Monday, August 24, 2009

Bad Mommy Confessional - Part 275,398 in a continuing series

I've made some pretty magnificent fuck ups when it comes to my kids in my four years as a parent. I'm pretty stellar in the fuck up department anyway but when it comes to my kids I try to keep it to a minimum, which only makes each fuck up more of a train wreck.

Also, fuck up.

Take for instance that time two weeks ago when I got Chicky hyped up on the promise of Summer Camp. After being away from it for three weeks due to vacations and trivial things like dwindling bank accounts, she was desperate to go back to her preschool, where summer camp was being held.

For a week I counted down to that damn 3-day camp like it was the end of days, but way funner.

Then when the day finally came we had a spectacularly bad morning where no one (read: Everyone but me.) (Okay, everyone including me but I had to so the choice was taken out of my hands.) wanted to get ready to actually get out of the house and to the summer camp even though everyone (read: Chicky. And me. Please for someone to be taking my child.) so badly wanted to go but apparently not enough to actually get dressed or eat breakfast or willingly have their teeth brushed or anything.

Then the baby slept late. So I had to wake her up in order to get her fed, dressed and out the door.

Let me repeat that - I had to wake up the baby. On purpose.

And then, as we were just about to head out the door - Bowel movements for everyone!

Yes I just went there and I am unrepentant.

So we were late and I was snappy and Chicky was sulky and CC was stinky (Three of the lesser-known dwarfs that were cut when casting the original gang of seven. True story.) and none of this would have been bad or even out of the ordinary if I hadn't messed up my days and brought her to camp ON A WEEK SHE WASN'T SCHEDULED TO BE THERE.

Mother of the Year right here, baby. Now where the hell is my medal?

In front of her friends, their parents, and her teachers - and let's face it, God was probably there to witness it too, judging me. The preschool is in the bottom of a church, of course it is - I had to convince my child, who by now had backed herself in a corner like a frightened doe facing a shotgun, that she had to willingly leave her most favorite place on earth EVER, the place where she gets to run in the sprinklers and do crafts and have snack, to come home with me and her sister to do unfun stuff. Like play in the sprinklers and do crafts and have snack.

Uh uh, she was not going. She wasn't going and nothing anyone could do could convince her otherwise. She's stubborn, that one. Not sure where she gets that from.

So I cajoled - Come on, honey. Please come with Mama? We'll do lots of super fun stuff! We'll watch movies! We'll bake cookies! Anything! Just ask! A pound of flesh? You've got it! Take two, there's plenty where that came from.

And her teacher stood there, giving me that look. You know, that look? That, Aw, this kind of sucks for you, huh? But don't worry, we've all been through it and that alone should make you feel way better about screwing up your child's whole life forever and ever, look?

Okay I may have imagined that last bit. I doubt it, but maybe.

Please baby, Mama loves you. I'll buy you a donut! I'll buy you a toy! I'll buy you a damn pony, just please come with me so I can drown my shame in a chocolate frosted and large iced coffee.

The donut must have been the key because she came with me. And we drove to the nearest Dunkin Donuts while I heard all about how much she wanted to be at summer camp with her friends. How much she really wanted to go to school again. How much she really hated my guts.

Again, maybe I imagined that last part. Maybe?

And as we drove away from the donut shop I handed her the bag that held her precious sugar fix... and she immediately informed me that I had bought the wrong donut. Gee, what are the odds?

That kind of set the tone for the rest of the week. On a scale of one to ten, ten being accidentally mistaking my children for speed bumps and one being not washing a favorite blanket in time for bedtime, this fuck up fell probably around a four. Maybe a five. In the grand scheme it wasn't that bad and I'm sure I'll probably do much worse before my children finally flee the nest. As a matter of fact, I'm positive I will.

This? Was not so bad.

