tug'o war times two

dinnertime. Tarzan 2 in the DVD player. one kid is hungry (but only for mac n/cheese, extra milk please) , the other not (or too engrossed in his new movie to give his growling stomach a second thought). and me. the mom , torn between wanting to enjoy my hot bowl of food and wanting them to sit at the table sans any arguments (which doesn't allow for hot food). within the span of 4 minutes, i've (1) told the boy to get his bum at the table (NOW!), (2) the girl that no i will not warm her mac up, (3) the boy that he can sit in the living room but will have to finish his food sometime tonight or he won't get any popcorn during our Sat night movie, (4) the girl that no nana didn't make her mac with milk like mommy does and she'd better hush her whining or SHE won't get any popcorn, (5) revert to telling the boy that he better get his tail in his chair right this minute (or it's the room for you!), (6) back to telling my girl that if she'll hush i WILL put milk in her mac, (7) BACK to telling the boy that he's getting a spanking (and then, actually following up on that), listening to him cry at the dinner table, putting the movie on pause and...quiet. (why didn't i think of THAT in the first place??) all the while my MIL sat across from me prob thinking i am one spatic mom who can't make up her mind on how to control her grandchildren, my husband sat there pretending he can't hear a thing, and the dog making his rounds at the table begging for food. it's a constant tug of war in my head on how to properly discipline my children, and when i DECIDE on how to handle a situation, i usually feel like i messed up somehow. it's as if i forget how i handled the exact same situation the day before and i have to start all over again. on one hand i think i'm not hard enough (my stop that right now's! and 'one more time!!' warnings have started to wax cold...) and others, i think "oh my God, i have turned into some maniac monster mom that my kids will blame all of their shortcomings on someday. thing is, you never read about these moments in those new mommy books. they don't warn you that once you become a parent, you begin to doubt and second guess virtually everything you say and do. if i get mad at the driver in front of me and say something as simple as "STUPID guy! get off the road!" my daughter has fits, because "mommy, you're not allowed to say stupid becuase you can hurt his feelings" or "mommy said stupid!!!" and then commence to calling each other "stupid!! you are stupid!!" but my fav has to be when i get mad and just make a grunt or a shhhheeeesshhh, brooke fills in the silence with, "mommy was he a stupid driver?" what's it all for? has my effort been wasted on my momentary lapse of mommy etiquette? this tug of war in my head is the toughest game i have ever played. it's me against two little people about 3 feet tall, and many days i feel like they've won and i am lying face down in the mud. but i can't give up. every morning i tighten my grip a little bit more, my footing is a bit more sure. and the tug. well, the tug really isn't all that bad.

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