Sometimes your kids annoy each other on purpose and do shit over and over and over again and it’s infuriating because you know you have taught them right from wrong and they behave at school and are respectful to other adults and your friends will drive them home from practice or something and tell you how “wonderful” your kids are and you are like…
ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT MY KID???
You can really beat yourself up when your kids do this — when they just push buttons relentlessly.
You question your every move.
You wonder if you are doing not just something wrong, but everything wrong.
You start projecting into the future and every majorly fucked up scenario that could possibly happen to your child crosses your mind, and you lose sleep over it and try to pinpoint where you really went wrong or figure out if there is something wrong with your kid.
So first I want you to know that your kids are not the only ones who drive each other crazy and say some really shitty things to each other.
In fact, a couple weeks ago Number 4 was at a friend’s house, and I can’t remember exactly where they were — they might have been in the car on the way back to our house — and the friend had a younger brother.
And something happened and the friend’s brother got super pissed at Number 4’s friend.
And Number 4 came home and she was like,
“Well, Mom, I realized something today.”
“Oh really?” I asked her. “What did you realize?”
“I realized we aren’t the only kids who fight and who are sometimes a little bit out of control.”
“Oh yeah?” I said.
And she proceeded to tell me how her friend’s little brother got super pissed about something and yelled at his sister, among other things,
“I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!!!”
I had to laugh. Because I know how kids are.
I know my kids aren’t the only ones who can really get into it sometimes.
And the same thing happened with my brother when I was younger.
The same thing happens in just about all families.
But to be totally honest, hearing this story did make me feel a little bit better.
Reassurance that it’s not just my family and my kids. Reassurance that all kids say stuff to each other that would mortify us in public.
So anyway, tonight I had another moment of validation.
But this was a different kind of moment.
It was a good one.
And I just want to share it to remind you that you are most likely doing lots and lot and lots of things right, and among all those shitty moments where your kids are driving each other insane, they really care about each other.
Tuesdays are our only night when almost everyone is off from swimming. Only Number 3 has practice. But Number 3 is recovering from a stomach flu, so he took tonight off.
So I told everyone once they got home and finished their homework and did all their jobs that they could have some chill out time and watch a movie or use technology or really whatever they wanted to do.
Number 3 was feeling almost back to normal by this point, so he was able to contribute.
But then Number 7 had a complete meltdown.
She did not want to do her jobs.
She isn’t sick, but she’s got a different issue going on where she is feeling really uncomfortable, and she just lost it on the playroom floor.
I think she was exhausted and so frustrated by the discomfort that she just fell apart.
And rather than get frustrated by her, Number 3, Number 5, and Number 6 all came to her rescue.
They offered to help her with her jobs.
They asked her what she needed to do, they checked the chore chart, and they asked her if she needed help.
And then they all pitched in and pretty much did her jobs for her.
Number 7 is probably the hardest working kid out of all of the kids. She’ll volunteer to do anything, and she’s the one my husband and I usually ask to do something like run upstairs to get one of the other kids or grab something out of the fridge or whatever.
And she will do it willingly.
She is very often the kid who will start doing her jobs without being asked.
So this wasn’t typical behavior for her. She wasn’t trying to manipulate her way out of something.
She was just really having a hard time with life this afternoon.
As we all sometimes do.
And the kids noticed this, and they came to her rescue.
They supported her.
They took care of their sister when she was really struggling today.
I was kind of blown away.
And I just wanted to share that.
Your kids might be a$$holes to each other a lot of the time, but when one of them is really having a hard time, they will come through for each other.
I am pretty sure of that.
Because I witnessed it today.
It was a nice reminder and a different kind of reassurance.
My kids might get on each other’s nerves and purposely piss each other off.
But they are also kind and decent and good human beings who take care of each other when they are hurting.
While they often annoy the crap out of each other,
they also love the crap out of each other.
And it’s moments like this that remind me to just take a deep breath in the trying times, and take the good with the bad.
Cause the bad can be pretty bad.
But the good is really, really good.