It was just one of those extended parenting weekends. I knew it was coming. I tried to pad it with play dates. But there’s something about the combo of the Daddy cat being gone that makes the mouse want to play knick knack paddy whack on Mommy’s nerves.
Those long weekends are like a sentence to Mommy madness. Without the scheduled structure that school provides, the children begin to careen about with their minds, bodies, behavior, and voices desperately searching for walls to connect with to stop them. And fearful they won’t find them, they ramp it up for the next run.
I had come out of the gate strong and employed several condoned parenting techniques to sway the tides back into my favor. I employed the
- “What other choice could you have made in this situation?” tactic when he made a bad choice. And he seemed to clearly comprehend he’d had another choice and felt empowered.
- When he pestered me with numerous “pleases”, I asked if he thought that tactic was working. And then explained he was achieving the opposite result he wanted. I urged him to accept his fate and enjoy the rest of the time he had doing whatever it was he was doing. The pestering please episodes happened at least three times.
- I employed humor to distract him and move forward from the place of stuck. I did this many many times signing off-key made up songs about Pokemons and making silly faces and talking in character.
And when I realized we were discussing the points system he’d asked to be re-enacted and we were on the point value of telling your mother you loved her, I lost it. We had driven home from the store in this mode and he couldn’t find his shoe to get out of the car to help me. I was “empty hospital Mommy”. I had no more patience. And when he insisted asking me if I was feeling ok after my temper tantrum, I explained that was also annoying and wasn’t helping his case any.
The mental Mommy beatings continued because negative behavior is just as good as positive behavior when you need a quick fix to prove your power and worth. I said I was obviously failing his tests because he kept retesting me over and over.
And by this morning of the last day, as the large baby inside me is either moving my belly skin in the most uncomfortable way or causing me to feel sick to my stomach, I am at the point where even my child’s cutting of his French toast unnerves me. It’s the, “We’ve spent too much time together and I can’t listen to him chew” scenario.
Thank the heavens tomorrow is a school day. And I will be eight hours free of his knuckle cracking throat clearing jinxing spastic self. And I can get something done to feel better about my worth. Because surviving the weekend does not actually make me feel like a good parent.