Gentle Miss (part 3) (In which I tell you how I ranted)

Once we got to church, Denton wouldn’t come into the church. Denton stood out by a tree, in the rain, for a very long time. Cadrian wouldn’t go into his classroom. Cadrian stood in the hallway for a very long time. Denton sat down on the stairs and held onto the banisters. Denton ate my sweet roll. Denton had to sit with me in church. Denton still wouldn’t go down to his classroom. The preaching started and then Denton wanted to go down to his classroom. I had to get up in the middle to take him downstairs. Then Denton wouldn’t go into his classroom. Then Denton hid under a table.

After church, I let the kids have a sweet roll each (even Denton) because I wanted to stop at a store to buy Cadrian some “fancy pants” to wear to church so he wouldn’t have to fret about wearing jeans to church again. I thought the trip would go better if they weren’t hungry.

I asked the kids to sit a table while I went to the restroom. They didn’t. Cadrian and Denton wanted to talk with our pastor, interrupting him from a conversation. On the way to the van, Denton climbed up the scrolled metal porch pole outside the church doors and wouldn’t come down until he was good and ready. Denton and Cadrian climbed up on the cement parts of the parking lot light poles, significantly delaying our leave taking process. Then they ran all the way down the hill towards the creek. And didn’t come back for a long time. Then Denton wouldn’t hold still so I could buckle him in.

Through all of this (and parts I left out), I’m feeling embarrassed. I’m feeling like my children are uncivilized little hooligans and we are never going to be able to be out in public. I’m feeling like I’m doing a horrible job of parenting. But through all of this, I am feeling pretty calm. I’m speaking pretty calmly. I’m not yanking on anyone’s arm. I’m gentle.

The store I wanted to buy the pants at didn’t open until noon, and we weren’t going to sit in the parking lot for an hour. Wal-mart was right down the street. I debated about whether or not we should go, but decided that I really wanted to get Cadrian some long enough black pants. Part of it was guilt, I’m sure, for not having the right size pants at home, and making him wear a “not fancy enough” outfit.

When we got to Wal-mart, Denton kept trying to bop out into the parking lot while I was putting Elivette in the wrap. I finally set him on the seat in front of me, but it was STILL like a mini-battle of him pushing me and trying to circumvent me so he could go get himself run over. I put him in a grocery cart and he stood up. I told him gently to sit down.

NO.

I put my hands on his shoulders. “Sit down”.

“Ughn! NO! I HATE YOU!”

That. Was. It.

I had put up with so much $**# from these little so-n-sos in the past couple of days and now they are telling me they hate me?!!

I tossed them back into the van. We are not even going to Wal-mart. If you don’t ever get your pants, you can blame Denton.  I am DONE with “I hate you”. No one is EVER saying that again. You think it’s ok to hide behind a tree and not come into church? You think it’s ok to scream in Best Buy because you don’t want to be in a stroller?! You think it’s ok to scream in the parking lot of Best Buy because you don’t want to get out of the stroller?! You think it’s to scream all the way to church because you don’t get to wear what you want?! I don’t want people yelling at me all the time, but do I get what I want?! I don’t want people to tell me they hate me, but do I get what I want?!

 I laid it on thick. I laid it on loudly. I laid it on with gritted teeth. I ranted. I raved. ALL. THE. WAY home.

At one point, I slammed on the brakes on our gravel road and skidded to a stop. “Do you think I’m not a person? Do you think I don’t have feelings? Do you think you can all just yell at me and yell at me and yell at me and it doesn’t affect me?” I pointed out instances where they had all in the past twenty-four hours been unkind to me and mean to me and undeservedly rude to me. I asked them if they liked how I was talking to them just then. I told them I don’t like it either, when they talk to me like that. I told them that I generally am gentle, I asked them if they thought so too (yes, they agreed), but this is what I get in return?! “Granted,” I said, “I don’t do it perfectly. But You Do. Not. Get. to be so unkind to me!”

Ugh.

I cringe reading that, knowing how I sounded. I can’t imagine what was going through their little brains hearing that.

The message was fine. The delivery needed a lot work.

I need to find a satisfactory way to tell them what I am experiencing in a way they can understand me, before I reach this point. I tell them “When you do X, I feel Y” already, but sometimes it doesn’t seem to do anything to change behaviors.

I need to find a way to do better self care. Journaling helps. Blogging helps.

I need something to change. Somehow. I’m already doing all I know to do, and feel capable of doing.

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6 thoughts on “Gentle Miss (part 3) (In which I tell you how I ranted)

  1. Ok I know we're already friends, but dude we need to be Friends. This journey can be so hard- so full of awesome but so incredibly hard. You are doing a good- no, great – job!

  2. First time at your blog. Im grateful for your honesty. Being a mum is hard going sometimes. From what I can see, your doing fabulously. We all find ourselves ranting and raving at times, pushed to our limits by demanding, testing children. Thank God for his grace. Sunshine and smiles are never too far away.

  3. First time at your blog. Im grateful for your honesty. Being a mum is hard going sometimes. From what I can see, your doing fabulously. We all find ourselves ranting and raving at times, pushed to our limits by demanding, testing children. Thank God for his grace. Sunshine and smiles are never too far away.

  4. Don't be too hard on yourself. Being a mother is so tough. I had those screeching to a stop moments on a gravel road when my kids were younger. One time I even had them get out of the car for a while! Bad mommy. Yes I let them all back in but I had enough that day. This will pass and you will look back upon these moments as memories.

  5. Oh Jessica! How I felt your pain! I have had conversations like this with my kids…gentle and otherwise. I can speak from experience that yelling at them will not kill them and, in fact, can be quite effective. I know it's not the way we want to parent but stuff happens. Please don't beat yourself up. You are a great mom to your chiddlers.
    At the end of the day you are still their Mama and they still love you.
    You got this, dear friend.

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