As with most things in life, sometimes parenting is a little bit harder than the day before. For whatever reason, yesterday was a tough parenting day for me in much the same way as sometimes, my afternoon run feels like the hardest thing in the world.
And by 7 pm, boy, the parenting thing was wearing me out.
It started as soon as I picked F up from preschool and (foolishly) told him I had a sprinkle donut in the car for him. He wanted it immediately. I don’t want sprinkles in the backseat of my newly vacuumed car. He decided that I was a terrible mom, and told me.
Then, when we parked the car at the apartment, I offered up his donut and reminded him that he could not eat it in his bedroom. He reconsidered whether I was the worst mom or if my rules were just slightly inconvenient. Then I offered up some fruit or berries or veggies as a little snack until dinner was ready. He declined. I popped our meal in the oven, and hopped on my yoga mat. (Fit fitness in, friends!) He immediately needed me for everything, ever.
Finally, after dinners had been consumed and I realized I’d somehow gained four pounds and decided a 45 minute cardio burst was in order, F turned nasty. My reasonable self knows that he was tired. That self offered to help him get into his jammies, turn on a show and let him climb into bed for a while. He didn’t want to.
I hate you. I want a new Mom. A better Mom.
And then it happened. I was 10 minutes into my workout and beaten down by a five-year-old. After three hours of ignoring his mean words, I turned to him and asked him what his problem was.
“You’re being a jerk, Finley. How would you feel if I said all of these mean things to you? Or if your friends said those things?”
He shouted something to the effect of FINE THEN I HATE YOU before stomping down the hallway into his room. He emerged shortly after I’d made it past the 30 minute mark on my workout and quietly sat on the couch. He asked what I was doing, and why, and could he try it too. After I’d showered, we discussed his behaviour and why he’d been so angry. I apologized for calling him a jerk, because name-calling isn’t cool, but told him that it was the only way to sum up his behaviour.
Because, really F is not a jerk. He’s a sweet, loving, hilarious, energetic, happy, adventurous, amazing and intelligent little boy who had a bad day. And that’s OK.