perfect kid vs gestapo mom


Last night the husband noticed some wallpaper had mysteriously gone missing on one of the bathroom walls, the one the kids take a bath in before bed each night.

Ironically (you’ll see why later), he blamed Sammy initially… although I was leaning towards Jenna. This morning, as I rushed through the routine of feeding the kids, and packing up for his school and my work, I questioned Sammy as the husband made his coffee and listened.

“Did you peel off the wallpaper in daddy’s bathroom?”

Big eyed silence is what I get in return.

Then a very slow head shake, and a small voiced “No, Jenna did it.”

“Really??? You saw Jenna do it and you didn’t tell me?”

Now, I can already tell he’s lying. If he saw his sister doing ANYTHING he could tell on her for, he would be yelling for me in a heartbeat. And the big eyes… the big scared eyes of a little lying boy…..

I give him a few chances to come clean, he doesn’t. I pull out the God card, “you know God sees everything we do, right? You wouldn’t want to let Him see you lying, right?” And all the other stuff about how telling a lie is worse than the actual bad thing he might have done and does he want to just think again about what he’s saying??

Daddy steps in, as thought I’m the gestapo.

“No! He said he didn’t do it, he’s a good boy!” Lots of hugging from daddy, me rolling my eyes.

So poor Jenna is blamed, even though I know she didn’t do it. And there is no punishment, but still, it’s not sitting well with me. I need him to learn and understand that telling the lie, and throwing his sister under the bus isn’t how to handle getting caught. Even though, to daddy, his guilty appearance means absolutely nothing. Because he is perfect. Just like when he hits his little sister, and she screams at him, it’s HER fault for having a big mouth… not his for hitting her. This is what we deal with over here.

We are in the car for about 5 minutes when he admits he did it. I tell him we need to call Daddy and let him know so he doesn’t bother Jenna about it. As soon as I get the husband on the phone, Sammy starts to sob, and I get yelled at for terrorizing him, and he has the nerve to tell me that he probably only admitted it to stop being tortured by me. The guy still doesn’t believe he did it!

Now, he’s guilty for thinking Sammy’s perfect all the time… and I’m guilty for thinking he’s perfect sometimes but at least these moments bring me back to reality.

Although I fumed this morning, silently…. I decided to forgive him this afternoon and called to see how his day was going. He still likened me to a war criminal with cruel interrogation tactics. I can do nothing but tell him he is lucky to have me, or our perfect son would grow up thinking he truly can do no wrong.

I can deal with my son being a normal 5 year old. I can deal with my husbands rose-colored glasses. I will be the gestapo mom if I need to be, and perfectly thankful for the opportunity to do it.


A grand tradition

Sammy had another loose tooth. It’s been really hanging on for the last few days, despite the fact he could make it lie down in his mouth and we could see the tooth coming up under it. It just wouldn’t let go.

Yesterday it got to be a little much. He couldn’t chew anything because his top teeth kept hitting the loose one, and hurting him. I had to cut up everything for him, and still he didn’t want to chew. Got him a milkshake just for the calories.

Didn’t want to brush his teeth.

I half-heartedly tried to pull it out, but I know I choked at the last second and instead of pulling it, I just made it bleed.

I needed a professional.

Someone with impeccable references, who knows just the right way to handle a skittish kindergartner, still new to the tooth pulling game.

My dad.

The guy has decades of experience, and a box full of baby teeth to prove it.

He’s the one we went to when we couldn’t stand it anymore.

The great thing about it was, he was willing to pretend with you, like he was just going to wiggle it…. but we all knew what we wanted to happen.

There were 5 of us kids, so he had plenty of time to polish his skills. It went something like this…….

Someone would alert dad about the loose tooth. Usually the person suffering from it. It would be a dance back and forth, the kid wanting to show him, wanting him to ultimately pull it out, but afraid and so then backing up…. making him promise NOT to pull it out.

Ok…Ok  he’d say… I’ll just LOOK at it. Just wiggle it a little. He had to make sure it was ready, dad was never one to undertake the task prematurely.

