Why Do I Always Ruin Things?

Before I get started, I just want to say that I know I am a horrible, ungrateful person. With that caveat out of the way, here we go.

My house has a giant tub of Legos (many of which are Star Wars sets) that I got used on craigslist. I have a hard enough time keeping track of those pieces so we don’t pull them out much. Besides, Cookie Monster is barely four. He plays just fine with the Duplos.

Well, I just pissed off my mom because she bought Cookie Monster this huge plane Lego set for $100+ and we already have a ton. Now Cookie Monster wants to build it and Hapa Papa has to cuz I sure as fuck don’t want to.

None of us want to.

And I’m annoyed because now I have to find room for this shit and she didn’t buy Gamera a birthday present but she bought Cookie Monster one!!! Good thing Gamera thinks it’s her Lego set too. (The benefits of me forcing them to share everything. My house is Communist central.)

My mom said I could return it. REALLY? How can I return it after she has shown the thing to him?!? She says I take all the fun out of giving gifts. Blargh. I know I’m an ass but wtf. Boo.

Then let’s say he actually builds the damn thing. There is no way he’ll let me take it apart. So wtf am I supposed to do with it?! I fucking hate Lego sets.

I am a horrible, ungrateful person.

She did this I bet because she feels jealous that Hapa Papa’s mom buys them crap every time she visits. She tried to justify it by saying Cookie Monster’s love languages are presents and time.

Really? So we have to give him even more stuff now? (Rants the person who has like a million toys stuffed away for the kids to share for Christmas.)

To top it off, Cookie Monster’s birthday party is this weekend and despite me saying “No Gifts,” about a third will bring gifts anyway. Which he will rip through with Gamera with great delight (as well as remember who gave him what with startling clarity).

All this to say I may have the kids give some of their Christmas presents to Toys for Tots before I give them anything. Thin the present pile out a little.

I know. My heart is apparently two sizes too small.

Wait, so am I the only person who hates Lego sets? I’d much rather they just play whatever and make their own designs. Or am I missing something? (Besides a soul.)

So, now that I’ve shot off my mouth ill-advisedly, I feel awful. I ALWAYS do this to my mother and my MIL when they get presents for my kids. I get annoyed and mad and instead of just SHUTTING MY GORRAM MOUTH AND SAYING, “THANK YOU.” I am a jerk and then feel bad. Then, I try to soften my criticisms with belated gratefulness, but really, that’s just like taking a fat shit on a cake and then complimenting the cake and trying to eat it but all the while, THERE IS SHIT ON THE CAKE. I’ve ruined the present and the giving and nothing I can do will fix what I’ve spoiled.

I am utterly selfish.

If someone else other than my mother or my MIL gave my kids these presents, I’d be over the moon to their face. Effusive in thanks and excitement. But instead, I rob my family of the joy of giving.

Even before I open my mouth, I feel a minor struggle about whether or not to say anything but before my common sense can intervene and help me be a good person, I barf out meanness. *sigh* Because I am a mean person, people.

Just by saying this, people may comment and say, “No, you’re not mean!” and perhaps cite all sorts of evidence. But truthfully, I am nice to people who are not my immediate family. They can choose to not be your friend in an instant and I want people to like me. But my mom or MIL? They’re stuck with me for LIFE, suckers! So, I don’t bother being kind at all. I am an ass of monumental proportions. A selfish, cruel ass.

*SIGH*

Sin is hard on a person’s ego.

My Children Are Not Me

Every now and then it hits me. My children are actual people. With their own thoughts and ideas and opinions and preferences. That are completely separate from me. Also, possibly, their thoughts might not be aligned with my own.

They’re only 3.75, 2, and 9 weeks old! How are they not thinking what I want them to?

But the WEIRDEST thing of all for me is to realize that my kids have FEELINGS. And that I can hurt their feelings. 🙁 In other words, not only are they people, they are persons. I don’t know why that makes a difference to me, but it does.

