Sometimes the Bear Eats You

Ever have those days where you just feel like a complete failure as a parent? I love my son so much. All my readers know that. But sometimes the challenges overtake me.

My Mom came over for dinner with us yesterday evening. It was like a complete dinner fail. The chicken that I reheated in the oven wasn’t hot enough, but my son was WHINING and WHINING about being hungry and not wanting to wait any longer. (I think microwaved chicken is really gross). I overcooked the broccoli to mush. I ate a huge helping the plain spaghetti I served D on the side (with butter and salt) even though I know eating carbs makes me really fat and makes me eat too much. And my son’s table manners were horrendous. It’s embarrassing. I know it’s a process, a journey, and I TRY and TRY, but at the end of the day when he is tired, he is nothing but an uncoordinated, angry mess that won’t stay sitting in his chair properly, who makes a huge mess on the floor, who constantly interrupts. I have been working on this shit since he was old enough to sit at the table and eat. Sometimes it goes well, but a lot of times, it doesn’t. It’s one of the things he is just worst at. He’s going to be a long time getting it right and it requires patience I sometimes do not have. So we argued through dinner. “Sit proper, please.” “SIT DOWN.” “Grandma is talking. Wait your turn to talk.” “Stop screeching.” Ad nauseum, literally.

After dinner I gave him a bath, and then we went outside to collect oak leaves and acorns for the holiday Friday. I think he was just really tired. Everything made him cranky. Going outside to do something. Having to come in. Not being able to watch the TV show he wanted to watch. Not being able to watch TV as long as he wanted to. Having to brush teeth. I had had it by the time we were in the middle of teeth brushing and he refused to stand still and told him he wasn’t getting a story, it was straight to bed. Then it was all about how he doesn’t like me and he wishes he was at his Dad’s. Lovely. I knew this was coming, but it’s not fun.

He pulled it together enough that I agreed to a story as he was on the verge of melting down and seemed really sad about it. But he was too fucking tired to be trying to read, and every single word in the book, he claimed he didn’t know, even if he had just read it four words before. “It’s too haaaaard,” he whined. I offered to read him a story book so he didn’t have to read. “No, I want to do it!” Then I’d help him with a word. “Stop TELLING me, Mom!” Then I’d wait for him to sound it out. “Mom, I don’t KNOW, this book is STUPID!” Finally about halfway through he admitted he was too tired to read, which must be really tired for him as he NEVER admits to being tired. He was asleep in five minutes and slept well through the night.

So I thought he’d be better this morning, but there was more constant WHINING. His sock was stupid. He hates this shoe, why does it do that. Why do I have to wear long sleeves, ugh. I won’t be cold. NO I WON’T. I don’t like you. I don’t want to wear that coat. I don’t need a jacket. ON and ON and ON until I was finally like THAT’S ENOUGH. NO MORE TALKING. It’s just a COAT for God’s sake, now let’s GO. We rode in silence, starting our journey to school. Then I told him that I’m sorry he was angry with me but all I do is look out for his best interests, I don’t do these things to be mean. And that I hoped that when he saw how I tried very hard to pack him a breakfast and lunch with all things he liked, he would remember how much I love him and how much I do for him and how everything I do is to care for him and look out for him, and that I am thinking of him all day.

He held my hand on the walk to the door, which he rarely does anymore. I gave him as heartfelt a hug and kiss as I could when I left him. I will do better tonight.

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