Friday, January 05, 2007

yet another reason why I'll never be mother of the year

Really quick, I just want to point out that I wasn't trying to make a thing out of size with that last rather cheeky post. It was just my observation about a particular store and their sizes. Personally? I think Old Navy is involved in some sort of conspiracy to get us women to buy more clothing. I have many sizes in my closet, and I have many body issues just like all women do. But only at Old Navy do I take home something as small as a 6...and I swear, it makes me want to go back and buy more pairs of pants, just because! So kudos, Old Navy marketers. Mark the pants a smaller size than they actually are, and I will keep coming back. Also, keep selling them for $15. Huzzah! I ironed a pair of pants that's labeled size 10, and I can barely zip them shut. So, eh, whatever.


All of you with children are going to roll your eyes and laugh at me when you read this one.

Today I snapped and yelled at Daughter. When we lost Beth I was hypersensitive to people hollering at their kids and I swore I wouldn't ever yell that way, because I had a whole new appreciation for my amazing child. That's not to say I don't discipline her, because we do believe in that, but today, whoops, I lost it. And it was my fault (you'll see why in a minute) and I feel terrible now.

I did many, many chores today, which tired me out, and I did not give Daughter the attention I normally do. She watched a lot of Sesame videos. By dinnertime, when I went into the kitchen to peel a couple of potatoes, she apparently needed my attention and figured out a way to get destroying a book. She tore up my copy of Joseph Had a Little Overcoat beyond repair. I was peeling right into the garbage can and she came toddling up with a crunched up paper in her fist. She said, "garbage!" And I said, "hey, what is that?" And she opened her little hand and said, "BOOK!"

And I yelled. I yelled that now Mommy was very sad because the book was broken and we couldn't read it anymore. I took away her bunny and her Beaker doll and told her she could have them back when she said, "I'm sorry, Mommy." I figured she would just mumble, "ah-soy-mommy" and we'd be done. But you know what she did? She planted her feet, looked me right in the face, and bellowed, "NO!"

So I put her in the playpen with no toys and she screamed and howled and begged me for bunny and Beaker (you know, the dude from the Muppet Show). And I kind of just stood there watching her and pondering my predicament. Because I sort of backed myself into a really stupid corner. The kid is only 20 months old, so I realize she doesn't know the concept of an apology. But she is bright, and she understands things like saying please and thank you, so I thought she could maybe pick up the idea of saying "I'm sorry" when she does something naughty. I did not tell her she was bad, because I don't like that. She did a naughty thing, but I don't want to ever tell her that she is bad, if that makes sense. But here's the rub - I'm the idiot who left the book where she could reach it. I am the idiot.

Anyway, she wasn't going to say "sorry" for love or money, so I let her calm down in the playpen and then took her out to talk about it. I said, "please don't ever rip mommy's books again, ok?" And she said, "Ok!"

And then she hugged me and laid a big smacking kiss on my cheek.

I'm going to go poke myself with sharp sticks now, because that would feel better than my guilt.


Anne said...

Ah yes, it's when they start getting close to 2 that they start teaching their parents how to grow up.

(I've started and deleted lots of sentences here, but they all sound desperately patronising - because, you know, I've got a very-nearly-5 year old, so I've seen all this already, and Oh Help - he's showing signs of being a teenager already...)

Thank you for sharing - we all do it, but it's good to know that we're not alone in finding parenting hard.

Pam said...

We all lose it sometimes. I think the most important thing I've learned in that situation is to ask for forgiveness and apologize. I know she is a bit too young to understand that but as they get older I think it's important that your kids know you make mistakes too and when that happens you have to apologize as well - just like you taught them to.

I would take that big smacking kiss over an official I'm sorry any day:)

April said...

Be encouraged, my friend. I have had to apologize to my children on many occasions for yelling or snapping, etc... What matters is that we, as mommies, are convicted over it. You are most certainly a VERY GOOD MOMMY!!! :)

HangerMom said...

Been there. I spent a few days feeling deeply guilty the first time I really yelled at my oldest daughter, because I knew inside she was too young to understand what had happened. We all do it. I did apologize to her, and I still do that now and then when I lose it. It seems only fair since I expect them to apologize for the wrong things they do.

I love that Daughter has a Beaker doll. He's so awesome.

Scoutj said...

Well, I think she probably DID learn a lesson! Don't be too hard on yourself. Trust me! You'll get used to the yelling! HAAAAAAAAA!

Ruth said...

We've all been there. Don't be too hard on yourself.

(If it would help, I'll tell you about the time I made Eldest walk around on a broken foot for a week because I thought he was malingering.)

Morning Glory said...

I can still remember those days and my babies are all grown up. I do wish we could get it right the first time!