The straw that broke the camel’s back tonight at dinner was Luke gagging on some peas. I don’t know why, but it just sent me over the edge. And I yelled. For a couple of minutes. Totally not proud of that.
Immediately, of course, I felt awful. And after dinner was cleaned up, I called a family meeting. The children had no idea what was happening.
I told them that we are a team, and that I needed them to be a better part of the team, and:
-That they needed to come to the table when I called them. The first time. (To be fair, I always give a warning that dinner’s in x minutes, so that it doesn’t just come as a surprise that they have to stop what they’re doing.)
-That I was sick and tired of the complaining about what I make for dinner. I explained that I can’t always make their favorites, and I can’t always make crappy food like chicken nuggets and pizza (believe me, they are a regular part of the rotation; but I can’t serve them every night). Matt told them that someday they’d appreciate that their mom made a variety of things. And the gagging on peas? Please.
-That I shouldn’t have yelled, and asked for their forgiveness. Luke took the brunt of what was a bunch of things all built up, and that isn’t fair. I did further explain myself though, and asked if he thought maybe it was a bad idea to try to eat too many peas at once, thus gagging on a food he’s (reluctantly) eaten since he was 1. He agreed.
-That attitudes needed adjusting around here. I looked directly at Bennett and said something to the effect of him needing to get a better outlook and drop the stomping and eyerolling and door-slamming. Facebook friends know that yesterday was rough, culminating in me being crowned “The Worst Mom in the Whole Wide World” or something really prestigious like that. He nodded in assent to my comments, and after a couple of minutes, these very poignant words came out of his mouth:
“I am going to have to change my whole life.”
At this point, I looked at Matt because I was doing a very poor job of stifling my laughter and declared the meeting over.
We hugged it out, and all was well. The boys played a little Wii, and they all went to bed without incident.
Seriously, nothing prepares you for the dailyness of this parenting gig.
And there are days when it all piles up on you, and out of nowhere, you blow a gasket. I know it means you’re human. I know it’s a sin. I know it’s an excellent time to show your children what it means to be sorry for your actions and to ask for forgiveness. But it still feels rotten and leaves you praying you haven’t permanently scarred your children over a mouthful of peas.
Tomorrow is a new day. What’s that verse? “…His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Counting on it.