I never, ever claimed I was a good parent. In fact, when I look back, I think it’s a miracle my children have come to be relatively decent human beings. I have my moments where my teenaged children must look at me and go, “Wow. Just wow, mom.” Trust me when I tell you, I have plenty of those “Wow, just wow” moments where they are concerned.
This weekend I absolutely had one of those moments where the demon switch was turned on to high voltage, and all rationality and decency violently exited the premises like in some kind of exorcism.
If you have older children, I will challenge you to tell me you haven’t had one of these moments where your logic and sanity went screaming out the door like they were being chased by Jason in his hockey mask holding the live chainsaw from Chainsaw Massacre. I look back on my children’s toddler tantrums and chuckle. At least those held illogical humor. The asinine antics of a teenager can hold thoughtfully calculated moments of mocking, venom, and spite. Enter the demon spewing moments of a mom who’s vying for Mother of the Year.
I will preface this all by saying I am someone who’s always had a sailor’s mouth. It works well on days like today, where you can swill away because it’s #TalkLikeAPirateDay. Other days, I aspire to be a more decent human who doesn’t swear, but this is a daily piece of my prayers, “Please dear Lord, forgive my foul language, and help me have more language control.”
And so the story begins: My son is going on a school trip, and I asked him several times over the weekend to make sure his room was picked up after he packed. Before leaving, I went upstairs and checked his room. Upon entering, I saw piles everywhere. Keeping a calm, collected voice, I simply stated, “Your room is not picked up.” Go figure his pointed response, “Yes, it is!” Reaching down and picking up a dryer sheet in the middle of the floor, I turned to him restating, “Your room is not picked up. If it was, why would a dryer sheet be in the middle of the floor?” And this, my friends, is where all parental sanity digressed.
My son began to enact a part in a dramatic Shakespearian play where he raised both his hands askew in the air, as if he was holding something poisonous, and twisted his mouth in agony, saying, “This horrible dryer sheet is in the middle of the floor.”
I snapped. Like the ‘caged demons of Tartarus came crawling forth from my underbelly and switched the demon light on’ snapped. A stream of obscenities came spewing forth from my mouth like projectile vomit, and the look on my son’s face was of actual horror this time. It’s rare I get like this, but when I do, he knows the line of sanity is gone. I’m not completely sure exactly what I said, in what order I said it, or what the fillers were, but I believe along my rant, comments like “Fuck off, fuck you, for everything I’ve fucking done for you, you have the gall to fucking mock me, go to Hell” came belching out of me. I should have been ejected from the parenting game at this point. I’m not proud of this moment – Jesus, who would be – but I’m also not completely sorry about any of it either. Truthfully, we ask so little of this young man, and I quit my career and moved for this twerp so he could chase his dreams. I do not deserve to be mocked.
As I was exiting his room, I saw the laundry basket I needed to take home. I picked it up, flipped it over, and walked out of the room. As I was half way down the stairs, I threw the few remaining socks that clung for dear life in the basket in the general direction of his room. I exited the house with a serious door slam, flopped in the car, and sat waiting with my arms crossed and a serious angry face. Yes, I was having a parental tantrum or meltdown. I suppose that is all in perspective.
About 5 minutes later, my son entered the car, and I exited the car with a slam to make sure he had indeed picked up his room. I was ready for war. When I got back in the car, I had calmed slightly since he had done what I’d nicely asked before my deluge of insane parenting. Before we backed out of the driveway, I went through the litany of items he needed for this trip, and he replied yes to them all or said he knew for sure they were at home and would pack them once there. I think I’m calm, and then he goes to plug in his music in the middle of a song I am singing to. I unsanctimoniously rip out the cord, and set up my audio book for the ride. This will teach him – I will make him suffer through my book. But about 10 minutes later, it’s clear he’s listening to the book as he starts asking questions. Teach me, huh.
We drive the 1 1/2 hours home, and all is finally well. We’re communicating and smiling, and not 10 minutes into being home, he says, “I can’t find my pants and suit. Or my converter. And my helmet is at the store, and needs to be picked up.” [The effing store that we passed halfway home] He’s going abroad and needs all of these things. These were things he swore were at home. Flip the demon switch again, and “Fuckin’ sucks to be you,” comes rolling off my tongue as I walk away.
I can’t let him go on this trip without these items – see I am a good parent – so I get back in the car chanting, “Yes, it’s my job to be your chauffeur, I have nothing better to do with my time then drive all over God’s creation.” I’m doing 80 mph half way up the on-ramp to the highway. I did slow down to normal speed. I’m taking him to get the things we could have stopped along the way home to get, better yet, if he’d actually LOOKED in his messy room at school for these things…Like a moron, he goes to plug in his music again, and I yank out the cord again like it’s my job, and set up my audio book.
We said perhaps 30 words to one another for the remainder of the day. This is very good thing since I’d clearly said enough for a lifetime. I was in the running for Mother of the Year.
I was only comforted by the notion when I posted the following to my personal Facebook page, “I swear it is by the sheer grace of God that my son is alive today. It is because I didn’t kill him today – he’s been a charming (fill in nasty word) today. It’s merely the grace of God that allowed him to live.”
I got comments like, “Mine, too. It was a very trying day.”
“He’s a teenager, what do you expect.” – This…. this just, this… wanted to make me…
“They say girls are difficult!”
And the best one, “Yesterday my little one peed on the floor of a store. The older one called me a bitch for running out of the store. I feel like I should get an award for not leaving them both at a safe house :(”
Perhaps, we all just need to be reminded of the following:
Yeah, I lost my ‘sauce’ this weekend. I flat out sucked this day. Here’s to tomorrow.
Please, feel free to share your bad momma moments in the comments. I know I’m not alone, and I feel your pain. I feel ya, sista. And I got your back. I fully support your meltdown moment.