No Self Control

November 12th, 2012

Well, the election happened, I became totally disillusioned with humanity and lo! here we are, crawling back out of the pit that was October and all THAT misery, am I right? Do we all . . . still like each other?

(I have weird politics, so basically, I like everyone, but everyone hates me. But! They covet my vote, knowing it could SWING EITHER WAY!)

(I really hated Mitt Romney, but that was personal, not politics.) (Classy, right?)

(Social issues, I’m a FAR LEFT SWING, so, you know.)

Right.

(Or left.)

Also, my daughters got sick and OMIGAWD, two sick babies kind of blows, and would you believe the sadder of the two was Sam? Ergh. She was SO sad and heartbreaking and she tried so hard and . . . ugh, poor kid. I guess it does boil down to age and personality, because Allie, per usual, was smiling and giggling in between hacking her lungs out while Sam, when not sick, is . . . three. Oh, three. You guys, three and a half is going to kill me dead, kill me dead, KILL ME DEAD.

I’m having a hard time dealing with her lately, and while she is/can be dreadful (all age-appropriate, not like, a truly dreadful child, Future Sam. Even dreadfully three, you are the best kid ever), I am more appalled by my own reactions and behavior. My personality skews to, ah, hot-tempered, and it’s something I generally like about myself. I mean, not that I ENJOY that I can lash out and act crazy and lack impulse control — OH HO HO, no, although that is absolutely true. I am not what you call a slow-burn. I get angry very easily, and my reactions, to people who don’t know me, can seem disproportionate to the issue at hand. I snap, I wave arms, I get all indignant. And then, just as quickly as it came on, it’s over and I have, I shit you not, completely forgotten about it. COMPLETELY. That last part — the forgetting about it quickly — that is what I like.

I remember a few years ago, when I was editing a newspaper, some source had done something really shitty. Not like, career- or even story-ending shitty, just a shitty thing to pull at the last minute that made things harder. HOO BOY, I was ranting and raving and arm-waving to MY editor about it, and then went back to work. I think it was . . . fifteen minutes later? If that? She asked if I was okay, and I literally, LITERALLY, had no idea what she was referring to. I’d moved on and forgotten about it completely. Completely.

(You see how Twitter can be a problem for someone like me. You see?)

I mean, I’m not CRAZY or anything — I’m not going to bite your head off because you didn’t use the right hanger or use margarine instead of butter, and I’m not completely unreasonable, or in some kind of wild fugue state when I’m angry, I’m just . . . snappy. Once someone points out that I am being snappy or quick-tempered, I can usually be talked off the ledge, and God, this is such a long way to explain something that is common enough to not need explanation, I am sorry. Next up: how I do this unique thing called ‘breathing.’

The good news: I hold a grudge approximately never. A combination of quick-hot, quick-cool and ADD is quite delightful if you want to make someone angry and still have them love you in the morning. I can easily be your punching bag. Insult me! Then apologize! I won’t even REMEMBER.

(This is more true than you realize. In fact, it’s pretty damn accurate. Short fuse! Short memory.)

Anyway, a short-tempered personality + an exasperating, limit-testing, overtired and completely insane three-and-a-half year old = bad news bears, man. Bad news. Combine this age with the move to a twin bed PLUS the end of EDT, and she’s hardly sleeping, which means I’m hardly sleeping and this. This is how I ended up lying face down in her bed this morning while she played with her tiny princesses on my back.

I get so frustrated with her that I find myself treating her like an adult and asking her WHY she’s being so ridiculous, as though she is going to answer me rationally. Or snapping multiple times in an HOUR, much less a day — and that one kills me, because up until this point, I have not been short tempered with any of my children. At all. I don’t yell, I don’t get too upset, I am very patient and I roll with things easily, and I don’t say that smugly, because if I WERE smug, my comeuppance is now. Three turned me into someone who is . . . the antithesis of those things. Someone who actually YELLS, “WHY ARE YOU YELLING?”

I think it’s best to lead by example.

I’ve become, at times, a little too desensitized to her whining that sometimes she’ll actually have a legitimate, age-appropriate gripe, and my instinct is to be all, “STOP WHINING. SUCK IT UP!” Oh, wait, you dropped an anvil on your foot? MY BAD. Here, give Mama a hug.

It’s a hard age and a hard time, and I’m making it sound like it’s all WOE around here, and it isn’t — most of our days are awesome, and this age is so, so delightful in a million ways. She’s funny. She has a sense of humor now, and tries to make me laugh every day. Thanks to school and her friends, she’s also having experiences and learning things that have absolutely nothing to do with me, and it’s mind-blowing. Her sensory stuff is improving SO quickly and she’s just . . . well, she’s an awesome kid.

She’s just, you know, three and a half.

But she’s still the best big sister in the world, man. She really is.

 

*Peter Gabriel.

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Entry Filed under: Beeber McSteebs

54 Comments Add your own

  • 1. asset protection  |  June 18th, 2013 at 3:19 am

    And then his big sister will tease and taunt him and his little sister will suck up all of my attention and I will send them all to bed and then feel really bad for him.

  • 2. birthday gift ideas  |  June 19th, 2013 at 5:56 am

    I am not what you call a slow-burn. I get angry very easily, and my reactions, to people who don’t know me, can seem disproportionate to the issue at hand.

  • 3. refrigerator not cooling  |  June 19th, 2013 at 9:39 am

    This is how I ended up lying face down in her bed this morning while she played with her tiny princesses on my back.

  • 4. Lloret de Mar Spai  |  June 20th, 2013 at 3:30 am

    I was okay, and I literally, LITERALLY, had no idea what she was referring to. I’d moved on and forgotten about it completely.

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