Thursday, May 27th 2010
Of COURSE Willie Cut His Hair THIS Week, and YEAH That Made Me Mad

Today is Thursday. One day after Wednesday, the day of a Serious Mothering Overload Incident on My Unsuspecting But Not Entirely Innocent 3 Boy Children. And it’s TWO days after Tuesday, which was a shock to my system – an unfortunate and sad-feeling turning point in the relationship with my 1 girl child.

I suppose all that is just another way of saying that on Tuesday I had a bad day. And the next day I over-mothered my other kids, partly out of reaction. I suppose.

And today is Thursday. I was standing in my closet this morning deciding what to wear when my mother called and told me that Willie Nelson had cut  his hair. She was not expecting the, “Well GREAT. That is JUST WHAT THIS DAY NEEDS. Just. GREAT,” response. But she got it anyway.

Really Willie? Did you hafta? TODAY?  I don’t have the emotional reserves for dealing with your hair issues. I will just say I get overly attached to things I have no right to, and it TOTALLY crossed my mind in an irrational way that Willie, you CUT OFF SOME OF THE SAME OLD HAIR – the longest part probably- that my sweet GRANDMOTHER probably liked too. And now it’s gone. That same hair that she liked was STILL THERE ON YOUR HEAD and now it is not and it’s gone and it just irritates me. And that’s just the kind of mood I’m in. But my grandmother died a long time ago, and we shared YOUR hair, Willie, ANYWAY,  and nevermind. Just. Nevermind.

So that is my irrational rant for today. Thursday. But let’s catch up. It’ll be good for me, and possibly scary for you, but you’re brave people.

Tuesday was so odd and unexpected and heartbreaking I cannot even go there yet.  I have no rant. I just have this sad little desire to be accepted as the mom I’m sure I’m supposed to be, by someone not interested in the slightest. Usually I can say, “Fine. I’m not good enough for you… but that’s your choice and not a reflection on if I really am a good enough mother.” And I can usually believe it.  Not after Tuesday.  Not Wednesday. Not yet.

Wednesday Seth-4yr went out to play with his brothers in the backyard. He had spare change in his pockets, and he was enjoying the sound of the coins jingling. After awhile I went to check on them, and was HORRIFIED at what I saw.

Three boys on the basketball court, hurling handfuls of money. Coins bounced everywhere. They were laughing. Then, not yet aware of my presence (and seemingly not noticing the serious Chill In The Air, thanks to my icy maternal disapproving stare), they kept doing it.

I have a creepy sounding, super calm voice that i use whenever something big has happened. It’s not voluntary. It’s just that I open my mouth and think I’m going to scream – and I fully INTEND to scream –  and a calm Mr. Rogers’ voice comes out instead. Also, my eyes get huge. I know, because I feel it happen. My eyes dry out.

I asked for them to pick up all the money and bring it to me. Some had bounced off and forever been lost under the fence to the neighbors’ Snake Area, don’t ask. Some had bounced off into our yard and been lost there.

This entire scene offended me. Greatly.

Now I can see that they were 3 little boys loving the idea of raining money, and delighted with the concept and the sounds of money bouncing on concrete. And it did sound cool.

However. Surely this sight must mean I am a horrible mother. RIGHT?  I mean, that is the ONLY correct conclusion here that matters.  How could I have raised three boys to THROW MONEY? They must have no respect for worth. For possessions. For blessing. For God. For the Holy Trinity. And for hard work. And for everything. This is proof that Mike went out of town for a few days and I have managed to  TOTALLY SCREW UP THE REMAINING 3 CHILDREN IN MY CUSTODY.  OH DEAR GOD THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING, I AM A FAILURE.  That is where I went.

I made them round up the coins. It was easily $8-$10 in change. And that’s just WHAT WAS LEFT. I marched them inside. I wrote their names on giant plastic baggies, told them all to go get all their money out of their rooms and bring it out and put it in their baggies. Then – still with the creepy voice – I sat them down on the couch and told them they were NOT GETTING IT BACK anytime soon without earning it and I’m thinking HARD MANUAL LABOR because clearly they do not have the proper respect for blah… blah… blah…. and BOY did I go off.

