As a mom I often feel like the luckiest person in the world. Other times like a complete and clueless idiot. Tonight I feel like a total jerk AND an ass.
The older generation can't seem to stop reminding us that we are raising our own children completely wrong. That we empower them too much. That we wield too little authority over them. That all that reasoning with our young children is just a one-way ticket to nowhereland. The Because-I- Said-So generation tells us that, like they did with their kids back in the day, we ought to occasionally give our own kids a serious whack in the butt. MacDaddy and I don't have very similar parenting styles. One has a more freestyle fun approach and the other is well, umm , a bit on the strict side. I don't need to tell you who's who. That's not rocket science and that's really not my point. Fortunately, MacDaddy and I are on the same page about most other parenting issues. The one thing we are in total agreement about is that we will not lay a hand on the children. No slipper whacking on their behind, our belts stay securely around our own pants.
Over the last couple of years, I have had bit of a problem with Mak biting his brother. It has happened quite a number of times and he knows that really gets my goat. We sit down and talk about it and he gets serious time out. At the end I put two of my fingers together and press it on his mouth with just enough pressure to show him I will not stand for it but not powerful enough to break my own personal code. I always hate having to do that but I also need him to know some things are just not okay. I find my mom-self on the see-saw again not wanting to bring up future monsters but not wanting to have to be a monster to get that to happen.
Tonight tucked into my bed because MacDaddy is away, and with the lights out because it was well past our bedtime, Mak started to jeer and shout and heckle while Tato was telling us a story. I asked him to stop but I only got more heckling. As I stretched out my arm to put my fingers firmly against his lips I didn't realize he sat up from bed that very instant and my arm forcefully hit him across the neck. It didn't matter that I didn't mean it. Not to either of us. So much for the attempt to silence him. His cry was that type of cry you just knew his heart was hurting way more than anything else. I really did want to cry more. I said my sorries because no one is ever too big to say it and really there was no one sorrier than me.
I know for certain I don't want to have to hit my children to get a point across. I know for certain I want to earn their respect, not demand it. I know for certain I want to bring up secure, kind happy children who will know for certain that they don't need a heavy hand to teach anyone anything. Is that so freaking impossible?