So today it was Brayden's turn. I'm not sure what it was that he was DOING for twenty minutes in his room, but when I went back to see him (for the THIRD time), there he sat, seemingly doing nothing at all. He wasn't making his bed. he wasn't cleaning his room. He wasn't dressed (or GETTING dressed...or even CONTEMPLATING getting dressed, it seemed). He wasn't reading a book, singing a song, writing hate mail to me, picking his nose...he was just sitting, evidently to simply irritate me and send me over the edge. Mission accomplished.
I honestly try (really, I swear) to start off talking with my children in a nice, calm voice...singsong even. By the third time, I look like the bride of Chucky with eyes bulging, nostrils flaring and head contortioning...it isn't pretty. The fact that I'm quite certain my neighbors DOWN THE STREET can hear me in the winter is a problem I'm trying to fix. My fuse seems to get shorter the older I get. Or is it the older THEY get? Either way, it's ugly. I want to patiently wait for my children (and quite honestly, my husband) to do what I ask after I ask them the first or second (or even THIRD...) time, but I feel that MAYBE THEY CANNOT HEAR ME AND SO I HAVE TO YELL. And let's be honest--I usually have to ask TWENTY times before they even THINK about moving. Why do they hate me? I swear it's a conspiracy.
I have friends who very calmly and peacefully interact with their children. Some have children who just automatically do what their mothers/fathers ask them to do. THE FIRST TIME they are asked (or even TOLD) to do it. I swear--I've SEEN it and SOME of you are living it. Secretly we hate you, but don't take offense. I also have friends who ask their children to do things and their children blatantly disregard them--and THEY DON'T CARE! They don't become raving lunatics (like one blog-writer we know), they simply continue on as though nothing happened. HOW?! When three(make that FOUR) people ignore my existance on a regular basis, I start to feel like I'm not even really here. I look around and ask strangers, "You see me, right? I'm not, like a ghost or anything, am I? You're not experiencing a Bruce Willis/Sixth Sense moment with me are you? 'Cause I KINDA feel like I may be a figment of my own imagination..." I often wonder if I'm speaking out loud or if it's only happening in my head. And the longer this..."epidemic'? "condition"? goes on, the more I find that at times I'm really NOT speaking out loud--the line gets grayer with time--and frustration.
It's about significance, really. If none of the people around you find you significant enough to listen to you, you start to feel...well, insignificant! Suddenly you are ranting at mom's groups and exploding at WalMart to the nine-year-old stock boy (seriously--how old DO you have to be to get a work permit these days?) who REALLY wishes you WERE a ghost...And you are yelling. Yelling because you are angry for them not listening to you, yelling because you actually want them to do the thing in question and yelling so that you know you are actually still alive. Okay, so maybe not YOU as much as ME...but you (this time I really mean you!) see where I'm going with this...right? I'm not sure even I see where I'm going with this...no wonder no one listens to me--I don't make any sense! I said I DON'T MAKE ANY SENSE! But you (yes, YOU) already knew that--even BEFORE I started yelling.
Interview With Jeff Kreisler of PeopleScience
2 months ago