...a/k/a my children.
The best thing about our vacation was that the boys followed their cousins around and were kept busy pretending to be 8-year-olds. They were introduced to the Disney channel and now know the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana. I barely saw them. It was awesome.
Within half an hour of their cousin's departure, they were at each other's necks again and it was impossible to ignore them. Lacking the cousins to occupy them, they had to turn to each other, and that rarely ends well. They were wrestling, Ben was squealing in that ear-piercing way of his and G and I instantly had high blood pressure again. It sucked.
I'm finding it very depressing to be off vacation. I hate being annoyed by my children, but since we've been back it seems that I'm always inwardly sneering at them. I know it's me, not them, and yet I can't seem to turn it off. Sometimes I seriously want to pinch them or slap them, just because they're getting so on my nerves. It scares me. I'm able to control myself physically, but my words and my intonations are getting away from me.
I'm surprised and horrified by the bitchiness coming out of my mouth. This morning we made bathtub fingerpaints with dish soap, cornstarch and food coloring. Despite my warnings that this soap was different than the soap they were used to and would sting their eyes if it got near them, A. put the bubbles all over his face and in his hair, and of course, in his eyes. He was screaming as I quickly rinsed him off, tried to get him to stop rubbing his eyes with his soapy hands ("You're making it worse!" I yelled), and, as is so often the case lately, I was irrationally furious.
I had to rinse A. off with the shower, which made the bubbles in the tub multiply, and so then Ben started screaming, "Aaaaaugh! Too many bubbles! Mama! Too many bubbles! Make it stop!" like the Bubble Monster was coming to get him. I told Ben to chill out (which as you know always works immediately). I lifted A. out and then rinsed Ben off and wrapped both up in a towel, and then I said to A., "Well. I guess next time I tell you to keep the soap out of your eyes, you'll LISTEN to me, huh?"
Actually, I didn't say that, I sneered it. Although those were the words that came out of my mouth, what it sounded like was, "You stupid kid. It's all your fault and I am so disgusted with you."
Then I thought, "Jesus Christ. Chill out. He's 5 years old. You give him so many directions he can't remember them all, and he's not going to be able to stop himself from rubbing his eyes. He can't think that through. He feels bad enough as it is."
Actually, I didn't think that, I thought, "Jesus Christ. Listen to what a bitch you're being. Chill the fuck out."
It seems like I've been like that alot lately. It's awful and it needs to stop before my children start to hate me. Or worse, fear me. Right now they just kind of look at me like, Whatever. My tone of voice doesn't seem to phase them, but consequences do, which I KNOW because I'm a freakin' "Parenting Expert" and I say that with full-on air quotes....but I also know that over time, tone of voice comes right back to bite you in the ass, either in the form of kid's bad attitudes or the kid's low self-esteem. Sounding like you're always so irritated and frustrated with your child isn't good for them. Duh.
I've always sort of laughed at the gaping black hole of need they sometimes are because, Jesus, kids ARE awfully needy, aren't they? But it's threatening to overwhelm me right now and I need to get a handle on this quickly.
Maybe this is God's way of telling me to absolutely forget the idea of having a third?
Monday, July 28, 2008
...a/k/a my children.