Monday, April 12, 2010
Adventures in Real Parenting: Mirror Mirror
This story is rubbish. There is no story. Well, not that anyone is ever going to want to buy. Or read. Or even wipe their bottom with. Why did I ever think I could actually write? Fuckery, I've wasted months. I should go get a job at Starbucks. If they'll have me. I'm such a loser I probably couldn't find a job at Starbucks. Maybe I should give it all up and go back to being a secretary like I did in the early "career." Career. Now there's a funny word for what I used to do. Why is that I once ran an organization and now I read the job descriptions and think they'd never hire me to do that because I couldn't possibly do all those REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS. I AM a loser. Maybe I could get a job cleaning houses. I'm good at that. I mean, look at how blindingly sparklingly clean this wastebasket is now! Writing? What was I thinking. Maybe I should just start all over. Again.
Then my stomach growled, I decided to watch a Foyle's War for "research" because after all that, I decided I better bloody well finish this story or I might never finish anything ever again, and, having gotten my life all sorted (again), headed to the kitchen to make myself some breakfast.
I was in the middle of carefully measuring out some steel cut oats when my phone indicated that I had a new text message. It was from someone who shall remain nameless, but with whom a chunk of my heart resides elsewhere.
"I am a horrible student....."
What came next was a text version of the negative self-talk I'd just committed and was between two people which meant that at least there was someone on the receiving end of the conversation to say things like "stop that" or "that's not true" or "you're a fine person and an excellent student."
It made me think how our children reflect us back to ourselves. While I was running myself and that much rumored potential of mine down, someone else was whipping herself into a frenzy over a lost jump drive and an unfinished paper that was due at 9:00 a.m.
Nevermind what she says, she is a great student and a fine person and her morning wasn't going well and she's human. And I hate it that for a while, she was hating on one of my favorite people because, well, it was a rough morning and she was paying the price for procrastinating and wasn't feeling so great about things and so she was taking it out on herself.
So I did what a parent does. I told her that her morning sucked balls with an extra helping of self-loathing, and she would have to finish the paper when she had time, but she was going to be okay. So what if Carol Brady never used phrases like "sucks balls" in her parenting, we each must work with the tools we've got.
I should have asked her if she had moved to the cleaning stage yet. And I suppose I should be at least somewhat relieved that she was blaming herself and not someone else (me).
*Swimmingly = everyone out the door on time and with everything they needed, house tidied, pussies for peace tended to, bed made, 20 minute high intensity run completed and everything just so in order for me to get on with my day.
**Dusting during pine pollen season = a favorite procrastination technique