Okay, I lied. I don't hate kids. Hate is a very strong word. And I don't use it often. But I'm frustrated, angry, and just feel like screaming RAWWWWR. Why am I so upset, you ask? Because of the past 24 hours. Allow me to recap.
I do love love love love LOVE my brother, but seriously, I don't get how parents do this. I always thought I'd be a great mom, because I'm patient (or so I thought) and loving and nurturing and all those goody too shoes qualities. But the past 24 hours have made me question things a lot. Especially when dealing with an 8-year-old. I mean, if he was a baby, it'd be a lil easier because he wouldn't have the sass factor going on, and if he disobeyed I could just pick him up, let him kick around and flail his arms and legs, and then shove a pacifier in his mouth or give him a bottle or just leave him in the crib to scream until he fell asleep. But no, when you have an 8-year-old brat acting like a teenager with his "I don't care, you can't make me" attitude, who is also only a head shorter than you and weighs too much for you to pick him up--well, then you gotta do what you gotta do. They test you. And it sucks.
It all started last night when I met my mom and picked him up. He was in a good mood then. He knew he still had homework to do and agreed to shower in the morning, admitting that he smelled. So on the way home, when I recap what the plans were, i.e. him doing hw while I shower, he decides that he's not doing his homework that night. I absolutely refuse to allow him to do that, because I needed to shower, and that was the perfect plan. So we argue all the way home about how he's not going to do his homework, and how I said he is going to do his homework, whether he likes it or not. I pull into my apt's parking garage, and M is right behind me in her car. I am so frustrated at this point, and have a huge bag of groceries in my hand, along with all of my brother's stuff--backpack, towel, swim trunks, school clothes--and M offers to bring stuff in and so I hand her the groceries. Meanwhile, I tell my brother that he has to get out of the car. He refuses, saying he will just sleep in my car. I warn him that if he doesn't come out of the car, he will not be able to get into my apt (because you need a key to get through the first set of doors) and he refuses. I slam the door, and walk into my apt. M asks me if I'm gonna go get him. I say no, because he's chosen to stay in the car. I shower, and do my own thing.
Right when I'm walking into the kitchen to get a glass of water, he knocks on the door. I let him in and ask him if he's ready to do his homework now. He says yes. Of course at this point, it's already 30 min past his usual bed time. I set the timer, and he does his homework while I fume in my room. Shortly afterwards, he goes to bed and falls asleep nearly an hour past his regular bedtime.
Fast forward to this morning....I set an alarm for him for 6:45am, because he needed to shower. The alarm goes off, and he doesn't move a muscle. I turn on the lights, and play loud music. He rolls over and ignores me. I remind him that he needs to shower. He refuses. "I don't want to. I don't have to. No." Ughhhhh. At this point I'm frustrated, so I call my mom, who verbally threatens him over the phone, saying she'll take his spring break trip to Arizona away, and that she'll tell the teacher he's smelly. "I don't care," he says. WHAT A BRAT! Eventually my mom says he can just take a washcloth and clean himself that way. I say no, because he said he was going to shower, so goddamit he will shower. Seriously.
He still won't budge though. I try to literally pull him off the bed by his legs but he just held onto my mattress with his arms. I try tickling, jumping alongside him--pretty much anything to get him to move. Still nothing. Eventually I concede and tell him that he won't have to brush his teeth (because he didn't want to) if he gets in the bathroom and showers. To which he says he is not going to shower but will wash with a washcloth. In my fit of frustration, when I've finally got him in the bathroom, I take all my momentum and push him into the shower, fully clothed (well everything on but socks and a shirt). And then I...turned on the shower, getting him soaking wet. But he doesn't care! He squats down and says he won't clean himself. I say, fine, whatever. And I start curling my hair. Finally, he gets some sense and decides he will shower, but that's only after I've forced him to take off his now sopping wet shorts and boxers, and finally put some soap on a loofah. Then I let him listen to my ipod while I get ready for work.
After he's done showering, I hand him a towel and tell him to dry off. He dries off and then I hand him his clothes, to which he says "did mom pack me another set of underwear?" "I don't know," I say. Turns out she didn't. "You were the one that decided to keep your clothes on when I put you in the shower, you could've taken them off. It was your decision, not mine. Put your shirt on and I'll feed you breakfast." I know, I probably sound like the Wicked Witch of the West right now, but you've got to understand my frustration. I put his underwear in the dryer. Only our dryer hasn't been functioning up to par lately so it takes forever to get them to dry. In the meantime, I fed him a granola bar and yogurt, and read part of his Pirates of the Carribean book.
8:00am. He has to get to school in 15 minutes. So I take the damp boxers out, and literally take my hairdryer to them, hoping that will help. It kinda does. I tell him to put them on, we get fully dressed, and run into the car.
On the way to school, I notice that my car transponder for the toll ways is missing a piece. "Did you break this?" I ask. "No, I just can't find the part." "What else did you mess with?" "Nothing." Right. Well, he opened up my cheap-o air freshner so now my car reeks of winterfresh mint, and I can't find the damn thing to throw it away. At this point, I seriously just want to cry, because I'm frustrated, and my car transponder might be broken, and that will cost money to replace, and he's going to be late to school. And we all know I hate being late. I don't cry, get him to school 1 minute late, and find the missing part to my transponder. But I also notice he's taken the dried rose bouquet from Beth's wedding last summer and stepped all over it, leaving tons of mini yellow dried rose petals all over my backseat. Just great. Welcome to my life.
Later on today my mom told everyone in the office about what I did. And I'm sure this is comical, but for me it's just so frustrating. I literally just wanted to scream this morning and cry, and throw a temper tantrum complete with me ending up on the floor sobbing. But I didn't. I did make it to mass for Ash Wednesday, and I did vent to my various coworkers, one of which said that he's learned to just not take it personally anymore, and assured me that I will be a good parent someday. I don't know, but maybe that's where I failed. Maybe I should have just let him go to school stinky, but I care. I CARE. I love him. *sigh*