July 30th, 2010
Man I feel like a crappy mom. I’ve taken to yelling lately (and not so lately) and it’s become my parenting technique. I’m so challenged by Toots especially and just don’t know what to do with her. So I yell. I have no parenting tools I guess. She talks circles around me and argues with everything I say and I don’t have good answers and I get frustrated and shout.
And every time I do, I think of Robin McGraw (Phil’s wife) who when asked if she ever yelled at her two sons looked properly aghast and disgusted and could barely stammer out an affronted “NO. Never.” Which just made me feel even crappier and like the mayor of Yellville located in the dark land of Yellekestein.
Then there’s the fact that I am probably destroying Toots’ self esteem. You know, because I make her feel like everything she does is wrong because I yell all the time. Also today I threw a brush. Not AT her, not even near her, but out of pure despair and freaking frustration. I’d asked her to get the brush located by our front door and brush her hair before bible camp (don’t even get me started on how God thinks I suck) and she said, “I’m scared” And I said, “I’m 10 feet away from the front door. You can see me from the front door. What are you scared of?”
“Just scared,” she said.
Meanwhile, visions of being late and having to make breakfast and getting money for the children in Uganda and putting on deodorant before we could leave the house circled my head and I screamed, “GET THE BRUSH! THERE IS NOTHING TO BE SCARED OF! I’M RIGHT HERE!”
And she said, “I’m scared.”
Well I hear this a lot. She says it when I ask her to go to the bathroom by herself or get dressed or put something away. I understandish it somewhat. If I ask her to go upstairs for an item and I am downstairs, I get it. But when the item to be retrieved is 10 feet away from me and my hands are full and I just need her to get the dang brush already…
So I did what any self-respecting maniac mom who presides over the evil land of Yellekestein would do. I marched to the console table by the front door, grabbed the brush and threw it at the ground. Where it promptly broke making me look even more like a maniac. And then I collected myself kind of and said, “Please put on your shoes. It’s time to go.”
Whereupon she ignored me and so did Booger and I threatened to take them to bible camp without shoes on. Because? I’m a soulless harpie.
Now they’re at camp — with shoes on and hair brushed — and I feel like a loser.
Am I ruining them with my maniacal momming?
Worse, Toots just dedicated her most recent book — Mummy Legends (It starts: “There is a legend. A mummy was born.”) — to me, and I totally don’t deserve it. I deserve the dedication for the book she’ll promote on TV one day…the one where she writes about her shattered self esteem and hair brush phobia.
In all seriousity, I feel like the lowest of the low. Please share with me your techniques for disciplining your child without resorting to being a maniac.