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a bit miffed

June 8, 2012

When I’m around Maya my mood can change so quickly that I often fear I’m becoming Sybil.

A perfect example was yesterday morning. Things started out okay but quickly went downhill after I said the following at least 15 times: “Can you make sure you have your backpack and a sweater? Can you find some socks and put on your shoes? We need to go in 5 minutes.” 

Despite my 15 warnings, I found myself waiting at the front door loaded down with 20 pounds of stuff, while my shoeless, shivering child casually glanced around for her backpack as though we had all the time in the world.

And thus I started my morning lecture.

“For crying out loud Maya, I put your lunch, your water bottle, and your homework inside your backpack. Is it too much to ask that you simply put your backpack by the front door?”

Did you know that $5 isn’t enough from the Tooth Fairy anymore? My toothless child is taking us to the cleaners.

I was about to launch into my “Short of brushing your teeth for you I really don’t know how much more I can do for you,” speech when the elevator opened and I saw our building engineer. And just like that, I instantly transformed in to Little Miss Molly Sunshine as I asked about the engineer’s plans for the summer holidays.

Maya looked at me, a bit miffed and bit mystified and really, I don’t blame her.

So what I want to know is why I can find it in me to be polite to random acquaintances but finding the energy to be nice to my own kid is often impossible?

82 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2012 12:13 am

    Sigh! I can totally relate!!

    • June 9, 2012 6:44 am

      Glad you can relate but I’m also not glad you can relate! 🙂

  2. glamorous glutton permalink
    June 8, 2012 12:38 am

    I was still reminding the youngest Glam Teen to put his shoes on before we went out yeeears after we’d finished with the tooth fairy. I stopped reminding and he started remembering. I did have to be prepared for him to leave the house in his socks, but only once! GG

    • June 9, 2012 6:45 am

      When does the reminding stop and the school of hard knocks begin? That’s what I want to know?

  3. June 8, 2012 3:21 am

    Because it seems that our children’s sole purpose in life is to challenge and test everything that we know to be true. If you had asked the building engineer to do the same thing 15 different times in the span of 5 minutes and he still didn’t do it ( a task that you ask him to do everyday) you would probably lose your patience with him too. Don’t worry kids can take a little exasperation.

    • June 9, 2012 6:45 am

      Well said. The building engineer is super efficient. Maya? Not so efficient!

  4. June 8, 2012 3:21 am

    My kids have called me on this. “You’re nice to everyone else.” To which I reply “if the doorman ignored everything I say and left his towel (weird thought) on the ground I’d be upset with him too.” It does feel borderline sociopathic to be able to go from rage to cheer in a second. We can’t all be crazy, can we?

    • June 9, 2012 6:46 am

      The towel on the floor seems to be a problem on both coasts Lauren. So frustrating.

  5. June 8, 2012 4:10 am

    Hahaha I think this is quite a normal thing that mums do! And i’m not sure it gets much better after years of habitual shouting from the doorway. Speaking from the other side, my mum has been doing this since i was in pre-school and it still continues…and i’m 24! As soon as we see the neighbours, she becomes an absolute delight. Don’t worry, we don’t take it personally 😉

    • June 9, 2012 6:46 am

      I guess I’ll continue doing this until Maya is 24 but I have a feeling she’ll have fled our home in fear and disgust by then! 🙂

  6. June 8, 2012 4:52 am

    If the building engineer spent all morning ignoring your requests you’d be pretty short with him, too. Just sayin’.
    My oldest only got $5 once from the tooth fairy. She was working 80 hours that week and she forgot to come the first time he put the tooth under his pillow. She did leave a note when she finally got her act together.

    • June 9, 2012 6:47 am

      Here is one arena where Ali actually remembers and I forget.

      80 hours? I feel your pain Heather.

  7. June 8, 2012 5:05 am

    I so agree with you on this. Even I find myself in this situation often. Sometimes, it takes every ounce of my will power to answer her patiently!! 😦

  8. June 8, 2012 5:24 am

    I didn’t think that Maya could be any cuter, but toothless works for her!! 😉 Have a great weekend, Ameena!!

