Our Bad Week

I’m having one of those weeks where I feel like everyone else’s kids are angels and I’m the world’s worst mother because my kids act crazy in public.

Before this, it had seemed for a short while that we’d reached the stagethat other families talk about. That magic day when “it gets easier.” That’s what people say. “It will get easier when they’re both out of diapers,” or, “It will get easier when they start preschool,” or “It will get easier when you start drinking everyday, ” (or maybe I just say that).

This week has not been easy. It started when I took my 4-year-old with me to a meeting at the elementary school. This was for the “Green Team” that I was very excited to be a part of it. We got there and the two hosts each had a child with them, a 2ish boy and a 4-year-old girl. Their kids were sitting and being delightful; the girl read a book and the boy at quietly in his stroller.

My son, on the other hand, was jumping all over me and saying “Gum, gum, I want gum.” I, of course, forgot the gum I had promised him and he started saying (loudly) that he wanted to leave. I got him settled with a book for a few minutes and tried to listen to the organizers. My son then moved toa chair next to one of the group leaders and started making hacking noises and spat on the ground. I pulled him back and asked him what thought he was doing. “I’m pretending to throw up,” he said.

I pulled him away from the group, making a mini scene, and quietly told him it’s not OK to pretend to throw up when the world is in a panic about the pandemic flu. He just laughed.

He wasn’t laughing the next day when we caused our biggest scene of the week (at least I hope it was). At kindergarten drop off he likes to jump off one of the benches and have me catch him. I always tell him not to jump and that I have no intention of catching him. I always do. But this day, he jumped and kneed me in the stomach so I told him to stop and I turned away from him. He jumped again, missed landing on his feet and hit the ground on hisbutt/ back, hitting his head on the ground. It was loud and judging from the screaming and crying, it hurt, too. Moms from our class, from other classes, from other schools came over to us to make sure he was ok. I put an ice pack that a friend took out of her son’s lunch on his head and held him while he cried.

That made it official that I am the world’s worst mother. And for days I felt like it was true. After a tough morning of both kids fighting with each other and crying, I dropped the 4-year-old off at school feeling terrible. His teacher stopped me to talk. She told me she wished she could clone my son because he is such a good example for the other kids. Of how to throw up? I told her the story of his antics at the meeting and she didn’t believe me. No, she said. He’s so good.

Well, I guess that’s what it’s all about, right? I get all of the bad, embarrassing behavior and then when I’m not around he’s a polite young man.

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