Crazy Mama Moments
Eyes bugging out. Nostrils flaring. Face flushed. Thinking, “I need a drink for this right here.” Yelling phrases like, “What in THE …?!” and “Why? WHY did you think this was a good idea?!” or “You did WHAT???” Yup…all of those are indicators of a crazy mama moment and I have them on a regular basis. Like at least twice a month.
This week’s crazy mama moment was brought to you by lying. The most assured way to get me from happy, hugging, playful, giggly, sweet mama is to lie to me. (Insert Drake’s “0 to 100” theme music here.) I don’t abide by dishonesty of any kind. I’ve made that plain to my child on many occasions and yet… *sigh* she still tries it. See, I have what they call a “strong willed child”. Others call her “spirited”. Mostly everyone just says, “Oooh that lil girl is too much!” What this basically means is that she is fully possessed at ALL given moments to believe that she can do what the hell she wanna do when she wanna do it. Here’s the problem. She’s five. Now, while I have to admit, many times the grown woman in me who recognizes that she someday too will be a grown woman gives internal golf claps in reaction to a strong-willed moment. A silent nod from one bawse to another if you will. The girl’s got ovaries the size of coconuts. Homegirl is unafraid and unbothered by other’s desires and expectations. Generally speaking, that is a flow I can truly respect and get with. And I likely very much will, when she’s 18! Right now, though? Right now, I need her to have a better understanding of her age and her role in life at this moment. There are lessons I and life have to teach her before she can go out and conquer the world in all the ways I’m confident she will. Crazy mama moments are an integral part to that curriculum.
As it stands, her willfullness keeps writing checks her little (and, tiny it is) butt cannot cash. This is where the lying comes into play. In her 5-year old brain, it is a better course of action to tell some falsified version of the event rather than owning up to the fact that she made a bad choice of her own will. This process is something I find fascinating. See, she clearly knows that she isn’t entitled to make her own decisions about things but that fact cannot be reconciled with her overriding willfullness just to do the thing she wants to do. She eventually backs herself into a corner and then the lies begin. For example, a couple weeks ago she lied about using my perfume. When I asked her about it, she first outright denied it…as if I could not smell the almost entire bottle of Ralph Lauren’s Romance on her tutu!!! When asked again, she confessed. I asked, “My goodness, Asha. Did you use the whole bottle?” Her response, “Welllll…it kinda seems like I did but when you look it’s a little tiny bit *holds up thumb and forefinger to demonstrate* left in there. So, no.” We go over the rules AGAIN about not using my things without permission, about how perfume is not for little girls, about how lying is bad and wrong and problematic. Lo and behold she does it again the VERY NEXT DAY. And ladies and gents, this is when the full blown crazy mama moment popped off. While I knew she knew better the first time, the second time is completely without excuse and I let her know that. Her response the second time, “Well, I just wanted to have it more than I cared about getting consequences.” See. WILL-FULL!!! At this point you may be thinking, she should have been punished or that I need to assert better boundaries or we need more consistent enforcement of consequences. Let me rest your troubled mind. I do all of those things. I’m not at all indicating that I’m a perfect mom because those don’t exist. What I am saying is, I feel confident about my discipline approach when it comes to this one. Ask anyone who knows all the intimate details of my mommyhood and they say regularly that they don’t know what else to offer/what they would do differently. Activate crazy mama moment sequence here. As another example, this week it was discovered that she asked a friend to cut her hair at school because, “I didn’t like the way you had it.” Yet, this was only revealed after three different preceding versions of the story had been told. SERIOUSLY?! Oh ok, that’s how you wanna play it? Activate crazy mama moment sequence in 3–2–1.
I, honestly, don’t like yelling at my child and don’t use it as a frequent practice. I’ve been yelled at and never find it pleasant, but I do find that it has typically been impactful. There are other parts of her willfullness that can make me a little nutty too, like moving at her own pace when it’s clear we’re running behind in the morning or her changing clothes two or three times a day because she “wanted to.” I surely get irritated at those things but I can usually take them in stride, roll my eyes, and keep it moving. But when I’m face-to-face with her full-blown willfull behavior and all of the calm, collected, and rational tactics don’t seem to penetrate the seriousness of the situation, I can easily tap into Mean Mommy and Mean Mommy yells like a crazy person. Bottom line, lying is a horrible character flaw. More importantly, I know the world is fraught with hatefulness, deranged people and circumstances, and danger. I need me and my little girl to be on the same page as a unit so that as a team working together we can more effectively keep her safe. I need to be able to trust her and I need to be able to trust what she tells me about her experiences when she’s away from me. So, until we can reconcile these competing parts of herself and she can be more consistently honest with me about the bad choices as well as the good ones, crazy mama remains one activation button away.