I just spent an hour lost in my archives from 2004. Back when Alex was 15 months old and I could write about him with an ease and eloquence I seem to have lost somewhere along my way. This is a common theme I've noticed among my fellow mom-bloggers: the older your children get, the harder is to write about them.
It was just so easy then.
Now It's hard. I don't talk about my children because there's so much more to them now than nursing and diapering and watching them grow. They are still cute as hell, sure, but complicated.
Alex is a wonder. In so many ways. He has my father's enthusiasm. My brother's propensity for frustration. My relentless chattiness.
He's got some issues lately. One in particular that I can't talk about here. Something he's too old for. Something that makes no sense.
So I roar my terrible roar and gnash my terrible teeth and roll my terrible eyes and show my terrible claws.
Because it makes me angry.
The other day he stopped beside me and declared in that authoritative voice 7-year-olds use when they know they're full of shit, "Mom. I'm the boss of my actions."
"Yeah, kid," I told him. "But I'm the boss of your consequences."
Could this all be some underlying, deep-seated, psychological issue?
But this behavior started looooooong before the divorce.
And that's the crazy thing about divorce. There is no control group. No way to tell if less-than-stellar behavior is because of the break up or because of everything that came BEFORE the break up.
So yeah, my kids fight. Constantly. When I tell them no - even it's over something as stupid as frosted flakes for dinner - they tell me they hate me and that I'm the worst mother in the whole world.
Frankly, it rolls right off my back, just an echo of the hundred times I said the same thing to my mother without meaning it. Let them be angry! It's good for them. And hell, I say yes often enough. Maybe too much. Maybe that's the problem.
Are we a happy threesome? The brutal truth is that no, we're not as happy as I'd like us to be. My kids aren't easy. I don't know how to make them do what I say the first time. Or the third. I get frustrated with them far too quickly. I don't know how to get them to stop whining. Or hitting each other. Or staying up past their bedtime to tell secrets in the dark. I'm still working out how to be present. To stop and smell them. Let them know I'm here. I feel like I'm waiting for them to grow up so we can be friends.
Like ALL parents, I'm figuring it out as I go along.