On Monday, I’m an enthusiastic parent who has the best of intentions. By Friday night, I’m exhausted and my parenting skills have eroded to the point of, “You want to play in the middle of the street? Whatever, just take your brother with you.”
This week has been particularly exhausting for a number of reasons. When I picked up the boys from each of their schools, I thought I had enough energy to cook them dinner. After five minutes of Justin telling me a story in his loudest voice possible and Garrett screaming for Elmo (“MELMO!!! MELMOOOO!!!) while kicking my seat, I thought – “Maybe I’ll order in.”
For the next four minutes, I was hammered with questions from Justin: “Can we stop at Target and get a toy?” No. “Can we eat at Burger King?” No. “Can we just see if there are new toys at Target?” No. “Can we get a small toy from Burger King?” No. “Does mommy need anything from Target?” No. “Don’t you like Burger King?” No. And like a parrot, Garrett kept yelling “YEAH!” after Justin asked each question. (He’s too young to understand what Justin was asking, but it didn’t matter. He understood that it was them against me.)
On the fifth minute, they broke me. I don’t know if it was the barrage of questions or the yelling or the crying out for “MELMO!!,” but they successfully performed a Verbal Waterboarding. My intention was to feed them good food and reward their great week without gifts, but by simply playing with them. That’s not how the evening ended.
The evening ended with new toys from Target, Kid’s Meals from Burger King, and yet another notch on my Parenting Failure list.