Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taking a deep breath and putting it out there.

From the first moment you contort yourself to dip your elbow in 3 inches of water at the bottom of the tub, you try to figure out how to make this world gentler for your children.

I still find myself trying to save my oldest from the world... and then other times feeling like flinging him into the path of fate for him to make his own mistakes so I don't have to be the bitch anymore by telling him "No"...

NO, Don't take all of the cheese and eat it and forget to put it on the list when fajitas are on the menu. NO, don't hit the window with sticks. NO! Don't lock your little sister in the Yard Waste bin. And you start hearing yourself say unthinkable things. Mostly to yourself... things that make your husband say things like "Why don't you go get a cup of coffee by yourself this morning" as he tries to use camouflage to blend into the wallpaper. Flinching like you just hollered, as you say "Hell yeah. That's a great idea." Which of course just makes you think bad thoughts about him too.

At this point, I would take just a tiny bit of anything... a bit of joy, a bit of gratitude, a bit of even reluctance before the nasty words blurt out of my spawns mouth. He gives me looks that would make me want to punch a perfect stranger... but I know that this is my baby. My FIRST baby... and I know that I can't hurt him. But for a split second I know that I am mad enough right this second to not feel bad today... I would feel bad tomorrow.

They learn these looks. Probably from me. The "what did you just say?" looks where I heard what they asked, but I want them to say it nicely and so, (gracefully) I am hoping they get the hint without pointing out their mistake. But they use it wrong. They use it when they just knocked over their sisters castle of blocks... acting like they didn't notice what they were doing.

They learn these looks. Probably from me. The "how dare you!" look. The look I use when I walk outside to find my 7 year old stuck in the yard waste bin, crying. But they use it wrong! They use it when I say "I am so sorry it has gotten dark and you messed around today... you still have to get the jobs on the list done outside before dinner."

Then I realise that they have stuffed macaroni down my drain while 'doing the dishes' this morning and it has expanded because no one told me about it and no amount of plunging will save me from calling the plumber. And when I ask him about it, I get the 'what did you just say' look.

And I sit very still, and breathe very deep.

Thus is the life with a teenager. God, I hope we both survive.


Anonymous said...

Our boys are the same age and we as parents are going through VERY similar things!!

Sarah said...

((hugs)) I have no idea what you are actually going through...but my Cale can give me those looks and say those words, and I have 4 holes in my walls already- I DREAD teenage years

Val in the Rose Garden said...

We went out to dinner together for the second time this year due to the sink issue. Not being able to run the dishwasher or use the sink is a huge pain. I am hoping a huge pot of boiling water will help... but I am suspecting I need someone with a drain snake. Called friends... but no one was home.

Anyhow. We went out to dinner and he was great. They all were great. REALLY great. Then we got back home and it all hit the fan again. Maybe they are just bored. I can't imagine how. We spent ALL DAY outside, we spent yesterday at the Y and Thursday too.

I don't know. Any thereoy helps right?


Becka said...

Oh Val. You will both survive. Really, you will. I don't have a teenager, so I have no pithy advice- only compassion for you.

Anonymous said...

My son will be 13 in March. Enough is never enough with these pre-teens/teens! They want MORE! More time to play, more games, more attention, more space, etc....

Val in the Rose Garden said...

And what I love is that most of their wants don't even make sense together! How could you possibly give them more attention and more space at the same time? It is like what they really want is someone who can read their mind as their mother.

Today is going better though. :) Although the sink still isn't fixed.


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