Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Float Like a Butterfly, Kick Like a Mom
Some days parenting is just HARD. I’m not talking about the stuff you do on a daily basis, although just taking care of kids and making sure they’re fed and clothed and safe takes a Herculean effort. Add in the time it takes to give them the basic skills they need to survive in life and that’s another ten hours a day on the clock.
But usually raising kids (at least in our house) is more about crowd control than having to do any heavy lifting. Other days there’s a lot more to figure out. As in, our kid is doing THIS, so what do we do about THAT? As in, what the HELL would make him think THAT was okay and what do we DO about it? As in, if he doesn’t knock it off NOW I may completely lose my SHIT. This was one of those days.
A day for my caps key, apparently.
Sometimes I just don’t handle my job too well. Today one of the boys screwed up (I’m not talking heroin addiction or anything, but it was definitely something that needed to be nipped in the bud) and I have to say: I didn’t parent AT ALL. I simply reacted, and not well. Because today I had a first: I actually kicked my son’s butt. In the literal sense. I was angry at his actions and when he walked by I lifted my foot and booted him in the butt. I’m not sure who was more surprised – him or me.
Okay, it was probably him.
I cringe thinking about it now, although it must be said that Joe and I are not anti-spanking. We’ve been known to give the kids a rare swat or two. But I can say without a doubt this was the first official ass kicking and I’m not proud of it. (I’m not saying it didn’t make me feel a little better at the time. I’m just saying I’m not particularly proud of it NOW.)
Once the dust had settled (and the sting had gone out of his butt) we had a civil discussion and figured things out. I’m not saying he won’t screw up again – he will, and in many different ways I’m sure. And I’m not saying I’ll always react appropriately. But next time I doubt there will be any butt-kicking involved. I guess we both learned something today. And as horrified as I sometimes am about my sons’ actions, I can’t tell you how many times people say to me, “you have the NICEST boys”.
I guess the beatings are working.