Thursday, June 3, 2010

Something I Learned from an Annoying Turtle

We needed a break, my little boy and I. From the house, the T.V., the never-ending chores and errands and also from each other. But since we were stuck together in the midst of yet another weekend during which Daddy had to work, we made our escape.

It had to be done; I was heading down that panicky road I start spiraling towards when I'm trying so hard to be perfect and keep up with everything. Like when I spend all of Saturday morning cleaning, only to have to pick up every single toy ten times over, mop up spilled juice from a freshly-scrubbed kitchen floor, or get interrupted every 30 seconds with some question, request or other constant demand for attention.

And, in a moment of sheer exhaustion and weakness, I took out my frustration on my son, screaming at him for something he didn't deserve to be screamed at over. I hadn't meant to sound so harsh. But there they were, my words like a stinging slap across his fragile feelings, silencing his innocent questions.

His happy little face became downtrodden and those big, beautiful blue eyes turned so sad.

That constant lingering guilt kicked into overdrive as I knelt down to hug and kiss him, but his next question floored me.

"Mom, how come no one likes me?"

"What do you mean, honey?" I now felt like a total piece of crap. "Everyone loves you. I love you, Daddy loves you...."

"But you yell at me, Daddy yells at me, Nona yells at me..."

My heart sank. I needed to right my wrong. So, walking away from the pile of dishes in the sink and the endless baskets of laundry, I tried to make up for my mommy inadequacies.

And off we went to spend a summery afternoon at the splash park, followed by a visit to the local ice cream parlor. I started to curse myself for leaving the camera at home but that's okay. For once I lived in the moment and just enjoyed it. Enjoyed hanging out with my water-logged little boy in all his chocolate-covered bliss.

Then, just the other night as Ciaran was getting his nightly bedtime Franklin fix, something about this certain episode sounded very familiar. Franklin's parents had been reprimanding him for something or other (can you tell I totally blank out during these shows?). Anyway, this caused Franklin to think they hated him and he got all sulky and kept asking why no one liked him.

Stupid whiny turtle putting things in my kid's head. Parents - beware. Kids pick this stuff up and use it against it us in some kind of ploy to add to the already overwhelming daily guilt we feel. But, just like Franklin always seems to, I learned my lesson too. Dishes, laundry & all the rest will always be there. But a little boy is only four once.

Brainwashing little bastard.


Cheryl said...

Aww..Still. Fuck Franklin. Make your kid watch Caillou instead. Then he can learn how to whine but at least he'll be thankful he has hair!

Natalie said...

I admit, Cheryl's response totally rocks!! But I like Franklin!

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

My girls loved Franklin when they were little. And you are right about the dishes and laundry, age 4is too good to miss out on!

I included you in an award list on my blog if you would like to participate : )

Anonymous said...

Oh gawd Pamela, I have so been there! Sometimes you just have to let it go. I agree Caillou is a whiny Mcwhinerson. I stick to Franklin and Little Bear although Little Bear has that creepy shadow he talks to and now we have to sleep with a nightlight. -sigh-

Bibliomama said...

Oh, now I miss Treehouse. I remember the day Eve said "you love me now?" and I said I always love you and she said "didn't a minute ago when you were yellin' at me" and I explained that I always love her even when I'm angry. She told this to everyone she met for a while, and we were all good. And no matter what the reason, getting away for a play day is just a good idea.

My Momma Drama said...

Oh, no! I yell too much too sometimes and I feel awful. It's had to understand sometimes, but it just gets the best of you after the 50th "momma". I hate Franklin anyway - he's so GD boring!

Thanks for posting this... I just might not yell at my kids tonight :)

Heligirl said...

Oh sweetie, sorry you had that guilt attack. I'm so nervous about when that's going to happen here. We limit TV to 15 to 30 minutes a day and we're watching too. However, daycare lets them watch an hour or so in the AM, so it's just a matter of time.

However, you did the right thing having some mommy son time. It's important to have that special time regularly to help strengthen your relationship. While that brainwashing little bastard might have put the words in your little guy's mouth, he sure helped remind you of the important stuff so all's well that ends well, I guess. Sounds like you had a lovely day together. :)

Are we there yet said...

From the mouthes of babes! I have been there so many times! We all lead such busy lives that sometimes we forget to be present in the moment. Glad you had fun at the splashpark.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

My son doesn't like Franklin so we rarely watch it. I have had those days though. The days where we need a break from each other and then I snap and then I feel like a shitty mom. Gawd I hate mom guilt.

KLZ said...

Cartoons are out to get us. Who writes those damn things?

The Mayor! said... wonder you were "missing" me.....I commented on this post! Days ago!! Man, this keeps happening to me, I MUST be doing something wrong?? I clearly remember it too, because Cheryl's comment made me pee my pants I laughed so hard!! Seriously, Franklin AND Caillou blow....

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