I’ve been super cranky lately and have reverted back to yelling at the kids. Still yelling less than before, but more than I am happy with. Especially since it reminds me of sad childhood memories.
Part of it is because I’ve been making unwise sleeping choices and three weeks of crappy sleep are taking its toll. (Mental note: Go to sleep!) Another part is that Gamera has become extremely stubborn and willful. Now, everyone has always told me that Gamera is super stubborn but I wasn’t sure if she was more stubborn than your average kid or if it was a gendered comment like “bossy.” For instance, perhaps if she’d been a boy, instead of being stubborn, people would say she’s decisive, sticks to her guns, independent, or even unphased by peer-pressure. After all, Cookie Monster can also be stubborn and no one ever tells me, “Oh, you have to watch out for that one.”
However, I now see that Gamera takes stubbornness to another level. Gamera would cut off her nose to spite her face. The other day, she refused to eat breakfast and no threats or bribes would sway her. In fact, she chose to miss out on a birthday party rather than give into me.
I was livid. Then, as I mulled it over, I realized she was exactly like me when I was little. Karma’s a bitch.
When I was younger, anytime my father tried to force me to his will, I would dig in. I would rather suffer any punishment just to be right and make him regret trying to control me. Some of it was justified. My father was a bully and a control freak. (Doh! This is sounding familiar.) He would yell, “I know what you are thinking! Stop it!” He would actually punish me for my alleged thoughts. That’s ridiculous. A person should have the freedom to think whatever the fuck they want.
I remember once when I was around six or seven and I was drowning my food in soy sauce. My father said I needed to use less or I would have to drink a mug of soy sauce. I chose to drink a mug of soy sauce. Then, I proceeded to vomit all over him and his bathroom. To this day, I take immense satisfaction and think the barfing was totally worth it.
Another time, I yelled something about freedom (as stupid teenagers are wont to do) and my father said I didn’t even know what that word meant. He told me I could either apologize or copy the definition out of the dictionary one hundred times. Do we even need to guess what I chose? My father had to force me to stop copying the definition over and over again. I took sadistic pleasure in martyring myself to hurt him.
In fact, I often chose to deny myself food or cut myself, or take a bunch of pills or cut up my own picture or jewelry he gave me all in an effort to punish him. A way to physically say, “You’ll be sorry!” Although, in retrospect, who was I hurting, really? Certainly, not him! I was young and stupid and in a lot of pain for nothing.
Also, my father really was a prick.
So anyway, Gamera refused to eat her breakfast for about four days in a row. Some people would just tell me to change up her breakfast from oatmeal to anything else. But you know what? I can be stubborn, too. I was not going to change things up just because she didn’t want to eat oatmeal. When she’s grown or can make her own food, she can eat whatever the hell she wants. But until then: oatmeal it was.
Anyhow, I finally got so annoyed that I decided to serve her glue-like oatmeal for every single meal until she ate it. This girl lasted a whole entire day until 7:30pm. That is some iron will! Then she obligingly ate all her oatmeal. Since she was still hungry, I made her dinner as well. She didn’t want to eat the carrots and wanted more meat, but I told her she could get more meat if she just ate two carrots. I left for an outing and when I came back, her plate was completely licked clean – down to the last grain of rice – except for four, perfect carrots.
Hapa Papa asked my mother if I ever pulled the same stunt for refusing food and I cut in replying, “How do you think I learned the trick of serving the same food repeatedly until they eat? I have distinct memories of the same thing done to me!”
My mother just laughed.
My parents often tell a story of me refusing to eat my dinner and them leaving me in my high chair until I ate my dinner. When they came back downstairs to check in on me, I’d fallen asleep in the chair, mouth still full of food.
As they say, the Gamera doesn’t fall far from the tree. Blergh. Well, at least I know better than to force her to do anything. That would be guaranteed failure. I will just have to keep my inner control freak in check and not care what she chooses. After all, it is better for her to suffer the consequences of relatively minor things than whatever nonsense she’ll have to deal with when she’s older.
Sorry. That was quite the tangent.
Anyhow, back to why I’ve been so cranky.
The last reason, I think, is that I’m not getting what I want to do done during the day. I feel too much like I’ve gotten nothing accomplished and to be fair, I’ve slacked off a lot lately. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ve always been a slacker. Tiger Mom I am NOT. So I’ve come up with a list of things I’d like to do on any given day. Of course, the danger comes when I bite off more than I can chew and then I feel like even more of a failure. (Wait, I want to homeschool??)
I know I’ve got to slowly phase things in so they become a way of life/habit vs just something I do on the spur of the moment. sigh
Here’s my list of what I’d like to get done any given day:
1) Make and drink a smoothie. (For everyone in the family. That will take care of our vegetables.)
2) Write an hour.
3) Spend 15 minutes per subject teaching Cookie Monster: to read, basic math, and Chinese
4) Make at least one meal (that is not processed)
5) Clean for 15 minutes
6) Read the Bible
7) Have the kids play outside for at least 30 minutes.
8) Read at least 3 books to the kids. (Sadly, something I hate doing. I’m a jerk.)
Other things I’d like to build into the family schedule and make time for:
1) Hiking/walking outdoors and naturey stuff (like camping)
2) Cherry picking/strawberry picking/farm related activities
This will be My Grand Experiment to see if I can do this. If I can for a month or more, I think I have a decent shot at making homeschooling work. Wish me luck – if only for my children’s sake! Seomtei