He’d get the tissue, dry off the tooth, allow us to bob and weave away from the hand, talking softly and keeping calm so as not to spook us.

We’d work up to keeping our mouth open, letting him hold on to that tooth….and he’d place a steadying hand on a shoulder.

Probably with some internal countdown, 3….2….1….. YANK!  Suddenly, the hand is gone… the tooth……is gone!

And there would be dad, holding up the bloody tissue, with tooth nestled inside.

Of course, since we always pretended he wasn’t going to pull it, there was some excitement, jumping around, Oh my gosh, my tooth is out! Rinsing out with warm water, and proudly displaying the new space in our mouth.

It was such a relief.

So Sammy joined the ranks tonight. Stopped at dads for an emergency tooth pulling, he performed as brilliantly as always. Sammy came home and stuffed himself with snacks, grateful for the ability to chew without pain or care. Brushed teeth happily, went to bed smiling.

Another satisfied customer. toothaa

Mom failure

Sometimes things happen that remind me of my lack of perfection as a mom.

I know it may come as a surprise, but I have been known to make mistakes. Just ask my 14 year old.

And even more surprising, sometimes things happen that force me to remember that even my kids aren’t perfect.

Such is the week I’ve had.

One  example…. I just had a birthday. My 40th. It’s one of those milestone birthdays, if you’re into paying attention to that sort of thing.

I found a post from my oldest on my Facebook page.

Happiest of birthdays to my beautiful momma!!! I really don’t know what I would do without you, you’ve been my best friend for 18 years (except from ages 11-12 when I was a total psychopath; sorry about that).. there’s no one else I would rather tickle until they collapse and cry, or lip sync Sky Full of Stars to until I give myself whiplash..thanks for being the best mom out there and I hope you have an amazingly wonderfully awesome-sauce day

Rachel May's photo.
And so, there I was. Feeling pretty smug about the whole parenting thing. But how could I not??!  Here was proof of my success! She’s 18, a legal adult…. so I succeeded!!  I raised her to adulthood and she still loves me!!
Pretty great present.
And then….. later…. a text from the 14 year old.
I won’t show the text, as he would likely kill me for that…. but the gist of it was that he decided I was extremely selfish for going to a “random” kids birthday party and then off to babysit my nephew, because he had come home after football, and made time for me at that moment and I wasn’t there waiting for him. And I could find my present in the trash if I wanted to look for it.
Needless to say, a complete downward shift to the day….resulting in a lot of angry texting, and the realization that I am not a perfect mother…. not because I did anything wrong (I absolutely did not)… but because if I was truly a perfect mother, wouldn’t all of my kids always think so?
Oh… he’s going through the hormonal shift, and still sometimes seems to be dealing with some anger issues stemming from my divorce from his father. I know we love each other, and pray that one day he will be a bit more rational….but it’s still not easy to deal with.
And then… then, the icing on the cake!!
At the “random” birthday party for his classmate, a very precocious girl led Sammy away from the pack of children and proceeded to moon him. A couple parents saw this, it was over by the time I got to where he was. They said he didn’t seem  too impressed, and walked away.  I did find his little sister doing her best to pull her pants down though, and assumed she had to potty…..
Once I found out what happened, I talked to Sammy and told him if anyone does that he needs to walk away from them, and tell them it’s not nice. I really thought we were clear about this.
A couple days later, I was at the park with my two little ones, and a couple friends with their kids.
Two of the boys ran over, yelling “Sammy pulled his pants down!!”
What??!!  Not my perfect boy!  Surely, SURELY…he had mulch in his pants, or a bee……
I find him.
He looks guilty.
“did you pull your pants down?”
He did.
” Do you know why?”
He didn’t.
He did finally point out that he didn’t pull down his underwear, but clearly wasn’t ready for the repercussions beyond the initial shock value of his action. Seems the whole pants-dropping thing had made an impact on him after all. Clearly we had more to discuss….
He sulked in a tire swing the rest of the time, as the other parents laughed and told stories of things their own kids had done in the past.
So lessons this week for me in humility, patience, and proof that none of us are perfect.
But perfectly flawed maybe?