Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What I Hate the Very Most

The fighting doesn’t usually start this early in the morning around here. Typically, each child has his or her own routine and things move pretty smoothly. But definitely not this morning.

I don’t know what or who started it (can we all yell, “Not ME!” in unison?), but Sierra decided she was going to pretend Michael didn’t exist. She pretended she couldn’t hear him when he talked. She sat next to him on the couch and then asked Josh to sit where Michael was because, obviously, no one was sitting there. She kept it up until Michael became angry and the arguing began.

MOM! Why won’t you do anything???

This is the point where I feel like that pile of old batteries I have waiting for proper disposal; somewhere between fundamentally useless and potentially dangerous.

This is my least favorite part of mothering. What I hate the very most. Diapering, cleaning up vomit, changing the sheets on the top bunk, even cleaning toilets used by five males—bring it on. I may not like it but I can handle it without skipping a beat. I lose my footing when kids cannot get out of each other’s faces and business. When they go looking for trouble. It makes me CRAZY.

I have a friend named Kat and she handles this sort of thing very well. When her daughters are on a crazy-making rampage, she tells them that they’re draining her Energy. Moms need energy and the kids need to replace it or Mom can’t do the things they’d like her to do. Mom Energy is replaced by doing different chores Mom usually tackles. I thought it sounded silly at first but the more I mulled it over, the more sense it made. I mean it does feel mentally draining to hear bickering. I think mental exhaustion is something that stops me in my tracks quicker than anything else.

After the smoke cleared this morning I thought about my relationship with my brother and how we fought viciously when we were young. It drove our parents crazy and at the time I couldn’t understood why. Oddly enough, if you bring it up now they act as if it never happened. As if they don’t remember much about it. Tom and I smile; we remember it all. I guess it gives me hope because we’ve been friends since I started high school. In fact, I have a birthday present sitting on my desk from him right now. I hope my kids can get beyond the bickering one of these days.

I have glimpses of the possibility all the time. A little here, a little there. Like yesterday after school. Instead of fighting with each other or doing something by themselves, Sierra and Kenny wrote a story together called Mobsters VS. Indians: A Classic Tale. It was about Fat Tony and Frank and a vendetta against Squanto, a rich casino owner. It certainly involved fighting, but at least not each other. We’re getting somewhere.
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