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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

And the Award for "Worst Mother of the Week" Goes To...

Me. The "Worst Mother of the Week" Award goes to me. It all started out like a regular kind of week. Little did I know that my view of myself as a "decent mother" would take such a beating in the span of less than seven days.

The backdrop was of four little boys making constant high-pitched noises and whirling in perpetual motion. Add to that the fact that we'd been running on a sleep-reduced diet for a week or so. I think it all just started to wear on me. Whatever it was, I was noticeably edgier.  

In an attempt to preserve some of my remaining sanity, I turned to the old-standby: videos. Nothing helps this mummy feel calmer than having her kids entranced by flashing images on the TV screen. (That alone earns me a half-point towards the Worst Mother award.)

But this time, I had put on a new video, an animated re-telling of a Tom Kitten story by Beatrix Potter. Safe, right? Wrong. 

Looks innocent, doesn't it?
In the video, Tom Kitten is captured by a pair of rats, who wrap him in dough and prepare to eat him. Their gnashing of teeth and Tom's panicked struggling seemed to account for most of the running time. My almost-five-year-old kept screaming, "Mummy, turn it off!" and I kept yelling, "It's fine! He's going to be fine!" At the very last second, Tom is rescued by his mother, who dramatically saws through the floorboards to reach him.

After I put the kids to bed, my almost-fiver came padding down the hall to find me almost half a dozen times in the span of a few hours. Finally, when I admonished him to stay in bed, he tearfully replied, "Mummy, we shouldn't have watched that video. I can't stop thinking about it, and it's giving me bad dreams." Ohhh, did I feel like the Worst Mother!

Another evening that same week, I used up all my patience getting dinner on the table. So when I ended up negotiating with my crew about whether and how much of the meal they should eat, things got a little heated. In fact, my partner gave me a time out. (That makes it sound bad, but what he did was to suggest that maybe I needed a break and why don't I take some time for myself?) But not to be defeated by an argumentative almost-fiver and two toddlers (and one hollering infant) I continued to oratorize from the next room. Eventually, I could hear our oldest comment quietly to dad, "I wish I had a mummy who didn't yell." Sigh. Another check for the Worst Mother.
A few days later, I came down sick and called in the reinforcements --aka the grandparents-- and asked them to take our oldest for the day. Wonderful. Except that our boy, in true almost-five fashion, flat out refused to go with them. Yes, even hid under the dining room table. In the end, I had to literally drag him out, kicking and screaming, and haul him into his coat and boots and shove him out the door. Now, I'm not a child psychologist, but I'm pretty sure that having your mother forcibly evict you from your home is damaging in some way. And it earned me another point towards the title.

And... last, but certainly not least, I think my kids ate pizza three times that week... And one of those times was following a meal of grilled cheese sandwiches. No veggies. Nary a one. Yes, clinched it! The winner! (Thank you, thank you...)

Yep, not my most stellar performance. The good news is that I get a second chance to be the Good Mother that I want to be (and third, and fourth, and...). And I console myself somewhat by saying that my kids will know that mummies --and daddies-- are human, just like kids are.


1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how they absorb what they see sometimes. I remember Theo being unable to sleep for over an hour after bedtime one night because he was scared of goats (yes, goats, not ghosts). He had seen goats at a petting zoo a month before that, and other than that, I have no idea what he might have seen. But he was adamant, no goats! Poor little guy.

    But, gotta say, you might have some competition for mother of the year...I think Theo ate veggie dogs or veggie nuggets for lunch every day last week.


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