Being a parent is insanely hard, frustrating, rage inducing and humbling.
Occasionally though, it is pretty awesome in unexpected ways.
Just now, I had a serious argument with Xander.
Oh, Xander. He is 6. He is the middle child. He has a tender heart, an overwhelming urge to make people laugh, a quick wit (if wit involved fart jokes) and a pretty short fuse some days. He is also selectively deaf regarding mom's rules.
I was putting Henry down for a nap and I told the kids they could play outside as long as they 1. Stayed out of the chicken coop (did I not tell you we have chickens? We do. I'll tell you later) and 2. Stayed in the backyard. Of course, Xander comes running in to show me the egg a chicken laid (while donning his straw and chicken poop covered shoes of course) and woke Henry right up. I got Henry back down and came outside to find Xander running around outside the fence like a crazy person. Of course, I put on my angry mom face and send him in the house. He stomped in, plopped onto a chair and screamed, "I'm just trying to have a little fun around here!"
So, we have a conversation. He did most of the talking, well, venting. Just a sampling of what he shouted at me:
"Maybe you should find someone else to bug!"
"You aren't in charge of my life!"
"I bet you don't even love me or care about me!"
"If I had kids, I would let them have fun and not ruin their day like you do!"
"How old do I have to be to move out of this house?"
"You should mind your own business and let me have fun because I'm not old like you!"
There was more. So much more. I mostly just let him blow off steam and gave him some pretty straight answers, such as:
"I bug you because I care and want you to be safe."
"I am in charge of your life until you are old enough to do it yourself, the legal age is 18 by the way."
"I do love you and I do care. I'm you mom."
"When you are a parent, you can raise them however you want. That is one of the perks of being the grown up. I'm the grown up now, so I get to be the boss."
"Again, the legal age is 18."
"You are my business because I'm old."
I wanted to say lots of mean things too, but I decided maybe today isn't that day so instead I kept saying, "you know, you are being really mean to me, but guess what? I love you when you are mean and when you are mad and when you are sad and angry and happy and asleep and even when you do things you know are wrong. I will always love you. But, you are being awful mean to me."
Eventually Xander calmed down, had a good cry and I think we made up.
But, this is the part that sticks with me. He turns to me and says, "Mom, will I be a good parent one day?"
What do you say? I barely know if I am a good parent half the time. But, I have a good feeling about that kid, so I told him, "Of course you will. You'll do great."
Then I grounded him for the rest of the day and sent him to his room to clean.
Because, I can. (And because that room is pretty bad. I think they may be hiding some of the chickens up there in the piles of toys and clothes that are everywhere. Yikes.)
Seriously, whoever has that parenting manual needs to return it to the library so I can check it out.