Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Gone Cry

Sometimes I feel such overwhelming mom guilt.

Yesterday I was trying to get Judah ready for bed and he once again acted up and refused to cooperate.  He wiggled around and absolutely refused to let me put his overnight diapers on.  Diaper creams, powders, flailing toddler kicks--it was a total mess.  And then it was another WWF wrestling match to get his pajamas on.

Then when it came time to brush his teeth he would not open his mouth.  Or he would open it and chomp down on the toothbrush sucking out all the delicious sweet toothpaste and very deftly avoided having the brush touch any tooth surface.  Such a talented kid.

Throughout each of these struggles, I'd tell him he needs to be a good boy or else he's going to get a time out.  And do you know how he responded?  By repeating "I a bad boy!  I bad boy!  I want timeout!"

At the peak of this rebellion I just lost it.  I yelled at him--JUDAH, OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND GIVE ME THE TOOTHBRUSH.  NOWWWWWW!!!!!!

Something in my tone must've startled him (or maybe it was the sheer volume) because his eyes instantly welled up with tears.  But instead of crying he just looked at me with his eyes brimming.

If he had just cried and wailed I wouldn't have felt so bad.  It would've been just a normal reflexive reaction to the yelling.

But instead he looked at me and did something I never saw him do before.  He said, "Mommy, I gone cry."

Why was he telling me this?  Why not just cry? 

It felt like he was asking for permission.  Like he wanted to cry but was afraid that I'd get upset if he did.  Like he was trying to be brave and not upset me but he wanted me to know that I hurt his feelings.

The pitifulness of it all just broke my heart.  All night long as I was drifting to sleep I ruminated and replayed his little voice saying--Mommy, I gone cry.

It's so funny how parents know when it's ok for their child to be crying and when it's not.  When I'm calmly dishing out discipline to Judah and he cries his head off, I feel nothing but rightness about the situation.  I told you the consequence, you chose to disobey and now you are suffering the pain of those consequences.

And then there are times I feel nothing but guilt.  The rage, the blown fuse, the completely frayed last nerve standing.

Nothing makes me understand like a whirling dervish toddler that, indeed, patience is a virtue...of which I have so little.


CP said...

I totally know that feeling! That feeling when you just lost your cool, acted a little too harshly, and your child looks crushed. It sucks.

Being a disciplinarian is so freaking hard!

Anonymous said...

so sad!

but i have to ask, do you ever follow through with any of your "threats" to him? if he wasn't listening and said he wanted to sit in the corner, then he probably should have been sitting in the corner. they get smart, they know when they have the upper hand on an adult and will take advantage of it.