Thursday, 6 November 2014

I am NOT my mother, NOT my dad, NOT a toddler

I was on the phone with my dad this morning, I called to see if he wanted to go to a sale this weekend. As we were chatting he casually asked about when my son will be starting school. Now, to be honest, I am VERY inclined to home school. No, we're not religious, we're not in a cult, we're not socially inept or whatever other stigma follows home schooling families, I just don't really feel traditional school is the first choice. Anyway, on with the story. I started telling my dad that it would be a few years yet and that I wasn't sure where my son was going to go. I started telling my dad a bit about some friends' experiences and how I'm not totally confident in the way things are being handled in schools. Well, bloddy hell, the man just went off the deep end(channeling a little Ron Weasley there). My dad started flipping out about how teachers don't do their jobs, how sending kids home teachers them HOW to get sent home. He was literally YELLING on the phone, about teachers, and it wasn't even 9am yet. Oy Vey.

Now, the conversation with my dad continued and we were talking about social media, parenting etc, and for each topic my dad had at least one explosion of rage. I think the thing that really bothered me, was when he started going on and on about parents who have kids that act out. He was saying things like "just spank the fucking brat" and the like, which were upsetting for a couple of reasons. 1. My dad didn't spank us or call us names, so I don't get his logic there, just seems contradictory 2. My dad is STILL angry at his own parents for doing just those things. 

I have problems with yelling, I've been working on them for a very long time, and I've improved drastically. My dad, on the other hand(obviously), has not. As much as I know my relationship with my mother makes me upset, my relationship with my dad can also be strenuous at times, he's just so angry at mostly nothing. So, in light of a little self revelation, here's my list of things I will be reiterating to myself every time I start getting upset over nothing:

*I am not my mother*
I will not spank, slap, ground, scream, or belittle my children. I didn't like it, my children wouldn't either
*I am not my dad*
I will not Hulk out over every little thing. It's just a remote control, it's just a pen, it's just a box of kraft dinner past it's best before date(honestly, you think "Sh*t My Dad Says" is good/bad? You have heard NOTHING yet) I always HATED the yelling and the words "SHUT. UP." I am not doing that to my kids.
*I am not a toddler*
I will not slam cupboards, recycle with RAGE, cry over spilled milk. Monkey SEE Monkey DO, I don't want sad-angry monkeys destroying the house and themselves.

I will be doing my best to not become a basket case. I'm not going to be a distant, emotionless drone, and I'm not going to become the incredible hulk when my spoon bends in the ice cream. I have devised a little physical release I call "Breathe like a tree" for when my toddler flips out and when I'm becoming wound up. I say "breathe like a tree", then crouch down, slowly stand up and breathe deep, arms stretched out, palms out and fingers spread. I swish my arms or flutter my fingers(or both) and breath out, sometimes I balance on one leg and bend my other leg and place that foot on the inside of my balancing leg, like tree pose(I think, I don't do yoga). Anyway, it really does help, and my toddler things it's pretty funny. 

Who would have thought an early morning conversation with my dad and his intense(and ridiculous) hatred of teachers would lead to such a great release! I always say it, but I really should write more often, I feel so much better afterwards.

Leslie Michael

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