One of Those Days

There are days when parenting is a wonderful, heart warming experience. Like those family trips to the water park: watching your son experiment with a rube Goldbergian water machine, learning through trial and error how to route the water through the desired holes. Or watching with humor as he vainly attempts to line all the empty tubes up against the wall, before a big wave comes and washes them all out into the wave pool again. ("Stop Wave!") Or hearing him shout "Oh NO! No. Thank. You. Boat." as you collide with empty tubes on the lazy river. Those are the days when parenting is a joy, and you can't imagine your life any other way.

Then there are days like today.

These are the days when you just want to pull your hair out. When, after you ask your son to pick up a toy, he shouts "NO!" and then lays down on top of the toy you just asked him to pick up. Or when you tell him to go potty and he refuses, defiantly plopping himself down on the bathroom floor with his pants around his ankles. Or when he headbutts a kid during group time, then won't even sit down for the time out you consequently impose. These are the days that make you doubt the efficacy of you parenting style, and wonder what kind of Jekyll and Hyde monster you've spawned.

I try to tell myself every kid goes through these rough patches. Every parent has those days where they have to half-carry, half-drag their child in to school. And as a preschool teacher I know its true. But it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I keep thinking, "Why can't my child be more like I was?" Because I was never stubborn. I always listened. I was never disobedient, and just generally the most perfect child ever. (OK mom, you can stop laughing now. And yes I do remember the huge tantrum over the mashed potatoes. Will I ever live that one down?)

So every kid, and every parent, occasionally has one of those days. I'll just take a deep breath, think some happy thoughts, and remember all those wonderful, heartwarming moments that make parenting worth it.

That, and hope tomorrow will not be another one of those days.


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