Oh today was fun… Not!
I had a lot of small talks with Daphne last night and this morning. One of them being about how I am not ever going to be the parent that she wants. I just can’t walk away from her, or any of them. I care too much for that. We had a version of this conversation several times today. She was feeling better, because she came out of her room, and played cards with Russell and me. She even ate a little bit of food. Good for her food. Strawberries and toast.
We were going along just fine, then Rebecca and Bronwyn came home. Then more shit hit the fan. More of the crap that happens when people are not communicating effectively – and making assumptions. The girls all wanted to go down to Taco Bell. They had their allowance. I consented that would be fine, although I just bought them snacks for the football game tonight. The snacks could wait for another night. Maybe Friday. Anyhoo, one of them complained that they wouldn’t have enough time to walk there before the sales, ended. So I offered to drive them there, and drop them off.
Drop them off: To me this means that I get there, park, let them out, and leave.
Well, Russell was feeling leftout – so I consented to buying him a drink. I asked one of the girls to go in, and get it for me. That was my mistake.
What they did instead, was to lump all their stuff into one order – and thus I had to wait for Russell’s treat. By the time I was done waiting, and going inside to fetch it, they were all coming out. And getting into the car.
Which was in direct opposite of what I agreed to doing. They wanted freedom. They wanted to go to Taco Bell, sit and socialize, and walk home — ON Their own. I was just getting them down there, in time. But now, I was playing chauffeur and I wasn’t happy with that. Its not what I signed up for. I don’t even like them going down to Taco Bell, and putting that crap in their bodies. The drink is at least just sugar, but the rest of it …. Gross!! Especially, not after agreeing to buy snacks that I’m not thrilled with either, that were now, not going to be eaten. I felt manipulated.
I voiced my displeasure, and I yelled and screamed my frustrations.
I know, I know, I know, this is not a healthy way to react to the situation. But I was pissed. I’m still pissed about it, as I’m typing this up. By the time we got home, nobody is happy. They eat sullenly at the table. Nobody enjoying their food. Me sitting in the living room calming down, waiting for them to be done. We are going to talk. Like it, or not.
The shit has literally hit the fan. They are all aware now of the DCF investigation. Daphne having filled in her sisters. Although nobody tells Russell, because I think that we all agree, he is too young to be worried with what if’s. I don’t talk to them about DCF. I talk to them about the actual issue. Them not liking who I am as a parent, me feelings of manipulation because of this; and how its not going to change, and why.
We talk about the Taco Bell incident. They don’t want to talk about it. I tell them that we are, because I don’t want this issue to come up again. I don’t want to just ‘move on’ and ignore the real reasons behind what happened at Taco Bell. I ask them to put themselves into my shoes and tell me what I was supposed to do differently. What was I supposed to do, beyond remaining calm, which I admitted to them, I failed at. Should I have driven away, while they were waving their arms around, chasing after my car? That would just feed right into the shit Barry is claiming about me being a bad mother.
I watched Rebecca and Daphne discuss, calmly how they had mis-communicated to each other. Made assumptions. Listened to Bronwyn jump in and tell them what she had thought was going on. Then asked each of them, what was I supposed to change? How was this Mom’s fault? They all agreed that my only fault was being loud and yelling, at my frustrations of being manipulated. That didn’t make me a bad mother.
That I do things for them, that I wouldn’t do for myself. I do things that they like. Like the TV today. They complained to me in our discussions, that I should just shut up and go back to watching TV. I ignored it at the time, for the outburst that it was. Instead, I waited till this moment, and used it as an example of how I wasn’t watching TV for me; but had it on only for them. “So that you can watch your Austin guy perform during the pre-show. I couldn’t care less about the Super Bowl, its not college football.”
I am going to keep feeding them a vegetable based diet because they get plenty of the crap-foods at school, after school when they go to places like Taco Hell, and every other weekend from their dad. That as a good parent, I’m going to use the other 50% of their foods, in good and healthy things. I’m not going to reward them wasting food, good food, by giving them sugary desserts, if they haven’t eaten the good stuff. That this is what a good parent does. They provide the things that a child needs, not always the things that they want.
I talk to them, about some of the same things that I talked to Daphne about last night and this morning. I am always going to be an Involved Parent. Like it, or Not. I am never going to be that parent that just gives them their every want, desire, and freedom. Never questioning them, or know what they like, or hate. Not knowing what their strengths are, or their fears. I am going to know all of that, and more.
When I asked them: “And do you know why I am going to be that parent? When it could be so much easier to be the parent that just throws some frozen food in the fridge and never asks you anything? Do you know why I choose the harder path?” The only one who answered was Daphne. 🙂
Her reply: “Because we are worth it.”
She was listening. My baby heard me.