En garde.

Okay. I’m here to pick my battles. I’m done, little tyrant. Things are gonna be different because I’m here to declare, on national blogovision, where I draw the line.

This is pretty simple. Listen to me. Listen to my words. Listen to me, you f—ing little freeloading ball of attempts to become an individual. You can have all the opinions you want, you can make most of the decisions. But f—ing listen to me! Not the third time, not the eighth time, not just when I give up on my parenting willpower and patience reserves and yell. Listen to me the motherfucking first time, you parental hostage taker.

Trash stays in the trash can. Why is that so hard? Don’t touch trash. Don’t grab it, feel it, shake it upside down. It’s trash, you little eating-whining-pooping robot. It’s the same trash I’ve gently steered you away from since you could move under your own power. Please touch something else. Please step over here. Please go around. Please put down the f—ing trash. Because I’m picking this battle.

We pee in the toilet. Not on the floor just because it’s funny. Not in the cat box. The litter box is for cats. Yes, I know you can meow, but you’re not a cat. No you’re not. No you’re not. Fine, you are, but your kind of cat uses the toilet. Yes it does. Yes it does. Oh, I see. This is not your house and in your house the rules are different. Okay. Then go there. Because in this house we pee in the toilet and only in the toilet. You’ve been out of diapers for more than a year. You know full well what your body can and cannot do. And choosing to piss me off by pissing on my floor is a big ball of not okay.  I’ve chosen this battle, as well.

We use gentle touches with the cats. Would you like it if someone hit you? Kicked you? Pulled your tail? Well, they don’t like it either. And I’ve been telling you this for months. Redirection isn’t working. Positive reinforcement isn’t working. Clear explanations aren’t working. Empathy lessons aren’t working. If you can’t be gentle you don’t get stories or toys or breakfast or lunch or dinner and I may just lock you in your room until college, you little AP expermient gone horribly, horribly wrong. Don’t hurt the cats. Be friendly with the cats. Or I will teach you the word rue. For I have chosen this battle, as well.

We use gentle touches with daddy. Would you like it if he hit you? Kicked you? Well he doesn’t like it either. And I’ve been telling you this for months. Don’t make my retype the whole cat admonition, just replacing your father’s name for the cats’ names. I don’t want to say it again. I didn’t want to say it the first two hundred times, calmly, gently, in short declarative sentences at eye level with explanations when necessary. Don’t. Hit. Or nobody will like you, including me. Unconditional love is a myth they tell kids who watch TV and you don’t get more than half an hour a week, so don’t come crying to me about how I’m supposed to love you no matter what. I picked this battle, too.

That’s it. I picked my battles. Know what they come down to?  Listen to me. When I have to say things twice I sweat. When I have to say things three times I twitch. When I have to say things four times I yell. And when I have to say things five times I lose my shit and contemplate horrible things including your sale to the gypsies, my escape to the tropics, and choosing a soulless career in any one of the three hundred jobs I had before you sucked the life and brain out of me just to get away from you.

Go to the trash, would you,  please, and fetch mommy’s sanity. Sweetie? Would you please help Mommy and get her self esteem out of the trash? Peanut—please go take my selfhood out of the trash and bring it to me.

Jayzus. Do you hear me? I need you to listen to my words…go get my life out of the crapper.

9 thoughts on “En garde.

  1. Mommy needs a day off, methinks…hugs to you!

    (And man, I know this feeling…it drives me MAD to have to repeat everything a million times…and then probably get punched in the face to boot.)

  2. “What? I WAS listening. I said I WAAAS listening. But it’s just that my fingers were in my ears and so your words didn’t get in.”

    Welcome to my world. Glad to have you. I’ll be your bouncer for the evening. Here’s your glass of wine, your muscle relaxers and your permission to shut down. No whining, crying or sweet-faced lying permitted past the gate. I’ll be sure not to let any in. Your evening may officially begin.

  3. I concur with Ink and ck, you need sometime off. Should we send the car around to take you to a spa? A place of quiet relaxtion with no kids.
    Good Luck!

    • You know what? My parents just sent me to a spa for a massage and quiet time. It was heavenly. My brother let Peanut follow him around for hours at a time while we were on a trip two months ago, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was a lovely vacation. But it’s so rare. I think what I really need is regularly scheduled time away, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And this whole perfect parenting, professional work squeezed into the hours when he sleeps, trying to exercise and keep the house from molding over and noticing when Spouse is home and moving and projects and self-imposed nonsense has to stop. Because all I need is to catch up on the three years during which my kid woke up several times a night, and I’ll feel human again.

      Stop laughing.

  4. Yes, regularly scheduled.

    And no one is perfect, so forget about that one.

    When you figure out how to do that sleep-catch-up thing, please let me know! I’m desperate.

  5. and you’d think that using their middle name as WELL as their last name would make them listen, just this once, but NOOOOOO. really makes you re-think the whole spanking thing, eh? beatings, spankings… all around!

  6. “Who needs sleep? Well, you’re never going to get. Who needs sleep? Tell me what’s that for. Who needs sleep?”

    Slow done. It sounds like your striving to do too much at a time. Maybe get one or two things on autopilot. But good luck.

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