I could be paraphrasing this one, but the title was actually a line from G-uno and BFF’s dad. I’ve never so fully understood it until having a kid myself.
Granted, I remember being the haughty teen who was absolutely convinced of my own mental and moral superiority compared to my mother and Grand. I STILL think this way, with both dead there is no one to challenge my memory of things. However, I’ve seriously come to question how valid any of my superiority really was and how much is just my own shittiness of the age.
Let me backup: I’ve become quite bitter and in some ways have kind of shut out my kid. Now that my kid is actually in the teen years, I have some days where walking away keeps me from breaking their face.
The isolation of the pandemic has not really changed it, but we have been migrating pretty well through it and I had thought, actually making some progress. But its the little things…
I ask them to do something, it takes four days. This could range from dishwasher to trash to cooking. It’s not like I’m asking to have a new wing added. You know, the “you live here too” bullshit.
We moved SOLELY to be closer to their goal school, bought a house and everything. Unfortunately, they decided to fuck off on their schoolwork the last three years or so and cycle long periods of procrastination until they were put on administrative probation to get their fucking ass in gear. Despite all this, they have managed to still make it on a waiting list of said school, IF someone who was accepted decides to bail. They still might not be the first one called.
They only have one more year to attempt to get into this school and then its done.
I hate this city, and am not too fond about the state either, but I have shut up and tolerated it because its not been about me for a long ass time.
Example: we had some meat thawed in the fridge but I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I had been managing the cooking for the last few days and was tapped out of ideas and asked Spawn to handle it. I get pegged with question after question of basically “what do I do?”
Men (always exceptions, but especially true for those married or cohabitating) and children are a lot of like on this point – when asked to handle something because one is out of ideas, grow a spine and think of something on your own without having to have your hand held. Prove there is some reason for that massive lump stuck to your fucking neck please.
I said nevermind, make noodles and heat the sauce I’d already put away in the freezer and be done with it.
Three hours later, when my sugar had bottomed out and I had a good pounding headache, we finally had fucking dinner.
And this is the norm.
Noodles – 7 minutes. I prefer al dente.
Sauce – from frozen to hot, maybe ten minutes max?
Next day, I’m trying to throw something together and ask where the meat in the fridge is.
“*sigh* do you NOT remember what I MADE for dinner yesterday?”
“You mean the shit I MADE and I asked you to reheat, yes, I remember the full three hours, what of it?”
Apparently, the discussion of the meat led Spawn to believe that they were to use the meat in question for the sauce that already had everything in it. Beside the point really, I didn’t care the meat was used, but the attitude about it and this condescension that reheating was a… quest or epic feat just fucking crawled all over me.
From our kids, we take small spoonfuls of bullshit, until we finally spew it back and then it seems we’re the ones who are considered “out of control.” I don’t know how anyone can continually swallow that shit and not respond, you have my awe and my sympathies.
But then it happened… again.. the same old song I just can not seem to resolve:
- I hate Spawn
- They made a mistake and here I was, yet again, losing my mind over it. (Spawn at this point still thinks I give a damn about using the meat, when its the attitude and condescension that are killing me).
- I am scary
- I am ALWAYS so violent Spawn has to walk on eggshells.
- I have anger issues
- I’m abusive
- I don’t feel anything
- I NEVER apologize
- they are depressed all the time and they cannot talk to me and don’t want to do anything because of me.
- Bottom line: everything wrong with them and going wrong in their life is all my fault.
This is what I get to hear from the person who has been my sole focus for more than a dozen years. I don’t even buy socks if Spawn cannot make use of them as well, but apparently I’m nothing more than a heartless machine in guise of a parent.
When I was kid, I would have given anything to have either one of my parents give even a single shit I existed and now, I have a kid and all I can think is that me procreating was really a bad idea. I just was not a good enough person to foster the love or care necessarily to bring in a better generation. Maybe I am just a terminator with a paycheck, maybe I am the reason for all of my kid’s problems. If that’s so, what do I do?
It’s sad but feels true, especially since I think today is some sort of parent’s day. That if you want the respect and honor from your children, don’t be around. I hear a lot of hero-esque stories from children about their barely-there parents, usually while the one who did the real work is sitting in the room being ignored at best, or being complained to or berated, at worst.
I lucked out. All in all, Spawn is an amazing and smart and gifted person who will do amazing things and will hopefully NEVER follow in my footsteps in any way. They will hopefully get through the procrastination shit, which is really their only downfall. I doubt I will ever have any of the concerns most of my generation’s parents were worried about when we were growing up. I certainly haven’t so far.
But… we keep ending up on this vicious cycle where I’m accused of being a cross between terminator, mommy dearest and hannibal lecter sans cannibalism and I’m not sure how to handle that.
Do I have a temper? Hell yes. I’ve gone to great strides to try to control it as much as possible, redirect when I can’t and generally calm the fuck down. Sometimes I’m successful, sometimes not. Smoking helped grant personal timeouts, but since I quit I don’t have that anymore.
When I’m at the point where I’m about to lose it, its usually because I’m the brunt of the “ALWAYS” and “NEVER” whine and bitch of Spawn’s wrath.
Tread lightly with absolutes, the only absolute is they are NEVER ALWAYS accurate and their use, is damaging.
But physical… Spawn has had a grand total of three spankings in their entire life, all before the age of five. Personally, that is not abuse to me. Time-outs garnered a chair thrown at my head the one time I attempted it, so I engaged in a different way for discipline.
I’m blunt, sarcastic, but intensely teasing. I like to keep the mood light and I laugh louder at myself than anyone else. I’m accused of being mean when I’m being funny, usually dependant upon the mood of Spawn. I get a lot of “what do you mean by that?” over the most ridiculous things.
One of my co-workers and I were joking around and they made an offhand remark that they wished they had a parent like me, it would have been a riot growing up. I didn’t speak the rest of the day. It completely shit on my good mood. All I could think was… “yeah, ask my kid. They’d opt for a trade-in in an instant.”
But its the middle of a fucking pandemic, my only choice is to stop saying anything at all. Despite the fact that I’m still jobless and secluded, it does not mean my sole source of joy is doing all the fucking chores myself and unfortunately that means I’m required to ASK for something to be done.
If any teenager in this country ever got the fuck off their ass and just did something because it simply needed to be done AND wasn’t solely for their own benefit, I’m sure the planet’s axis would be thrown out of alignment and we’d all die.
I’ve spent so much of my time thinking about solely Spawn and what they need and what they want and how NOT to be like anyone I’ve ever seen parent that I really don’t think of self in any concrete way…
What I mean is, a kid rages against the idea of doing things they don’t enjoy (chores, school, etc). It’s the entire foundation of shit that drives parents crazy, because we are long past the point of being able to argue about doing them anymore.
I have done things I don’t enjoy so much and for so long that I no longer remember anything I ever enjoyed doing. If you asked me to do whatever I want, I’d probably sleep, game or read. I used to create… a lot. I thought I would never stop. The vast amount of shit I wanted to learn or do and go to see were endless. I have no idea how to access that anymore, its just gone.
My desired reaction in all this? Pull away, shut down and hole up.
It’s the way I have responded to attacks of any kind throughout my life, the only peace I ever get is when I shut everything and everyone out completely. I know that’s an ineffective response, and it just makes me seem colder. But I’m tired of the attacks. They just make me wish I was as cold as I am accused of being.
If you are not a parent, I cannot even begin to explain the vast amount of pain a child is able to inflict with just a word. It cuts deep, and every single accusation is entrenched in my own psyche to the point where it begins to become my own definition of self and adds to the hate I already have towards me. If I can’t be loved or understood by one I actually created, why would I ever deserve to be loved or understood by anyone at all?
The only thing I can hope is that Spawn stays on course and there won’t be too much more time before they can escape and make their own life. Maybe if I’m lucky or even live that long, I’ll eventually get put in a home at least a step up above condemned and an occasional postcard.