I think the biggest similarity we we have is our ability to take as little responsibility for our actions as possible:
~I complain because you make me insane.
~I yell because I've already asked you to do this. Twice.
~I huff because, really? You can't figure out how to solve this problem?
~I roll my eyes because you say you didn't hear me. Again.
~I stare at you blankly because you said "I forgot" although I just reminded you 6.3 seconds ago.
~I screech because I just asked you to sit still so you wouldn't spill and yet here we are with a puddle of sticky orange juice on the freshly mopped floor.
~I take away your treasures because I'm tired of finding them on the floor, in the couch cushions, on the stairs and in the bathroom?
~I lecture because I need you to understand why your actions are frustrating.
~I lecture some more because it's my job to help you learn you can't live your life thinking only about yourself.
~I lecture one more time because, clearly, you aren't getting it after the first 642 times.
~I send you to your room because you can't yell at people because they won't do what you want, how you want, when you want.
~I don't give you your allowance because you didn't do your chores without being reminded. Over and over and over.
~I say no when you ask for another new device or toy because you have to learn that even though you have money or a gift card, you can't have everything you want.
~I don't let you watch silly videos on YouTube because you haven't learned that the dinner table with Great Grandma isn't the place to reenact what you watched. She doesn't think blowing up Justin Bieber is funny.
~I don't let you use FaceTime because the last time I did you brought your friend into my bathroom. While I was in the shower.
Now some of these things are reasonable. I'm the mom and it's my job to teach. But others... not so reasonable. But of course, you started it... Hmmmm that sounds eerily familiar.
I know you think I'm crazy. For what it's worth, I thought my own mom was crazy. I'm pretty sure all kids think their mom is crazy. You don't understand our reactions. Why are we so mad? Why do we freak out over seemingly small things? And worse, why don't we freak out when you expect us to? Us moms are a mystery to you kids.
So who's right? Who started it? Was it your behavior that made me react? Is my anger warranted? In my opinion, it's entirely warranted. How many times do I have to repeat myself? But is my yelling and freaking out OK? Probably not. (But it sure feels good to yell and flail when I'm mad.) Should I learn to use my words, possibly at a lower volume? Yeah, definitely.
I don't want the soundtrack of our life to be a combination of screeching cats and Charlie Brown-like adults lecturing to an unreceptive audience. I know that if I'm more patient, more understanding, more calm, more, more, more, more, more we could have a soundtrack filled with laughter and fun... Well, not all the time, but maybe more than we do at times.
And so, my sweet, sweet boys, as the year comes to a close and we reflect on what we'd like to do differently in the new year, I will employ a technique I am continually encouraging the two of you to use: COMPROMISE
In the spirit of new beginnings in 2013, here's my New Year's Resolution:
I will work hard to contain my anger, keep a calm voice, have reasonable expectations and relax more if YOU stop doing stupid shit.
See? This compromise thing isn't so hard, is it?
Happy New Year!
That's just my normal.