Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bad Mommy

I am such a bad mommy.

I had an ok day yesterday. Not bad, not good. Just normal.

I work in a hospital. Once a year, we have to have a TB skin test. They stick a needle in your arm and inject this stuff that bubbles up and then you come back in 48 hours for them to test to make sure that you don’t have TB. I just got tested back in October when I started here but because it’s a new year, I had to do it again. It’s no big deal. I’m not scared of needles and I never have reactions to shots (except the flu shot).

I had to stop by Wal-Mart to pick up some things we forgot the day before or that the Wal-Mart we normally go to didn’t have. While I was at Wal-Mart, I started feeling faint and just completely out of it. I didn’t know if I needed to chalk it up to the TB test or if it’s just Wal-Mart. I get that way sometimes in Wal-Mart. I get dizzy and overwhelmed and feel lightheaded. I don’t know why, but it just happens.

Anyway, when I was leaving Wal-Mart, my car didn’t want to start. I tried cranking it 3 times and it didn’t want to work. I started to panic. It finally turned over on the 4th crank.

I had meant to go by Home Depot to pick up some scrap wood but due to the car incident, I didn’t want to take any chances.

I came home and mom and light of my life were outside. I had invited M and C over to eat dinner with us. We had been over there on Sunday night and I had taught the girls how to play rummy. They all liked it so much that I told them to come over for dinner last night and we would play some more rummy. C also wanted to work on jewelry.

I had been craving tilapia for a long time. Mom had been resisting cooking it for some reason. While at Wal-Mart I had picked up some asparagus to cook for dinner along with the fish and rice. I was glad to come home and find out that dinner hadn’t been cooked yet. I was afraid mom had either cooked something else or not cooked the fish the way I wanted it cooked.

The girls were in the house playing and I was starting to cook. Light of my life asked me something and whatever it was, I either denied her request or I didn’t answer her question to her liking. She started storming away. I could tell by the way that she was stomping that she was about to get in a snit and would be difficult to deal with for part of the evening.

You know how you just know your child? Inside and out? Well, I know her and I know when she’s about to get in a snit.

I heard her in her room and she cried out “ouch” and started to cry. I just sighed in exasperation and kept on cooking. M asked me what was wrong with light of my life and I said, “nothing, she’s just in a snit” and I continued to ignore her. The crying didn’t sound serious, neither did the “ouch”. I didn’t hear from her for a few minutes so I went to check on her. She was sitting down in the middle of the floor holding her foot and crying silently.

I asked her what had happened and she told me something along the lines of stubbing her toe or hurting her foot. I asked her my usual questions to ferret out the BS injuries. You know, “is it broken, is it bleeding, are you dying” types of questions. She didn’t answer yes to any of them so I just told her to get over it (that’s my usual response to imagined injuries). She has a penchant for drama, hence the sharpness of my response. She usually bounces back when she realizes I’m not going to pay attention to her dramatics. This time, she didn’t. Instead, unbeknownst to me, she went to my mom to complain to her that I was treating M & C better than I was treating her. She was claiming that I seemed more concerned about C & M when they were play fighting (one of them at one time said “ouch” and I asked them if they were o.k.). Light of my life took this to mean that I cared more about them than her since I asked them if they were o.k. She also claimed that she didn’t feel she was part of the family and that I’m never concerned enough when she gets injured. In my defense of asking if the other girls were o.k., I don't know them well enough to know when they are fake hurting or have a serious injury. That's why I asked if they were o.k.

Mom took it upon herself to “have a chat” with me about this and to push off some unwanted and unasked for advice. I informed her that I didn’t want to discuss this with her and that she needed to not talk to me about this since it actually makes matters worse, not better, for her to be a go-between. If she could remain objective, I might be able to handle it, but she can’t.

Light of my life continued to have an attitude for a little while longer and I was getting sick of it. I kept on her about her attitude. I was more than aggravated at this point. All these little things were happening all at once and I wasn’t able to recover from one thing before another issue would come up.

I felt pretty justified with my aggravation and didn’t feel the need to apologize to anyone since they were all doing this TO ME!!! (I'll later regret those feelings!)

Everything gets smoothed over and we finish dinner. C was going to spend the night over at a friend’s house so we had to hurry up to work on her jewelry.

I had promised light of my life and M that I would play rummy with them. I’m feeling like crap at this point (physically, emotionally and mentally).

Light of my life at one point was lying on the back of the couch and rolled down to the seating part. She didn’t stop there and ended up rolling to the floor. She hit the coffee table and actually did get hurt. I saw this happen but even if I hadn’t, I could tell by her cry that it actually hurt. I jumped up and ran over to her. I cuddled her and checked out the injuries. I got her to smiling again and things were fine with us for the rest of the night.

Here’s when I start to realize that was I being a bad mommy.

It turns out that light of my life really did hurt her foot. I was the bad mommy that didn’t check further regarding injuries. It was a minor cut, but it was an injury. So, everything I did after not believing her about her foot, was wrong. Including getting mad at my mother (although I still feel justified for being pissed at her interference).

After light of my life fell off the couch, I whispered to her that she could sleep in my bed with me that night and that if she wanted to, we could even take a bath together. I desperately needed a bath to relax and to try to make my headache go away and she loves to take a bath with me. Light of my life' s face lit up at that suggestion.

Here’s where I started to feel like utter CRAP.

I had to take M back home. When I got back, I told light of my life to go get her p.j.’s so we could take our bath and go to bed.

She asked me “did you like what I did in the bathroom” and so help me God, my first thought was “Now what? What the hell happened now?”. I went into the bathroom to check out the situation and what I saw made me want to cry.

She had laid out my favorite robe; she had pulled the shower curtain back, gotten one of her Pirates of the Caribbean bath fizzies out and laid out our towels. She followed me in there and asked me if I wanted her to get us some rolled up towels to lay our heads back on and offered to go find my magazines for me to read while in the tub.

All this after the way I acted.

I felt like shit. I cannot believe that it took the kindness and thoughtfulness of my 7-year-old daughter to make me realize what a shit I had been. I shouldn’t have been that way in the first place.

Later that night, when we were in bed together, I quietly apologized to her and she accepted my apology. I fell asleep with my arms around her and her hand in mine. Needless to say, my headache and heartache disappeared.

No wonder I call her the light of my life.

I think I’ll take her out for a picnic this weekend. That way, we can be by ourselves together and reconnect.

We need to go to Wal-Mart anyway to replace the dead fish, so maybe we can do that on Saturday.

Later,

Mama Dawg

2 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Jodi

don't beat yourself up - we've all been there. totally.

Cray and Bickford Family

Ah, the guilt of motherhood!

I'm sure it will happen again - though we wish it won't. But this time you will know better how to deal with it.

And, sometimes, just writing it out make us feel so much better!

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