I need to use our video camera for a project at work. Finding the video camera was no problem. I knew I had hidden it from Brady under a pile of clothes on Mark’s dresser. It had sat there for months. Pulling out the video camera to film my kids doing goofy kid tricks has been replaced by taping short segments on my smartphone. Locating the battery pack and the charger proved to be much more difficult but resulted in me cleaning off the top of my fridge and my entire bedroom before Mark came home and told me it was in the toy box. Go figure.
Brady helped me search for all the video camera components and came across a tape. When we finally had the battery fully charged, we popped it in the camera and watched. The first snippet was me holding a two-year old Brady with a mohawk. Brady had a mohawk for exactly one day, so it must have been May 2010. I was holding him up to the mirror and said, “Brady, look in the mirror.” He continued to look at the floor. “Brady,” I demanded again, “Look in the mirror.” The annoyance in my voice was unmistakable and watching it now, years later, it seems absurd to be that annoyed with a two-year-old not doing as you ask the first time. Now that I am on my third two-year-old, it seems like perfectly normal behavior to me.
I did not like the tone of my voice and I am actually quite surprised that I caught myself on camera like that because I am usually so much more conscious of the way I speak to my children when I know I am being watched. Sad, but true, my not-so-great parenting moments have all been behind closed doors.
I have no recollection of that day, so I do not know what else had happened that may have given me a short fuse. It was during the most difficult year. I could make a million excuses as to why I was such a snot, but I will not. And the truth is, I still sometimes get like that when I have told Brady 5 times to do something, or Sully is on his 100th “Hey Mom…” in an hour, or Colin continues to yell, “Moooooooooom” even though I have answered him at least three times.
So I am going to, first, forgive myself for being human, and, second, pledge to be more Supermom with unending patience and less snippy like a normal human being. I will speak kinder, gentler, and more loving and hope that the kids remember us laughing and singing more than they remember me being a jerk.