Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shame on You

Dear ghkcole,

I've had it with you. This morning I thought I'd write a pissed off letter to the president, but you know what? You make me angrier than his education "plan." After all, at least he's hopeful, working hard to make change, and tackling big stuff (albeit misguidedly with a woefully ignorant idea about standardized testing and teacher "rewards"). You, on the other hand:
1. break your promises 2. dwell on the negative, showing little or no sense of perspective 3. are mean. Someone needs to put you in your place.

Let's start with those promises, shall we? Perhaps you might recall early fall of 2003. I know I do. You were pregnant, and you had some spotting. You negotiated passionately with the universe: if you could just have a healthy baby, you would do ANYTHING, accept anything, work so hard... well, you got a healthy baby. Yes, maybe he grew into a child with autism, (possibly due to either choices you made -- the article on the risk of too many ultrasounds struck a nerve, no? -- or through your own genetics that you've always known to be suspect) but you have a child who can enjoy the world in his own ways. And do you try to enjoy him as much as you should? No. You got what you asked for, and you didn't live up to your end of the bargain. And do you remember the next fall? When a beautiful little girl you loved from a family you love left us all forever? And you promised to always cherish your family, to make the most of every day, to appreciate what you have? PROMISE BREAKER. I know you remember these things, but you sure don't act like it, do you, Mrs. Pity Party?

This dwelling thing -- OH, don't get me STARTED. I am so FURIOUS with you. This morning your little boy woke up, came to you, and pulled you down the hall, saying, "Mommy, come check out my room." You, in your typical fashion, asked what thing he'd done to his room, assuming catastrophe. Instead, when he opened his still dark room to show you the constellations all around from the two night lights he put on together for the first time ever, you had the best morning surprise ever. When he pulled you down into his bean bag chair, you should have felt enough goodness to get you through MOUNDS of crap later in the day, even the week, the month. A morning under the stars with your beautiful child should have put enough in your stamina bank at least to cancel out the calls to and from schools and ists, the kids melting down at the end of the long day, and the bumpy ride home. That is, it should have been enough for a good mom. You, however, were just MEAN, and that brings us to my third point.

Since when have you EVER thought it okay to mutter under your breath negativity about your children in their presence? And do you really think it's okay to have contempt in your voice when your child struggles with potty training problems? Let me tell you this so maybe you get it, toots: He. Has. Autism. Yes, he knows how to use the toilet, but that doesn't mean you can expect him to just do it. This could take a mighty long time, and longer if you keep failing the way you did today. Autism, babe, deal with it. It is what it is. It might be someone's fault or no one's fault or society's fault, but surely, surely, surely it is not your child's fault, and when you freak out over this toilet business, it not only does not help him, it probably HURTS him. Chill OUT, and fast. Or I am going to stop being your best friend. And let's face it, you need me.



Niksmom said...

Ouch. Please don't beat yourself up for being human and having shitty days where you aren't exactly the mom-of-the-year. We've all been there and done or said things in front of our kids that we're ashamed of.

Make amends where/if possible, forgive yourself and move on, my friend.

Sending hugs. Lots of hugs. xo

pixiemama said...

Indeed. Shame on you for pointing the finger at yourself, just as many of us have - over and over again. I'm sorry you're disappointed in yourself. But I think you're swell, even though you have done some of the things we all swore we would never do to our children (muttering negative talk? yeah - i'm a pro at that one.)

You are Rooster's mama. He takes you the way you are. Peaches too.

Feel better.


ghkcole said...

Oh, PBear wrote me the kindest note, and on my iphone I have some glitch and I accidentally rejected it. Sorry, PBear. Thank you for what you said:

PBear has left a new comment on your post "Shame on You":

you are WAY TOO HARD on yourself.

You don't have to be perfect. You don't even have to come close. No one does, or can. And it will be ok in spite of it. Enjoy what you can, and don't feel that the enjoyable parts are supposed to make you appreciate the bad parts - it doesn't work that way.

Enjoy what you can, make it through the rest. That's all any of us can do, and certainly all that is expected of you.

Hugs :-)

Melissa said...

Yes ... what everyone else said. We understand. Please don't be so hard on yourself. ((((((hugs))))))

redheadmomma said...

I so very much hope you feel better than you did when you wrote this. I thank you for blogging this - it makes me not feel like such a shitty-ass mother sometimes when I don't take the high road with my kids (and if you had seen the way I was acting with my out of control children in front of a Panera in Tustin a couple days ago, you'd have thought I was a completely shitty-ass mother too). We all have those moments. And I think it's asking too much of yourself, in your frequent sleep-deprived state, that one wonderful experience should negate or somehow be enough for the frustrations & trials of the rest of your day, week, month.

And I don't know if this helps, but I will say again - Noah was not potty trained in #1 until 4.5, and not trained in #2 until 5.5. It takes a while to catch on. It's okay. He WILL get it. Wait, is this about the school that he has to be potty trained for? Is it the external timeclock that's getting so much traction? (I had one of those too, with Maya, and it was NO FUN.) Talk to us more about that if you like, we'll listen. We understand.

lots and lots of good juju to you, R