Bad Morning

I just told my kid to shut up.

Parenting fail.

I think I’m in shock.

There was a tantrum brewing.

But I needed to eat.  I still need to eat.

We’ve had a very bad morning and I actually told my autistic, precious, frustrated son to “just shut up.”

I said that to my best friend once too.

The look on her pretty face is burned in my memory.  She was disappointed, utterly defeated by the challenge of communicating with me.

I haven’t seen her face in eight years, but I remember how it looked that day.

She would probably be angry with me now if she knew how easily I summoned that specific image of her to shame myself.

She wouldn’t have wanted me to do that.

She would have wanted me to get over it, forgive myself, be calmer and kinder – to myself, to the boy, to her memory.

So yeah, feeling like a pretty crappy mom person right now.

The little boy said “noooo shut up.”

He knew what I meant.

I am mortified.

Will he repeat that at school?  In the store?  At Grandma’s?

Will everyone know I told my son to “shut up?”

I’m typing it here.

It doesn’t matter who else knows, because I know.

I am an ogre in this moment.

Interesting how an ounce of ogre ruins a pound of positive parenting.

I feel stupid, obvious and far too large in my motherhood this morning, like a bull in a china shop.

I should eat.

Interesting how an ounce of ogre taints the taste of breakfast too.

Reality check…

my son is autistic.

He is a challenging little boy.

When he sets his mind to something, there is no veering off to the left.  Or to the right.

All surrounding souls must be singularly focused on the boy’s immediate goal, or all hell breaks loose.

I know this.  I do.

And the little boy is in the habit of making demands.

And the grown-ups are in the habit of complying whenever possible, practical, and sensible.

Life is more peaceful that way.

But sometimes, like this morning, the demands are too much, too desperate, and too rigid.

So I can’t comply.  Not completely.  Not immediately.

I have to assert my free will, so I know I still have it.

I have to confirm that I am still a grown-up, capable, on some level, of determining my own fate.

For the sake of my sanity, I did this stupid thing and now the analysis of it will rob me of the sanity I was trying to protect.

It sounds so dumb.

And no matter how hard this is for me, it’s harder for him.

But my sweet little boy is now upstairs, laughing, and I am here dissecting myself to tiny bits.

How is it that he recovers so much more quickly from the ogre sighting?

Is it easier to face the ogre than to be the ogre?

It must be.

Thank God my mom is babysitting today.

I need a break.

I wish I could leave my ogre somewhere for a while too.


Happy Sunday.

P.S.  Husband has somehow talked me into seeing TRON: Legacy today.  I have low expectations.  Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.  And I can get through two hours of just about anything with the promise of Filippi’s afterward.  I love you, Filippi’s.  🙂  It has been too long.  Far too long.


7 thoughts on “Bad Morning

  1. My precious daughter. You are NOT an ogre. Never have been. Never will be. ALL mothers do and say things that burn in their memory. I can still feel the shame of swatting your brother on his rear as I was saying, “We don’t hit people” right after he had taken a swing at a neighbor’s child. I was hitting him as I was telling him to never hit people. A “shut up” by comparison is nothing! Let it go!

  2. Glad you can write about this. You have not permanently damaged your son, you have blown off steam, you can’t be peter perfect every moment of the day, you are wonderfully human, and, he needed to know that enough was enough! As your mom said, “let it go” but, you’ll remember this moment long after your child has forgotten it. That is what mothers do. Darn it!

  3. Oh honey, if I had a dollar for every time I told Sophia to “Shut up”, after asking her politely, then not so politely, to “be quiet”, or “hush up”, she’d have a nice little bank account. I’m not proud and it will probably come back in a time you’re not expecting, but it’s OKAY! At least you didn’t say, “Just shut your pie hole!” You know I’m just kidding, right. You are a good mom, and even the best mom on the planet loses it sometimes. We are HUMAN. Now, if you were an ogre, you would’ve bitten him. You didn’t bite him, did you? Of course not, so you are just a mom who got a little close to the edge and stumbled a bit. You’re back on solid ground, now be kind to yourself and forgive yourself as your son already has.

    Love you lots, Christy

  4. My belief is that you should treat him just like a “normal” (whatever that is) kid. So, we have yelled “shut up” to Cassie and Harrison on several occasions. Summary: NBD
    Yell it again while looking up at the ceiling, or yell it like Anne Hathaway did in Princess Diaries.

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