I have been thinking a lot about my firstborn baby, my little Cam, lately. I am not ready to talk about why just yet but, I’ll just say that he is his own little unique person and I struggle to understand the best ways to be his mom sometimes. I’ve posted this poem over at my other blog, but I want to post it here, too.
there is no difference in the anger that bubbles in your small chest
and what burns like fire in mine.
We are the same
awash in emotion
and I’m in charge
so I should know better.
I worry a lot about your soul
Where it came from
and how to keep it pure.
I am trying so hard to keep my hands away from you,
to end the way our souls have been broken.
What a different word we’d live in, maybe,
if there was some other way
if pain wasn’t bragged on
if we’d look somewhere else.
your grandmother is wrong.
Your mother is wrong.
This maze we fall into is confounding.
I’ve been working to get better at disciplining the kids. Before I had kids, everyone told me they saw me as being a “nice” mom — too nice to be mean when I had to be. I always argued against that. I hate seeing ill-mannered kids! I would not take any crap! I would be fearsome!
Yeah – no. Cameron and Grace aren’t…bad. But I know that I need to be more firm with them. I need to establish good habits so that they know how to speak to me, how to speak to other adults and…um…not act a damn fool and embarrass me in public. Ahem.
I think that I am, by nature a gentle person, so it’s hard to be firm. I also have hippie tendencies, so I don’t wanna harsh anyone’s buzz or squish my precious little angels’ dreams. I want them to be happy – but within normal boundaries.
My kids are incredibly bright and incredibly stubborn. Whatever they want, I want them to have because I love them. Also, they sometimes convince me that they need it, so powerful is their whining and crying. It feels unnatural for me to assert myself with them. But I have to. They need to understand that I’m not Lisa, the lady who they debate with. I’m the mommy. What I say goes. I run this.
I’d love to say that I have come up with a solution. That I now know the perfect way to discipline my kids without being too overbearing or too gentle. Nope. I’m still working at it honestly. I’ve been using a timer for time outs which helps me stay focused. With two kids running around, it’s easy to get distracted so that the prisoner takes advantage of the opportunity to escape. I also have to bark a little bit, which honestly feels weird. But it works. My mother, who was an elementary school teacher told me a saying among other teachers, “you don’t smile until November.” I’m not going that hard, but I am trying (oh how much of a wimp do I feel like for even typing that) to not seem so “nice.”
And now? I’m tired. It wears me out stepping outside of myself, but I know I have to do it.