If my life was a Disney movie, it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out which of the 7 dwarfs I was representing the last few days. Although I normally try to distribute my time pretty evenly between Dopey, Happy, Doc, Sleepy, Grumpy, and Sneezy (I don’t do Bashful), there are times where one of the little guys dominates my head. I am currently stuck on loop and even Snow White herself couldn’t keep me from being the grump in tights. The antics she uses to bring Grumpy around – a pat on the head, a little pinch of the cheek, a kiss on the forehead – any one of those things would assure Snow got a wallop that would set her flat on her pale-as-powder ass.
So, Grumpy it is. And today I’m trying hard to shake it, but I’ll admit, the monster factor was in fine form last night. I went postal on my son for not having his homework done. To ease any concerns about my son’s welfare – I don’t yell, I don’t hit, I don’t starve him in the scary basement. Postal in our house = near death by nagging. In my defense though, this is homework that is due once a month. The kids have to use media (photos and news stories) to talk about a character trait. In case you’ve been out of public school a while and don’t have kids cycling though – character traits are something all the school boards use to teach kids how to be better people than parents are raising them to be at home.
Integrity We act justly and honourably in all that we do
Responsibility We are accountable for our actions and we follow through on our commitments
Cooperation We work together towards shared goals and purposes
Caring We show kindness towards others
Respect We treat ourselves, others and the environment with consideration and dignity
Optimism We maintain a positive attitude and have hope for the future
Honesty We behave in a sincere, trustworthy and truthful manner
Empathy We strive to understand and appreciate the feelings and actions of others
Courage We do the right thing, even when it’s difficult
Inclusiveness We include everyone in what we do and value their unique contributions
So – basically, my son was failing miserably at the responsiblity trait – since he had a month to do this homework but only remembered ten minutes before bed the night before it was due. I was failing miserably at empathy, caring, and optimism as I nagged him half to death as he tried to cram 2 or 3 hours of homework into the thirty minute bedtime extension I gave him to get his ass in gear. I must say though – he did quite well at courage, handling my tyranny. That is until a big fat tear rolled down his cheek, because I wasn’t helping him and was making him feel bad. (his words).
Okay – so I felt like a giant jerk who doesn’t help their kid and just makes them feel bad. It wasn’t a nice place to be. I was able to placate the beast in me long enough to make amends and tuck the kids into bed, but I wasn’t downstairs more than 15 minutes before my husband asked me to look at the wording of something for work. He asked quite nicely and I agreed, but the longer it took to get through it, the more the beast bubbled up again. After barking out a multitude of questions about the memo (and even saying the wording of one particular sentence was just stupid), I emailed the revised offending document back to him saying I felt crabbier than ever now. I think I was implying it was his fault, which normally would have evoked an immediate challenge to my accusation. But instead he just thanked me and kept his eyes averted. I think he wanted to be sure he didn’t turn to stone.
All I wanted to do was watch the informative and relevent television programme – the Bachelor – Women Tell All. Is that too much to ask? A little light entertainment? By the time I had drained my tea and finished wasting the two hours of my life that the programme ran, I decided all the girls on the show were officially stupid jerks and bullies. I hated them all. I hated Ben too, because he was being a spineless weenie. My therapist would probably say something about transference – but I was too grumpy to handle self-reflection or how those stupid bitches mirrored how much of a stupid bitch I was being. I just turned on Intervention instead.
My mother has always said if you get into a tussle with one person – they might be having a bad day. If you get into it with more than two people, make no mistake – it’s you. Advice I’ve used for many years to determine if I have settled into my grumpy-pants and need to look at a wardrobe change. Or at the very least, recognize it’s not a good look.
New day, but I’m not wearing new pants. Not yet anyway. I’m trying. Sort of. It might just be another day to stay huddled in the dressing room.