Friday, June 22, 2012

Control

So, I know it's been way too long since I've written and it's not because The Kids haven't done funny stuff or anthing. I have no good excuse other than I've been pretty uninspired andunmotivated.

Anyway, somewhere there is a milk carton with a picture of my shit on it that asks "Have You Seen Me?" That's right, I so completely lost my shit tonight with The Boys, it's not even funny. If it was wearing a red and white striped shirt, glasses and a hat, it could be a children's book called "Where's GTD's Shit?"

The Wife went out to dinner with a bunch of friends from high school who were in town for their 20th high school reunion (they were all a year ahead of The Wife). I brought The Kids to The In-Laws' house for dinner. Everyone was in a relatively good mood, though The Boys had been sort of bad right before I came home and had lost dessert. When we got to The In-Laws', Axl and Slash went down into the basement with The Father-In-Law to play Wii before dinner. The Rocket Queen joined us downstairs and immediately wanted to play, so I gave her the nunchuk attachment to the controllers. She sat on the couch next to me swinging her arm and pretending to bowl, just like The Boys (actually, she might not have been pretending. I think she might have actually thought she was controlling the game).

We had dinner, and as usual for dinner at The In-Laws', The Boys barely ate anything. They ran back downstairs to play some more Wii before we went home. That's when things started to go bad. Once again, The Rocket Queen wanted to play, but unlike BEFORE dinner, she was no longer content to sit on the couch, cutely swinging her arms. She wanted to PLAY. I kept trying to get her to sit on my lap, but she kept screaming and getting in The Boys' way. I was worried she was going to get smacked in the face as either Axl or Slash swung their controller (they were playing baseball). The Rocket Queen seemed really tired, so I told The Boys that they could finish the game and then we were going home.

I had asked The Boys if I could have one turn hitting for each of them (you know, because everything HAS to be even with them). Axl was up first, and I got a hit for his team. When it was my turn to bat for Slash's team, Axl pitched before I was ready, which is where things started to really go downhill. I struck out and Slash got upset, so I tried to hit as the next batter. I had pitched to one batter for Slash, so Axl wanted me to pitch. I was holding The Rocket Queen as I tried to hit for Slash, and he was crying about how I can't hit holding The Rocket Queen. It was beyond ridiculous.

I finally grabbed the controller from Axl and tried to pitvh and hit at the same time. I thought I would make both of them happy. Rookie mistake. Instead, they both became unhappier. Finally, I put both controllers down on the couch:

Me: Okay guys, it's time to go home, we're done.

The tears started immediately. They informed me that they weren't leaving. They started yelling at me, and calling me a liar (because I had said that they could finish the game but was now making them leave). I kept my cool as I made them go upstairs and get ready to leave. I was calm and got them to get their shoes on to leave. Of course, they said they were hungry, to which I replied that they should've eaten dinner at dinnertime. The Mother-in-Law gave them each a chunk of challah, and I got them in the car.

I was furious. Even though I had remained calm, their behavior was atrocious. I didn't really do it justice, but honestly, I'm exhausted and I can't really remember everything they said. As we started driving they had moved past it but I couldn't. They asked me some questions and I informed them that I wasn't speaking to them. As soon as we got home, I told them to go right upstairs and to start getting themselves ready for bed. I told them that I didn't want to have to say anything more than once.

On a side note, a few days ago I had told them that I was not going to yell anymore. What happened next was NOT my finest bit of parenting...

So, I got The Rocket Queen her sippy of oat milk and went upstairs (okay, that was decent parenting). After she drank some of her oat milk, I walked down the hall and spoke to The Boys:

Me: I've decided what your punishment will be. The next 5 times we go to Tata and Zee's house, you can't play Wii. And, even if Zee was going to take you to a movie tomorrow, you can't go. No movie.

Slash immediately made his sad face and started to cry and yell at me. Honestly, I don't even remember what he was yelling at me, but I lost it and screamed at him to stop:

Me: STOP IT NOW! YOU WILL NOT TALK TO ME LIKE THAT. STOP YELLING, I'VE HAD ENOUGH!

