Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's OK to Hate Them

My husband tells me that he knew I was a good mother because "every once in a while you say things like, 'I hate that @*]%$#< kid.'"

Of course I love Gabe. To pieces. But sometimes a combination of rage and disappointment get the better of me, and I mutter -- TO SOMEONE ELSE -- what I'm thinking about him at that particular moment. Doing so helps me return to feelings of pride and appreciation all the more quickly.

I'm quite distrustful of parents who have only good things to say about their children. You can't pull one over on me, as my mother says. I know how kids are, and it ain't all good.

Sure, I'm happy to hear about their successes, but the longer you go on acting like they are perfect children, the more obvious it is that you are trying to convince me that you are a perfect parent. At which you're going to fail, by the way.

The following is what parents really think, as a friend texted me recently on treating her youngster's ailments:

"I gave her some Benadryl. I hope it knocks her ass out. If my husband keeps it up, I might put some in his beer too. Everyone shut the f*ck up and take a nap."

This is how parents retain whatever sanity they have left, through honest expression. Bottling that up and insisting to everyone else how ducky family life is may cause such a bottleneck in your emotional well-being that you will explode at the most inopportune moments.

Worse, you could do actual damage. You could say that kind of stuff to your kid's face. You could cause physical harm. You may just do something heinous.

Say it with me, folks: "I ... hate ... my ... kid." We know you don't really mean it, deep down.

Some days, perhaps deeper down than others.

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