Sunday, August 26, 2012

The "Talk"

We have blow-outs in this house.  Not between me and D, as we are adults who know when to back the heck off.  The blow-outs are between me and the kids:

*Me and N when she fidgets and putzes and gets cranky when learning a new piano piece and wails, "This is too hard!" and is generally uncooperative.  (Being a complete arse when she would never, ever dream of being this way with her piano teacher.)

*Me and G when he continues to pester his siblings after I have repeatedly asked him not to do so.  When he smacks M in the back, ignoring his younger brother's cries to stop.

When D and I first saw the movie Mystery Men, he told me I am Ben Stiller's character, "Volcano."  I get my panties in a twist, lose it (especially when dealing with completely irrational people) and then I'm ok.

But I don't particularly want my children to be as I am, the "ticking time bomb of fury."

So what happens after mommy loses her shit is that I calm down and N or G calms down and then we talk about what happened.  I apologize for becoming so angry but explain why their behavior frustrated me.  We, more or less, "kiss and make-up."

The other day after a blow-up with N over piano practice, we went up to her room and, I believe, screamed into her pillow a few times.  When she came downstairs, she asked if she could go into the basement and watch tv.  I agreed.  Then she said, "When you get done, will you come down and have The Talk with me?"  I said, "The Talk?"  She replied, "You know, when you say your sorry..."

When she said this, it kinda pissed me off.  That I'm the one saying "I'm sorry" and coming to her to see if she is ok.  That she expects this to happen.

It also saddened me.  That I blow up in the first place, necessitating "The Talk" afterwards.

So we talked, and I told her I don't like that I become so frustrated, but I do.  Because she doesn't behave the same way with me as she does with her piano instructor.  Because she always becomes frustrated with a piece of music as she's learning it (and takes it out on me), but then feels proud of herself once she knows it and can play it well.

Through our talk, it became apparent that her behavior was mostly due to getting an orthodontic appliance earlier in the day and feeling worried that her friends at school would make fun of her.  So we talked about that.

And then we gave each other a kiss and hugged.  After dinner she had a good piano practice with a good attitude.

I've continued to mull that talk over and all the various "talks" we've had.  It hurts my parental pride a bit to say I'm sorry, but at the same time, I know that it is this consideration and communication that   keep relationships mostly satisfying.  And I hope that my family, as the kids grow, is one in which we can disagree but remember that we love each other and we've got each others' backs.  That none of us is perfect.  That sometimes "volcanoes" do occur and it isn't the end of the world.  That we forgive each other for being human.

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