    • June 9, 2012 6:48 am

      Thank you Fran! I hope you have a great weekend as well.

  9. June 8, 2012 7:47 am

    I have no idea because I’m kid-less but I do know that Maya is even cute without any teefers, ha! have a great weekend!

  10. June 8, 2012 8:37 am

    I do believe it is a Fact of Life that those closest to us irritate us the most. And it is more acceptable to snip at family than at strangers, for whatever reason. The air of fake niceness doesn’t apply to spouses, parents, and children.

    And, apparently Ali isn’t the only one that needs a homing beacon. Maybe you can get a good two-for deal on a second homing beacon for the backpack as well.

    • June 9, 2012 6:49 am

      Fact of Life is right. Most of the time I simply cannot conjur up the fake niceness. No matter how hard I try!

  11. Gayatri permalink
    June 8, 2012 8:45 am

    Hahaha! I am kid-less but I know what you mean because my life is quite similar. Just put husband in place of Maya and I could tell this story!

    • June 9, 2012 6:49 am

      Put my husband in Maya’s place and I can tell this same story again! 🙂

  12. Lady Jennie permalink
    June 8, 2012 9:39 am

    That is the ageless question of every parent. Then again you would appear strange if you started offering to brush your building engineer’s teeth for him. 🙂

  13. June 8, 2012 10:04 am

    Wait – $5 from the tooth fairy? I’m pretty sure I got a quarter. Maybe a whole dollar when I got a tiny bit older because of inflation. If I could get $5 for a tooth, I’d probably give up a couple right now.

    • June 9, 2012 6:50 am

      Actually (and because Ali is in charge of this) Maya received $10 for this tooth.

      Talk about inflation.

  14. June 8, 2012 10:07 am

    $5?!? The hubster and I just had this conversation (about our still toothless child, of course) and we decided $1 was fair. Clearly, we are totally out of touch with reality.

    • June 9, 2012 6:51 am

      I think $1 is very fair! But that is NOT the going rate anymore. Ali gave Maya $10 for her last tooth! Crazy.

      • MommyFuzzy permalink
        June 15, 2012 12:04 am

        wow you should be happy she only asked for $5 my daughter asked for $20, lol she got zip haha coz we “misplaced the tooth” and I pulled it out her mouth to make room for the 1 growing behind. She is 7 and exasperates me almost every moment of everyday. AAAHHH!!! First time I could admit this, so thank you.

      • June 15, 2012 7:14 am

        “Misplaced the tooth.” I love it.

        That happens a lot around here…just not with teeth. 🙂

  15. The Mom Chef permalink
    June 8, 2012 10:10 am

    I’m jealous. When I’m in the midst of a tirade (a very similar one, in fact) at Dudette, I can’t switch gears at all. If someone comes within the circle of influence, the black cloud is turned in their direction too.

    Another reason to move East. Our prices are so, so much lower. Dudette gets a quarter from us and her grandmother sends her a dollar if she finds out about the lost tooth out of pity.

    • June 9, 2012 6:52 am

      Okay, so there is something to be said about my Sybil-like tendencies. I’m actually feeling a bit better about them after reading this comment!!

  16. June 8, 2012 10:20 am

    My hubby thinks this way too. He thinks I’m nice to everyone else in the world except him. And I think the same – I wish he was at least 10% polite, respectful and nice to me as he is to others. Guess we always do this to our loved ones because we know they’ll tolerate it anyway, but want to have a good image in front of others! Same story around the world!? 😀

    Awwww Maya!
    So has she settled with $10 for the missing two teeth or negotiations still on? 😀

    • June 9, 2012 6:53 am

      I will say that Ali is as nice to me as he is to other people. He has that down really well. Me? Not so much.

      And Nisha, Maya settled on $10 for ONE tooth. Things are expensive these days. 🙂

  17. June 8, 2012 10:39 am

    I know, i think we just have a comfort level with the ones we love and feel that we can act however we want… but common, you do EVERYTHING and it has to be so tiring having a kid. I think it’s pretty normal, I don’t know any mom who hasn’t lost her temper time to time. You’re too hard on yourself.

    Maya looks soooooo sweet with her teeth out… $5 bucks? I got a quarter!!

