Last night I got an email from the program administrator at the boys’ school. She needed help, this time with Andrew, and wanted to ask me for some ideas. And I pounced on the problem, opened Photoshop to set about solving it (because really…what problem cannot be solved with photoshop??). I emailed something back to her within the hour. It was a solution I KNEW would work. It was impressive and photoshop-stylish and she was going to think I was pretty awesome.
And indeed, I heard back from her thanking me and saying she would use it and she even, get this, called me “wonderful”. ha!
So, I spent the rest of the evening congratulating myself on being such an effective parent. I thought about how, if Andrew were in another family, things would be so different for him. And despite what he says about “other moms let their kids play WAY more video games than I do and sometimes he wishes he had one of *those* moms”, I thought about how lucky he is to have me. How without me, he’d be a terror.
This high horse only let me ride for about an hour.
Because an hour later, Isaac was playing wii (the minutes he had an earned for a successful potty day! yay!) and Andrew started getting bossy and big-brother-y about Isaac’s game. He jumped in to play with Isaac (so Isaac could play it ‘right’) and I intervened, taking the remote. Then…he snatched the remote out of my hand so he could keep playing…and I totally lost it.
I was so, so mad at him. I yelled my fierce-mama-yell-that-I-like-to-pretend-I-never-use and, modeling appropriate grabbing skills, I grabbed the remote back from him and sent him to his room. And then I proceeded to re-examine my whole “effective parent” line I had been telling myself earlier. Because the way I handled that, didn’t feel ‘effective’. It felt way too angry, too grabby, too yell-y.
Someone older and wiser than me once told me that if she were to write a book on parenting it would have one sentence: when you mess up, own up.
I can’t get it right every time. I’m not to going to finish with a perfect score. There are some things I’ll nail and other things that will highlight the ugly sides of me I wish were not there. And sometimes I’ll get to experience both of these extremes on the same evening!
And, as what usually happens when I lose my cool, Andrew bounced back much quicker than I did. Andrew’s moved on and will likely try that same shenanigan another time. I’m left humbled and telling myself to keep going, keep trying my hardest, and to stay aware of both my stronger moments as well as my weaker ones. Stop pretending I always get it right. And when I get it wrong? Forgive myself.
All great ideas…but it’s often hard to execute them. :)
Also sometimes hard to execute? Weekend adventuring. There’s often traffic, crowds, long car rides to overcome for a little adventure. But, as I seem to be caught in a day-in-day-out cycle right now…adventure seems to be what it’s all about! It shakes things up in a way I love! Bring it on! (the photos I used on the scrapbook page were taken by Tabitha Sherrell.)