I don't know if everyone has those "I have to be the worst parent in the world" moments, but I know I do and today I had several of those moments.
I have four very bright, independent kids. They are who they are. All four can be demanding at times. Today was just one of those days where you put them to bed and think, "Dang, maybe I should just give them all up for adoption because they sure would be better off."
First, I made Gabe cry. Man does that make me feel like crap. He needed to answer one question, Describe why you want to go to Buffalo Wild Wings. He was writing a report where he had to say how he could try to get his parents to do something he wanted them to do. He wanted to go to BWW - so he had to write down why he wanted to. He stared at this screen on the computer for an hour and never typed anything. I told him to tell me what he wanted to say and I would type it. We sat here for another 20 minutes and he still couldn't answer it. I got angry. Wasn't a hard question. I yelled at him and he cried. Felt like total crap.
Fast forward to the teacher conferences tonight. It was for the twins, and it wasn't like a one on one conference, it was an entire class conference where the teacher discussed what was going on for the year and what was expected for the children. Note after note came home stating "Please leave your kids at home" and also saying that if the kids come they "have to be quiet and color." We really had no place to take them. Initially we were going to pay Gabe to babysit them, but Gabe was in such a bad mood after the days homework that I knew that wasn't going to be a good thing so they had to come. The conference started at 6pm and was to last to 7pm. I don't know about anyone else but we normally eat at 6pm. The kids rely on it. We try to keep as close to our schedule as possible. Evelyn had girl scouts so I knew I wasn't going to be able to make a real meal before hand, so I gave the twins each half a PBand J - figured that would tide them over.
We got to the school about 10 minutes early. Nick took Ellie and I took Lucy. Lucy was very excited and helped the teacher hand papers out. She sat down and started coloring. By the time the conference started Lucy was done coloring. I knew that was a bad thing. It was dinner time, she was bored, and she had an audience (something she loves!) The teacher started talking and Lucy jumped up and immediatly gave her teacher a hug. That I can deal with. I whisper to Lucy, "You have to sit down and color, remember what your teacher said." She nodded and then started yelling to a child on the other side of the room. She then took a drink of water and let out a huge belch. I whispered to her, "Lucy, you have to sit down and be quiet". She looked around and saw her audience looking at her and turned to me and yelled, "NO!" I then whispered in her ear that if she didn't stop being this way we would have to leave. She turned her chair around and started trying to pull the chair into the center of the room. I held on to the back of her chair so she could not. At that point she jumps up and runs into the center of the room and starts making bunny ears with the projector light. I picked her up and carried her out of the room, she is now in full opera scream. I took her out to the hall and told her why I removed her from the room. Somehow her ear piercing scream just got louder. I then hauled her outside where she yelled and screamed for the next 45 minutes.
I felt terrible. Normally I don't care what people think of me, but the last few times I had spoken with her teacher I got the distinct impression that this teacher thought I was a terrible mom. She honestly treats me like I am ignorant (and maybe I am when it comes to parenting.) Add to that the fact that we live in Stepford, all the people you see have beautiful bodies, are perfect looking, and exude that they and their children are perfect. These kids are all "yes sir" when their parents are around, and then tossing food and calling people terrible names when their parents aren't around. So there I was, five minutes into the conference I pick up my daughter and haul her out of the room screaming. I couldn't let her continue to misbehave like that and be disruptive. I just feel like a horrible parent. My child was the one who didn't listen and misbehaved. The teacher scowled at me as I hauled her out.
Today is just one of those nights that I will go to bed and pray to God that I can somehow be a better parent. Where did I fail as a parent? I try to do what is right for my kids. I give them rules that matter and let the things that don't matter go. I tell them what is expected of them and I do my best to give them everything they need (mind you, they may not get what they want but they always have what they need.) I just don't know. I made my son cry. I have a five year old that refuses to listen to me - ever - so I end up having to put her in the corner way more than I would like - or- like tonight - have to physically remove her from places because she is misbehaving.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and I can be a better parent. . . .