Monday, May 23, 2011

Mother of the Year

There are days when I want to throw in the towel.
   After a half hour pleading with my thirteen year old to rewrite a rough draft and therefore pass english, I am sitting on my bed with tears running down my face. This has been the most stressful few months I have ever had as a parent. Is it their age? Or is it MY age? Shouldn't I be handling this better at my age? Shouldn't I be so much more patient and tolerant of the bullshit by now? I feel like I should have the answers but when threatening to go to school with Ian and to basically hold his hand in front of sixty other seventh graders does nothing to move him along, I throw my hands up and am tempted to write the damn essay myself! Or better yet, sit on my bed and cry. After all, when your oldest child tells you that he would have a better life with his father, the best role model he has, the one who has taught him all that he knows, what more can you do but hang your head and cry? It is not his father going without sleep...or crying into his pillow. But somehow, none of this matters. I am always the bad guy. And tonight I don't even know how to handle that.
   I can almost hear Laura saying, "Are you going to let him get away with that?" and it is not her, but me that is mocking myself. I want her to say it so I can have someone to yell at. I need a punching bag. I need a plate to smash. I feel completely helpless as my thirteen year old runs roughshod over me. How do I force this half grown child to do something he is downright refuses to do? I can no longer hold him down and dress him so he matches. I can no longer hide vegetables in his spaghetti sauce and get away with it. I cannot force him to come with me when I take drives and want his company. He slams the door in my face and I can only stand there wondering what happened. I need answers. I need help. I need a straight jacket.
   I feel like I am losing control of my boys. They do not play nice. It is a love/hate relationship with the girls as well. And we are talking love one second and hate the next. The kids were on the trampoline last night and I heard screaming. A wonderful game of sumo wrestling, sounds of laughing that for once put a smile on my face, had turned deadly. Ian held Bella down. She head butted him. He punched her in the thigh. How do I referree a fight I did not see? I can't. I tend Isabella's wounds. I tell Ian to never use violence, to just leave when his little sister bothers him. After all, she weighs almost a hundred pounds less than him.
"But she head butted me! How can you let her get away with that! Whats wrong with you, how can you yell at me and not her? What kind of a mother are you?" He hisses at me.
   And with that, the door slams and he is upstairs. He does not speak to me for the rest of the night. Isabella comes in to the bedroom crying and tells Laura that Ian punched her. When she explains that she had head butted him, Laura says, "I probably would have punched you too..." and then Isabella screams, "Laura wants to punch me!"
   I sigh. Girls are emotional. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. She will not think about the message here. She will only hear that Laura wants to hit her and that is not the message at all. Laura does NOT want to punch Isabella. She just does not want Isabella head butting and wants Bella to know that when she head butts the boys, they will react.
   Every five minutes, there is a fire to put out. Did I torture my parents like this? I must have. My mother said that one day I would have a child JUST LIKE ME and then I would KNOW. I think this is what she meant, but I know for a fact I did not talk to my mother the way my kids talk to me. I would have been picking myself off the floor. I knew the boundaries. I knew respect. I thought my kids would respect me out of love. What ever happened to that plan? It is not all bad. I just find it confusing as hell that one day I can be amazed at how mature they are and the next day wonder where they came from. The very same child can at the same time fill me with pride and fear. He is either a budding psychopath or a budding genius. Or both. I have either done a fantastic job with him...or ruined him totally. Is it normal to doubt myself like this? Are all teenagers so hard to comprehend?
   Tonight, I can do nothing but cry. I need them to be in bed an hour ago. I need to be held. I need to speak an order and have them listen the FIRST time.
   Thank God I have therapy this week because I have to have a therapist just for validation. To be told I actually make good decisions. To hear that I'm NOT just inefficient, stupid, wrong and...hated. I cannot wait for my kids to become parents. They will appreciate so much more then. I know I appreciate my parents more. It all worked out exactly the way they said it would.

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