I’ve been somewhat avoiding this space, and somewhat not. I’ve been formulating how I would come back here after an overwhelming (for me anyway) response to my last post. A few things came up for me around this.
I got SO many wonderful responses from friends, acquaintances and even Norman’s friends – I get this parenting thing is universal. That my story can be so similar to what happened to somebody yesterday, or 20 years ago. In the moment, it feels so lonely. My impression is most parents have that this only happens to me moment. So – thank you, everyone, for taking the time to say Breathe and You Did Good and That Seems So Hard and I Have One Just Like That…it really made a difference for me.
I recently saw Heather Armstrong read from her recent book. One of the audience questions was around taking things personally. She’s pretty out there – in a sense that little is censored (from what she talks about). I kept thinking those first few days – I couldn’t do that. I don’t have the thick skin to tell the haters to fuck off and their words don’t matter. Let me clarify. For topics so close to heart like nearly having a parental breakdown, too close. For any of my various rants, political stances, personal missions – absolutely – in the face of that I could give the big old F-You finger to any ignorant, narrow minded responses.
To finish the story, Sunday I was too spent to talk to A about Saturday night. Monday was my “night off” from house and family and I went to see Wolverine – X-Men Origins. It was OK. I wasn’t a reader, I’m not an uber fan. I liked the previous movies. Don’t get me wrong, seeing Hugh Jackman’s physique and naked ass were fun – and maybe Star Trek set a really high bar for the rest of the summer movie season…anyhoo…
Tuesday night. I told Norman I wanted some alone time with A to talk about the other night. We had a good family night, dinner, games, etc. At night time, after stories, I laid down with A. Told her we needed to have some girl talk. I asked her why things got so escalated, what could we do differently, was there anything she wanted to say to me? It all stemmed from the treatment of guests. That I was willing and ready to read her story before the little friend, it sent her over the edge (after the 90 minutes of back and forth). So we talked about the difference between rules and guidelines. That guests fall into the guideline category. Yes, I would prefer she defer to them first. If Mommy says we can change that up, it’s OK. It’s not a rule. She seemed to have such a sense of relief. We had a good talk about the difference between a Rule and a Guideline. I know she is still processing. I know one day she will look at me with that face and ask – Is this a rule or a guideline? Ah – that kid o’mine!
On the screaming Kill Me! part. What made her so incredibly upset that it seemed like the logical course? That I’m not going to divulge here – it’s a very personal discussion and something Norman and I have talked about how to approach and resolve. Just be rest-assured that I’m taking care of my kid. After all – I’m a good mom – so why wouldn’t I?