...insert your chosen word... Yes I said it. No I didn’t mean it. I’m just venting!
When someone treats you badly at work or if someone is rude to you in a shop you vent to your friends. It doesn’t mean you hate the person who mistreated you, deep down when you stop and think about it you know that ANYTHING could be going on in their life and a moments bad mood taken out on you could play on their mind for days. It makes you feel better to tell your friend how awful they were and how it made you feel and how you should have said this or that but you were so shocked by their behaviour you couldn’t gather your thoughts. Your friend then agrees with you expresses how shocking it was that they treated you that way, empathises and feeds you cake, coffee or gin whichever is most appropriate/acceptable. You may even get a hug and a similar story of something that happened to them.
So why can’t I vent about my kids? Let’s face it kids are self-centred, moody, narcissists. They have every reason to be that way - they are kids and that’s what growing up is all about – learning not to be that way so that they may progress in the world, find a mate and then teach your own little darlings not to be that way either and so the cycle continues. Kids are often at their worst around their safe people. If you are doing your job that tends to be you as a parent and a few ‘privileged’ others, special friends, grandparents etc…
Sometimes my kids make me feel like a tortured slave. They treat me like shit, physically and mentally torture me without a care in the world because they know that I will not stop loving them no matter what they do. I make allowances for Miss A, of course I do, she is brain damaged and not only that but the very location of the damage on her brain is in the area that controls mood and behaviour (fantastic) so she genuinely can’t always help it. I also make allowances for the Dude because of what he experiences at home being her brother which is also hard.
That said, I’m not an angel. Despite knowing WHY they are behaving a certain way and trying my best to do the right thing, remaining calm and kind and compassionate. It's pretty fucking hard when your daughter is spitting in your face at point blank range and carefully selecting hairs to pull out of your head, poking you in the eye and gouging scars in to your skin with her razor nails that I was sure I cut and filed three days ago (obvs we do this constantly for self-defense and because I was embarrassed by the blood and scars on the Dude’s face) I could do without it. It frustrates me when she flips for what seems to me like no reason, I know what’s coming and I know it can’t be avoided. Once she starts on her slope that’s it, let the spitting and gnashing of jaws commence. I actually have been considering a judo class for her brother because at the moment when she attacks him he just screams in terror, I might go along too. Nah just kidding, I totally know how to defend myself, I know her form. Sometimes she lures you in with a ‘sorry’ cuddle then clamps her jaws on to my cheek, I have a counter move though, I just make sure my cheek meets hers and use the weight of my face to push hers to the side and keep those jaws away from me. Other moves include pretending to stroke my hair and saying ‘awwww’ but all the while wrapping hair round her fingers or just pulling me in for long enough so she can get a good fistful of hair and give it a real good yank. Her new signature move is snuggling down for a nice cuddle and biting my boob, I almost lost my right nipple during the summer holidays.
Classic move - keep jaws away from face with constant and forceful pressure.
I hate it, I wish she would just stop! This is the way things are though. Through all the sadness and frustration and 'here we go again' feelings I have, I generally mange to use a nice voice, smile and at least try to distract, calm, comfort and help. Despite my best efforts it usually takes some sort of mood changer for her to snap out of it. Like if she hurts herself enough to need my comfort, a visitor appears or she and her brother make up a new game to play which makes them giggle. Usually something super mischievous that I should stop immediately but don’t because I love when they play and laugh together.
Anyway, it’s not just special needs families, every mother has been there, you make a meal for your kid they chuck it on the floor and laugh. You tell them off and explain that’s not nice, they laugh. You ask them to brush their teeth the wiggle their bum at you and squeal then run away, you ask them to get their shoes on so they strip off naked, you ask them to put their Pyjamas on so they put their wellies on and disappear into the garden. Let’s go to the car, so they tip out a box of train track and a box of duplo just to make the tidy up a little more fun. Ask them to come here and they will, but just out of your reach giggling and they will stand sideways and wiggle like jelly so whatever you want to put on them, clean off them or apply to them will be impossible and you will strain your back them abruptly scream, ‘STAND STILL’ a bit too loud, forcing them to melt to the floor wail and take off their shoes.
It’s not fun, your kid is being a kid but it feels like they are being a ..."eh hem" so yea, my first port of call is to snap a photo and send it to anyone of my mum tribe and say look who is being a ..."eh hem" today. I will then moan about all the things they have done and we will both laugh because when your kids is a ...."eh hem" in front of a safe non judgmental human it is usually pretty funny. It breaks the tension, it cheers you up, its stops you from feeling alone and it vents your frustration. This is what allows me to smile, be compassionate and kind to my children even when I don’t feel like it. So, I will continue to call my kids ..."eh hem"s and not mean it, even though its frowned upon. I frown upon lots of their behaviour and they don’t pay that any attention so why should I.
Disclaimer; I LOVE my kids, cannot stop kissing them and would do anything for them. I would hate them to be upset by my venting to other mums. When in earshot I refer to them as cheeky monkeys or wee monsters (this is code for ..."eh hem" all my mum tribe know that) Other mums use different words, I like my word because to me it’s the lowest level of insult but carries enough weight for me to feel successfully cleansed of irritation.
Feel free to share your word in the comments section...you will get no judgement from me!