Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bad mom!

I blew it today. Really blew it.

Early this afternoon the computers were forced to be shut off due to a thunderstorm. The boys had to give up Runescape! What a wonderful thing, because we played three games of Blokus in a row. I might add that Thomas won two of the three games. He is really getting good at thinking ahead, seeing his moves, etc.

After the games we decided we needed lunch. As I was preparing lunch, Thomas was putting the game up. Well, I left my tall cup of coffee on the table next to the games and next to my Reader's Digest How it Works series of books, six in all, Rebecca Rupp's Home Learning Year by Year and The Well-Trained Mind. I had been reading the books and trying to decide which to do first before the boys brought Blokus up.

Well, can you see it coming? Tall cup of coffee, over $100 worth of books next to each other?

You guessed it, Thomas knocked over the cup of coffee. Luckily, though, the coffee was only centimeters from the books. I jumped, Thomas jumped, then I yelled. I yelled because as I was bringing over a couple of dish towels, Thomas started cleaning the floor not worrying about the coffee that could get "the precious books."

As I was yelling, Thomas pushed the chair out of the way. In the process, the roller went straight over my toe and cut it. Okay, so mom yells even more. Loudly. (It really did hurt.)

We got the mess cleaned up and I started apologizing profusely. I took Thomas in my arms and I started to cry. What had just happened was an every-day occurrence in my childhood. My mom flew off the handle every single day over stupid things. I told Thomas the story about when I was his age I had planned on spending the night with my friend Julie. My mom and I were eating lunch and I knocked over my glass of milk. My mom started yelling (the same as I had done over the coffee) and then forbade me from spending the night as punishment. I told him how awful I felt because it was an accident. He whispered he felt the same way, he didn't intentionally spill the coffee. I hugged him tighter and said, "I know." As I was hugging him, I kept thinking I'd come unglued if someone treated him the way I had just treated him.

We had a good, long talk about what had taken place. I told him my response was reactionary, that I had not thought about what I was doing at all. I also told him that is what my childhood was like and it is kind of a learned response. We then discussed what learned responses are. I told him how wrong I was, how stupid my actions were, and apologized again for hurting his feelings. Anyway, when all was said and done, he said some precious words to me: "Mom, you're not mean, everybody makes mistakes. Your mom didn't apologize, but you did. You're a good mom." And then I cried some more.

I screw up all the time, I'll readily admit that, but today's was bad. I just hate yelling. I hate it when I do stupid things, especially when they are at the expense of my son. Even with a heart-felt apology, the sting of my yelling will not be forgotten.


1 comment:

Kixque said...

Good for you; and thanks for sharing! Some of my better "parenting" moments have been when I catch myself repeating the way I was parented...and immediately correcting myself. It feels good to know you recognize and can change it for the better.