Thursday, February 12, 2009

if only i could

so this morning i went into the kitchen, took a butter knife out of the drawer, wandered into the living room, sat on the couch and started gouging my left eye out with the knife.

not really. but i wanted to.

yeah, it's one of those kill-myself-with-a-blunt-object days.

really it's one of those i don't know how to be a mama days. is there a difference between the two? i don't think so.

it's nothing really traumatic, at least not for me. yesterday my ten-year-old climbed into the car and declared it "the worst day ever" (this is about his nine millionth "the worst day ever"). see, they have a spelling notebook in fourth grade and he lost his last week. since he can't find it he has to "move a card" and lose five minutes of recess.

he also declared on the way home that he wasn't feeling well. we got home, he moaned and oohed and aahed and collapsed into bed. i gave him a break, but eventually we sat down to do homework. which is when he realized he left his grammer homework at school. more drama. more wailing. more horror. more me trying to be reasonable and tough and sympathetic all at the same time.

for the rest of the afternoon and evening i got the "i don't feeeeel good" and moping around. but of course no fever, no coughing, no diarrhea, no vomiting.

6 a.m. today he's up and at it again. with all the "i don't feeeel good" but he started playing video games. i sent him back to bed and after fighting with him for two hours i let him stay home under the condition that he stays in bed all day, no t.v., no video games, books only.

i don't know if he's sick. i don't know if he's just upset about forgetting his work and losing his book. i don't know what to do.

i don't know how to do this. that's the stupid thing, the frustrating thing. most days i'm ok. i'm either actually doing a good job (sometimes that happens) or i'm blissfully unaware i'm screwing them up for life. the last 18 hours? i just don't know. i don't know what to do or how to do it. i want to crawl back under the covers, i want to hide from the world.

a couple of minutes ago i asked him how he was feeling and he said, "a little better." i raised my eyebrows, and said, "how much better?"

"not that much....."

yeah. that's what i thought.


Jennifer H said...

Oh, so he used the Magic 10 A.M. Cure. Very popular in our house.

You're doing fine, though. Put down the butter knife. (And pick up a drink.)

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I remember staying home from school "sick" very well. I was the master of playing sick. I think my mother usually felt like you and just let me stay home for lack of energy to argue. Who knows - maybe she could relate. I now call me sick days "mental health days." And I love how I'M the one who decides whether I'm allowed to watch TV.

AnastasiaSpeaks said...

My boys are too young for the homework issues but I can totally relate to not knowing what to do. Are you being too strict or not strict enough? Should you push them more or give them room to figure it out themselves?

It's SO hard.

The truth is that all you need to do is go with your gutt and that's the best you can do. Our instincts on these things are usually right.

Don't worry, you won't screw them're there for them and that's the best thing a mother can do.

But I'm of the mind that tough love is the hardest love and the best one in terms of teaching your kids responsibility and self reliance.

K said...

Just so you know, I have days when I feel the same (not sure if I'm doing this mom thing correctly, not sure if I ever will). It makes me feel better to know I am not alone.

phd in yogurtry said...

You don't need to bludgeon yourself until your child puts the thermometer against the light bulb, a la Ferris Bueller. I mean, hell, some days even I feel like staying home and watching movies all day .. it's worth a try, isn't it?

phd in yogurtry said...

on a serious note, it might be worth a try to ask him, in a concerned, caring voice, "is everything ok? anything you want to talk about?"

Mary Alice said...

Ahhh yes...well...all mothers have seen those days. You know the worst day ever thing...when my kids were in the worst day ever phase, I started a tradition of telling the best thing that had happened to all of us that day at the dinner table. We took turns talking about what made us smile, who was kind to us...what was the best part about the helped them change their focus.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It's going around--that time of year I think. Mr.T has been acting JUST LIKE THAT and I have no remedy--I just cross off another day and think we're that much closer to summer vacation.

Stacie said...

Honey, maybe you should go read my last post and then we can have a pity party. I hope you're better and I hope that THIS week we can finally have a GNO. I'm sorry i haven't returned your call. Let me get thru throwing this engagement party and i'll try to be sane just for you.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It has always been the rule in our house that sick days mean no t.v. or video games unless fever and/or vomiting are involved. It has been quite successful at eliminating malingering.

Teenage girls have the opposite of the "worst day ever" problem--everything is "the funniest thing ever" or the "best day ever" or the "greatest friend ever." I frequently want to puke.

Anonymous said...

When my brother was sick as a kid, he would take cold showers to lower his temperature so he could go to school. Until you get to that point, you're doing just fine.

Hen said...

Is he doing the thermometer trick?
(Warming it next to a lightbulb)

Mine have!

Have a cosy chat...there might be something on his mind?

JCK said...

I like Jennifer's advice.

Also, remember it is just one day. Sometimes a day home to rest is the cure. Hope it helped. I do realize, of course, that I am commenting on something long past...

sari said...

You can always tell how "sick" a person is by what time they want to start playing video games.

Ten was sick last week, and I know he was really sick because he was awake all day and didn't want to play any video games until 3PM!

Hope you're feeling better. :-)

Louise said...

I don't know most of the time. I just guess. I'm probably wrong a lot. But who DOES really know?

Sus said...

oh madge; I hear you! crawling back under the covers is so darn compelling sometimes. you nailed the problem though: how can we be expected to be reasonable and tough and sympathetic ALL AT ONCE? that is unreasonable. we are only human. sheesh. i'm for unionizing and getting new job descriptions.