Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Parental Tantrum Time

I feel like whining, stamping my feet,pouting, and acting like a two year old...thanks to Twelve. Here's why... Twelve has been taking an acting class once a week. This is the third session that Twelve has participated in. The first two sessions ended with a regular class...nothing more, nothing less. Tonight, right before Twelve got out of the car to go into the class she told me that they were putting on a performance tonight and she did not want me to come.

Now keep in mind that every week, I am the only parent who sits in the car outside of the studio and uses that hour to read a book, or catch up on phone calls. All of the other parents, drop their kids off and leave (probably to be much more productive than I am!). So, when Twelve told me that she did not want me to come to the performance tonight, I assumed (foolishly) that none of the other parents would be there, and that Twelve didn't want to be the only student with a parent there. WRONG!!!!!!!

As I sat in my car, speaking on the phone to a friend, I watched as the 4 other students parents arrived at the studio and all lined up to enter and watch the performance. And let me tell you, I was hurt and pissed off!!!!!

I felt that I couldn't enter the studio, because Twelve had specificially told me that she didn't want me there, but boy did I feel like cr*p! I felt rejected (which I was), I felt angry that Twelve didn't give a damn about my feelings, I felt unappreciated, andI felt hurt.

At the end of the class/performance, Twelve came bounding out to the car and started telling me how she did a great job and didn't forget any of her lines. I couldn't help myself...instead of supporting her in how well she felt she did with her performance, I let her know that what she did to me was very hurtful and rude. I told her how difficult it was for me to sit there while every other parent was invited into the performance by their child. Twelve said "I'm sorry, but if you would have been there, I would have been too nervous". We had quite the dialogue about support and expectations. (I questioned her re: her perception of my support and whether she felt that I expected her to be perfect.) We had quite the conversation, and although she apologized about 3 times, I wasn't ready to accept her apology.

Twelve knew that I was hurt and pissed off and tried to make it better by offering to help with dinner. To be perfectly honest, I didn't want her anywhere near me and it took all of my self control to allow her to help me. Do I think that this was Twelve's way of getting back at me and punishing me for removing her door? It may have been, but that doesn't excuse the behavior, and it certainly doesn't make me feel any better. The bummer is that now Twelve wants me upstairs to help her study for her science test tomorrow and I don't want to. I'm hurt and I'm mad and I don't want to be near her right now! I know that as a mother, I have to suck it up, go upstairs and help her study. I do have to help her right? (please say I don't have to, please don't make me do it...I really don't want to!) What I want right now, is some time away from her, and a good pouting, crying, yelling, weeping session.


Patti said...

Wow. I think I'll wait until someone else comments.
I hope that writing helped you let off some steam.
I know that blogging helps me a lot.

All I can say is I've been there myself and offer my moral support.

patches said...

I understand your frustration and I applaud you for letting off part of your steam an a constructive way (this blog). After the past few weeks of dealing with Twelve any parent in their right mind would be hurt by being left out of the fold like you were. You're well within your rights to tell Twelve how hurt you are by her action. However, being the adult, there might be limits to the timeframe society allows to hold a grudge against your first born. So set an example for Twelve, instead of following hers. My innermost desire would be to return the hurt in kind, but that's my selfish side speaking

Patti said...

Lynn, Twelve clearly has been putting you through the wringer, as only an adolescent daughter can.
Is there any way you can get away for a few hours on the weekend and unwind? Do something fun? Even by yourself, if your husband can't go with you.
That is what I would try to do...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Patti. And I have totally had these feelings myself with my 8 year old. Kids are tough! Sometimes I just have to immediately leave the house as soon as my husband gets home!

Joan said...

OK as a non-parent, I need to defend Twelve a little...both as her aunt and as someone who's been there. I know that having someone you know (and, in this case, love) watch you perform can be unnerving. As a trainer, I always preferred to stand up in front of total strangers than to "perform" in front of my library friends. Give Twelve a break and accept her reason...maybe she's actually telling you the truth this time.

Renee said...

You have every right to your feelings and I think that at 12y/o that Twelve is old enough to understand that she hurt your feelings very badly.
I think that it is wrong to "suck it up" for our kids. I think they deserve to know how their actions affect others including their parents. Otherwise they'll be suprised when in the real world someone doesn't just take their abuse.
I know that the "experts" say that kids don't have any real sense of the world exhisting around them, but I have to wonder how much of that is parents allowing them to get away with it.

Maybe I don't have enough experience in this yet as the parent of an almost 9y/o, but I intend to be true to my feelings.

Pam said...

Ouch. I think I agree with pretty much everyone else here. Your hurt feelings are understandable; 12 is definitely old enough to know that you are hurt; but eventually someone needs to be the adult. She's old enough to start thinking beyond the end of her own nose - to see the impact her actions have on others. Teens are so preoccupied with themselves -- it's as frustrating as it is normal. I feel for you. Just keep reminding yourself, "This too shall pass..." (And in the meantime, go ahead and have a tantrum -- it will feel good! Mine sure did!)

meno said...

I'm sorry. That really hurts.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to tell her that you don't want to help her right now and you need some time to yourself. I mean, i know the time has passed for my advice, but that was rude. I have told my daughter that i need a time out before. She seems to understand that.

Anonymous said...

Although I am no mother and I can't feel for you what you're going through... I am no person to judge and if my comments don't sound too good you are free to discard it, but i thought of just saying.. give her some time...

My father passed away when I was 11, he was the househusband.. and I was totally attached to him... After his death, i have no one to look to other than my mum.. and with him gone, I understood mum better and i accepted her the way she is (nothing bad just that i was closer to dad and they had problems) It took me years of just hiding in my room everyday... only recently, we're communicating.. it took a long time.. but its not too late.. she's smiling more now. and that made me glad.

Lynn said...

Patti - Good idea, I may take myself shopping this weekend :~)

Patches - My selfish side and your selfish side clearly think the same way. It's tough being the adult and having to set a good example. p.s. did the suggestion for nephews gift help at all?

Judi - Thanks for reading my blog. It would have been nice to leave, unfortunately I had to help her study for Science...it's true what they say about a "woman's work is never done".

Joan - Interesting perspective... Maybe she was telling the truth this time, but she conviently came up with this excuse, AFTER, I told her how I felt.

Renee - Thanks for your support. I agree, that it is important for kids to understand that there are consequences for their actions. Twelve needed to know how her decision affected me.

Pam - I stepped up to the plate and acted like an adult, but it sure would have been easier to be hurtful back to her. I know that this too shall pass...but WHEN???? If I had a specific day and time to look forward to, that would help.

Meno - Thanks, I actually made her wait (while I blogged last night) before I went upstairs to help her study for her science test...it was my small way of taking some time for myself.

Anonymous - I am sorry for the loss of your father at such a young age. The relationship between a parent and a child certainly has it's ups and downs. I'm glad that your relationship with your mum has improved.

Patti said...

Good for you for making Twelve wait while you took time out for blogging. Maybe it gave her some time to think about how she hurt you.