I had one of those great days today. I slept really well last night. I don’t work on Mondays, and today I got a LOT done while the kids were at school. I was feeling relaxed and happy with myself.
Until the kids got home.
Michael had a friend over. For two hours, things were great – they were playing outside, making a lot of noise and having fun. Apparently, just before the friend was picked up (according to Michael, anyway), there was some sort of illegal move perpetrated on Michael in their soccer game, which left Michael with a dirty and bruised knee. Since Michael didn’t have a yellow card in his pocket, he decided to throw a punch instead. Ugh.
When his friend went home, I left Michael at home, doing homework and whimpering, so I could pick Matthew up around the corner at a friend’s house. I was delighted to find that he’d already started walking home, as I’d asked him to. “How was your day?” “Good! I don’t have much homework. What’s for dinner?”
And that’s where it started going downhill, when he discovered that I’d made stuffed shells and didn’t keep any sauce-free for him. Worst. Mom. Ever.
We came in the house, and Michael was still upset over the incident with his friend. Oh, and perhaps I should mention that when the friend left, I had had the audacity to ask him to retrieve his shoes from our backyard and bring them inside when he came in. For which I was labeled “mean.”
Matthew joined his brother at the table to get started on homework. And when he put a binder down, it generated a breeze that blew away the organized rows of little pieces of paper with Michael’s spelling words on them. Michael burst into tears and then headed toward Matthew to try and throw his second punch of the hour. I grabbed his arm before he could hit, and pulled him upstairs to his bedroom, crying. Him, not me. Yet, anyway.
I left Michael in his room, came back downstairs and asked Matthew to help me pick up Michael’s spelling words. When my request was met with some, um, let’s say, resistance, I kind of , let’s say, lost my patience. I believe there may or may not have been some yelling.
After everyone had a few minutes to calm down, I apologized to both boys for losing my cool. Because as little tolerance as I have for my kids’ poor behavior, I have even less tolerance for my own poor behavior. When I look at it objectively, I think I have pretty unrealistic expectations for my own behavior as a parent. Because, as it turns out, I’m just as human as my kids are.