Tuesday, February 6, 2007

go ahead, give me a shove

Spending the last five minutes you have with your kids before school shrieking at them doesn't feel especially good. It actually isn't all that satisfying no matter how much time I have with them. But for whatever reason (I'm an obsessive shrew of a mom?), I can't seem to help bellowing the same old lecture whenever there's another round of Paige wailing about Mason making weird noises that he thinks she should be able to ignore, even though he's doing it six inches from her ear while they're brushing teeth. Wanna hear it? Here it goes: "What is going on? You're supposed to brushing teeth, there should be no sound, NONE! And when you want him to stop doing something, tell him that instead of whining. And YOU stop making noises just to annoy her! Why would you need to make noises while you're brushing teeth? It doesn't make sense! Just brush your teeth, two minutes, in and out, no noises, no nothing! Do you understand what I'm saying??" At this point, Paige has scooted out of the bathroom and shouts from the top of the stairs, "THE BUS IS HERE!!"

Now, a good mom would forget the nonsense and kiss her children while gently pushing them out the door. This mom continues the rant, yelling "HURRY!" down the stairs, which gives Mason license to yell the same at his poor panicking sister. There is no kissing or hugging, although I did try to sound less tyrannical when I shouted "Have a good day!"

Because God is good, Paige noticed Mason was still wearing his slippers, so he had to come back in to change. I was able to tell her (still shouting) "Thanks, nice job letting him know!" while she ran to the bus. Somehow, this mishap calmed Mason (I think he actually likes being able to race to the other bus stop sometimes - it enhances his goofball persona) and he returned to the house being grateful to Paige for pointing out his mistake. I took the opportunity to apologize to him for the tirade and asked him to tell Paige I was sorry for yelling at her, too. I remember spending an entire school day being mad at my mom & dad, dreaming I was adopted and that my real parents would find me soon, and it made my stomach hurt. We don't want any of that.

While brushing my teeth (quietly), I picked up the Anne Lamott book I'm reading and found this line, describing her approach to her son when he was sad and mad about something: "I stayed close enough so he could push me away." I sobbed for a solid minute - and believe me, it is hard to cry and brush; I honestly do not get how my kid can make noises and clean his teeth properly. Luckily, there was no one around with whom I had to pretend I wasn't crying.