Sunday, August 3, 2008

You Think This Is Funny? HUH???

Ack, I feel like the worst mom ever today. So yeah, if you looked at the last post, you probably have figured out that it's been a bit of a challenging weekend with the two little ones.

So this evening, an hour or so before bedtime, which is always the worst time because everyone is at their limit and tired and cranky but there is still like a half hour before the routine is set into motion and things start their smooth wind-down to sleeping, Monkey decides he wants to nurse. Actually, he climbs up on my lap while screeching and trying to pull off my shirt. Tears, snot, the works. Not really endearing, you understand.

So Jabber, I suppose because he wanted some of my disgruntled attention, too, comes over and starts climbing on top of Monkey and I, which I hate. Not only does it hurt, it distracts Monkey from the nursing business and makes the whole process uncomfortable and like I kind of just want to run screaming into the hills. So. There you have us, an hour before bedtime.

In the process of scaling Mt. Mama, Jabber "accidentally" kicks me in the back, hard. My back has been sore all freaking day, and I just go right over the edge. I scream at him about how he hurt me and this is why I don't want you climbing on me blahblahblah.

He laughs. Laughs. Right in my face.

So I teach middle school. Kids laugh all the freaking time when they get in trouble. Does it push my buttons when they do it? Not usually, not unless there were a lot of extenuating circumstances, including but not limited to a certain monthly experience that causes a slight lowering of my tolerance for crap like that. No. Usually, I will say something in a calm tone of voice, something like, "I know you're just laughing because you're uncomfortable right now, but..." and go on with my talk about respect or whatever. I don't take it personally, and life goes on as scheduled.

But my son? For some reason, I am completely and utterly unable to be rational when he is involved. We're like...oil and water, but a better simile, something that has a flash point and oxygen touches it and everything explodes. That's us. Anyway, so he laughs, and out of my mouth comes that line from everyone's mother. "You think this is funny? Huh?" And he's shaking his little head no but laughing harder all the time.

"You kick me in my sore back, and now you think it's funny? You're going to sit there and laugh at me because you hurt me?"

Monkey joins in now, doing the dreaded finger wag and the "NONONONO!" David comes in from the other room, says, "I've heard enough," and scoops up Jabber from the chair and carries him up to bed. No story, no love. Just bed.

The three of us hang out for a while longer, and finally I can't stand it. I tell David that I have to go upstairs and say goodnight to my little Jabberwock, even though I'm afraid he must already be asleep.

So David takes Monkey from me, and I go upstairs to find that Jabber is already sleeping, but I can't help it. I crawl into bed and snuggle up next to him. "Can I snuggle with you?" I whisper. Jabber shakes his head a little, but I'm not sure if it's yes or no.

"Please, can I just cuddle you a little?" He shakes his head, again ambiguously.

"Well, I want you to know I love you. And I'm sorry that things got out of hand down there. I felt hurt that you would kick me in my sore back and then laugh about it. Then I got angry. But I shouldn't have yelled at you."

He whispers something, in a tiny little tired voice, and I have to lean in and ask him to repeat himself.

"I said, I laugh when I get scared," he says. "Not because it was funny."

My heart breaks in fifteen thousand pieces. "You were laughing because you were scared, honey?"

He nods, this time clearly a yes. "I laughed because I was nervous. That you would be mad at me. I was scared that you were going to be mad because I kicked you."

God. And that's exactly what I was, too. Mad and scary.

I squeeze him tight and pray that the next time he laughs at me I will check with him if it's scared laughter or funny laughter. And I hope that someday I actually get the hang of this being a mom thing.


CDP said...

Oh my gosh, I could have written every word of this when mine were the ages your two are...the older one always wanted to climb in my lap when I was trying to nurse the little one, and I'd always get irritated. I hope you're feeling better today...nothing is worse then when you feel like you've been too hard on them.

Amy Mullis said...

You know what? My boys are 18 and 20. They don't remember most of the stuff that I thought was so awful (I didn't really go for spanking and the time I did, my oldest threatened to call 911), and the stuff they do remember, they tell as funny stories on me. I find that naptime still helps--but it's ME taking the nap now!