I am a terrible mother

Yeah.  I am.

Don’t try to make me feel better.  Dont say nice things to me or list all the good things I do.  When you learn what I’ve been up to tonight . . . . . . . . well, you’ll likely just shake your head and be thankful there is a computer screen between thee and me (or is it thou and me)?  So you won’t have to “pretend” that you still respect my mothering skills.

Tonight, Sid told the boys that they could sleep in the tent.

Um.  It is COLD outside.  It is supposedly in the 40s right now, but it FEELS like it is in the 20s.  Seriously.  It is ridiculously cold.  Waaaayyyyyy too cold for October in the South.  I don’t want the boys to sleep outside.  I’m afraid they will get cold and die.

But their Dad told them they could sleep outside.  And I don’t want to argue so . . . . . . . . . . . .

What we have here, folks, is a disagreement between Mom and Dad about the kids.  But I’m a mature woman.  I didn’t argue.  I pulled my man aside later, stated my concerns.  He quietly listened to me talk, and blew me a kiss.  That’s it.

“When I am talking about a concern and you do that blowing a kiss thing, it feels like you are saying  ‘whatever.'”  I was calm.  I didn’t whine.  I’ve read some relationship books so I knew to use the correct terminology  —- “it feels like . . . . . ” rather than saying “YOU don’t listen . . . .” or “YOU will cause these boys to get frostbit and die!”

Then Sid winked at me, a little smile on his face.  I don’t think he read the same relationship books that I read.

“The wink kinda feels the same as the kiss-blowing thing,” I said.

“How about this?”  He stuck his tongue out at me.

I thought about playing the whole “I spent 9 months in pregnancy suffering and hours in labor pain, so I have more in invested in the survival of these kids” card.  But that card had never worked before.  Plus, he was present during all 4 pregnancies and births, so he would know that I was exxagerating my suffering.

And this is where I became a terrible mother.  I couldn’t manipulate the husband, so I tried manipulating the boys.

During kitchen clean-up with the boys, I casually mentioned the bears that were shot last week.  Those bears traversed our property.  I speculated that there were likely more bears out there.

Sidney said, “I’m not worried because we don’t have any food in the tent.”

“You got some meat on YOU,” I said.

“The bear can smell ME, but he can’t smell the meat under my skin,” he said.

I couldn’t argue with that 10-year-old logic.

“I hope we don’t have mountain lions roaming these parts,” I said.

“Uh, mom, mountain lions live in the MOUNTAINS.”

“What about coyotes?”

He was ignoring me by now.

Later, as the boys were finishing up their evening chores and packing up to head outside. . . . . .”I sure hope there are no Indian graveyards around here.”

“Huh?  What’s the big deal about Indian graveyards?”  And I’m thinking my children have never seen a horror flick.  It was a good thing we didn’t have any in the house.  I might have sunk that low.

When they hugged and kissed me goodnight, I suggested, “Make sure you are very, very quiet and you might hear . . . . . . . .” (a deliberate pause here to give their imaginations time to get creative) . . “an owl.” 

I should have tried subtlety much earlier in the game.  They were on to me now.

They have been outside now for an hour.  It is 9:30 pm.  I doubt I’ll get any sleep tonight. 

I just stuck my head out the door and howled.

“Stop that howling, Daddy!”  Well, now I know that my boys are still alive and awake.  I would have walked to the tent, but it was too cold.

Sid doesn’t know he got blamed for that howl as he is in the basement working.  That amused me considerably.

How much time should I let pass before I go outside and tramp around in the woods, crackling leaves and breaking sticks underfoot?

What happened later that night . . .

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5 thoughts on “I am a terrible mother

  1. Long ago and next door to you, I decided to have a sleepover for my birthday. We were going to camp out. I’ll just go ahead and remind you that my birthday is at the very end of October.

    My mother didn’t protest at all (that I recall). I woke up sometime in the middle of the night to find that all my friends had gone. Had a mountain lion carried them off? No, they’d all gone inside the house because it was really, really cold out. In fact, it frosted that night. How did I find out that they’d gone inside? I went inside, too and went right to sleep on my bed.

    I know it’s too late to tell you now, but I would not be surprised if the boys come in during the night. Or maybe they’ll tough it out because they’re boys, but I’m sure they’ll be fine.

  2. That is so funny. I hope there is a follow-up story; i.e., did the boys stay out all night? did they come inside because they got cold? did you sleep?

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