To be more precise, I feel like a terrible dad.
I wrote yesterday about how being a parent sucks. And I stand by that. It does, for so many different reasons. One of them being that sometimes what you, the parent, think is the right thing to do turns out to be the exact opposite and is the worst thing you could do.
Well, maybe not the worst, but it is in that general area of things.
Yesterday was Sunday. Which means rushing around the house to leave so that we get to church before the service ends. Due to this rushing, Sunday mornings typically lead to conflict of somekind with Mozzie.
Which is exactly what happened yesterday.
One more thing to set the stage.
I have this thing about my things.
I have them in a certain place and don’t want them to be moved from that place unless I am the one doing the moving.
Mozzie, being a three year old boy who loves everything about life, thinks that my things are awesome (even if they are just books).
His feelings about my things, and my feelings about my things, do not mesh well.
So with the Sunday Morning Rush, and the Don’t Touch My Stuff attitude I have towards my nightstand, in mind…let’s proceed.
I jump out of the shower. Quickly get dressed, mold my hair, apply cologne and other things to produce a positive scent, and rush out of the bathroom into our bedroom…
My nightstand looks like it has been robbed.
The cabinet door is hanging open, and the drawer is pulled out.
My Field Notes notebooks are scattered on the floor. Not good. Don’t touch my Field Notes.
I look in the bottom cavity of the nightstand where I keep a few books and see that it is emptied entirely except for a few bed sheets.
I take a few deep breaths and walk out of the room.
Mozzie is in our family room with my books. He is lining them up on the coffee table, muttering something about a library.
I walk over, and without a single word, collect all of the books and walk away.
He bursts into tears and I tell him not to touch my things (number one), and (number two) that he needs to focus on getting his pants on so we can go to church.
Fast forward 10 hours or so.
I find out from my lovely wife that Mozzie wanted to play pretend library with me. Not only that, he rummages though my things because he wants to be like me. He doesn’t do it to disobey or be annoying, she said. He is just using his imagination.
Remove my stomach and toss it to the dogs.
Cut out my heart and stomp on it.
a**hole parent I am.
I felt terrible. And of course he was already in bed for the night, with burns on his hands from the stove incident earlier in the day.
So here’s what I plan to do: when he wakes up this morning I am going to apologize profusely for being the worst parent ever. I am also going to tell him he can go through my nightstand whenever he wants to (I may have removed a few things permanently that I don’t want him touching). And finally, I want to play pretend library with him before I leave for work this morning.
And the big take away for me, and maybe for you if you can relate to anything above, is to just freaking relax and gain some perspective about things before reacting. This is advice Lindsay gave me last night after telling me what Mozzie was really doing with the books.
She said, “Before you freak out, ask him what he is doing.”
Ok. Can do. And will do.
Now I just need to get my stomach and heart back.