After one week of freedom from school, I've settled into a different mode. I'm not on the defensive, the constant watch, the head-off-any-signs-of-breakdown-mode. I'm feeling more relaxed.
Well, I was.
We were free from bedtime issues, free from crying breakdowns and temper tantrums. Until today.
R and L were playing with Lego, and I don't know what happened, they were having a normal sibling disagreement. I could hear R trying to reason with L, and in all fairness, he's a great big brother that puts up with far more than most brothers do. He tries as much as he can to be patient, and I really think that he's a lot more patient than most nearly-12-yr-olds are.
I went into the room, and things weren't too heated yet. So I thought I'd interrupt before they got that way, and told them both to please get dressed. L stood up, and whipped a piece of Lego at the wall. And I got angry.
I yelled at him, despite my promise to myself of not doing that anymore. But like I said, I've gone off the defensive, which unfortunately has led me to my old ways I think. I yelled that that was unacceptable, and he would soon lose his privilege of the Lego if that kept up. Things then did get heated, only I was the one heating up. I got mad again when I saw that he'd rifled through his clothes drawer making every neatly folded piece of clothing a rumpled mess. I said some things I shouldn't have, like to "smarten up" and "what are you crying about?" - things that aren't necessarily that bad for a mom to say to any normal misbehaving nine year old. But my temper forgets that he's not normal. Even when my rational brain is screaming at me to stop, take a breath, and calm down, my temper takes over.
The more I think about it, L and I are so alike in so many ways. He worries, I worry. We both worry about stuff that will likely never happen. He's hot-headed, I'm hot-headed. He's down on himself, and really, so am I. We're so alike in all the things and ways that I don't like about myself. We clash - terribly.
I often have these momentary thoughts that I wish I wasn't his mother. That I wish he had been born to someone else. And then my guilt kicks in and I think about how horrible that sounds. Nobody said life was easy, but parenting him is something else. It's so hard. And I often think that I shouldn't be his mom. I'm not helping the situation at all, we aggravate each other and I often make things worse.
R and L are very different. I think that makes it harder sometimes, because I look at R and think, "Why can't L be more like him?" R gets straight A's. I don't have to bug him to do homework. He's so smart and gets new concepts easily. He barely misbehaves, and when he does, he's corrected and usually turns it around quickly. He does chores and other stuff when I tell him to. He doesn't complain. He doesn't whine. Every teacher that's ever had him in their class, comes to me to tell me how much they love him. He's such a great kid that it makes being around L so drastic in comparison. In some ways, that's worse, but mostly it's better. It means I only have to worry about one kid, but also means that R doesn't get enough of the attention that he often deserves.
Well, as you can read, I'm having a rough day. Lots of negativity here. Lots of questioning my own parenting, my own worthiness. I just wish I could snap out of it, that I could snap L out of it. I wish I could see, for more than a few minutes, the real L. The one that is happy, creative, loving and smart. He's gone into hiding. I've seen a bit more of this L once school ended, but the other L is back, and he needs to be the one in hiding.