I try to remember the good moments when I'm going through a rough time. Like when I'm missing my mom I try to recall a happy memory and hold on to it because I don't have the real thing. When it comes to my kids, for the sake of this blog anyway, I try to put the good before the bad. This is a sort of diary for them as well as for me and I want them to know that no matter what, I love them fiercely. That's not to say I don't include the ugly bits here. I see no reason to shield anyone from the nasty parts of motherhood and I have always been forthright about this family's low patches.

That being said, things are not easy around here right now. Today was a particularly bad day, and it's not even 3pm. I'm too tired to write about it so I took a reasonably banal moment and documented it with a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor thrown in to make me, if not anyone else, laugh. It's not anything specific, maybe just a case of growing pains, but when people thank me for reminding them that this parenting gig is not so bad most of the time when I'm the one in need of reminding... I don't know. I guess I feel like a bit of a hypocrite.

So quick, quid pro quo - tell me how great this parenting gig really is.


AnnetteK said...

Hmmm. Do you want stories of commiseration or false hope? Ahem.

I never even got my kid signed up for camp at all. We did practically nothing this summer but stay in the house so I could catch up work.

Kyddryn said...

"Mommy, you'll always be my girl."

How can you beat that?

Shade and Sweetwater,

Gigi said...

That's not too bad - once when our boy was coming home from a 3-day class trip - both hubby and I fell asleep and didn't hear the phone ringing; left him sitting in the parking lot with the principal for over an hour and a half - at 1:00 am! Yup; my kid's gonna need therapy before I'm done with him!

Sara said...

I was lost in my thoughts earlier today...thinking about all of my childless (some single, some married) girlfriends, working their dream jobs, reveling in the freedom they still have and then just when I was beginning to envy them, my one year old crawled up to me from where he was playing and planted a big, sloppy kiss right on my cheek. And then I was reminded that this, this being a parent, is way better.

She Likes Purple said...

I'm a total newbie. I've been doing this parenting thing for six months. But, my kid just started preferring me over anyone else recently. He's been all-dad-all-the-time since birth, so having him reach for me was pretty spectacular.

Grizzly Kitteh said...

Summer camps are overrated anyway. I used to have a terrible time at them when I was a kid. I used to take going to work with my mom and running around the offices bugging her coworkers over going to camp any day.

Monica G said...

Because your child will write a piece like you did about your Mom but it will be about the influence and love they have for you.

Suburb Sierra said...

Two HOT, SWEATY birthday parties this weekend with my daughter.

Mine was the only child at BOTH of them to turn to their mother and say, loudly, "You can leave now Mommy".

More than once. Loudly. And when I gave the "Don't be foolish. I love you. I'm staying" look, she repeatedly said "I want you to go."

We all may fuck up every now and then, but my kid doesn't even want me around when I'm being a good Mom.

SciFi Dad said...

Did I just read a post that involved you discussing your own bowel movements? I think I did.

As for the parenting gig? I did dinner, baths, and bedtime for both kids solo tonight, complete with a dinner my wife made but my daughter wouldn't eat and a blood-red poo (beets) from my son.

BUT, he slept longer than he ever has after my wife puts him down following nursing. Score one for the non-lactating parent!

SP said...

The parenting gig is awesome and you are doing awesome.

A lil story for you. When the things were Chick age we used to have a bed time ritual that included me kissing them on the tip of their nose. The Things are now 11 and 13. No more nose kissing. Eww, Mom, stop! So, the other night after they had gone to bed I wandered by Thing1's room and he called out "Mom, can you come here a minute?" So I walked in and bent low to hear him. Then he kissed me on the tip of my nose and mumbled half asleep, "I love you Mom."

Yeah, this parenting gig really is awesome!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

My son told me that his favorite thing to do is to go to "Speech". Because she plays game with him. Ooof. Is it so obvious that I dislike so many kid games?

BTW, someday the "mommy brought you to camp on the wrong week" story will be kind of funny. Just be happy it wasn't sleep-away camp 4 hours away!

Hang in there, lady. I've met your beauties. You're doing something right.

