13 year old: Just one more hour to go.
Me ( a little louder): Good.
13:(exasperated) I couldn’t hear you.
Me: Yes I know, that’s why I repeated what I said.
And any number of conversations like this. Each child has her own brand of selective hearing loss and equally quirky and irritated responses to not knowing what was said. My middle daughter talks to my youngest daughter in the exact same tone of voice that I recall my grandmother talking to my nearly deaf great grandmother after years of repeating herself. Think of the way you might talk to someone who doesn’t speak English. Louder. Slower,wildly gesturing, but there is still very little being communicated. My oldest daughter flatly refuses to repeat herself at all for the youngest. Honestly our car ride conversations are borderline psychotic. The car ride also involves a lot of grunting and sighing and seat slapping. I’ve shouted, “EVERYONE STOP YELLING!” I’ve created mandatory silent times. I’ve turned the music up to drown out the bickering. In the house I can send people outside, not so many options in the car.
And troubling bedtimes are back. My room door becomes a revolving door at night. Head ache, water, anxiety, cat food, forgotten homework, tears, cats, neck ache, sore throat, kitten stories and more. Medicine, don’t forget to breathe, out cat, out kitten, find your happy place, find my happy place, firm and direct.
There are of course the blessings, the little moments. Middle child sat down to have a conversation with me after dinner and started off by saying, ” I love you Mom, but you know that”. The youngest proclaimed this morning that she’s lucky because she has the two most annoying sisters but the very best Mom. I’m sure they are sucking up, but ill take it. It’s comforting and familiar. After dinner as i assigned after dinner chores the littlest asked “Well, whats your job mommy. You’re not doing anything.” Sure I just made the entire meal, but I replied that I had my job too. As we finished cleaning the kitchen the youngest says, ” I’m sorry for what I said earlier, I regretted it the moment my words came out of my mouth. ” Victory!
So many times that’s what parenting is: little stolen victories and hope for the future.
Gotta close. Somebody needs a final hug for the night.