I’m sorry, Mom. Sorry! Oops, I’m sorry.
Coco is helping me in the laundry room. Her strong desire to learn all things domestic collides with my mommy weakness of having a child working in a childish way alongside of me.
I am struggling and agitated. A huge pile of clean laundry rests on the ironing board.
Let’s take things from the TOP of the laundry pile to fold rather than pulling from the bottom.
Socks and underwear fall to the floor as my blood pressure rises.
Internal voices condemn. How long have you been doing this mothering thing? How many of your housekeeping systems have failed? Look at that ironing pile! Isn’t there supposed to be a plan for keeping it under control? Aren’t moms with lots of kids supposed to TRAIN them so that the household runs itself? You are such a failure! Your child WANTS to help, and you can’t even get it right.
Everyone keeps getting dressed. Every day. In clean clothes.
My mind churns. Didn’t I JUST iron that pile?
Oops, sorry, Mom!
Coco, WHY do you keep telling me you are sorry?
Because I don’t want you to be mad at me.
I’m not mad at you. Why do you think I am?
Because I am the only one here, and you seem mad, so it feels like it’s at me.
Here I go, explaining once again to my 8 year old that she is not responsible for Mommy’s feelings. For Mommy’s heart.
I love this child. She drives me crazy.
Well, I am not mad at you. Remember, you are not responsible for Mommy’s feelings or for how Mommy acts.
She disappears into her room.
I finish up the folding, do some ironing, and knock on the door of her room to find her reading.
Want to come downstairs for lunch? How does mac~N~cheese sound?
Yeah! Can I help make it?
~Commence internal wrestling~
Isn’t working in the kitchen together supposed to encourage bonding? Conversations? The teaching of basic life skills?
Is there hope for child 6?
First get a pot.
Clatter~Bang! A cupboard opens and the largest pot is extracted from it.
She can’t read my mind to know that I want her to use the 2 quart sauce pan to fix one box of macaroni.
Let’s try this one. See how it’s a better size?
We fill it. Talk about a watched pot not boiling, stuff like that.
She revisits the topic of Mommy’s feelings. This must be what it means for a child to feel safe.
I know that I’m not responsible for your feelings. That it’s not my fault and all. Sometimes ~ Sometimes I go off upstairs by myself for another reason.
What reason is that?
Like when I’m scared. When you and Daddy are yelling and stuff.
Yeah. My heart breaks just a little more, and the thing is, I can now actually feel every bit of the rending.