I DO NOT HATE MY CHILDREN. I LOVE my children. They make me crazy and try to hurt me physically on occasion, but I still LOVE them. MORE THAN LIFE. No, I'm not trying to convince myself, nor am I trying to convince YOU, I've just been told that what I deem to be funny may not actually be construed as funny. Who knew?! Oh, right. I did. But I supposedly didn't care. Yet here I am CARING again...
But, really. I don't take ANYTHING that people say literally and I'm pretty sure that after "knowing" me for five minutes (or sentences), it's pretty obvious that I use hyperbole and poor metaphors to...engage my readers. Also, I pretty much spew out ANYTHING that comes to mind, feel quite adamant about it and then change my mind five seconds later. These...quirks...are probably what led me to all of the stories in the first place! That said, I am sorry that some of you are still appalled that I used the "H" word to describe my feelings about my children at that particular point in time.
Let's get something straight--I would NEVER TELL my children I feel that way about them (though they all seem to have my sense of humor so they would more than likely KNOW that I didn't mean it...except for the boy. He tends to be a bit literal, but occasionally he surprises me...). In fact, I tell them I love them so often, they are actually a bit cocky about it at times. All three of them have been known to say, "But you love me too much to be angry, Momma..." at one time or another in their lives, and they are usually correct in that assertion. USUALLY.
I AM guilty of commiserating about my "H" word of them with my husband when we are both exhausted, to other moms (who probably think I'm an awful parent, and to anyone who is nice enough to forage through my blog. I bet some of you even think that if I hadn't written (or THOUGHT) about my horrible feelings, maybe there wouldn't have been a hospital visit. Like maybe God is punishing me or something. I agree that God is punishing me at times (I really ticked Him (or Her?!) off when I was younger), but I don't think it's because I wrote mean words or spoke mean words about my children. I don't even think He would punish me for writing or saying mean words about my parents (though I'm P-R-E-T-T-Y sure my mother would!). I think that we need to say (or write!) our feelings aloud so that they lose power. If I sit and stew and pretend like I'm NOT upset that my children jump on me and torment me in the middle of the night or the fact that they are sassy and defiant on a regular basis, I am sure to explode one day on some unsuspecting stranger. Or even worse, I will explode AT my children instead of ABOUT my children.
Also, for the longest time I thought I was the only one going through so many things. When I finally realized I wasn't alone, I got angry at those who pretended like they never endured the turmoils of parenthood. It would have been SO MUCH EASIER had I known that I wasn't crazy. For those things at least--we all know I'm a bit CRAZY in general, but that will be addressed eventually. I then decided that I would tell others--EVERYTHING--so that they would know that there are people out there going through the same things--sometimes worse--and THAT will hopefully keep them going. There was a time when I thought that this parenting thing had defeated me. I still have some days like that--where I'm R-I-G-H-T on the edge...Talking about and writing about these things isn't only (what I deem to be) helpful to others who may also be teetering on the edge, it is cathartic for me and pulls me back to solid ground. or at the very least, solid...ER?! ground.
I was at the Rheumotologist a few weeks ago and he had Rachel Ray on in the waiting room. Kelly Ripa and...her husband Mark...C...(I'll get back to his last name when I think of it!) were on and I heard Rachel ask, "Do you have a favorite child?" to which Kelly responded (without hesitation), "ABSOLUTELY we do! Every parent has the ONE child they will save in a fire!" I was called in during her response, so I didn't get to see where they would go with that, but I found it to be HILARIOUS! Do I believe that Kelly and Mark would REALLY give up their other two without a thought? No. Just like YOU shouldn't believe that I hate my children. Not that I profess to be as funny as Kelly Ripa, (IMAGINE the number of readers I would have THEN!), but parents need to be able to laugh and use hyperbole to get through...well, PARENTING! CONSUELOS. Mark CONSUELOS. I really seem to give dads second billing, don't I?! I even always say "We are going to my Mom's house," or "...Dave's Mom's house..."and "...Dave's Aunt Peg's house.." and even though she died in 2001, "My Nonnie's house..." up until my children were born and it was FINALLY "Papa's beach house..." because they LOVE to visit my Papa and if I told them we were going to my Nonnie's house they wouldn't know WHERE we were going since they never met her! My point? I DON'T KNOW! Oh--the fact that I don't give dads enough credit. My DAD, DAVE'S DAD, DAVE'S UNCLE BOB...I'll work on that!
SO...please stop thinking that I am a horrible mother for using the "H" word when describing my occasional feelings toward my children. INSTEAD, think I'm a horrible mother for telling my daughter (after she asked no less than fifteen times while I was on hour THREE of trying to finish reading an article in the paper) that yes, she COULD put syrup on her potatoes simply because I didn't feel like getting up to heat them up. ("Mom, can I have syrup on my potatoes?" "NO. You MAY not put syrup on your potatoes." "PLEASE MAY I put syrup on my potatoes?" "No, you may ABSOLUTELY NOT put syrup on your potatoes." Pause while she visits the potatoes and I reread the same line for the eleventh time. "But Mom, I LIKE syrup on my potatoes." "I imagine you do, SINCE YOU ASKED FOR IT, but you may not put syrup on your potatoes." "But MOM..." this went on for eleven or twelve more times until she came back with "OOOHHH well, FINE. Then could you AT LEAST (I need to have a chat about the use of the words "AT LEAST" in my house on another day) heat the potatoes up in the thingamabobber...hahaha...just kidding...microwave for me?! They are cold..." Pause. Try to finish sentence. Can't do it. Pause. Sigh. "Fiiiiiiiiine! You may have syrup on your potatoes."
Without even LOOKING at my husband, I laughed and told him to shut it as he said, "Maybe not your FINEST parenting moment," and I'm wondering what WAS my finest parenting moment? I am CHOOSING to believe that there are SO MANY, it's hard to think of just one.
And THAT is what denial does to a person.