Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Literary Portrait of The Children

This was going to be titled: This Is Why I Love My Children So Much, but because of later details, I had to change it. In this telling of some of today's events, you will be able to understand each child and his/her personality just by these few expressions and words from the lil' darlings:

This a.m. Ajers is still not 100 percent. Yes, he probably could have gone to school, but when he came into my room at 6 a.m. with another headache, I decided no school for him. So, he crawled into bed and we both fell back asleep.

Twenty minutes later maybe, I see/hear/feel the bedroom door open and sense another arrival. It's Tukey. I whisper to him to come to the other side of the bed because Ajers was next to me.

He shuffles his little feet over and climbs in next to me. And let me just tell you he sleeps in his little boxer briefs most nights with no shirt, and he's still got that cute little boy body that's all warm first thing in the a.m. He's warm and tired and whispers to me in his adorable husky little Tukey voice:

"I'm so lucky I got in your bed in time."

Me: "In time for what?"

Tukey: "In time to snuggle!"

Next, after some awesome snugglin' and more snoozin' with my boys, I slip around Ajers and ask him if he needs a cold cloth or some tissues. He doesn't. I tell him to keep sleeping and that I am going to get his sister up for school.

Ajers to me: "I love you and appreciate all the things you've done."

So, these two unexpected yet beautiful gifts from my boys arrive this morning, and make their way straight into the center of my heart. It's a great feeling to be loved that much in so few minutes of the day.

Then...
(queue horror music from Chainsaw Massacre or Friday the Thirteenth -- Ooh! That's tomorrow!)...

It's on to Diva's room.

And I knew there was no way in hell I'd get the royal lovey-dovey treatment from her. And it kills me. Absolutely devastates me to know that already, at the age of seven, at the hour of seven, I'm getting an earful of shit from her. I am having flash-forwards of the angst we will endure with each other when she is a tween, a teen... ugh... I am frightened.

And rightfully so.

I go in and as I do every day, I gently crawl into bed with her.

SIDENOTE: I probably have told you that when my beautiful and wonderful mother, whom I love dearly to this day (yes, she's reading this), used to get us up for school, she would throw open the bedroom door, flip on the light with no warning, and in not a very quiet or calming wake-up voice, she would say, "Get Up!"

Cringe. Ouch. That hurt.

So, I promised that I would never wake up my children in that manner. Mom, I love you; I know this wake-up-call tactic did not scar me for life, but whoa, it was tough!

So, done with sidenote, back to story...

In Diva's warm bed, I snuggle up with her and remind her that her Uncle Boomer is here! And that today is going to be a fun day at school! And that I love her! And that it's time to get dressed and pee!

Reaction. Not good.

See, she went to bed mad at me. For No Reason. So, she wakes up pissed at me. For No Reason. And here I am being so sweet and kind and patient, and THIS IS SO NOT MY STYLE, but I am putting out the white flag this morning. Hell, I wanted a three-for-three today.

Didn't get it.

Instead, she starts whining. And bitching because the clothes are not the clothes she wants to wear.

"Okay, sweetie, you go to the bathroom and I'll pick out something else for you to wear."

Into the bathroom she goes.

She doesn't come out.

I knock. "Honey, sweetie-pie, come on out. I've got some nice clothes for you!" Yes, my smile pasted onto my face is beginning to crack a little.

"YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO COME GET ME! I WAS GOING TO COME OUT WHEN I FELT LIKE IT!"

"Okay honey. That's fine. I'll go back into your room and wait."

She comes out.

"I DON'T WANT TO WEAR THAT!"

"Okay, that's okay then. You can pick out anything you want, as long as it's long pants. It's going to snow today!" Smile plastered. Look at clock. Dear God, 24 more minutes of this shit.

More bitching and griping about God knows what, and then I finally say, "Okay. Here's the deal. Put on whatever you want, I don't care what you wear. But get down stairs in five minutes. If you're not down there, then I'm taking the candy out of your lunch."

Five minutes later, she's down, grumpy as all hell, but dressed!

Nineteen freakin' minutes to go. Smile and wave boys, smile and wave, I think to myself (Madagascar Quote).

Our neighbor Abby comes over. She's in fourth grade and a couple days a week I get her on the bus since her parents have to get to work early.

"Hi Sweetie, do you want some waffles?" I ask.

"Sure," Smiley, bright, lovely, grateful Abby replies.

"I'M YOUR SWEETIE! NOT HER!" Diva yells.

What I want to say is, "No, you're not my sweetie; you're an ungrateful bitchy little girl who is driving me crazy and making me incredibly sad right this minute."

What I do say, "You're right honey, you're my sweetie!"

I grab the chocolate chips because Diva does not eat butter, or syrup, but I put literally about 8 chocolate chips on her two or three waffles (see, I'm making excuses for myself here already)

I sprinkle the girls' waffles with the chips.

"SHE GOT MORE!"

"Sorry sweetie. Here, take THE WHOLE FUCKING BAG AND LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!"

Nah, I didn't really say that, but man, if my mind shot out the words before I had time to process them, I would seriously be in deep Department-of-Children-and-Family-Services shit right about now.