    • June 9, 2012 6:54 am

      I got a quarter too! Expectations of the tooth fairy are simply out of control these days!

  18. June 8, 2012 11:30 am

    I’d say she deserved it, but she’s just so cute! Also, it seems to be easier to “lose it” on people we care about rather than strangers.
    Have a great weekend, my friend! 🙂

    • June 9, 2012 6:54 am

      I excel at “losing it” on Ali and Maya. No really, it’s something I’ve mastered.

      I hope you have a great weekend too Jenna!

  19. June 8, 2012 11:43 am

    Ameena dear, It’s because you can leave the building engineer at the door and kids are ours – for life. That and the fact that we are trying so hard to raise responsible, independant human beings.

    Go easy on yourself – we’d probably bitch at the bldg engineer too – if we’d have to live with him!

    BTW, Looks like it’s the same story all around. Sometimes I think we should record our voices and just play them again and again for our children. Just so we can maintain our sanity.

    Yup. Motherhood!

    chow 🙂 DEVAKI @ weavethousandflavors

    • June 9, 2012 6:55 am

      The “kids are ours-for life” still sort of freaks me out. I’m just glad I only have one to take care of (plus my bigger kid Ali, of course).

      Love the idea of recording my voice…

  20. SIL permalink
    June 8, 2012 12:22 pm

    $5?!?!?! All I got was a shiny silver dollar…and that wasn’t until I lost my first molar!

    • June 9, 2012 6:56 am

      Yeah I think I got a quarter or maybe $0.50. I feel 100-years-old just saying this but my God how times have changed.

  21. June 8, 2012 12:37 pm

    Really $5, I think Maya is going to be quite the business woman!
    Have a great weekend Ameena

    • June 9, 2012 6:56 am

      Thanks my friend! I hope you have a great weekend too.

  22. June 8, 2012 3:27 pm

    Same here! If you ever find out why, let me know!

  23. June 8, 2012 5:59 pm

    Ha ha!! Kids will be kids, no matter what speech you give them. I do this all the time too!! It’s like a switch goes off in our heads and we think….I should smile and look pleasant LOL I call it an escape, then I continue yelling at the intended person.

    Have a good weekend lady!!

    • June 9, 2012 6:57 am

      That switch goes off in my head way too frequently.

      I hope you have a great weekend as well Krystal!

  24. June 8, 2012 8:18 pm

    Love this because I think it’s true for all of us in different situations! I think it’s a fact that we’re harder on those we love…always!

  25. June 9, 2012 8:59 am

    Ha, story of my life with my 8yo with the exact same items! Teen did it too although he has graduated somewhat and remembers his backpack and socks. And, he rarely forgets his lunch anymore after I threatened that he’d have to eat the cafeteria food if he forgot it. Have a great day!

    • June 10, 2012 7:23 pm

      So I feel a bit scared that Maya is going to continue this when she’s a teen??

  26. June 9, 2012 10:34 am

    With you completely!!!
    This is one question to which I believe no one has any answer…

  27. June 9, 2012 2:58 pm

    I guess we feel safe to be ourselves with people whom we know will love us as we are. It does not make sense to be nicer to those who does not matter than those who matters, is it? It seems silly but we all do that.

    • June 10, 2012 7:24 pm

      Well said. It makes no sense to be nice to those who do not matter…and yet that’s what I do!

  28. June 9, 2012 6:32 pm

    Sounds familiar, just different scenes. My oldest son could remember everything that SpongeBob (or Sonic or other cartoon characters) is saying 3 months ago, but almost never remember what I tell him 5 minutes ago. Usually after I say something, the usual question he innocently asks me “what did you say Mommy?” .. sigh.. kids!

    • June 10, 2012 7:25 pm

      I can’t stand SpongeBob. No really. I cannot STAND him!

  29. June 9, 2012 6:44 pm

    for me it was always the phone- I’d be in the middle of a rant and the phone would ring and I would pick it up with, “Helllllooooo” In the sweetest voice- to which all three kids would roll their eyes!! 🙂

    Kids keep us on our toes = that is for sure!

