Childrearing

My Kid Is Just In A Crap Mood – Stop Judging Me

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mommy warsYou know sometimes at the end of a long day you’re in a crap mood and just want to be left alone? Yeah, that’s happens to kids, too. A lot. And yet it often feels like we’re judging them for it – or, let’s get real here, judging their parents for raising a miserable child. This happened to me the other week and it’s still pissing me off.

It happened during the heatwave. I sent my 6-year-old off to camp on a non-air-conditioned bus. They picked him up at 8:10 a.m. and dropped him home at 5 p.m. In kid years, that’s like a full day at the office! Sure, he spent the day playing soccer and eating ice pops and practicing the “camp dance,” but still… it’s a full day. And my kid was nervous about camp to begin with, so we’ve got to factor in the emotional aspect, too.

All this to say, I can emphasize with my son when he walks off the sweltering hot bus each day. In a perfect world, he’s jump into my arms and tell me how awesome his day was and how much he loves me. (He’d also thank us for spending our life’s savings on this godforsaken camp.) In reality, he can barely keep it together. All he wants is TV and some sort of junky snack.

Well, on this one day last week there was no time for him to chill post-camp. I had booked him a haircut but first we had to stop at his classmate’s house to drop off a (belated) birthday present. When we got there, the mom was sitting on her front steps watching her darling angel shoot hoops on the driveway. “I can only stay for a minute,” I told her. We made small talk for a couple of minutes, which is when my son started to whine and pout and complain like there’s no tomorrow.

“I’m staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarved,” he told me 1,700 times.

Mommeeeeee, you said we could go! Why are you still talking?!”

“Let’s goooooooooooo. I’m bored!!”

I tried the usual tricks, like asking him to please be patient and telling him I know he’s hungry and that we’d be leaving in 60 seconds. That’s when he pretty much broke down, and that’s when this other mom gave me the face. You know, the one that screams, “Your child is a whiny brat.” She couldn’t hide it – it was written all over her face.

Remember that scene in Sex and the City when Carrie runs into Nina Katz – Aidan‘s first girlfriend post-break up (she’s the SNL booker)? “I went out with Aidan right after you,” she tells Carrie before giving her the face. “It was a full-frontal attack of the face like, ‘Wow, was he messed up. You really screwed him up good,'” is how Carrie later described it. I know, I’m a loser for quoting SATC 10 years after the fact, but the look this mother gave me totally reminded of me of that SATC episode. (Beyond!)

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