Slash: (crying) You said you weren't going to yell anymore!

Me: WELL WHEN YOU GUYS ACT THEY WAY YOU'VE BEEN ACTING, YOU GET YELLING DADDY. NICE DADDY IS GONE NOW. I DIDN'T WANT TO YELL, BUT YOUR BEHAVIOR IS MAKING ME YELL. NOW YOU HAVE YELLING DADDY, SO STOP IT.

He started to say something rude:

Me: That's it. You guys have been so rude and so disrespectful lately. I'e had enough of it and it stops now. The next time you talk back to me, or are rude, I'm going to wash your mouth out with soap. Do you understand me?

Slash, crying, nodded his head:

Me: Answer me, do you understand me?

Slash: Yes.

I walked into the bathroom:

Me: Axl, do you understand me?

Axl: (who up to now had kept pretty quiet) Yes.

To make me feel worse, Slash walked down the hall and into The Rocket Queen's room while I was helping her brush her teeth:

Slash: Daddy?

Me: (fuming) What.

Slash: I love you.

Me: (I'm an asshole) I love you too, but I'm very mad at your behavior.

I know I said this twice before, but I don't remember what I said next, or what Axl said next. However, Axl pulled one of his disrespectful, talking back tones and said something sarcastic in response to something I said. I walked into their room, took his arm, and guided him towards the bathroom:

Me: What did I say was going to happen te next time you talked back to me?

There was no response, but he looked shocked:

Me: I'm washing your mouth out with soap. Slash, you should come watch this because this is what's going to happen.

I guided him into the bathroom, stopped him in front of the sink and realized, what the hell am I doing? How am I supposed to wash his mouth out with soap? I've never done this before, what do I do? Do I squirt SoftSoap into his mouth? That seems wrong. I grabbed the small bar of soap from the shower, got it wet. Acl is crying, saying something I can't understand:

Me: Open your mouth and stick out your tongue.

He opened his mouth and I quickly touched the soap to the tip of his tongue:

Me: (yelling) That's what's going to happen from now on when you are disrespectful. I have had enough. You guys have been rude to me, you've been rude to Mommy, you've been rude to Mary Poppins (our babysitter/nanny who's British), and it's not going to happen anymore.

Axl: (defiantly) I haven't been rude to...

Me: Are you really talking back to me again already?

Axl: (backtracking quickly) NO!

I brought The Rocket Queen back into her room and sat her on my lap so she could finish her oat milk. I wasn't shaking, but I was definitely shaken. I was trying to regain control and calm down. For the first time I can remember, their room was QUIET. They both got on their own beds and laid down quietly. They didn't play with anything, they didn't get books, and they didn't fight with each other. I still gave each of them a kiss goodnight

Like I said, I lost my shit and am not particularly proud of it.

Good times.

3 comments:

  1. Whoa, you lapsed into talking in the 3rd person? You must have been uber-frustrated. Sure there were probably other ways to handle it, but in the moment, you lost your shit, but still were able to maintain a sense of control. I doubt this little episode will show up in any future therapy sessions Axl or Slash will go to. "And then, my father dabbed my tongue with a potentially dirty bar of soap. Here's my $150 for our session, thanks doc."

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  2. Have you thought about setting the boundaries and time limits before they start to play? I think you already have a bargaining comodity, the Wii. So other punishments shouldn't have to come into play. If they have the threat of not playing next time because they didn't follow the agreed-to time limits (win or lose, hit or strike), they might be more inclined to follow the rules. Also, instead of instigating punishments for bad behavior, sometimes it helps to turn the whole situation around by introducing a reward system fot good behavior. I think this discourages bad behavior best, as the focus is really om good behavior. Like on days when they listen well, they could earn tickets to play games for more hours. Good luck! Don't let it get to you, they are just kids. We never had anything as exciting as they do to play with as kids. There's a huge learning curve for everyone involved. (Sam Lennon, sorry I dont have a blog profile)

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  3. How funny that your most annoyed, aggressive parenting is about the norm in some households on a regular basis. Not saying what I grew up with, necessarily, but my sister's head is still spinning from the one time she talked back.

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