    • June 10, 2012 7:25 pm

      I do that too! Maya doesn’t roll here eyes though. Yet.

  30. June 9, 2012 8:52 pm

    I know this.. I have been through the same situation.

  31. June 10, 2012 3:48 pm

    shes so cute though with her toothless smile!!!

    • June 10, 2012 7:26 pm

      She is pretty cute. It has saved her a few times. 🙂

  32. June 10, 2012 4:33 pm

    While I don’t have a child of my own, I can definitely relate unfortunately.


    • June 10, 2012 7:26 pm

      I’m so sorry you can relate! But I’m kind of happy too. 🙂

  33. June 11, 2012 8:12 am

    Oh my – I’m the exact same way with my husband actually. I think it’s because we’re around them all the time? And the stranger hasn’t done anything to you – yet? 🙂

  34. June 11, 2012 12:11 pm

    Too funny! But totally normal. You have a relationship with your child and you know you’ll eventually be forgiven. You don’t have that kind of luxury with a stranger!

    • June 12, 2012 6:42 am

      I hope she forgives me…I have a lot that I need to be forgiven for. LOL

  35. June 11, 2012 6:30 pm

    It’s family. You can be your true self around them. Plus, I’m like that with my nieces, but I’d rather them have structure in private so they don’t act out in public.

    • June 12, 2012 6:43 am

      I wonder if I’d have more patience with nieces/nephews? I fear that I wouldn’t!

  36. June 11, 2012 7:34 pm

    I think we should just Give Thanks that she didn’t ask for flippers to cover up the gap until the adult teeth grow in. Knowing what it’s like for you to raise Maya now, I am absolutely terrified at the prospect of what it might be like to raise a pup her age years down the road. Horrified. I should probably start saving for The Fairy and The Rest Of The Cast Of Characters now.

    • June 12, 2012 6:43 am

      Flippers…too funny.

      Yes Kat, I would start saving now. Because really, all I do is spend spend spend…on Maya. Kids are expensive!

  37. willgoh2 permalink
    June 12, 2012 9:17 am

    “…why I can find it in me to be polite to random acquaintances but finding the energy to be nice to my own kid is often impossible?”

    Because the random acquaintance hasn’t been given the chance to irritate you with selective hearing. OMG, I thought you were talking about my own daughter. Just this morning getting her to get ready for camp was excruciatingly slow. All she did was just goof off and day dream. Seriously, it shouldn’t take 20 minutes to “brush” your teeth and “wash” your face.

    • June 14, 2012 8:39 am

      Selective hearing? Such a valid point Will! I suddenly feel about 50 X more justified in being rude to my husband. 🙂

  38. June 13, 2012 3:16 am

    Totally with you there – just the same with my two. Gradually, as they get older, I am learning to be nicer to them…ish…

    • June 14, 2012 8:40 am

      So niceness comes with age then? I hope so Ken!! I really hope so.

      • June 15, 2012 8:51 am

        Yes it does. My son and I stopped fighting the moment we saw each other stage last year. My daughter and I have the occasional bout but normally we get on ok. The only problems are over tidying bedrooms, doing homework etc. The real screaming matches have almost gone and, more often than not, we’re in the talking about really interesting things stage. I hope, one day, that turns into the best of friends stage. I’ll let you know if it happens!

  39. June 14, 2012 9:48 am

    Random note: that view is amazing! I love NYC, this summer is a lot different than when I’m home for the summer. 🙂 And ahhhh, children. I think we get better with age? 😛

  40. Amy C-B permalink
    June 18, 2012 10:58 am

    I go through this every day with my 10 year old. why cant she remember to brush her hair or her teeth before we leave? why cant she remember to wash her hands before we leave? her fingernails are always dirty.. or do anything beyond get up in the morning and get a bowl of cereal? i have said the same line about brushing her teeth for her too… sigh.. never gets any easier.. they just get bigger. its easier to be mean to family i think, you dont want people thinking of you as rude or something, at least thats what it is for me! haha.. most of the time though i am not super friendly in the morning anyway. ha!

    • June 19, 2012 1:25 pm

      Yes…what is it with the fingernails? Grosses me out. And I thought vomit would be the worst part of parenting?

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