I hit the end of the line today. I found myself completely and totally lost for patience for the 13-year old snotty attitude that has invaded my 4-year old twins. At what point did they evolve into these sarcastic, surly beasts?? So much back talk! So much whining! So much disobedience!
I was beginning to feel as though my life was saturated with fake Sorrys and empty threats. So, I did it.
I threatened to take them back to their day home.
Don’t get me wrong- their day home was awesome. I loved our provider. She was the perfect mix of no-BS and glitter crafts. But if I had to choose…I’d keep my girls home with me any day. After all, children are not an inconvenience to be managed. I can stay home with them because we are so blessed to make that choice, and because deep down, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I’ve been feeling strained and trapped by this prepubescent activity bubbling in their preschool veins. It’s unexpected. I don’t know if it’s my influence, a twin phenomenon, boredom, the movies they watch…or a combination of everything. All I know is that there is too much SASS and not enough respect.
God help me if I talked back to my parents ever, let alone at this age! Did I, Mom? I don’t remember. All I know is that this throws me for a parenting loop.
The last thing I want to hear is that they are good girls. I know they are generally really good, smart kids. But the rude demons that take over?? Totally unacceptable. The worst part is that they compound and encourage each other.
So the threat stands: you were always nice to Sarah, and you’re always mean to Mommy. If you can’t be nice to Mommy, you’ll have to spend your days at the day home. You’ll listen to her, so at least you’ll learn to be well-behaved.
Obviously, this is an empty threat to se degree. I’m not about to give up on parenting and hand them off to be trained. But I’m hoping that it provides them with a little perspective: why are you good for other people, and not for me?
Maybe I’ll end up with answers. Maybe I won’t. But this parenting thing is a tough gig, and I don’t have the answers for this situation. Sometimes I wonder if I left my instincts on the operating table when they were born…