My son has made it an artform: Slow motion. Procrastination. Dragging out the getting ready before school until the absolute last possible minute.
He is gifted.
The past two weeks have been more stressful than usual at work. His delay tactics have been perfected and so getting his clothes on can take upwards of 40 minutes or longer.
This is sending me over the edge.
You may recall the timer incident some time back. I thought I had it all figured out. We are back to ground zero here. The thing about kids is just when you think you deserve the Mom Of The Year Award, they show you that you don’t know jack.
I have a closet full of his toys again. I have tried time outs and cajoling. Rewards. I pulled out the timer again. I tried making him miss breakfast if he does not dress in time.
He didn’t care.
Not one bit.
It is infinitely more interesting to practice karate moves, watching his reflection in the mirror. Is he really that vain?!?!? Please tell me he isn’t that vain…
“Mommy, I am a bad person.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I do bad things. I can’t stop doing bad things.”
So I took a deep breath. I listened to myself and the meanness I hear in my voice as I am trying to motivate him to get ready and out of the house on time.
It’s not you, it’s me, sweetie…
I can’t control what is going on at the office so I am trying harder to control what is going on at home. The dressing thing matters more right now. He is sensing this and pushing back. THIS is the problem. MY problem. I am taking it out on my family. It isn’t fair and he does not have the words to articulate this.
So he acts it out.
Mommy took a chill pill (figuratively) this morning. Things went a bit better and I praised him for it.
“I like it when you are happy with me, mommy.” He smiled from the back seat.
I am not perfect. We will have this battle again soon, I am sure. Being a mother guarantees short term memory loss. I won’t remember and I will catch myself again as my sanity starts spiraling down the drain.
And so for Mother’s Day this year I told my kids that I was sorry, that I loved them…
… that I will work harder to leave work at work from now on.