Friday, January 9, 2009

Just Call Me...


I had one of those amazing parenting moments this afternoon. When we finished our reading, I decided it would be a fun idea to end the week by playing Wii Sports for PE for the day. Isn't that a great idea? What kid wouldn't love a chance to play the Wii under the guise of education?

So it all started out perfectly for about one minute, when Duncan and Laurel starting bickering about what mode to play in. Good grief! Within five minutes, exasperation erupted on all parts. Duncan ran to his room, sobbing, and because this is what moms do best, I instructed both of them that if they couldn't play the Wii nicely, then they should clean their rooms!

I may have shouted, or at least spoken forcefully. I went off to do laundry, thinking about how ungrateful these children are. And then I heard Duncan talking aloud in his room, as if he were having a conversation. I eavesdropped outside his door as he was saying,
"She hasn't been nice to me all day! And only me! She is nice to everyone but not to me!"

I wasn't sure whom he was speaking about at this point, me or his sister. But eventually I heard:
"My mom! I am talking about my mom and she has not been nice to me all day! She doesn't have anything nice to say to me!"

And then,
"My mom is being a…a… a JERK! She is being a JERK!" (but it's more like "juk" because he doesn't say his "Rs" quite right yet).

And here's the part that really got me:
"She always says to me 'speak kindly' but SHE isn't speaking kindly to me!"

Ouch. Well, "ouch" tempered with a little bit of amusement (just a little bit) and a little bit of "Hey! Yes I was nice to you today!" Another more detached part of me was thinking how interesting it was to see him being so dramatic and that neither of my other kids ever had loud conversations with themselves. And still another part of me thought, "This doesn't sound like him. Where did he pick up this kind of drama." And jerk? I can't think of us ever using that word. I'm always amazed at how their personalities can show surprising characteristics.

But anyway. Mostly I felt chastened because he was right in one level: I wasn't being kind to him. And so after a few minutes, I went in to him and crawled next to him on his bottom bunk. He moved as far against the wall as he possibly could to avoid touching me. We prayed, I apologized, we hugged, and he smiled. This evening we spent a couple of sweet hours together, just the two of us, playing games and reading. I asked him if I was still a jerk. He said, "No, Mama! You are NOT a jerk!"

Phew. Being a parent is a never-ending learning experience.

Anyone else had a bad parenting moment this week?


  1. This week??? I think this day went OK... well, maybe.

  2. Oh dont even get me started. Tink does all this talking to herself too when she gets in trouble. Parenting is fraught with guilt. We are doing our best and we must take comfort in that!

  3. Oh, hugs to you. I have totally been there. I have heard almost the exact same things about myself from my children. I could write a very similar post. The way you looked at yourself honestly and then spent time with Duncan makes you a loving mom! Ya did good! Holly

  4. Bad parenting experience? Constantly. There was a commercial that was running about 11 years ago (when my first was born) that started out saying that being a dad was the most difficult and the most rewarding job to have. This is so true. There are parts of parenting I could live without, but that would mean I wouldn't get the good stuff either.
    Just know you are not in it alone.
    Blessings, Patti

  5. My middle son is going through a rough time. His best friend is moving away and we are preparing the boys to move yet again. I have to remember he is 8 and sometimes a tantrum is his way of saying life stinks right now!

  6. I could picture this whole scene playing out...Little Duncan saying "juk"....and he didn't learn it from my kids...
    anyway, my girls wanted to play Sequence with me, but they sat and screamed at each other over who was going to be red...anyway, I stood up and walked away...we still have yet to play...

  7. Um, yes I did have a bad parenting moment this week, oh wait, it was just yesterday. Something about me not telling the truth about some soup...sigh. Because, you know, if I was going to lie about something it would be soup. I love my kids more than anything, but right now (after reading your post and the comments) I am absolutely laughing at the absurdities of parenting.

  8. Ugh! Yes, my week has been chock full of bad parenting. We're all stressed because of the impending move and trying to get everything accomplished at once. C is very drama oriented like D. I REALLY have to concentrate on empathizing. He has gone on to mumble how he feels about my bad parenting. :( It's a wake up, praise God He gives our children the ability to do this.

    Sarah~ you are such a loving mother. I appreciate this post on so many levels!

  9. The forgiveness of a child is one of the sweetest things I know.

  10. Yep. I've probably been a jerk too.
    Sigh It's only Monday.
    Maybe tomorrow will be better.

  11. Oh, boy...what a week it's been at our house! I've been a jerk, and KNEW it the moment the words were out of my mouth and saw his face crumble! Thank God for the forgivness of a child! I really wish kids came with an instruction manual, don't you?!

  12. You are such a sweet, involved, human mother. Thanks for sharing your humility and your resolution. We ALL have a lot to learn from our kids.


I love comments! Thanks for taking the time to leave one. I have comment moderation on, so your comment will take a little bit to appear.