Creative-Type Dad said...

You're not doing so bad.

I'm convinced an alien lives in my daughter and controls her about once (or twenty) times a week.


Relax- A four year old saying " I hate you" is nothing compared to your sixteen year old shouting those very same words....Wait for it....Wait for it.....

Whirlwind said...

Sometimes, I feel like I'm doing everything wrong and disappointing them, and then they come over and tell me "I love you mom, your the best mom ever!" So far, they tend to forget the bad and remember the good!

We had a week recently, where we were coming home from a movie and they were filled with popcorn and soda (which they NEVER have). The week was preceded by multiple playdates with best friends, afternoons (all of them) at the lake and a sleepover, and I still heard "Why don't we ever do anything fun?"

Except I may not live down that I haven't taken them to the aquarium yet this summer. School starts tomorrow. We're not going today. You do the math! It's not like we haven't held a membership since Einey was 2 and used it multiple times a year since (you'd think they've never been before - but apparently it's the one thing they wanted to do).

Avalon said...

My kid recently let it slip that she had told a co-worker she remembers her childhood as being great------a terrific home and neighborhood to grow up in with a mother and grandmother who were crazy about her.

Every ugly parenting moment quietly slid into the background when I heard that.

Tania said...

In my last post, I referred to parenting as 10% priceless moments, 90% uhhhmmm, other. I figure that if you can uphold that ratio, things are perfectly normal!

karengreeners said...

Try to get your hands on the book
Great Expectations, edited by Lisa Moore. It will make you laugh, cry and be proud to be a mama.

Heather said...

Oh I have definitely had days, weeks like that.

Someday though you'll be in the kitchen doing whatever and you'll notice the girls are really quiet so you'll go investigate, fearing the worst. You'll find them laying together looking at and reading a book. THAT is bliss.

Pgoodness said...

We all have times like that, when we can do no right. Just part of the gig. Try again tomorrow, my friend. We just have to try again tomorrow.

OSMA said...

Here's two reasons why this parenting gig really isn't so bad:

My almost 3 yr. old says, "Mommy? Are my legs going to be big and fat like yours when I grow up?" And I thought I was losing weight.

And after me losing my shit over him spilling a milkshake over the (already needing a good wash) tablecloth he says, "Mommy, I just love you. Are you ever going to smile again?"

Keep your eyes on the sweetness and let go of the uglies as soon as you can.


MARY G said...

I have had the more than somewhat unsettling experience of having my adult daughters critique my parenting. The weirdest thing about it was that the things I thought would mark them forever were not the things they picked as 'The Worst Mothering Moments Ever'.
I am still shaking my head.

Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

And this m'dear is why I adore you. Honesty. If you just posted all the sugar coated crispy frosted goodness, there would be nothing to commiserate with and that would make you perfect and totally unrelatable!

Bring on the fuck ups! I toast every damn one of them!

Childsplayx2 said...

I totally write about my fuck ups in parenting too. I just don't have as many as you.

But,hey! Therapy will be almost mandatory for most adults by the time they grow up.

SleepyMom said...

Have had so many days like that. The worst is when I feel like I've completely lost myself and am nothing but a mom and yet I'm doing a terrible job at it and know it - what's that leave you with? ... Tomorrow or next week or next month - when everything in the house suddenly just shifts and all the milestones you couldn't seem to get your kids through (sleeping on his own, playing by herself, etc) are suddenly successes and you are reading a really good book for adults and an old friend called and your husband told you he thinks you're hot (granted this is because he's extremely sex-starved) and your children are picking up their own toys (don't worry it's temporary) and in great moods everyday as if they're well-rested and well-adjusted ... and you are reminded that being a mom is the best and you're doing just fine at it.

hungryjenn said...

This is an exact replica of my day yesterday, right down to the poopie diapers and having to actually WAKE UP THE BABY!!! I hate waking up the baby and have vowed to never ever do it again.

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