>I am in a foul mood. FOUL. So, what better time to do a blog post! Wheee! I am sitting on my parents’ screened-in porch while Zoey is napping (finally). And I am trying to improve my mood/console myself/get really, really fat by eating Oreo funstixes. That’s right, funstixes plural. And no they are not as good as regular old double stuff Oreos. And putting an ‘x’ in stix really doesn’t make them more fun. It makes them ANNOYING.
It was a hell of a morning here. Shortly after waking up Zoey decides to blatantly break the one and only rule that exists at Gramme and Pop-pop’s house: no jumping on the couch. She knows this rule. She knows it well. And in fact I had just said, “Zoey. NO. JUMPING. ON. THE. COUCH.” I even used my stern mommy I-mean-business voice. So what does she do? She jumps from the couch to the coffee table. Which, by the way, is glass. After she lands, and somehow miraculously does not break the glass, she raises her arms triumphantly above her head and yells, “TA-DA!” She does all this while looking directly at me.
Ta-da my ass.
So Zoey goes into time-out. Her butt is in the chair faster than you can say 1-2-3 Magic. Then she looks at me, while I am giving her the mean mommy stink eye no less, and laughs. She laughs. I begin to tell her that it’s not funny, that she is in trouble, and that she had better shuthermouthandstayinthatchairORELSE. Zoey stands up and begins jumping on the chair. While pointing at me. And laughing. I was not amused. I set her in the chair again and decided to go look busy so she has less of an audience. Zoey promptly climbs out of the chair, runs over, and hits me in the stomach. Hard. So I become A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. I potato sack her into her room, put her on the floor, and perhaps yell something about not wanting to see at her, not wanting to hear her, and not wanting to be in the same room as her. Thank god she does not yet posses the vocabulary to point out that the last part of the previous statement was repetitive and, well duh, obvious. I slammed her door, she on one side, me on the other. Zoey cried. And for at least 30 seconds I felt good — somehow vindicated that I had made her cry, that I had made her feel punished.
Then, as what I was feeling started to sink in, I felt . . . shitty. Shitty and ashamed. What kind of mother wants to make her daughter cry? What kind of mother suspects her daughter of being spiteful at times? And what made it all a bit worse was the fact that my parents witnessed all of it with something, I suspect, close to horror.
After two minutes (standard time out protocol) I went back in to Zoey’s room. Even though she was sniffling into her arm and wouldn’t look at me, I picked her up. I hugged her. I told her that I love her. She clung to my shoulders and cried into the soft cradle of my neck. When she finally looked up at me, shame softly wafted between us, and then blew away. I wiped away her tears and she murmured, “Better.”
And although Zoey has forgiven me, I’m still thinking about what I could have done differently, done better. I know I could have done a lot worse. But something about the whole thing was less than good-enough. And now I have a tiny little hole in my heart. A tiny little hole which the Oreo Stixes don’t seem to be filling up. I think, and I hope, that it’s one of those holes that will fill up with time and with practice. And with doing better next time.