Saturday, November 7, 2009
rage against the mamachine
You know what really makes me angry?
How angry I get sometimes.
And I'm not an angry person. But having children brought a new brand of rage into my life, and I'm suspecting this momrage is one of the Hidden Secrets of Motherhood. You know, where everybody feels it, everybody knows it, but no one admits it or talks about it?
That's okay. I'll talk about it.
There is nothing as infuriating as small children. Not traffic, not the DMV, not the fact that Dr. Krog and I went to four different stores today and couldn't purchase season 2 of Sealab 2021.
Nothing. And here's why.
1. They are needy. The more you need time alone to decompress, dress, work, eat, or perform simple bodily functions, the more needy and whiny they become. And when you have two of them, they are always needy at the same time. It's almost like they plan it. To drive you crazy.
2. They're rude. Even when you drill "please" and "thank you" into them, they will languish in your bed for an hour in a tutu and ballet slippers, watching a movie and lazily shouting "Mama! Mommy! Mom! Mom! I need milk! Mom! Help!", even after you've told them that you will ignore shouting and rudeness. Hell, even when you've shouted at the top of your lungs that you will ignore shouting.
3. They're helpful in the most annoying way possible. For example:
Biscuit: Mommy, the baby is climbing on the table! Get him!
me: Honey, I'm standing right here, in front of you, picking him up off of the table as you speak. Don't you trust me to take care of him?
Biscuit: No. Help him!
4. They have uncanny timing. When your grocery cart is full, they need to use the potty, and they're wearing a leotard that buttons up the back. When the room gets quiet, they choose to shout questions about why people are overweight, in wheelchairs, or possessing mustaches unusual in their gender.
5. When you push them away, they sense that you are pushing them away, and they crowd nearer. When you have an upset stomach, they want kisses. When you want to share special panda hugs with your significant other, they want to read a book about the Fuzzy Wuzzy Bears Go to Smooch-a-lot.
6. It rocks.
7. I don't know what #6 means. Dr. Krog sat down next to me and said, "Number six: IT ROCKS!", so I put it there to placate him.
8. They're greedy. They want everything. They want a treat at every outing, a cookie at every meal, and just one more of basically anything perceived as good. They don't understand moderation, gratefulness, or being humble.
And there's more, but we don't have all night. Don't forget pushy, whiny, emotionally fragile, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, and Doc.
Therefore, it's totally understandable that moms feel rage. We spend so much time with these raw, ego driven creatures, and it's imperative that we maintain patience and kindness no matter what. You can never, ever act on the rage but must constantly tamp it down, drown it, repress it, or release it into the cosmos.
Although I have been known to respond to the 10,000th repetition of "I want X" with "I didn't ask you what you wanted", which shocks some people. But I feel that my job as a mother is to raise a functional human being, and it's the truth. And it's said with kindness and as much patience as I can muster.
I guess what I'm saying is that I feel rage, and I think it's normal. Maybe we should even tell new moms about it, so they won't cry themselves to sleep at night the first time they shriek "For the love of all that's holy, let me pee in private!" and make their toddler cry. Part of being a mom is feeling the rage and maintaining calm, continuing to guide our children with love and respect.
And then, possiby, screaming into a pillow during naptime.