Seriously. My kids are going bonkers. Straight up crazy pants with the possibility some kind of emotional disorder not completely ruled out.
Two days in a row we’ve dealt with hard-core temper tantrums and general inappropriateness courtesy of our little angels. I swear my neighbors are either going to think I’m too busy sucking down a Corona in the kitchen to notice the screaming, or that the kids were once dropped on their heads and the damage is finally coming to the surface. They say nice things and tell me not to worry, after all they say, we all have those days, but honestly—this is a 20/20 episode waiting to happen! And with my luck Barbara Walters will come out of her 20/20 retirement just so that she can tisk-tisk me and then talk about it on The View.
Well, I actually don’t drink and the kids were never dropped on their heads, but I’m betting there’s a full moon tonight. How many of you moms out there know what I’m talking about? [see my cool poll and vote!] For all you non-moms out there, how many times have you witnessed such a commotion and thought the parents were a worthless excuse for rule-makers and that they should have been kicked out of the gene pool before things got messy? [you know who you are!]
Yesterday one of my sons got honked off that I tagged him out at first base during our backyard baseball game [mark that one on your century calendars–Jane playing baseball?!] Rather than shrugging his shoulders and saying “Rats!” or something as benign, he decided that running away from me was a much more reasonable and profitable strategy. I spent the next 50 minutes–I’m not kidding–either chasing him or disciplining his ridiculousness. It was not only embarrassing that he could not deal with his dismay rationally, but it was a revealing look into his heart that he disobeyed me by not returning to the house when asked to. Needless to say, his free time options are severely limited this week and I think the little chat his dad and I had with him has started to sink in; he said he’s learned ‘not to mess with dad.’
Today my precious little mini-me, as my own mother will attest to, decided to make non-sharing a new sport and told her friend to ‘shut up.’ Yep, that’s right. Classic choice. Just great. My husband and I don’t use that word, so when Barbara shows up I’m going to blame it on the fifth graders on her bus.
It’s not only the disappointment that I feel as a mother, it’s the compounding of two days of stern talks, consequences and all the rest. Everyone has their own way of teaching and disciplining, and to be honest, I thought we were swimming with the current, staying afloat. Today I’m pretty sure the undertow dragged us under and possibly cut our knees on the hard ocean floor .
How do we know when to step back and let them just scream their guts out and ignore them? When do we chalk it up to exhaustion? Should I have let the girls figure out how to share on their own? Maybe when my son ran away from me I should have just let him go [to our neighbor’s garden]. In our quest for perfect children, though we would never admit to it, do we meddle too much? Do we hover just a tad to low? Breathing over a shoulder that belongs to the body of a kid growing more and more independent?
Of course we can’t let blatant rebellion and disobedience slide and think we’ll escape the consequences of such a decision; but as kids grow and make choices, I wonder about the how much and how often and… how. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you care to comment!