally drained. It is going to be so hard for me to see Maria go through her teenage years when I feel this concerned about a little tiff with her girlfriend. I have got to learn to let it go more. I want to be there for Maria and I want her to feel that she can talk to me but I can’t solve her every problem and shield her from life’s struggles (whether they be 6-year-old struggles or 30-year-old struggles) as much as I would like to do so. Raising kids is a hard task at times – tonight, no doubt.
I asked Maria to choose a book to read before bed and when I walked in her room, she sat there with the book Someday on her lap. One of my favorite books to read to her. It details a mother’s love for her daughter and shows the daughter with her daughter looking back at the times she had spent with her mother. It is simply written and beautiful. I used to read it to Maria when she was one and two years old, and I still remember one time I read it to her and started bawling. She looked up at me and wiped away a tear coming down my cheek. My doll baby. I bawled even more when she did that and soon thereafter, she gave up with the wiping realizing that her mom was just an uncontrollable emotional freak at times. And I remain as much five years later but at least I am an uncontrollable emotional freak that realizes her weaknesses and trigger points and tries to calm herself before adding to an already ridiculous situation. If there is one important lesson these kiddies have taught me, it is that you must remain open to possibilities and new days and different modes of thinking. They help me be an even better, more empathetic, more thoughtful, and less controlling person. I gotta love ’em for that.