I feel like sometimes you don’t realize how out of control your kids are until you bring them out into polite society where you expect them to behave like respectful humans, and then it’s like “who RAISED you frigging animals?!”
This was never so apparent to me as it was this weekend when we went to my old friend’s for dinner and my kids flew off the freaking handle, particularly my youngest daughter, who, fueled by lack of sleep, refused to sit while everyone was eating, wouldn’t touch her food, knocked over the kiddie tables, smashed some dishes, and broke a coat hook right off the wall.
The worst realization wasn’t even that my kids have become total assholes; the worst realization was that I have become a horrible, negative parent (hence, my asshole kids).
Here are a few examples, specifically from that night:
My oldest kid: “Mommy, I don’t like my dinner”
Me (obviously frustrated, obviously gloating): “That’s okay”
Her: “I’m hungry! I DON’T LIKE MY FOOD!”
Me: “That’s okay. You don’t have to like your food. I guess you’re going to go hungry”
My kid: [Slamming a bedroom door]
Me: BUTTERBEAN! Leave this door OPEN! The next time you close this door, we’re going home!
My friend’s husband (calmly, patiently): Let’s keep the door open, because if it closes on your finger like this [pretends his finger is being caught in the door], you could get really hurt.
Knowing I spend most of my time between work and bedtime mindlessly herding my children like cattle from one task to the next (occasionally shouting at them in a fruitless attempt to get them to obey) is one thing, but actually SEEING how checked out I’ve become reflected in my kids behavior, and magnified by my friends’ obviously kind and reasonable parenting style, was hard to witness.
When did I COMPLETELY run out of patience and give up on being a good parent? And when did I become such a mean mommy?!