I Am So Not the Person I Wish I Was

I Am So Not the Person I Wish I Was

Originally uploaded by kjda

I am so mad at them. I am so mad at me. And I would just like to say right now that this is stupid, stupid, stupid.

Wyatt and Rory each brought a pop tart in the car on the way to Lily’s after school lacrosse. For Sam and Lily, I brought Oreos. (for those of you who thought we ate some fantastic, snotty organic diet, there you go).

And for me, three Oreos.

Who is surprised that they wanted cookies? That’s not fair! Why didn’t you bring us cookies? Or ask us if we wanted cookies?! Hey!

The cookies are a known quantity, prominently displayed in the pantry. They are not rare. They’re pretty much there for the asking–but Rory and Wyatt didn’t ask for cookies. They asked for pop tarts.

So I felt the situation was fine, in the grand macro fairness sense. I ate one of my cookies and realized–I didn’t really want three anyway. So I offered them, with only a faint pang (I do like Oreos) two my youngest kids.

Who snatched them! Seized them with excitement and then–started fighting over who got the baggie.

Why? Why, you ask, should they fight over the baggie? Are they perhaps so toy-deprived that they need to seize any possible plaything? In desperate need of a small, crumby balloon?

Um, no. Plus they actually already each HAD a baggie. This may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever written. IT’S A BAGGIE!

So I made them give me the cookies back.

Calmly, while congratulating myself. You don’t say thank you? You’re insanely rude, not to mention insane? Then you can just give me back my Oreos. Even if you’ve licked them.

There is an interval of howling fury, but like I said, I’m rocking it. Good parent! Teaching the lesson!

And then Lily gives them each an Oreo.

Am I pleased? She had five cookies. How generous of her to share!

Oh, no. Because–my lesson! What has happened to my lesson? Now it’s if you don’t say thank you AND are insanely rude AND kick the back of your sister’s seat for five minutes: Cookie!

So mad. So mad that it’s even more insane how mad I was than that they fought over the baggie in the first place. I snarl. I make Lily’s arrival at lacrosse a living hell. Because I am a nasty, awful person who still can’t stand it when things don’t work out like I’ve planned!

And because I am raising ungrateful children who fight over a baggie.

So, to review: I suck. Wyatt and Rory are brats that I am doing a terrible job of raising. Plus, I suck.

Lily, as seen above, pulls it together and goes to lacrosse. Sam, probably not without noticing that his mother is crazy, takes Rory and Wyatt to the playground and entertains them with his usual good cheer. They cheer up, too.

But I haven’t. Because I was awful. And because, bottom line, I still have the ungrateful kids. So, I am doing a terrible job with them because they don’t say thank you, etc, AND because I go batshit when I try to teach them something and I don’t succeed.

Sometimes I just want someone to ride along in the car with me and tell me how to do it. I have no faith that I am getting it right. Looking back at my afternoon, what do I change? I wish I had laughed off Lily giving them the cookies, yes. But I don’t know what to do about the underlying problem. Which isn’t the ungrateful kids, but that I still, ten years into parenting, have no idea how to do it.

I have had better days. Does anyone ever call you up and tell you you’re doing a good job at what you do? And if they do, does it make up for all the people who’ve lined up over time to tell you that you’re not? Or are you just so rock solid confident that it doesn’t matter, and if you are, how can I get me some of that?

KJ Dell’Antonia
sent from my iPhone

5 Responses to “I Am So Not the Person I Wish I Was”

  1. I’m in category #3: it doesn’t matter. I got this way via a very, very difficult relationship with… well, with everyone I had a relationship with during a big chunk of my life, and one of my survival skills was to stop wondering about other people and just fill every role myself.

    I was going to go into more detail, but no matter how I phrased it, it sounded like TMI.

    I’d give you some of that… but that would be cruel. Surely there must be a kinder, gentler way to get some confidence.

  2. slawebb says:

    I know how you feel. As I read your post, I felt like you were telling my story. It’s a hard story to tell and takes a lot of courage to do so. I have a more difficult time. Everything you said could be said of mine and I only have 3, one of which is a toddler and not getting into much trouble. Know you are not alone in this battle.

    I had so many idea of how things were going to be in my family. We would all laugh and smile. We’d all jump in a work as a team to get things dome. We would be the “perfect” family. Letting go of that dream is so hard.

    I’m reading a good book called, “The Gift of Imperfection” by Brene’ Brown. It has been very eye opening. I’m not very far in but she is speaking to my soul and I am feeling what she is saying. It should make for a very interesting transformation in my life. Not to mention the 5K I’m doing next weekend. For so reason, every time I think about finishing the race I am near tears. I am afraid, but I know that I am growing.

    Hang in there. There are times we don’t parent from our best. And there are times that we are. Focus on the times you do and even when things go down the toilet, and they often do at my house, you know you are still learning.


  3. KJ (aka Lola Granola) says:

    I had some help getting here, too…every time I feel like I’ve let go, it all comes back.

  4. Catha Lamm says:

    Classic! In case it helps, yesterday Fenner was talking about how *adorable* Wyatt and Rory are… So you must not totally suck. 😉 And also I’d say that for parents, regular self doubt is, unfortunately, completely unavoidable. 🙁