It has been a rough morning here at Casa Caballero. I woke up late (again) and that always means a lot of yelling and rushing which is bad enough in and of itself. My kids do not seem to understand that "we're running late" means move faster, and I get frustrated. Even more frustrated than having to get up at all makes me.
This morning, the oldest was really pushing my buttons. First he comes downstairs in just a t-shirt and jeans. It is currently 28 degrees outside. I told him that he will need to go and put on a long sleeved shirt, which causes him to slump his shoulders and roll his eyes at me. I continue to prod everyone along, calling out "25 minutes until the bus is here!" then "20 minutes!" and "15 minutes!" and I find him sitting in the floor in front of the space heater in the den. The same kid that I just made go and change into long sleeves, is trying to get warm and just sitting there. I can feel my temper rising....
Then there is the problem of breakfast. We have no less than 6 different kinds of cereal, Eggos, Pop-Tarts, breakfast bars, and bagels. However, my 11 year old claims that there is nothing to eat and wants to just have a fruit cup. As I was explaining to him that a fruit cup is not breakfast, and he is arguing that he'll just eat an orange, I hear the trash truck. Great. I missed it. So now, with 10 minutes to go until they need to walk out the door, he is grumbling into his Cheerios and I am still providing the countdown as I try to get a brush through the 6 year old's hair and the 9 year old is rushing around looking for her library book.
Finally, I yell into the kitchen where he is sipping the milk out of his bowl like he is at a garden tea party without a care in the world that he has 4 minutes to get his teeth brushed, get his jacket & backpack and get out the door. He gets up and slams his bowl into the sink, splashing milk everywhere and stomps upstairs to brush his teeth. I am zipping the 6 year old into her jacket and yelling up the stairs to him that he is out of time and he comes slumping down the stairs at a pace that is just above standing still.
He won't look at me.
The girls both give me hugs and kisses and head out the door towards the corner where the bus picks them up, and I say to the 11 year old "Hey, what is wrong with you this morning?"
He still won't look at me, but I can see his eyes turning red and welling up just a little bit and he says to the wall "Apparently I can't do anything right because I was trying to do what you said and you just kept yelling at me."
Dagger to my heart. There is no time to address this because the bus is a block away, but I tell him that I love him and that we will talk about it when he gets home.
Sometimes, it is hard for me to remember that he is just 11. He has been the oldest, my helper, the responsible one, for so long that I expect more of him. But he is just a kid. And he is a sensitive kid. And I can be insensitive without meaning things the way that he takes them.
Yes, I was yelling all morning, but I was not intentionally yelling AT him. At least not ONLY at him. I was yelling because it is my nature to freak out and yell to get things done faster. I yell out the time they have left to make them all move faster, I yell because they are in three different places in the house and I need them all to hear me, and I yell because I am, in general, a loud person.
He isn't. He is quiet, for the most part, like his dad. And his dad often tells me to "quit yelling at him" when I don't realize that I am. I am also sarcastic with my kids, and usually they love it and laugh, but running late at 6:30 am may not be the best time for me to look at my kid and say something like "Seriously? A t-shirt? It is 28 degrees outside and you are wearing a t-shirt? Go put on something with long sleeves." and then follow that with a shout out about how much time they have and that they need to hurry up.
I will tell him all of this when he gets home. I will try to explain that I was not mad, just frustrated. I will point out how he contributed to that frustration, and I will apologize for my reactions to...well, to everything this morning because it was not his fault. It was not his fault that "we" woke up late. It was mine. It was not his fault that the trash didn't get to the curb. It was mine. It was not his fault that I was yelling. It was mine.
Hopefully, he will understand and he will forgive me.
Probably, he will be over it by this afternoon and not want to talk about it because a heart-to-heart with your mom when you are an 11 year old boy is not something that you look forward to.
But it is definitely going to happen because even if he is over it by this afternoon, I won't be. I need him to know that I love him and that I am sorry. I want him to know that he is a good kid and that I am proud of him. I can't just assume that he knows.