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November 15, 2008

Some kind of monster

Last weekend, my son made a bonehead move during breakfast that caused a bit of tension in the house. T was here, I had just pulled 2 trays of biscuits out of the oven, we had sausage and gravy ready for a decadent Sunday morning. T and I had gotten our biscuits, the girl had just gotten hers and he was getting a plate when suddenly I heard a loud *clomp* sound. He had his plate in his hand and a look of horror on his face. Apparently when he turned, his fingers caught the edge of the bowl of gravy and sent it flying onto the floor. *splatter*

My immediate reaction was "How on earth did that happen?" I didn't scream at him, I didn't call him names, I didn't make fun of him, I just didn't get how it happened.

Then I told him to just step away from it and let me clean it up. It was an accident and, as accidents go, a fairly innocuous one. I spent the next 20 minutes cleaning up (because of course I had to empty the sink before I could use the mop and I had to empty the dishwasher before I could empty the sink) in silence. I wasn't the only one being quiet, though, everyone around me was watching, waiting, like I'm a time bomb with a hair trigger.

When I was done, T talked to me, told me not to be too hard on him, he's a kid, etc. He made a lot of sense and I appreciate him being the voice of reason but, honestly, I already knew what he would say. It mostly served to calm me down and was supposed to get me in a better mood so life could go on as normal. And it did, in its own time.

I've been thinking about that incident and others a lot lately, though. Incidents where, although I'm not totally proud of how I handled myself, everything got resolved in a grown up and peaceful manner. I like to think I'm a fairly decent parent but I have doubts and they run deep, especially lately.

I just don't get how I have this reputation for being such a mean parent. The girl has said several times that she didn't want to ask me something or she was afraid to tell me because I would get mad. And the boy, apparently, thinks I'm a raving banshee and tells his friends all the time how mean I am and how I'll yell at him if he asks me  for anything.

What went down tonight really bothered me, though. The girl had a concert tonight (she sung a solo beautifully) and I bought her flowers. After all the buildup and then sitting through the show (I'm a nervous wreck for her!), I'm waiting in a crowd (which I HATE) waiting forever it seems for her to come out. She comes out in street clothes (everyone else still had their concert dresses on) and when I go to hand her the flowers and tell her congratulations, she snaps "What is it with you and flowers?" She then proceeded to talk to everyone BUT me for the next 15 minutes.

There had been talk that she and her best friend and I and her best friends mom would go out to eat afterwards but that turned into best friend and best friend's mom (and alcoholic boyfriend) and 2 brothers AND at least 6 other people and the restaurant we wanted to go to closed at 9:30 so they decided to go to Chili's (decidedly more expensive) and it was all too much for me. Between the girls flighty, snippy attitude and my awkwardness in these situations, I told her we would talk in the car.

Well, the talk turned into an argument that lasted all the way home about how I always make her feel guilty and miserable and she was just joking. She was sobbing by the time we got home and you know what? I give up. Apparently I'm some kind of monster because I talk to my kids like rational adults and make them take responsibility for their actions and attitudes. Apparently, growning up Catholic did something to me and I have the guilt gene deeply embedded in my psyche. And I'm making the people around me miserable.   

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This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on November 15, 2008 5:08 PM.

So this is what Hope feels like was the previous entry in this blog.

Just read... is the next entry in this blog.

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