Kids are a conundrum. They can remember that one time you whispered “maybe” six months before their birthday when they asked if they could have a party at Chuck E Cheese’s, but they can’t remember where you said the shoes go. Even though you’ve given those instructions every day, multiple times a day, in varying tones of voice. Somehow the idea of placing shoes in a designated area eludes them, so when you trip over a discarded pair of sneakers everyone acts all wide-eyed, surprised when you call out loudly, “Whose shoes are on the kitchen floor?!!”
And so it is with most things where my young children are concerned. For example, the laundry shoot. I would have died for a laundry shoot as a kid. I mean, how cool is that? It’s a tunnel you can throw your clothes down and they magically appear in the laundry room! But other than an initial intrigue with tossing stuffed animals down the abyss, my children have lost all love for the thing.
Every day. Every day I say, “Just throw your dirty clothes down the shoot!” And every day I find them in the floor instead. Not just one floor. They don’t discriminate. It’s basically whatever room in which they decided to disrobe that they litter dirty laundry throughout.
Sadly what happens with me as a mother is I’m all good, smoothly sailing through the chaotic waters of parenting when suddenly something simple like clothes on the floor rocks my boat. Assaulted by the blatant ignoring of my instructions I grow mildly frustrated, but then it seems the longer I go about picking up piles of discarded articles and other trash bits thrown about, the angrier I get. I start fussing to my children, then I fuss some more. I pick up, I fuss, and my voice increases in amplitude. It reaches a crescendo moment right before I’m ready to snap, but honestly, sometimes I snap regardless.
This is what happened yesterday. It wasn’t something new, but the interruption I received from my husband was. Mid-rant he says to me, “Can you calm down please?!!”
Now if you’re like me when a man tells you to calm down he better get ready to don some boxing gloves. How dare he, am I right? After all, as the mother I’ve earned the right to yell at my kids if I want to, and who’s he to tell me to calm down? He has no idea what I go through on a daily basis.
And here’s the other thing. He’s not perfect. What right does he have to tell me how to parent my own children when he’s no saint of fatherhood? He can’t claim dad of the year, and I see him mess up plenty of times too. So here’s what I did when he tried to tell me how to parent.