It started with an ill-considered act of impulsivity. I guess all impulsive acts are ill-considered but anyway, he swung the front door recklessly so that it collided with his brother’s back, who was innocently trying to put his shoes on.
Was it deliberate? We’ll never know. He cried and, harassed and late again, I sighed. Then lost my mind.
Next – mid-lecture – he lost interest, rolled his eyes and let his right foot fly, karate-style. My jaw dropped open, letting more pointless words fly forth.
Bored, he interrupted and tried out a little insolence, so I shouted.
Because that’s effective parenting, oh yeah. Yelling at your kid until you’re hoarse is a well-known means of teaching your child how to behave. What a fool I am.
Things got worse, as they are wont to do once you’ve started yelling, but before too long we were making up. We’re exceptionally good at forgiveness in this house. It’s our redeeming feature.
I never anticipated that conflict would be such a regular feature of family life.
Afterwards I kick myself for not doing better. The irony is painful – he acts thoughtlessly or impulsively and I let rip. With thoughtless, impulsive over-reactions. Duh.
I hope you can forgive me, kid, for all those times I’ve yelled or just lacked the gentle, patient tone I know you need.
I am an idiot. But sometimes, so are you.
You’re also lovely, and so deserving of a less shouty mother.
Let’s not do this anymore.