So, long story totally overplayed and too long, when she leaves for the bus, I'm at the last strand of rope and I'm like, "Goodbye. Have a nice day."

She has the meanest, ugliest frown on her face like she hates me, and boy, this does really kill me to rehash this because maybe we seriously do have mother/daughter 'issues' (PS to MY mom... I totally threw in that word ISSUES because I knew you'd 'get it!'). I just wish she wanted my love and affection the same way the boys do; I wish she appreciated me and said kind unexpected things to me like the boys do. She does sometimes, but I mean, if this is what it's like when she's seven, how is she gonna be when she starts her rag for cryin' out loud? I don't know if I can handle it?

I'm kind of scared she's going to be the rebellious teen who tries all sorts of drugs to spite me, breaks all kinds of rules, and I'm afraid I won't be able to control her.

Tell me I'm crazy, and that you have a child that causes you the same concern and angst. Tell me I'm not a bad mom (avoiding puke aside!), tell me she'll outgrow it and will someday appreciate how much I love her.

When she's ready for the bus, she is fuming at me, but knows she can't just stomp off. I tell her we're going to have to have a talk later, and for her to go to the bus now. She puts her arms out, rigidly, defiantly, for a hug, because she doesn't want to leave without knowing I love her, that I'll always be there for her, no matter what. And I will. I promise you Diva. I'll be there for you always.

I hug her tightly, tell her I love her so much, and to have a good day at school. We do our little exchange of special "Kiss-for-my-pockets" and I tell her I love her again.

And then she's gone. And I miss her. And my day is not what it should have been. Not how it should have been gauging by how my boys reacted to me first thing this a.m.

(I'm going to go look at her beautiful, sleeping angelic face right now, and remember how much love I felt on that day she was born, the day when I had first thought I had just delivered another son, only to discover I had a beautiful, beautiful little precious girl to love with my whole heart for the rest of my life.)

22 comments:

Brony said...

Kids hey. They all have a point to prove.

At least you has some good cuddles to start the day.

I love watching my boys sleep.

Manic Mom said...

Hey Brony--thanks! They do have a point to make. Wonder what hers is. Oh, and I just remembered I 'think' you tagged me. I have to go check that out!

Hotwire said...

my Bear sounds like Tukey: no shirt and gravelly voice.

if Diva gets out of hand you can always tell her that there are guys in CT who weren't blessed with daughters and you'll ship her to him if she doesn't shape up!

Kara said...

Oy on Diva! I am sensing much therapy for both of you. Just kidding. Not really.

Have you considered not tolerating the non-respect? My husband, frankly, would flip out if one of our kids treated me like that. Sassy, defiant back talk would get "consequences" for sure. We do a lot of "We don't hit in this house," "We share here," "We don't talk to each other like that in our family."

Not sure if you really wanted my two cents, but perhaps you might be able to avoid some heartache in future if you nip in bud now.

That said, I can TOTALLY see you sharing this post with Diva on her wedding day -- she, dissolving into tears, "I'm so sorry, Mom! You're the best mom!" You know, a Lifetime moment.

She does love you soooooo much -- just lots going on in her little 7-year-old head that doesn't let her show you the way you'd like her to. I'm glad you got a hug from her this a.m. :-)

alice said...

Yeah, I have a kid just like that too. she's not a morning person and almost always wakes up in a grouchy mood. But come to think of it, I'm kinda that way too. I need a while to get civilized. You can probably read some stuff on my page. I have four girls, so that's all i know. moodiness. my husband doesn't get it.

Beth said...

God, I wish I could give you some Lifetime words of encourgement here, but you are in for a life of hell with that one!!

My middle son is like that,....wakes up mad at the world, everything I do is wrong, "don't talk to me" crap all the time,....sheez, I gave BIRTH to you kid!!!

I guess you can be glad she is an individual and strong in her convictions???? won't be easily led astray? Nahhhh.....just hold on tight for the ride of your life!

girlieH said...

I love to hear your stories, they are always so descriptive! You seem like a really great mom, don't get down on this too much!

princessr9 said...

Omg, Diva sounds just like my son! I have to wake him up an hour and a half before my daughter just so we have time to deal with the drama. By the time we leave for school I'm ready to rip all my hair out. During the drive there we all calm down and it's hugs and kisses before I leave. I don't understand it, but I sure would like to.

Drew Blackstone said...

Great writing! Why on earth don't you have an agent? They must be out of their minds.

The good news is that the defiant kid is the one who will also be defiant to peer pressure. Diva will say "Screw 'em!" when they do stupid things.

No one said it would be easy, but you are doing great as a mom.

Never give up. Never surrender.

Anonymous said...

You are not a bad mom. She will outgrow it - really! and she will absolutely appreciate how much you love her .. when she is mature enough to do so.
Living with all girls has taught me that you can't ever guess what they are thinking or feeling. It probably has little to do with you. Even at 7. Doesn't that suck?!?

Manic Mom said...

Ah Drew, thank you! You are soooo sweet! And girlie H, thanks also--I tried to comment at your site.

Hotwire--that was sweet of you to say. I am lucky to have her. She was actually quite pleasant this a.m.

