Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Misuse of Firepower

Sometimes one of my children does something and I really let them have it. I know when I'm doing it but sometimes I can't seem to help myself. I'm better at avoiding triggers than I used to be but I still misuse my verbal firepower and boy do I hate myself after.

The thing is I'm tired of the endless trivial, pointless crap. Today I let rip after I sent my son to have a shower with instructions to wash his hair. He grudgingly went and showered then came back and submitted gracelessly to having his hair dried. After I dried it I asked him what shampoo he'd used and do you know what he said? He hadn't used shampoo. Just conditioner.

I mean what is that about? How hard is it to wack some shampoo on your hair then rinse it off? Why are we even having to have an argument about this? I'm trying to teach you to be clean so people don't start calling you smelly behind your back. Is that so wrong?

So I let rip, partly because of the hair and partly because of his reaction to being told off about the hair. Tears. He's ten. I think that's why I really lost it, because of the tears. Can you not take a telling-off on the chin without a big emotional outburst? It's just a telling off - not a smack, a time-out, a loss of pocket money or computer time. 'Just bloody grow up!' I want to scream.

I mostly work hard to be calm, reasonable, fun. But sometimes I get so annoyed because a simple request cannot be met without half an hour's worth of bullshit to go with it and after a long day I really cannot understand why it has to be this way. My children are loved, happy, safe, well-fed and have access to things most children in this world can only dream of. And yet often they act like whining, selfish brats who have to be cajoled into doing the slightest thing. Something is going wrong somewhere. My only consolation is that I know my children are more reasonable, thoughtful, helpful and polite than alot of their peers. God knows how the rest of the mothers put up with it.

So I need to rein in the verbal missiles. But what can I do? It's the constant drip, drip, drip of cajoling, negotiating, reminding, insisting that gets to you.

If, in ten years time he takes me to task for over-reacting the time he didn't wash his hair I'll try and explain to him that it wasn't just the hair. But I'll still be thinking 'Well why didn't you wash your hair you nutcase?'

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