Tuesday, June 19, 2007

crappy mom looking in the mirror

Today, the weather was hot and sticky and Southern. We went to the mall. The boys got haircuts, and then pizza, and then cupcakes. Lilah, always a trooper, tagged along. All of them behaved, more or less. So it wasn't a total disaster.

But this evening, when the boys began waving their genitalia at each other in my presence, I totally lost it. Let's just leave it at that. Enough with the goddamn penises already! I feel like I'm being sexually molested in my own home on a daily basis. By my own sons.

I just can't tell what's normal. And because I'm confused, I feel like I'm making them confused too, and then blaming them for it. I've said here that I think penis obsession is normal stuff, and even sanctioned it--or at least looked the other way. Now here I am comparing it to molestation. And the truth is, I really do feel like sometimes it's the one, and sometimes it's the other.

On the one hand, I'm totally a black-or-white person. Either I run five miles fast, or I don't run at all. Either I don't eat sweets, or I eat an entire box of cookies.

But on the other hand, I can't seem to come down decisively on some truly important matters. I'm always clouding my messages with freaking context. I'm always qualifying things, always advocating ambiguity and nuance. My conversation is filled with words like sometimes, maybe, what if, you never know. As though my poor three- and five-year-old boys could understand all that.

They want rules, plain and simple. Yes to this. No to that. I seem incapable of providing that kind of direction. And yet I'm capable of getting completely pissed off at the way they behave in the absence of clear instruction. Bottom line: I'm having to come to terms with the fact that I'm kind of (see, there I am qualifying things again) a crappy mother.

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