Well, I was going to write about work, but after getting an update from the ever savvy Mrs. Austin about Dooce.com, I was convinced to do otherwise.

Another reader mentioned that writing about work is easy and fun because there is so much stuff that goes on there. I agree, it's a given to want to talk about work. The last 7-8 years have felt like one giant job with different names. I haven't had to apply anywhere, I haven't had to interview or do a resume or hit the pavement or log on to Monster.com or any of that. I get paid pretty well and have learned a lot.

So, the day-to-day stuff that happens, I won't talk about. Don't get me wrong, I still write about it, but it'll be in book or memoir or something that will come out after I'm retired or after I get laid off and am looking for some money.

Which leaves me to talk about the family this go 'round. I know some of you die hard readers would rather hear gossip about my job or dirt on other family members or cool places we've been, but you have to understand that I started this journal many moons ago to keep track of what our life with kids was like. Sometimes it's as boring to read as listening to people talk about stand up comedians they saw on TV, but I must write about it nevertheless.

Lil Miss Austin and I have been going through some trying times. I forget that she's only three. I treat her, no, I want to treat her like she's a teenager or at least an age that she can reason. But she can't. So what happens is I have unattainably high expectations and she has the focus and attention span of a three year old. What could go wrong?

The problem is, she has the intelligence of a 5 year old. She's very smart, very precocious, very manipulative and very charming. She's got me wrapped around her finger, but when I decide to push back, it's never in a constructive way, it's always with yelling.

So yesterday, after she'd not done what she was told, I scolded her. I scolded her all the way home. I scolded her loud and repetitively. There was so much yelling and talking that after a while she just kind went blank, like I'd talked too much and now she'd forgotten what it was that she did wrong. Because she's three. If left to sit long enough, a transgression against a parental rule becomes how many red cars she can see on the way home. Because she's three.

She later told Mrs. A all about it and described me as a big monster that stood over her yelling and she just wished I went away.

Tha-at's right.

Seeing it from that point of view makes me sick. It makes my gut bottom out thinking that she can relate these things and that I'm a monster to her. Of course later she said she loved me and I believe that day will eventually be forgotten to her, but only if I change the way I handle her. Mrs. A is so much better at it than I am. I'm no good at discipline, I'd rather play, but I can't always play. I have to pick her up from school, take her too school, be with her at home when Mrs. A has meetings in the evening. I can't just keep passing the buck to Mommy because it's not fair to Mrs. A, it's not fair to LMA, and it's lazy for me to be that way. It's not taking an active role; it's a passive role.

I get so frustrated when she gives me backtalk and ignores me when I'm trying to get her to do things. (Welcome to parenting, right?) But I always thought we were friends.

Later that night I upset Mrs. A and she snapped at me a little. She's sick and I was interrupting her show, but after the day I had, it was all I could do to keep from getting into the car and driving away. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be everyone's friend.

As I found out at work today as well, sometimes it doesn't pay to be friendly.

Don't worry, the humor will come back after a while. This had to be a boring post to read. Almost as bad as that comedian I saw last night...

No comments: