Being the Grown Up


losing patience with children[Shared by 3 Children and It]

Monday mornings are always hectic in this house. The Boy needs to be at Judo club for 7.45am and after dropping him, I return to collect Tween 2, taking her back up to school 15 minutes later – a ridiculous scenario but one that we are in, nonetheless. Today didn’t go well.

Yesterday evening, Tween 2 had been to a bowling and laser quest event with her youth club. I had given her £10, on the understanding that the evening would cost £6 and the change would be mine. On requesting the change this morning, it would appear that only 20 pence was left in the purse….

Looking back, I wish that I had never started it, certainly not at 8.10am on a Monday morning! I asked her what she had done with the money and a tangled web of lies came out. I knew they were lies, so I questioned her. The more I questioned, the more she tied herself up in knots. Becoming frustrated, she started to shout at me as the lies begun unravelling themselves. It was such a small, insignificant thing really but lies are like red rag to a bull for me and Tween 2 has a history. Every time I tried to speak, she shouted across me in an attempt to shut me up, and then it happened. I completely lost it.

I know that I lost all respect at that point. I behaved like a child when I should have been the grown up. Sometimes it’s hard to be the grown up when everything within us wants to kick, scream and shout: “IT’S NOT FAIR!!!” And on this occasion, I didn’t manage it. I returned home after a very silent journey to school and a mumbled “goodbye”, with a pit in my stomach and an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. Disappointment in myself for losing it, for not setting a good example, for not managing to control myself.

I spoke to a friend about it and she put an arm around my shoulder. A gesture which said “I know, I understand, we’ve all been there…” And this is why I’m sharing my rather pathetic attempt at parenting today: we all muck up, we all feel inadequate at times, we’ve all ‘been there’. My friend also encouraged me to focus on the ‘making up’ and that this is where a parent can shine.

So when I got home, I sat down with a piece of paper and a pen and I wrote a letter to my daughter. I needed to clear the air but not being able to talk to her, this silent effort seemed the closest I could get. Will I give it to her? I don’t think so. Tonight I will talk to her, when things have calmed down. I will say that I am sorry for losing my temper and ask if she has any ideas for how we can prevent this from happening another time. I hope that we will hug and it will all be ok. Children can be forgiving little souls, if only we allow them to be.

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