Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Imperfect Parent

This past weekend has been tiring.  Friday night we took Joshua after dinner to get his Halloween costume.  After insisting all month he was going to be Spiderman, he changed his mind at the last minute and decided to be a doctor instead. 

Then yesterday, we went to the Pumpkin Patch and got a couple of pumpkins. 

Today, Joshua and I went over to my parents house.  Jamey is hiking some mountain with some buddies of his.  Ew.  So Joshua and I are still here.  We will go home in a little while so that I can cook dinner and have it ready when he comes home, because you know he'll be ready to eat.

Doesn't sound like all that much, does it?  But it has been.  You know why?  Someone has stolen my sweet little Joshua, and they have replaced him with a little boy who has been nothing but contrary, fussy, whiny and, I hate to admit this, nearly unbearable.

We don't have many days like these.  So when we go through them, it is very hard.  Tiring.  Exhausting.  I hate these days.  It seems almost like he has been testing us the past couple of days to see how far he can push us.  What else can I get away with?  How long can I do this before they blow?  And I admit that yesterday, we let him push and get away with his behavior even when we shouldn't have.  We were at the Pumpkin Patch, and we had told him if he continued to act ugly that we would go home.  And he tested it again.  Guess what?  We still stayed.  I bet if you are a parent, you know why.  It was because we had paid $25 to get in, and had just picked another $10 in pumpkins.  Thirty-five dollars and we weren't going to stay?  I don't think so.  So we toughed it out. 

We probably shouldn't have.  I have thought about it a lot and feel a little like a failure today.  It makes me hope the rest of you parents who read my blog aren't perfect either.  Because we really should have gone home yesterday, regardless of the money we would have wasted.

I have started talking to Joshua about how things like Pumpkin Patches, going to MiMi and PaPa's, treats after dinner, etc etc are privileges.  They are not things you get to do just because.  You have to behave well in order to get them.  He has, thank goodness, been much better after an initial outburst this morning.  I threatened him with not coming to MiMi and PaPa's today.  I told him if he thought I was kidding to try me.  And I really wouldn't have brought him over.  You know that made him straighten up really quickly.  He loves coming here.  I will continue to talk to him about it over the next few days.  Or the next 14 years or so.  You know, whichever it takes. . .

I am feeling a little ashamed about how I handled yesterday in particular.  I am feeling like a less-than parent.  We all have those days.  Just gotta try again tomorrow. 

1 comment:

  1. You are not alone!! I heard a quote recently- "Parenting is hard. If we had really known how hard it would be, we wouldn't have done it!" And I'm embarrassed to say it, but I will, I'm glad to see other parents who have imperfect kids- makes me not feel so alone- because my kids can not just push boundaries, but leap them in a single bound... And I don't always handle it perfectly...


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