Hello all. I am feeling so angry and frustrated right now. I know that’s a great way to make people think, “Hey, this sounds like a great read! Click!” But seriously. My children are driving me crazy, and it’s my fault, because they’re just acting the way I raised them, apparently. How do I deal with that? They are picky about food, lazy about housecleaning, obsessive about what they want, and grouchy, cranky, pouty and whining when they don’t get their way. Ok, maybe I did just describe 90% of all teenagers and 8 year olds, but still…
It makes me angry at myself. I’m the one who has raised them most of their lives. I’m the one who shaped them and formed them and trained them, and the way they act sometimes makes me want to sell them to a band of passing gypsies or a traveling circus. Or list them on eBay, 3 for 1 special! Take today, for example. It’s Sunday. We went to church. I was drowsy and irritated to start with, waited too long to wake them up, had to rush them, which is NEVER a good thing, so we actually began the day a few points behind. After church I was driving home and the daughter who had frowned, scowled and pouted all during church (probably because I told them they were grounded if they didn’t get up and get ready for church that very minute) suggested (as we were already about to pass our road!) that we go to Subway. I had already been trying to figure out something decent to make for lunch, but definitely didn’t feel like going to Subway, because I kind of screwed up Weight Watchers yesterday and I was trying to do better today.
So after a few rounds of arguing, I went on past Subway, circled the block and went home. I went straight to the kitchen, pulled a Jenny O turkey thing out of the freezer and stuck it in the oven, but was concerned because it said it would take over 2 hours, and as usual, when my kids are hungry, it’s like there’s nothing else in the world to them but food, and when are they going to get it. So I thought I’d go ahead and make the turkey thing for supper and fix some Hamburger Helper for lunch instead. So before I could communicate this to the kids, but after they should have SEEN me in the kitchen and KNOWN I was working on SOMETHING, Pouty Daughter warms up leftover pizza in the microwave.
Well now this aggravated me. A lot. I really hate it when I’m trying my best to take care of them, to fix them something to eat, and they just go scrounge up something for themselves and then say they’re not hungry when whatever I made is ready. And then get all insulted and cranky when I tell them to eat it anyway.
So I escaped to my room for a while and lay there staring at the wall for a moment or five. I decided I had to get up and do something, because if I didn’t I was going to fall into a pit that would take way too much effort to climb out of. I started the lunch in the kitchen, started The Boy in his bath, and was working on some laundry. Pouty Daughter was bugging me to let her use my computer, which I wasn’t in the mood to do because her attitude was annoying the crap out of me. I instructed her to help clean off the table, which she did, grabbing and snatching things and slamming them down somewhere else, and then sitting on the couch and scowling.
I finally finished lunch and she comes to the table, jerks her chair further away from my normal spot, and prepares to sit down. I told her she was being immature and to move the chair back to its normal spot, so she does. But then she moves her plate and sits down at the opposite end of the table, which I let slide, and she proceeds to eat her lunch, scowling and frowning the entire time. She takes her plate to the sink, snapping at her sister who made the terrible mistake of crossing her path, and returned to her room and crawled under her covers. She remains there still. The garlic bread I made because SHE had been asking for it is sitting on the stove, untouched by her, even after I told her it was finally ready.
The other two made a reasonable attempt at finishing theirs, even asking for seconds, and now everybody’s doing their own thing. Both girls are on their beds, and The Boy is upside down with his head hanging off the seat of the couch, playing some Mario game on his DS.
I just feel like there are a million things I need to be doing differently, but I don’t know what they are. For the girls at least, it seems like spanking should be out. They’re too old for that, right? Queen Pouts-A-Lot doesn’t have a working cell phone and she doesn’t have any friends she spends time with, so grounding her from either of those wouldn’t have any effect. I guess I’m passive-aggressively punishing her right now by still being on the computer, when she wants it. But does she seriously think her attitude is doing her any favors, winning her any points toward getting her way?
Anyway. The point to all this is that I realize, way deep down inside, that I can’t focus on what I’ve done wrong up to now. I can’t beat myself up for what I’ve failed to do, or I’ll probably just keep on failing to do it. I have to do my best every day to teach the kids what they need to know, and try to let them take responsibility for the outcome, because I can’t make them be what I want them to be. I can only make ME be what I want to be, and I’m STILL working on that!
Until next time,