Yesterday, I was not proud of how I handled a situation with Cookie Monster. I basically yelled at him to hurry up, eat, and to stop annoying me. Multiple times. And every time I yelled at him, he would cry or shut down. Then I would yell at him to stop crying. (Because being yelled at to stop crying always makes it easier to stop.) While I was yelling, I knew I was being a complete jackass and tried to stop. I even walked away a few times. I would come back reasonable for like, five seconds, and as soon as Cookie Monster wasn’t behaving exactly like I wanted him to, I started yelling at him again.

Finally, I yelled so much at him that even though he had two more bites to finish his dinner and then revel in the glorious tastiness that is dark chocolate covered pretzels, he decided that he no longer wanted them and headed upstairs. He gave up something he really wanted because his jerk of a mother made the price of obtaining it too high.

I felt terrible. I apologized for yelling (but not for wanting him to finish his dinner). Helped him finish the dinner and gave him 1.5 pretzels. (He wanted more but he was really being a pill so I didn’t give him as many as he originally would’ve gotten if he had just eaten his GD dinner already.)

The rest of the evening went pretty good. However, when it came to bedtime, he kept wanting me (even though I was taking care of Glow Worm). Hapa Papa cuddled with him a long time, but Cookie Monster just wanted me. I went into his room, held him and hugged him and just looked at my beautiful boy and listened to his day, said his prayers with him, and enjoyed his company. After that, he was perfectly fine with me leaving and him falling asleep on his own.

I keep forgetting that my boy is a person in his own right and not just an extension of myself. I forget that when I yell at him and put all this pressure on him that he crumbles (who wouldn’t?) and digs in and just cries and cries and cries and is pretty much incapable of hearing anything I say to him let alone doing anything I want him to do. I forget that after I’ve done so, he needs extra cuddles and attention from me to reassure him that the center of his universe still loves him and adores him and thinks he is important and that what he has to say is important. 

I feel like shit. I am so humbled. I’m a pile of humbled shit.

But it is a good reminder that my children have feelings – and that they are capable of being hurt. That my words and attitude and behavior matter to them. And that even when I’m a complete asshole to my Cookie Monster and the cause of his pain, he still looks to me to relieve him of that pain.

Both Cookie Monster and Gamera come to me for comfort even if I am the one who just spanked them or slapped them lightly on the hand. I only have to barely tap Gamera’s hand and she’ll burst into tears. There is no way that she is even in any pain! But despite that, they will come to me and say, “Ow!” even though I’m the one who caused the owie! And then, all it takes is for my all-mighty kiss on their owie and all is forgiven and healed. In fact, I think I’m forgiven even before I kiss them.

I have to remember that their trust in me is precious. That I have to take great care not to abuse that trust and to earn and keep it every day.

Not that I have to be perfect. I mess up quite often and have to apologize a lot to my kids. However, the over-arching consistency to my behavior has to be kind, understanding, and good so that when I do royally screw the pooch, they are still secure in the knowledge of my love and that my blow up is more the exception than the rule.

In the past, I would yell at my kids and say that Mommy was mad and not happy. Now, every time they sense I’m about to scream at them or am taking deep cleansing breaths, one of them will ask, “You happy, Mama? You happy?” That usually knocks some sense into me. How sad that my own children are checking in with me to make sure I’m happy – as if that is what they should be concerned about (or even what is ultimately the point of the Universe). I am now far more careful about what I say.

Also, I really have to stop saying, “I don’t care!” when they are whining at me because even though it is true that I don’t care at the moment, I never want my kids to think that I really don’t care. I am reminded of a thing I saw on Facebook about parenting small children. (One of the few times I read a meme and didn’t want to punch the poster in the face.)

Here’s the gist: If we ignore our children when they are small because what they tell us doesn’t seem “important,” we are guaranteeing that our kids won’t share the truly important things to us when they are older. Why? Because the “unimportant” things they told us when they were small were actually important to them.

Anyhow, this post is just to remind myself to not be such a jerk to my kids. How sad that this requires a reminder. Maybe I just have a case of the Mondays. Tuesday will be better!