I’ve been a steam boat lately, plodding through the rough blue water, with no hesitation of rolling over waves and whatever lies beneath me. I have to be careful. I have to tread more softly. I have sensitive children. Their eyes are receptive, and they absorb feelings so easily. They got that from their dad; that ability to become a chameleon. If the room is tense, they become tense. If the room is light, they are light.
But then there’s me, bulldozing through, mucking up their mood, and barking commands, and raising my voice because it feels good, because she should know better, and I’ve told him a hundred times not to.
The worst is when other people are witness to my madness. And then my anger becomes real. It takes a stranger for me to feel the weight of my sin. It’s palpable; them watching me as I react to my children, watching me as my anger flies somewhere far away, and gets caught high above me, where I can’t reach it, and there’s no way to pull it back down. It’s not that I scream at my kids all day, it’s that one little thing sets me off, and my mood becomes terse, my words curt, and my tone cutting. It’s not every day either, but when my anger flies, I’m ashamed. I give myself excuses as to why: I‘m tired, I’m pregnant, this bra is digging into my boob, the kids didn’t touch their dinner after I spent an hour making it. But there aren’t enough excuses, the fact of the matter is, I’m wrong.
I apologize. I try to make it right. But the damage is done, they are sponges, absorbing, learning, and creating associations. Just like I did when I was their age, and my mom would get angry at my brother and me. The pattern has continued, without my consent.
I have to be careful.
School is starting soon.
Berlyn will start Kindergarten in two weeks.
Which means I have two weeks to get all sentimental about her growing up so fast, and cry over old baby socks, so by the time I drop her off on that first day I can be a pillar for her–strong and confident.
But that’s the opposite of what I really am, which is fearful, and soggy.
Hudson is in the midst of being potty trained. But I am already done. Finished. Because it’s not working. He continues to pee on my carpet, couch, and floor like an untrained terrier, and when he does he declares, with his most precious voice, “Oopsies! I peed!”
Yeah, buddy, you did, let’s do that in the toilet next time, okay?
But does he?
I don’t want advice about it, because it stresses me out. Everyone I’ve ever talked to about it, says breezy things like, oh it was so easy, my son just threw away all of his diapers, and that was that. No accidents. Or, my daughter loves to pee on the toilet, she was potty trained in one day. Your advice and your comments make me want to punch you in the kidneys, and steal your perfectly potty trained child so he can teach my child.
I’ve read books about it, and blogs, and talked to moms, and maybe he’s just not ready, but I can’t bring myself to put him back in diapers, and to undo all that I’ve done, I feel like a failure, and worse, I think Hudson would feel like a failure. So we continue. I take him potty every 15 minutes, where he plays with the roll of toilet paper, and says, “I don’t hava go, but isss okay.”
Is it okay?
Yes, I guess it will have to be.