Thursday, June 30, 2016

Under Pressure

It's summer, which means my four kids, who don't get along with each other or each other's friends, are home.  Thank god we belong to a gorgeous pool with a view of Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak that we pay almost $500 a summer for the privilege of being members to.  Except that I can't get my kids to actually go there and burn off all their teenage angst.  Which is making me really angsty.

In addition to the other daily irritants of being a parent.  

There are the endless reminders and constant nagging.  I didn't want to become this person.  In fact, I was sure being this curmudgeonly wasn't within my repertoire.  I was wrong. I used to be fun before I had kids, I swear!  But, what people don't tell you is that the descent into becoming a cantankerous bitch (or bastard) lies in the very cumulative nature of parenting.  So when your kid does something wrong, you go back into the archives of your kid's screw-ups to dredge up all the other times he's done something similar.  First you stew about it.  Then you blame yourself because, obviously, it's all your fault for something you did or failed to do.  

Because, obviously, you're an atrocious parent

But, this post isn't about you, it's about me and how I can't get my kids to go to the pool and all that other annoying stuff they do and don't do.  And when something happens (or doesn't) with one (or more) of my kids I try to start off really Zen.  I really do. It lasts like two seconds, but still, it totally counts.  My internal dialogue goes something like this...

Ok Marie, think of this as one isolated incident, try not to think of the other 500 times this has happened and how pissed you are that this kid never learns his lesson.  WTF is wrong with this kid? Also why doesn't this kid ever invite friends over?  It's because he's the next Unabomber isn't it? I'm an abominable parent.  Ok, calm down.  Just say the minimum.  One non-martyrish sentence devoid of  rage will do.  Then stop talking and I'm going to walk away and do yoga.  Because that's what good moms do.


This of course is never quite how it goes down. 

Oh, I start off with the one carefully crafted non-martyrish, rageless sentence that took me over a half an hour to construct.  Sometimes even over a day, depending on the exact circumstances of the incident.  And then said child retorts.  They're defensive because I'm on the offensive and now we're on two competing teams and I'm not gonna be on the losing one.  Because I'm the parent, dammit!  Which is when I start to lose it.  (It was actually much earlier in the scenario, but for the sake of the shards of my remaining dignity, let's pretend ok?)  I can feel the pressure building like a shaken soda bottle.  Just one more small twist and I'm going to spew everywhere.   And a half and hour martyrish lecture ensues.  And I'm filled with regret and remorse.

This could've all been avoided if my kids just went to the pool!
Written in the most non-martyrish font ever.

  


2 comments:

Joy Page Manuel said...

That's it! That's exactly how I feel most times: a violently shaken-up soda bottle waiting for that minor cap twist! Ah, thank you for this imagery, Marie. I don't need a pool. I need a good therapist.

Mary Degli Esposti said...

I'm not a mom. I admire so much as 1 Zen word when we are talking life stress + multiple children + guilt + (insert here).

I paid a lot of money so you could ENJOY THIS, so go ENJOY THIS, damn it. That is't what a mom is supposed to say?

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