Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I Fucking Hated My Kids Tonight

And it was all because of a little piece of purple plastic, no bigger than Donald Trump's tiniest finger.

Paige and Isaac's fight tonight over the purple zebra mini-Slinky spilled over from the car where it started, to a taco place where it took a short break for chips and guacamole, to the library where it resumed, back to the car, and home again. 

Technically, the Slinky belonged to Isaac. On that they could agree. I was glad too, because I had never before seen this piece of shit in my entire life, and any guess as to its rightful owner would have been pure speculation on my part.

But that was all the common ground they could find on the matter. Too bad, since my limited repetoire of conflict resolution was quickly depleted by my kids' determination to use this Slinky as a symbol of their overall life-long power struggle. (Just yesterday, I overheard Paige modifying the lyrics to that popular Top 40 song "Stressed Out": "Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days, when Paige was the only kid in the house and stupid Isaac wasn't born yet.").

No amount of yelling, cajoling, begging, threatening, or diverting could put my children off their singular mission of fighting over this fucking purple zebra Slinky. 

I briefly considered throwing the thing away in a dramatic display of maternal shock and awe, but quickly dismissed the idea, deciding it would have a disproportionately adverse impact on an already disempowered Isaac. 

And it was mostly Paige I hated at that moment anyway. I tried to appeal to her pride and sense of maturity. She is almost 9 years old, I said. Does she REALLY need a turn or multiple turns with her little brother's Slinky, I said?

Yes. The answer was yes. Not only that, but she needed to further antagonize him by putting the Slinky in her mouth. Predictably, this had the domino effect of sending Isaac into a blind rage over germs, which led to a lecture from Paige on infectious disease, not to mention pushing, crying, door slamming, and hiding. 

The hiding part was me. The rest was my kids.

Everything I said fell on deaf, defiant ears; and everything I did to try to resolve the battle of the purple zebra Slinky just escalated the situation and made all of us angrier. 

We were saved only by the little girl next door, who was coming for a sleepover, and who, along with her pajamas and toothbrush, brought with her a blessed forced reprieve from Slinky-based warfare.

Now that Isaac is lying peacefully next to me asleep, and Paige and her friend are quietly playing dollies and making rubber band loom jewelry in a different part of the house, all seems well.

Yet the fact remains that I fucking hated my kids tonight. I'm not proud of it, and I'm not happy about it. But it's true. It is fucking TRUE.

No comments:

Post a Comment