the gregarious homebody

Monday, April 7, 2008

Diary of a Bad Mother

Oy. Today was one of those mornings when I have to try very hard to remember that a lot of the things that really really annoy me about my wonderful 9 year old daughter are the things that I also love about her. Like her strong opinions. Like her sense of self. Like her...well, I was going to say "drama" but that just annoys me.

Mondays are always hard at Chez T. I hate them too so I can understand where she's coming from. A lot of Mondays are all about me trying to haul her ass out of bed and get her moving. Today wasn't like that. Everything went well. Hell, I even made pancakes despite my "rule" about not making a real breakfast on any day I have to feed 51 girls at work. Anyhoo, all was fine until she started working on The Bangs. She has beautiful naturally curly hair--not too curly to be unmanageable but just curly enough to make bangs that are growing out become a problem. Much hairspray is involved, along with much misty eyed-ness. I did my customary ignoring of the meaningful looks thrown my way (how am I supposed to respond? Do I suggest we cut her bangs to the scalp? Do I help to lacquer them down? All my attempts in the past were WRONG so ignoring is my new attempt to "help").

Then it was time to leave for school. Lunch was packed, study chart signed, shoes on feet. It's all good. Hah! First comes the request to drive her. We live 2 blocks from school. So comes the first "no." Then the injury to the leg from scootering is remembered! "What do I do about the PAIN????" she askes. My "it'll get better" is met with much scorn. "Can you please drive me?!" Second "No." The invalid starts off on the walk with only a minor amount of muttering and I can see from the safety of my bedroom window that she's going to make it thanks to the walking stick found in the wood pile.

I'm out of the woods, I think foolishly.

Starting to think about showering, I hear a door slam and a decidedly unlimping person who resembles my daughter storms up the steps and makes one more plea because of her "pain." Third "No" followed by the following interchange:

"You don't care about my pain!" ("daughter")
"Right." (sarcastic mother)
"It's true!" (righteously indignant offspring)
"Right." (evil noncaring don't care-giver)
"Because you're a bad mother!" (mutant fire-breathing devil spawn)
"Right." (beaten down, but still trying not to laugh despite herself Arch Enemy of Adolescence)
"Thank you for finally admitting it." (victorious martyr)

Have I mentioned that she is NINE??

Watching from my bedroom window again, as my daughter who I would gladly throw myself in front of a bus for (albeit, today, a slow-moving one) mutters loudly (how does she do that??) and throws dagger glances back at the house, I am struck by the battling forces of motherhood I face weekly with her. I still cannot help but want to laugh at her drama. She is FUNNY when she's mad. It's almost like she's channeling all the great Teenagers of sitcoms/dramas past. But I'm also hurt that she would feel this way about me and sad that she feels this...let down by her Mother. And the awful, sinking, horrific thought that, in the movies, this would end with her being abducted by someone and me remembering Our Last Conversation.

I realize I'm insane. Did I mention my taking antianxiety medication ("Mommy's Crazy Pill)?

These are the days when I really wish I could call my mother to have her tell me all the times I was a crazy annoying self-centered hormonal loon. To hear about those stories and to realize that I have turned into a truly fabulous mother would be so reassuring.


Anonymous said...

You are a truly great mother!!

jen said...

Thanks for your encouragement!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what you're talking about. MY daughter is as gentle and as tractable as a little woolley lamb. I never let her down and she never, ever gets angry with me.



David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Your demon spawn daughter sounds like my evil politician son. Just today he insisted that he get a ride to school (and not take the bus) cause he has a small rolling suitcase for his trip to Disney.

Today's Work and Family column in the Wall Street Journal online has a great article about stay-at-home Moms who blog... particularly Check it out... Maybe you can learn from the pitfalls of others!


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