Sunday, November 23, 2008

When all else fails...web cam to the rescue

Part of the reality of being a parent to a 2 & 6 year old, is energy expenditure. Even when I am exhausted, sick, crappy and sore, the kids have needs. Needs like breakfast, teeth brushed, setting up coloring stations, diaper changes, hair braiding, song singing, book reading, time outs and time to freak out. They can, to varying degrees, accomplish some of these tasks on their own. But they are small, they need me, their Mom.

My own needs, like reading the Sunday paper, brushing my teeth, drinking my coffee, putting make up on, blinking, getting dressed and pooping are often secondary. These tasks are accomplished in concert with the kids' needs. They get done mind you, but only after the kids are settled. My own needs are often accomplished in fits and starts. Their needs interrupt my daily self care tasks. With two busy kids, and one Mom, it can get kind of rough.

So let's revisit the reading of the Sunday paper. This was what my mom was doing on Sunday morning. I was ping-ponging with the kids, wiping noses, making oatmeal, getting juice, fetching socks . . . While my mom was reading the Sunday paper, from start to finish. There was no interruption of her reading the paper. Which is fine. I think.

It is not that she took no notice of my struggle, it is just that she was reading the paper. From start to finish.

The breaking point was when I talked about using filtered water for their juice. Ya see, I don't like the kids to have juice/milk between meals. I like for them to have water only. Only the water in this town is absolutely yucky tasting. So I buy generic crystal light and the kids drink it. Only my son's poops have been turning bright green and well, that's no good. I figure it's the high mineral content and the artificial coloring that comes with the drink mix. They have had drink mix back at our house and well, no green poops.

So, I say, "Hey Mom, let's make the drink mix with filtered water okay?"


In case you didn't get it by reading the caps there, she said this very angrily. Very, STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO. Very don't bother me I am reading the paper.

I realize that this outburst is not really about the filtered water. We are all tired and getting on each other's nerves. I have certain ways of doing things and they have the other way. So in my head, I take a deep breath and clear my throat. Underneath all of this. I have to adjust my expectations.

I can expect and be thankful for them dropping the kids off and picking them up. I can expect them to change the occasional diaper, reading books to the kids, putting on videos for the kids. I can expect them to do all the laundry and some meals. Although, their idea of 'food' is suspect and I am starting to take over the whole deal. But what they do is completely their choice and idea. Asking them to anything more is, well, asking for trouble.

What I cannot expect is emotional support. I cannot expect them to see me struggling and react the way I want them to. They will not put their arms around me and say, "Holly, it will be alright." or "Hey Holly, why don't we take the kids somewhere so you can get a nap." or "Hey Holly, let me color with the kids so you can finish your coffee in the other room". I hate to break it to you all, but it ain't gonna happen.

This is very sad at times. They suck. But, it is what it is.

What is a girl to do?


3 Left a message at the beep:

James said...

That strikes me a little strange. Older folks can get set in their ways to be sure...but the emotional support things...parents are usually HAPPY to supply that just for the sake of it...aren't they?

You seem to be a feeling person who has been dropped accidentally in a commune of Spartans.

Holly Hall said...

Yeah, tis true. But again, my parents suck.

Hence the web cam pix.

SO cute eh?



Slyde said...

Awwww, that little one looks like an angel.

and you're a cutie.....

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