The Occasional Failure: My Life as a Parent

I need to get something off my chest. Sometimes I couldn’t give a damn about the newest art project Saidee brings me. Sure, I love the sweet attempts at spelling. Sure, I love the script that is slanted slightly upwards. But, damn how many pictures of hearts, peace signs, and flowers does one mom need? My daughter is a paper hoarder. Her room is a disaster and filled with pages of computer paper, construction paper, print outs, and coloring books. Each page has been deemed a masterpiece by her, and we cannot get rid of it.

I worry that this makes me a horrible parent and instead of tiger mom I may be sloth mom. My children are bright and articulate and truly good humans. They display problem-solving skills and humility. Overall, I have been an okay parent, but I am starting to get older and perhaps a little weary. As Saidee climbs out of the car each morning she makes an open heart symbol with her hands and says, “This means love, Momma.” I reply, “I know baby, and I love you too.” My question is who is the asshole that taught her the open heart thing? I know I didn’t teach it to her, but someone did, and that person will need to raise this child if I find Instagram pictures of her making duck face and doing the heart thing.

Every morning after the heart symbol she climbs out of the van, her Hello Kitty backpack on her shoulders. A line of cars sits patiently behind us as empty Diet Coke bottles and Egg McMuffin wrappers blow from the open van door. I understand that what I am going to say is a gross exaggeration, a hyperbole if you will, but the child climbs out of the van as if I drive a monster truck. I smile and wish her a good day all the while thinking, “Damn, just get out of the van.”

I love being a parent. I truly do. It is just that I am tired. All day, every day I make decisions about people’s lives. Some of these are clients and some are family. I try to keep a house clean enough that a social service isn’t beating down my door. I try to make sure everyone has clean underwear for the next day. I try to make sure everyone is fed. I try to be a good employee, friend, mother, daughter, wife, and sister. But sometimes I just want to yell, “NO! I WILL NOT GET YOU A DRINK. NO! I WILL NOT PUT ON PBSKIDS.COM. NO! I WILL NOT MAKE YOU SOMETHING ELSE TO EAT.” I just want to sit here and watch the last 20 minutes of Veronica Mars in peace. Sometimes I just want to be alone, if even for 20 minutes.

On Saturdays, Saidee stands next to my bed till I wake up. She wakes me up with a sheer force of will.

“Momma, I’m hungry.”

“Okay, eat a Pop tart.”

“You bought the weird ones.”

“Okay, I’ll be up in a few minutes.”

“Momma, I’m thirsty.”

“Drink water.”

“I want Diet Diet Mew Mew.”

“Saidee you can’t have Diet Mountain Dew for breakfast.”

“Why?”

“Cause I said so.”

“Why?”

“Baby, I’ll be up in a minute.”

“Will you put on baby shows for me?”

This will continue until her bedtime.  As a parent I want to promise Saidee that I will not let her wear pants with words across the ass. I promise to watch her next dance routine. I promise to make up and sing silly songs. I promise to let her eat a tub of Cool Whip with her finger. I promise to let her be a kid. I promise to be a perfectly imperfect parent, but sometimes I just want to be alone. Sometimes I want to yell, “Just go the eff to sleep.” Super mom I am not.

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One thought on “The Occasional Failure: My Life as a Parent

  1. Im not either! OMG I feel the same way too. I just want to be alone to re-charge my batteries. That is the only way I re-charge my energy, just to get enough to be able to handle another day!

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