I’ve been trying to get my Christmas stuff done in the evenings. It’s taken its toll on our nightly routine. Usually I read to both kids each night, but for the last week or so, I’ve scurried them to bed with just a kiss and cuddle. It’s done me no good because even though I’ve been able to check off my to-do list, the guilt has left me feeling unaccomplished.
My mind has conjured up all sorts of images to provoke me:
Scenario one: My teenage kids in remedial classes because they haven’t caught onto reading
Scenario two: Deaglan and Naveen - members of an illiterate delinquent gang.
Whipping myself this way mentally is so easy and effective. But this time I fought back. I started in the basement:
It’s not like I’m shooting heroin, I reasoned. Imagine the repercussions of that.
But my mind would have no part of this, Oh give me a break, you’ve never even smoked pot, that’s a ridiculous argument.
Okay, I countered, it’s not like I’m leaving them each evening to hang out at the casino, gambling the mortgage away.
Listen lightweight, my mind reproved, you wouldn’t know your way around a blackjack table even with a guided tour; just admit that you’re a failure as a mother, you’re selfish and put your own needs before your kids’.
I changed tactics then.
No, you listen to me, I demanded, I am doing the best I can with the time I have. Stop bullying me.
You have gray hair and a flabby stomach and-----
Shaune took 183 pictures of the kids for our Christmas card. Most of them turned out like this. In an effort to get the kids to cooperate, I'm ashamed to admit I was spitting out things like:
Deaglan smile and look at Daddy and you can have chocolate!
Deaglan! Look at Daddy and stand beside your brother, or you'll get a time out!
Deaglan, stay there, we're not finished yet, stop making that face! Okay that's it, I'm gonna let Santa know to skip our house!!
There were only three usable photos. We went with this one. And yes, that's a medicine dropper Naveen's got in his mouth.
You have to pick your battles.