Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day to you too

So I feel like blogging, but I don't really have much of beauty about which to blog.  Can I tell you something?  I really have no idea what I'm doing as a parent and boy, today I realized that over and over and over.


  • Today Isaac said, "It's time to say the prayer!" and kicked me really hard to get my attention.
  • Today I asked Abigail what I'd just told her (we were working on this project for which I had spent the morning driving around town to pick up all the supplies, and I was really stressed about it because it's a big part of her grade) and she said, "Um, use your best handwriting and blah blah blah blah something blah blah something blah blah blah."
  • Today Juliet barricaded herself under the couch in tears because she felt sad because I met Neil for lunch and she didn't get to come (she was partying it up at school).
  • Today Luke tried to bite me and bit himself instead and then he got even madder so he tried to hit the bookcase but guess what, that hurt too.
  • [Not today but Tuesday] Luke stuck his hands in his diaper and painted my bedroom carpet with an extremely thick layer of poop.  Right before bedtime.  When Neil was gone and I was flying solo.
  • Today Isaac told me that I'm not his friend because girls can't be buddies.  He then went on to enumerate everyone that he loves more than me.  Totally out of the blue EXCEPT that this is the sixth time he's done this in the last two days (yesterday he came in while I was running and stood next to the treadmill and yelled all the names very loudly so that I would be sure to hear).
  • Today Juliet left her backpack, lunchbox, and homework at school.  Or on the bus.  Or who knows where.
  • Today Abigail had homework but she couldn't remember what it was.
  • Today I couldn't eat dinner because I felt sick to my stomach from being angry and upset at all of the pre-dinner drama.
  • Today Neil and I went to lunch with the boys and Isaac refused to eat ANYTHING and sat under the table instead.




I worry that my kids are going to remember their childhood as a mix of Mommy yelling, crying, and occasionally being fun and happy.

I've been starting to grade the first few major projects that are trickling in early.  I'm frustrated at how long it takes me to get a sense of how the students are doing this semester and how I should be scoring the projects.  Then I remembered that the first ones always take longer, and that in a few more hours I'll be (comparatively) whipping through them.

Then I started thinking about how hard it is for me to know how to parent my children, and I thought that maybe if I had like...20...I might be better at it by child number 18 or 19, and that these first ones are my figure-it-out ones, and I really wish that they had a more experienced mother who always knew how to keep her cool and not be hurt and all of those good things.

But.

  • Today I did NOT drive to school to punch Juliet's gym teacher in the face (like I wanted to) when she tearfully told me that she cried in gym class because she didn't know the rules of the game, and all he said to her was "We don't cry in gym" rather than explaining what was going on.
  • Today my children were safely buckled into their bus seats rather than being whacked on the head by the kids running all around them, because they have a mother who called the transportation director and insisted that the bus driver follow the school's guidelines, rather than letting the kids run wild on the bus punching each other and jumping from seat to seat while the bus is moving (I did not feel the least bit guilty when Abigail reported that "now everyone behaves on the bus and sits in their seats and buckles up because the driver said we have to or she'll get fired because someone's mom called her boss and complained").
  • Today I crawled under the couch and told Juliet how much I missed her and how glad I was that she was in half-day kindergarten, because the days are so long and lonely without her there to cheer me up.
  • Today I read every single book to Isaac that he asked for, even though it took me 2 solid hours. 
  • Today I drove all over town collecting supplies for Abigail's project because I wanted it to turn out the way she had envisioned it.
  • Today I patiently worked through each and every one of Abigail's new piano pieces for this week with her so that she knows the correct fingering for each one (her biggest roadblock).
  • Today I made everyone dinner even though I couldn't eat it myself.
  • [Not today] I cleaned up Luke's mess and I still loved him anyway.
  • Today I told Isaac that I love him and I will always love him because he's my little boy.  Even if he doesn't feel the same way about me.
  • Today I had a wonderful lunch with Neil and Luke at my favorite restaurant.  And when we came home, Isaac had a carton of raspberry yogurt.

6 comments:

Jolena said...

Hang in there! I wonder sometimes if parenting is as much about how hard we try as whether we succeed in our own minds. Heavenly Father has a way of helping us along when we keep trying.

Jolena said...

Hang in there! I wonder sometimes if parenting is as much about how hard we try as whether we succeed in our own minds. Heavenly Father has a way of helping us along when we keep trying.

Laura said...

Oh, Rachael. It sounds like you know exactly what you're doing. That second list was beautiful, even though the first list was hair-raising. What a week! Your children are lucky to have you.

Mary Beth said...

I don't have much to offer but hugs, and maybe this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinlarosa/10-brutally-honest-valentines-from-kids

And also, y'know what? I don't remember many traumatic things from my childhood. There was the time we watched Karate Kid and I kicked Caitlyn Seymour and hurt her a lot, and then felt really bad; and there was the time I stole all of Ruth's gum and then it was too much to chew and I spat it on the grass and felt really bad; and there was the time we ate poison berries and then spent the rest of the barbecue throwing up--but the day to day stuff, any parenting mistakes Mom and Dad made? Nope. I mostly just remember that they loved us, and spent time with us, and cuddled us and read books by the fireplace.

Dad did make us eat mud, though. I remember that.

Meghan said...

Mary Beth, you made my day. I can remember A LOT of parenting mistakes I made, and you probably can remember a few, too, though you're too kind to say so. But I am grateful that the love and time and cuddles and reading part stuck. And mud. But it's sticky anyway.
That was a pretty good day Rachael, on balance, though I wish you felt better by the end of it (or throughout it). Learning how to continue to love people who may not be too lovable at the moment is a godly pursuit. You're doing a great job. I'm proud of you :)

Anonymous said...

Hugs to all of you!
Love,
Aunt Pam

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