January 26, 2012

Trifecta, Week 11 - Beast

This is my response to Trifecta's Writing Challenge. They've stepped things up there, so I have skipped my morning duties -- you know, parenting, dishes, getting out in a rare bit of actual sunlight -- for this.

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Day at the Park

Don’t throw sand!!! Arrrrrg! I’m telling mom! Mommeeeeeee!

Thomas runs blindly across the playground, oblivious of the tiny round toddler heading in a determined fashion toward the small slide.

Wobble, wobble, wobble-wobble, and over she topples, face first. Her wail starts up like an air raid siren.

Thomas, still hurtling toward me, is oblivious in his rage.

At this exact moment, I feel torn. This is the beast that is parenting. What the fuck do I do?

On the one hand, my 18 month old has thrown sand in the direction of my four year old. He has internalised the no-throwing-sand rule and possesses an older sibling’s sense of justice that makes age irrelevant.

On the other hand, he’s just knocked down someone’s little girl. And not stopped to check to see if she’s okay. While I want to comfort him in his anger and grief, I feel the pull to reprimand him, to force him to make amends.

A part of just want to yell. Grow the fuck up. The sand, while thrown in your general direction, did not hit you. Why are you so bent on getting others in trouble?

On the fourth hand, which highlights how impossible this truly is, I simply want to envelop my hurting little guy in a hug, despite the mom of the toddler and her friends, now glaring at me like I created this mess, as if I am the asshole who has created this problem.

Meanwhile. Some other kid has attempted to take a truck that was in my younger child’s general vicinity and she’s screaming bloody murder and, in slow motion now, I see her raise her fist in anger.

All I want, I think as I angrily pack up my two screaming children and our various park-going supplies, is a stiff drink. Fuck this shit, I’m through.

But parenting is 24/7, no retakes, and I go home defeated, feeling as though I have failed on every front.

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This week we are using the third definition for beast, as found in Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary:

3: something formidably difficult to control or deal with

And while you're here, feel free to get to know me. These are my responses to Trifecta's questionnaire.

16 comments:

  1. Been there, done that and oh the memories. I also know now what is meant by the saying, "adult children". You just can't replace those precious moments. smiles...

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    1. I don't know what you know about "adult children", only about adult nieces and nephews as I was very young when my eldest sister started having kids. I'm assuming you miss the younger years? (I love them, but I am having a cranky week.)

      Thanks for the comment. I believe precious memories are what make everything else survivable.

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  2. agreeing with booguloo on the been there done that. :) Parenting sometimes sucks - but it has its rewards, too. Hang in there.

    One little nit to pick - a typo here: to take a truck that was in my younger child’s genuine vicinity

    should be GENERAL vicinity.

    Otherwise - love this very real look into a mommy's world.

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    1. Thank you so much for the catch! The above children are not mine, but those feelings probably are, if you know what I mean. It is such a tricky job, parenting well, eh?

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  3. Dang. It really sucks when a fun outing gets all crazy. Also? Eff those moms for being so judgemental.

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    1. Ah, you got that part, eh? The regret ... I take my children to the park, make the effort, and THIS is how they repay me?!!!?

      Sometimes I wonder about the moms that are judgemental, and whether they truly are, or if it is just my own sensitivities. I've been meaning to explore that, have a half-written one in my drafts, but ... the idea means more work.

      But yes. Absolutely. For the ones that are really judging everyone who isn't them? Eff them. For sure.

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  4. Oh that's such a familiar feeling. "I want you both to feel better. But I also want to knock your heads together. Nevermind. I just want alcohol."

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    1. I'm certain that is why alcohol exists. To soothe such strong mixed feelings.

      I get really academic and in my head sometimes too, which is a good thing. It slows down my default anger, which was pretty much what I remember getting as a kid. Hug her/him, Karen, goes my inner monologue.

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  5. I like how this can be about so much more than parenting. I know adults who throw sand with wild abandon.

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    1. Ooooh. Good point. Do we call them trolls?

      On the flip side, I've often thought about how good it feels to throw sand. I'm going to make a point of it, with my kids at the beach, the next time we venture across town.

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  6. Oh, well put. I think I was the mom of the kid stealing the truck. :) After the tantrums, I went home and had a beer.

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    1. Then I think I love you. Because that kid? Had every right to the truck. Sorry for the mess we caused! But if you enjoyed the beer and laughed, then I'm not sorry at all.

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  7. Hey, we both used parenting as our beasts. #separatedatbirth
    And I'll join you in that drink.

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    1. yep. I thought that was pretty cool. And there were a few more too in that vein.

      I can't wait for that drink. Please bring duty free. My husband made four trips stateside and brought me not a one. sigh.

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  8. Thanks for joining us this week at Trifecta! Ah, parenting. You've captured the scene perfectly. I think I've played all the roles mentioned. I like what you said in your comments about how conflicting emotions are why alcohol exists. I think you may be on to something. Make sure to come back on Friday and check out our weekend challenge.

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    1. Oh I'll be there ... I'll be there!

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