Kara--I know I have an 'enablement' problem! LOL.

Princessr9--I know the feeling! What a stressful morning!

Thanks everybody for the words of encouragement! You guys do help me get through the crazy manic times!

Trish Ryan said...

Good job loving her when she wasn't very loveable. She'll remember that!

Anonymous said...

Hi M.M.!! It's "Oprah's Buddy"...
I LOVE your blog - it's fantastic - completely descriptive - I laughed out loud in the beginning - felt like I was there.....but then I CRIED out loud when I read about the funeral - I lost my own dad 17 years ago and all those feelings came back after reading about their loss.....

Swishy said...

Oh my gosh, I laughed so many times. Even at the Diva stuff. You captured your kids perfectly!!

Diva will be fine. She's just a diva! My mom and I fought constantly--and I mean CONSTANTLY--from age 8 on, and we both lived to tell about it. The argument could even be made that I turned out to be a somewhat responsible adult, so don't worry :)

Manic Mom said...

Anon 4:12, Oprah's Buddy--Are you Karyn's friend who was at Oprah last week? Tell me about Jen Aniston!

Or, is this Jodi? Hmmm....

Anyway, thanks for saying such nice things! I really appreciate you stopping by; now DISH ABOUT O!

And Swish--You? A responsible adult? Come on... You're WAY TOO MUCH FUN!

TTQ said...

Even if she is being sassy, spoiled and competitive at least she's talking to you. I think when that stops is when you really have to worry.
Oh and you said "rag" I haven't heard that in 20 years..
Chocolate chips on waffles? For being sassy? You should have gave her on for each year she's 7 so she gets 7 chocolate chips. (for being a cranky bear. Tough Love baby!

kim said...

Uhg! My 7 yr. old can get mouthy too.
I try to remember to "pick my battles" and think about how I want her to handle it when someone is treating her like crap.

In the ideal, it works out to be a mix of -- I see and hear nothing and hope she snaps out of it on her own, and saying things like, "I don't deserve to be talked to like that."

On the not so ideal days, my patience and support reach a limit and I'm not above "pitching the bag of chocolate chips" (only without the swearing, but definately in a parental fit that conveys "FINE!" as good as any stomping teen could).

And, I've had angelic kids come over and be great...until their mom comes to pick them up --then they fall apart at the sight of her and are suddenly unable to tie their own shoes, or do anything for themselves -- frowns come out, air gets kicked, their heads begin to spin and spew green stuff -- you get the idea.

If sassy seven year old = teenage drug addict, I think most of us are in trouble.

Sorry so long winded -- I could go on and on with this subject (so sometimes I do!).

reddragonsangel said...

Oh my - I think that your daughter and my son are the same person- I go thru the EXACT SAME SCENARIO every day with him- and I too feel like crap when he leaves for the day for school- I miss him and wish things could be different- and wonder what the hell I did to make him hate me so damn much- (sigh)- what can you do but keep trying and hope that they don't turn into goth teens that terrorize the world with thier angst and deviant behavior ( ok not all goths are that way- but when your kid is 6 or 7 the thought of them being anything other than a sweet faced baby is heartwrenching) I wonder if I should prepare myself for having a son that is a juvinile delinquent- then I relize that it's a phase- i hope- and this too will pass- oh gawd- i hope! Good luck and know you are not alone- it seem this is a trend in the blogs this week- moms wondering if they are the worst mom in the whole damn world- so we have all been there and will be there- we need to unite and support each other- if we don't then how will we ever survive the guilt that we did something horribly wrong and we suck as parents? good luck and -oh yeah- we don't suck we are just human and have bad days too!

Marmite Breath said...

I melted when I read this. Are you in my house every day or something? My son snuggles with me and then my daughter verbally abuses me. She's lovely, really, but mornings bring out the devil in her.
Anyway, I subscribe to the "Pay now or Pay later" school of thought. Example--colicky baby = Responsible adult. Easy baby = Still living at home at age 30. I figure my daughter is going to be a FANTASTIC adult!

Anonymous in NYC said...

Manic,

How is Diva with your husband? Daddy's little girl? I am one of 2 sons and I have different relationships and styles with each parent. Both good relationships(for the most part) I may ad. Some say sons and mothers have different relationships than mothers and daughters. Just curious on your take and what its like at the manic mom homestead?i

Anonymous said...

God made Divas to teach us that sometimes a girl's got to have a litte "tude" to get a little love.

:)

Shannon McKelden said...

I'm a couple of days behind on this, but I have to say...you'll get through this and NOT necessarily have a horrid teen on your hands. Trust me on this.

I will hereby admit publicly (because I've admitted it privately to my Darling Daughter) that I really thought the words "I hate you" a LOT during her, say, years between about 5 and 13 or 14. Seriously. She was totally Daddy's girl and spent the majority of her time being mouthy and glaring at me.

But, like an amazing switch, we suddenly connected! Not kidding. At almost 18, we are best friends, we get along great, she shares everything about her life with me, and I totally trust her. She didn't become the horrid, rebelious teen I once feared. So, there is totally hope for you. :-)