I have become a nagger. A ranter. A yeller. A font of negativity.
I have become that woman who rattles about the house flinging toys irritably in the direction of toyboxes while muttering things at a variety of volume levels--most of them sarcastic and an embarrassingly large number of them including the words "ungrateful" and "bend over backwards for you."
I have become a person who delivers long, angry monologues to a two-year-old. Who very obviously has no idea what I'm talking about anymore and clearly cannot remember the incident I'm ranting about.
I have become a mother who is out of patience, out of hope, out of tricks. Out of control.
This isn't meant to be a sad post, a poor-me post, really. I haven't ever really felt like being a mom is a competition. I'm not really interested in what my friends and neighbors think of me as a mom, as long as they keep it to themselves. I'm just interested in finding a way to actually enjoy being around my kids more often, to feel competent in my own right at being a parent. To feel like my kids are presentable--no, not in their appearance (so what if there's old oatmeal in Monkey's hair and Jabber has a snotty nose?), but in the more important things. Are they well-behaved in public? (No.) Do they have good manners? (No.) Are they, in general, kind to each other and other children? (No.) Do they listen to me when I try to keep them safe? (No.)
I know things aren't as bad as they seem. I know there are phases and extenuating circumstances. I know there are people raising twice as many, three times as many kids as me who are probably way more stressed out than I. I know I could definitely be screwing them up worse than I am.
But it's still no good. I feel like every moment I am with them (when they are awake) turns into a screaming match or a power struggle or a complete breakdown of everything good. I feel like I can't take them anywhere by myself, which makes me feel completely helpless and trapped here. When I do take them places--places I think will be a fun outing for us as a family--it ends up being a miserable disaster because they won't listen and be good and be safe, and then we get back to the nagging, the ranting, the yelling, the spouting of negativity. I don't know what to do.
So I'll just wait. And hope that eventually this too will pass. (And whine, I guess...)
Okay. Sometimes they're cute; I'll admit it. So here are two cute things they said lately to lighten this horribly negative and hopeless confessional of a post that I should really just delete.
One, I was talking to Monkey and used the word "frankly"--not exactly in most two-year-olds' vocabularies, I admit, but whatever, I'm not so good at speaking simply. So I said something like, "Well, frankly, I'm a bit surprised you managed to find that permanent marker and destroy yet another item that is precious to me in the four minutes it took me to shower." And he, indignant as only a toddler can be, stomped his tiny foot and said, "My name isn't FRANK! It's MONKEY!"
And two, (this one had David and I giggling for a while) Jabber was bouncing around the house, bored and determined that he should be watching television or something else we had forbidden at the moment, and he said, "There's nothing to do in this whole and tired house!" Well! I'd be tired too if I were almost a hundred years old and had to contain two fiery little boys, too!
I mean, I'm only 33, and they exhaust the hell out of me.