Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Not at my best

My five-year old seems to need (or rather "need") me to get mad at him. I have days when I feel like I'm nagging at him constantly: "get dressed," "take your plate to the kitchen," "tell your little brother what you want him to do, not what you don't want him to do," "don't be bossy," "you don't have to be the mommy, that's my job," "Where are your shoes? If you put your shoes in the mudroom we wouldn't have this problem" and so on. Some days I make more of an effort to turn that off (I'm working on it). Today I don't think I was even thinking about not nagging, but we had a fabuous morning. It was sunny and in the forties, and we went to the park to swing. We didn't stress about getting there at a certain time. Mason (who is two) went on a big swing so that Evan (nine months) could have the baby swing. Parker can pump and mostly keeps himself going.

After that we drove around to get the little ones to sleep. Parker and I were having fun, then suddenly we weren't any more. I did realize, though, that it didn't go bad because of something I said or did. It must have been a sudden drop in blood sugar or something like that. Then there was a small transgression a little while later with a small consequence (help me clean up to pay me back for time spent other than I had planned). Followed by passive aggressive lollygagging, at which point I lost it a little. He did clean up, and did a pretty good job, but had a headache from crying about it. After that uncomfortable couple of hours, the rest of the day went fine. And it doesn't seem so bad now that I write about it and realize that it was only a little while out of a long day.

One of the hardest things about being a mother is getting past the mistakes without ever being able to remove myself from the situation. Also, not letting a bad time ruin the whole day. I don't want to lose it, ever. I know that I will sometimes lose it. It is useful to me to discover that it isn't always me. My five-year-old and I sometimes have a rough relationship, and that is my biggest doubt about being able to sucessfully homeschool. It may be the age, and it may be more than that. He's an awful lot like me (or like I used to be) with a tendency towards mopiness, and I lack sympathy with it, and resent the energy it pulls from the rest of the family.

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