I don’t even know how to broach this subject without sounding as if I’m demonizing my children. That’s not my intention at all. My kids are all marvelous, loving individuals. I just find it very interesting (and annoying) that Sky and Prasad are fairly well behaved most of the time as long as I’m not having any fun. Lately, I’m noticing this applies to Amelie, too. She can be perfectly content while I sweep and do laundry, but the moment I sit down for tea, to read a good book, blog, or eat a snack I have hell to pay. Seriously, she comes up and starts pulling at me, crying. I’ve had to pick her up and place her on her bottom about six feet away from me to send her the message that “this is mom’s turn to eat, have fun, etc, and I will not be manipulated by you.” Most importantly, I’m telling her “You are not the center of the universe.”
What is the deal with this? It’s probably been going on for thousands of years, and it really does make parenting about 25% more difficult. There are some things I can’t ignore, like Amelie choosing to stand up on the back of her trike, eat off the floor, or the boys starting a yelling match in the next room. I have to drop what I’m doing, which is usually something enjoyable, nourishing and therapeutic, just to keep the peace and safety in this house. And these things happen, the majority of the time, when I am having fun or enjoying myself.
It’s got to be a conspiracy of some sort. Maybe not for Amelie… not yet, anyway. But I know for a fact that Sky plans on how difficult he is, or isn’t going to be. He tells me. Just yesterday he said, “Prasad and I had a serious discussion today, Mom, and we’ve both decided that we’re going to give you a day of peace.” I was stumped. It’s a considerate gesture, but my first thought was “Why does this have to be a plan. Isn’t being respectful and mindful a given?” No… it isn’t with children. They often like to believe they have buttons to push, and can control their parents’ lives, moods, and daily affairs with their bahaviors. Many kids do, and they have learned that behaviors are valuable tools. Sky and Prasad love to believe they can give or take away my peace at will, and that I have no power over it. How empowering for them! I had a small talk with Sky about it this morning, but the best proof of this is how I react, or don’t react to any of the kids’ antics. from the looks of things, and how the day has started, Sky has already decided that today will be the opposite– he plans on NOT giving me a day of peace. It’s up to me to prove otherwise.
Strangely, I’m reminded of all the time Daniel and I like to spend outdoors when the weather is nice. Gardening, digging, weeding, planting, building, creating… we have a zillion projects going on during the weekends, and we often involve the kids. It’s our passion and the kids know this. For some reason, we’re always sensing a great deal of resentment from Sky and Prasad… especially Sky. Sky will get depressed a lot, and mope around the yard even though he has a massive yard to run, explore and play in. Even when he’s asked to help out, he’s very blue. Daniel and I are at our peak happiness level outdoors, and Sky drops into his lowest. Prasad seems to do okay with it, as long as he’s involved in the labor somehow, but he still seems annoyed when our plans for the day are to be outdoors. Isn’t this the opposite of how kids usually operate? I recall loving the outdoors as a kid, not at all concerned with what my parents were doing, and I see so many kids on our street loving it, too. It really feels like they abhor the fact that Daniel and I are SO HAPPY out there. Again, what is the deal with that? I am not demonizing my kids… they’re incredible gems, and we adore every ounce of them. They just prefer that I’m miserable most of the time. When I say “Kids Want Miserable Mommies” what I really mean is that they love the belief that they have the power to rule our moods and responses, and they need to see us engaged in activities that serve them and the family’s needs, not ourselves. When we’re happy (about something unrelated to them), they’re not in control, and they’re not at the center of the universe.