Monday, June 26, 2006

Bi-Polar Parenting

Sometimes, I feel like the best parent in the world.
You know, like when I told Hayden that we say "oh shoot" and he actually stopped swearing. Or when I bargained that if he took just one taste of a green bean (which I know he likes, despite him telling me he doesn't) that he could have one of the cookies we baked. And once he took that one bite, he ate the rest of the green beans while I patted myself on the back for being so intuitive to what works with him, and gave him that cookie, which I knew he'd hardly eat anyway, being his father's son who likes to bake, but doesn't like baked goods so much. Or when we sit down to read stories together and he knows that Curious George is in prison because there was no fire, only a naughty little monkey, and he is really listening and absorbing these books, and hopefully on some level absorbing the love I have for him that I hope is seeping through me to the little boy in my lap holding a stuffed Froggy, a sandwich of security.

Then, there are those other times when I know that nobody is less fit to be a parent than me. Like when I am alone with the two screaming boys, neither of which care that I can't be in two places at once, or that I would gladly indulge their every whim if possible, but am simply trying to maintain some level of sanity while making dinner, and putting out the fire from the plastic drumstick that was mysteriously left on the burner while I was checking the meat on the barbecue. Like when I have told Hayden one too many times to "Stop that!" and he won't and yells "No!" at me over and over, and gets put on time-out, yet just keeps yelling and screaming and won't Stop It, or stay in one spot, or stop kicking the wall, and I finally just lose it and actually scream at him, really put a frightened look on that gorgeous, rebellious face because time-out is my last resort, because what else could I do? and I'm not going to spank him, and I'm not going to take away Robbie the Froggy because it is his Security Object, so my only tool is my anger and frustration at my complete ineptness and absolute lack of efficacy in parenting this not so bad little boy.

It is at these low moments that I know I am the Worst Parent Ever.


Cari said...

I felt like I was doing the 2nd half of your post way too often. So I did two I got help..someone comes 3 days a week and helps out with the 3 kids, laundry, etc. And I started taking Zoloft. Now I will still not win any parenting contests, but at least I don't feel like a complete ogre and nag to my kids all the time. I'm sure your outburts are far and few between. It's when they're often that you need to be concerned.

cg said...

This is such a well written piece about parenting! I am right there with you my friend

Jen H. said...

Man, what's it say about me when I have these days and I only have one child??? I know exactly what you're talking about. Sometimes I feel like I deserve a pat on the back. And many other times I feel like I deserve a swift kick in the a$$!