This morning with Little Bear was really, REALLY hard. Nothing I did was right for him. And I tried so hard. He wouldn’t dress himself. He wouldn’t feed himself. He wouldn’t put on his shoes and socks. He wouldn’t brush his teeth. He wouldn’t put on his coat. I had to do it all for him. One bite at a time. One sock at a time. One shoe and then the other and then the first one again because he’d kicked it off. Gave up on brushing his teeth because I didn’t feel like wrestling him, kicking and screaming on the bathroom floor while he spat toothpaste spit at my and clawed at my face. Coat on over clenched swinging fists. And then I lost my temper. I yelled at him. He kicked me and then started in on trying to tip over furniture. So I gathered up his flailing little self and put him in a safety hold. It sucked. And I felt like a complete failure as a parent. We calmed down a little bit and it was time to leave for the bus. I asked him to come with me and told him it was time for the bus. He didn’t come. So I picked up his backpack and started off toward the bus stop. He followed, screaming and yelling and throwing things. He threw his blanket into the neighbor’s yard. I left it there. We got to the bus stop in one piece. Once there, the tantrum ramped up. He kept pulling out of my grasp. I had to wrestle him to the ground roadside to keep him from darting in front of an oncoming car. It was still dark. I prayed to the moon to give me strength. God is in the moon, right? I hope so. Finally his bus came. And stopped. And waited. I tried my best to get him on the bus. He kicked and screamed and yelled and clawed at my face. The bus driver suggested I drive him to school and said that he needed to go. Okay. The bus pulled away, leaving me there, beside the road, in the dark, with my son. I was calm. I started home with him. He pulled out of my grasp again and bolted. Down the street he ran. In the dark. I didn’t know what to do. I finally caught up with him, reeled him in and pulled him toward home. He kicked and screamed and again got out of my grasp. He ran, into a neighbor’s yard. At least he was safe. I pretended to ignore him and walked slowly toward home, keeping him in sight. He followed. Caught up with me. Then started kicking and hitting me and pulling my clothtes off. I dropped his backpack and picked him up and lugged him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes. I carried him home that way, kicking and screaming and biting and hitting. I felt like such a failure. Seriously, what kind of parent can’t get their kid on the bus in the morning?
Then I came home and opened my devotional book to today’s date. The first sentence: “It’s all right to be human.” That’s really all I need to read. I will make that mine today and try harder not to lose my temper with my son. I won't be perfect. He won't be perfect. But that's okay. Because we're both human. And because we love each other to the moon and back. And because we'll both keep trying.