Last night, as my boys were horsing around while I fixed dinner, I asked them very sweetly, three times, to stop before one of them got hurt. I know boys will be boys but they tend to carry the horseplay to extremes until somebody ends up crying and hurt.
I finally got them settled down and at the table for dinner and came back into the bedroom to finish folding some laundry. From the kitchen I heard muffled giggles and words – as if my super mom radar wouldn’t be able to pick it up.
Me: “Knock it off you two and eat your dinner!”
Them: “We aren’t doing anything mom!”
5 minutes later, the muffled giggles and now scuffling of chairs and feet can be heard down the hall. I get up and tiptoe to the kitchen where the Demon Child has his brother in a headlock…with a mouthful of mac-n-cheese. Well Tre can’t breathe with a mouthful of food and starts to choke and naturally the Demon Child lets him go immediately and tells him, “Take a drink you dummy!” while Tre’s face is turning red from trying not to spit his mac-n-cheese all over the place and breathe at the same time.
I finally got his mouth emptied and a couple drinks in him so I could make sure he could swallow and I glared at the Demon Child and told him, “Don’t you dare put your hands on your brother again while you are eating! I don’t want to hear any talking, playing, giggling or horsing around, do you both understand me?”
They sheepishly shook their heads in agreement and I went to get the next load of laundry.
I wasn’t out of the dining room not one minute when they started right back up again.
The blood just rushed to my head and I saw red. Was I speaking a foreign language and just didn’t realize it? Did I have one of those horrid little signs on my back that said “Kick Me” or something?
I marched into the dining room and forcefully slammed my hands down on the table to get their attention.
“Listen to me and listen to me well, both of you. You will NOT talk at this table any more today. You WILL finish your dinner, you WILL put your plates in the sink when you are finished and you will then get your bath and go to bed since you cannot seem to follow the rules. I am DONE talking to the two of you today. I have asked you, nicely, till I am blue in the face to STOP the horsing around and yet you continue to ignore me. That’s it. No more today! Do you understand me?”
Tre just shook his head but Demon Child had that “I so hate you right now” look on his face and there were tears in his eyes.
They finished their dinner in silence and got their baths and then spent the remainder of their time cleaning up the pigsty that they call bedrooms.
I just so happened to pop into the kitchen to make a cup of tea when I saw this little message on the fridge in colorful alphabet letters:
“Mommy does hate us by” and the Demon Child had taken his picture and put it next to the “by” so I would know he wrote it.
I literally just froze in my tracks and had to re-read it a few times before it actually sunk in.
Why in God’s name would my kids think that I hate them just for disciplining them?
I went and I asked Jonathan why he put that on the fridge and his answer was his standard, “Because.” That’s it. No elaboration or anything. I told him that it really hurt my feelings that he thought that I hated them because I disciplined them and I explained to him that I don’t tell them to stop doing things just to be mean. I do it to keep them safe so that they don’t end up getting hurt or hurting each other. He ignored me.
So by this time his dad had arrived back home and I explained to him what had gone on. He calls the boys into the bedroom one by one to have a little heart-to-heart with them and Jonathan comes out of his mouth and tells dad that he did that because he thinks I hate him and his brother because I’m always mean to them and telling them they can’t do anything fun.
So then dad and I have a (what we thought was private) chat, only to find out that Jonathan is sitting outside the door where neither one of us can see him listening to every word we say.
Suffice it to say they both got sent to bed early.
Is it just my kids or do those of you with kids go through this as well? Do your children ever leave you messages in alphabet letters on the fridge? Write you notes saying your mean and that they don’t like you? That you hate them?
I do everything I can for my kids. I clean their rooms (the majority), I make their beds, I read to them, I help them with their homework, I play with them outside and inside, we wrestle and horse around together, I make them whatever they want to eat at whatever time of the day they want it, I cuddle and give kisses and hugs, I lavish them with praise when they do something well and I help them correct mistakes when they do something wrong. I teach them right from wrong and how they should treat others fairly and equally. I do all that I can for them and they STILL think that I HATE THEM?
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that I spent a few hours crying last night. It was a horrible feeling to know that my child thought that enough to put it into words and to verbally express them to his father. What is wrong with ME? What am I doing wrong as a mother? I would really like to know…so if any of you have any words of advice out there, I sure would love to hear it.
A Very Sad Mommy Today…