There were Bible stories to beat them over the head with. So, of COURSE I did that. There were discussions of hard work, and blessing, and respect and gratitude and oh my gosh. It was endless, this lecture. Caden-6yr hid half his face behind a pillow and every thirty seconds said, “yes ma’am,” in the same monotone regardless of where I was in a sentence. He was bored. Or scared. Or trying to shut me up. I have no idea, but I can hardly blame him, and it was noble to try because SOMEONE needed to shut me up and clearly I was not up to that task.

Then we needed to go feed my mom’s cat. So they sat in Totally Silent Time Out the WHOLE WAY there and then – I was going to take them to dinner before all this but, as I told them, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that and spend MONEY on them right at that second and  so I didn’t. It would have to be pb&js for them. But I did hit a drive thru for a diet coke and pasta for ME, not to be snotty but because any crisis of any kind makes me desperate for a diet coke. And it served me right when later I ate a bite of chicken and couldn’t stop gagging but I forgot the pasta had chicken in it and I don’t eat meat and it was chewy in a gross way.

I never act all over the top like this. They were stunned into compliance and I quite enjoyed that when I wasn’t gagging or despairing over how I’d clearly ruined every last one of them and it was such a shame because they were really cute and otherwise wonderful the day before their Total Ruination.

We got back to the house and I told them that while they were waiting for dinner, they could go fill up  bags with extra possessions from their rooms and we would give it away because CLEARLY IF YOU’RE THROWING MONEY, YOU HAVE TOO MANY THINGS.  And that made total sense to me, and not to them, but they didn’t say so. They just filled the bags. Silently, and with big eyes.

By bedtime, we had a mostly silent but not quite so uncomfortable sort of understanding. I was being affectionate, as usual, and trying to make my voice sound normal, and they were clearly scared to pieces of me anyway and went to bed quickly and they all stayed there. Which never happens.

I talked to Mike, who was at an airport somewhere. “You need to come home and totally, you know,  reinforce a message. I mean. This is BAD. And you need to come up with your own consequences and talk to them and help me FIX THIS…” and then I told him ALL of the things I’d done and said and enforced and taken away and he said, “I think maybe you already got this one handled.” In a tone that said, “I can’t do anything MORE because you already did it all and went all crazy and overreacted like you’d found them on the basketball court, naked, smoking crack.”

And that was a justified sentiment.

It’s just that they’re just really wonderful and I don’t want to screw them up and have them all grow up a little and then look at me and one day say, “You are not good enough to be my mom. I see that now. Kim-16yr was right. And I, too, am just not interested.”

And that’s not realistic. I know that. But it’s still a very real fear that is in there, somewhere deep inside where the creepy voice lives.

Tomorrow is Friday. And… I don’t know.

Willie, stay out of the news, please.  I don’t know what else you could do, but I don’t want to find out, either.


2 Comments on “Of COURSE Willie Cut His Hair THIS Week, and YEAH That Made Me Mad”

May 28th, 2010
12:57 am

I don’t want to go on like some love struck adoring fan that secretly gives you night terrors of being stalked…BUT, you’re amazing. Not because of what you said so much, as how you share it so openly and clearly with your whole heart and witty humor. I don’t know anyone else who could tell it the way you do. I’m going to have to look for your book because I love your writing style and the way you express yourself. I’m sure it would be a great read, even if your next blog is all about how misguided and lost you think I am for imagining these things.
I don’t know whether to sob tears for you and the horrible week you’ve had or laugh my head off at the way you describe it all! “Sitting on the basketball court, naked, smoking crack!” That was too hilarious.
I can completely relate though. My eight year old is just vocally expressive enough to come and tell me–with big eyes–that sometimes I scare him. I seriously wonder if I’ve given my children emotional disorders half the time.
Thank you for sharing your life with us.

May 30th, 2010
5:11 am

Your story made me laugh and cry. Praying for you! (And yes, I think Mike was right, you handled the situation enough. But no, it will not ruin them forever. It might make a funny story they will tell all their friends about down the road tho. You know, when they talk about their mothers. :-) )

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