Tuesday the big kids had an early dismissal. As a work from home mom, early dismissals are my kryptonite. What complicates things even more is that our school’s early dismissals are always on Tuesdays. At 1:00. Jonah has speech on Tuesdays. At 1:15.
I can’t get from school to speech in 15 minutes, so I have to make elaborate plans to get my kids taken care of on these days. Happily, this past Tuesday, the mom we carpool with was able to take them to another friend’s house nearby after school, where I could pick them up after speech at 2:15.
The big kids were SUPER excited to be going to their friend’s house. Win-win, right? I told them they would only be there about an hour, maybe a little less. I told them I would be there to pick them up about 2:15.
Speech ran a little late, so I actually arrived at 2:20. When I got there, I looked through the glass door and Joshua was sitting right there, 3 feet away from me on the couch, playing Minecraft or Terraria or something ridiculous like that with his buddy. He looked up and saw me and Jonah standing there.
The look on his face when he saw me was pure disgust.
It reminded me of that Michael Douglas line from “A Perfect Murder”. That’s not happiness to see me, is it?
I walked in the house, and immediately it started.
“Mom, why are you here already?”
“This is when I told you I’d be here.”
“Why can’t I stay?”
I offered up a few reasons. (Like, you know, maybe this family has plans and they need me to get my kids the heck out of their house.)
He had answers for all of them. Indignant, angry.
“I’m serious. WHY can’t I stay?” He was so mad, so disrespectful. In front of his friend. I thanked God that his friend’s mom wasn’t in the room and I tried to control my anger. “Go get your sister.” I said in a low voice.
Sophie came into the room. “ALREADY???” she half-whined/half-yelled.
I calmly informed both kids that the needed to shut their mouths and get their shoes on or a serious punishment would follow. We made our exit. I was enraged and humiliated at their ungratefulness and about the disrespect they showed me in front of their friends.
When we got home, I sat them down on the couch, told them what they did wrong and what their punishment would be. I had tears in my eyes and I explained to them how their treatment of me made me feel. So much wailing ensued. Wailing but no apologies. I sent them away from my presence. I was exhausted. Exhausted from being hurt by them, exhausted from having to control myself. Because let me tell you: screaming and yelling and hitting are not the right choices, but they are cathartic. Controlling yourself? Is exhausting.
Great angst ensued in the house. Eventually, a couple hours later, each came to me separately and apologized. Forgiveness was extended, though no clemency from punishment. But the rest of my day was shot. I often respond to emotional stress in a physical way, and I. Was. Spent. Just exhausted. I know I’ve used that word ad nauseum, but that’s what I was. Completely tapped out. I sat in my recliner with my laptop and tried to work and keep my eyes open.
Of course by the time Daddy came home at 7, all was cheerful. The kids found things to do and play within the confines of their punishment and decided life would go on. I made some coffee and tried to perk up. We had an ok evening.
But that look of disgust on Joshua’s face when he saw me played over and over in my mind. I guess I feel like neither of them was really sorry. I’m not ready to believe that next time will be any different. I guess we’ll see.
It’s just really tough when your kids hurt your feelings, and my skin is not so thick where they are concerned.