As a mom, I spend a lot of time trying not to feel how I’m really feeling, because I know my kids will behave better if I set a positive example. That’s positive parenting, right? The mom sets the tone for the family. “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” the saying goes. So I try to start each day on the sunny side.
My eight year old tells me Go Away when I try to wake him. My seven year old wakes up but runs downstairs, buries his head in the sofa cushions and tells me to leave him alone. Oh, they’re still tired. They’re just a little cranky. Everything will be better once they have breakfast. Positive thinking!
Over breakfast, the complaining begins. “My bagel is too dark.” “I don’t like when there are bubbles in my milk.” “Seriously, we only have cinnamon Pop-Tarts?” By the end of breakfast, I’ve a chewed a large hole in the side of my mouth and it’s begun to swell because I’m trying not to raise my voice while maintaining a smile and a positive attitude.
The food needs to get to their brains, I remind myself. I send them to their rooms to dress for the day and the fighting begins. Younger son won’t get out of older son’s room. Older son uses younger son’s toothbrush. “Please go to your own rooms to get dressed, “ I direct, remembering to use my manners.
Now younger son informs me that he can’t wear the shirt he insisted I buy him last week, because this week the character on it is no longer cool. When I explain that he has to wear it because I don’t have another clean shirt for him, he asks, “So, what do you do all day anyway?” Before I can open my mouth to ask him if he’d like to start doing the laundry, I’m interrupted by older son, who’s running around the house yelling, “Your mother eats gym shorts!” at the top of his lungs, laughing hysterically. Of course he’s completely naked.