The moment I have most dreaded about having children is slowly, but surely, rearing it's ugly head: My children are becoming annoyed with me. I don't know why, but I thought it would be later. Avery's only a first grader, after all. What in the world could a first grader find to be annoyed about? Plenty, it turns out.
Take this morning for example. She got to ride her bike to school for the first time in history. Her dad even stopped at Target on the way home from work last night to get her a lock for the bike. She did nothing but lock and unlock it all night long. It's all she could talk about last night. It was the first thing she mentioned this morning. She stumbled out of bed, hair covering her sleep-filled eyes and said "Hey Mom, bike today, remember?" How could I forget? She was mumbling the combination in her sleep last night.
So I'm expecting her to be nothing but elated this morning. And for part of the morning, she was. But suddenly, on the way to school, she stops speaking to me. And then, she starts riding faster. I didn't mind until I realized she was trying to get away from me. She was ignoring me as I said her name and I knew she could hear me because she would turn her head ever so slightly and then look straight ahead without ever looking at me. I finally yelled pretty stinking loud because, you see, there is a rule that you aren't allowed to ride your bike on the school campus. You have to walk it. And we were only a few yards from the street next to the campus. So I had to tell her, but she was way ahead of me (pushing 70 pounds in a double stroller can slow a person down) and I yelled. "AVERY!" She stopped abruptly and I could tell by her posture that she was exasperated with me. Then, the worst happened. A bigger kid on his bike didn't see her stopping and ran into her. She stayed still so he could move on and then she waited until I caught up. I think she waited just so I could see the horrid, Mom-you're-the-worst-human-I've-ever-met look on her face. I said "Ave, I just wanted to tell you that you have to walk your bike once we cross the next street." Her response, and I swear her teeth were gritted, was "Mom. I know that. Is that all?" I said "Um, Avery are you acting irritated with me?" She responded pointedly, through still-gritted teeth, "My leg hurts because I got hit by someone on their bike."
Enough said. That may have been all she said but I knew what she was thinking and it goes something like this: "Listen mo-THER, I am six freakin' years old and I think I can ride a dadgum bike to school without you screeching at me all the freakin' way. And because of you and that loud dadgum mouth, I had to stop in the middle of the sidewalk like an idiot and got hit by a bigger kid, whose mother lets him ride to school ALONE, and now my leg hurts and it's all your fault and if I could kick you without being grounded for life, I would do it. So back off and go home, Fatty."
Ok, I don't think she would call me Fatty, but you get the picture. And so did I. Her attitude didn't improve much, even when I helped her lock her bike and fix her hair. When I said, "Do you want us to walk you in or do you want to go alone?" she said, still irritated and not sweetly at all, "Go with me." She never smiled at me or touched me or even spoke to me in a friendly manner but she wanted me there. When I told her good-bye, I called her "Doodlebug" and she grinned slightly. A little half smile and the tiniest wave ever. My heart broke just a little bit as I left her standing in her big-kid classroom with all her big-kid classmates.
She seemed better after school, but the worst part of all of it is that her brother and sister seem to be following suit on the whole "Mom sucks" thing.
I was helping Reese on the computer and she said "Oh my gosh, Mom. Your breath is so horrible I can't even stand it anymore." I said "Reese, that's rude!" She said, very sweetly, actually, "Well, what do I tell you to make you stop breathing at me?" Sigh.
Then, when helping Rhett out of his high chair, he said "I DO IT, MOMMA!' I helped him anyway, so he wouldn't hit his head on the table and what did he do? Stared at me with complete disgust and climbed back up in the chair, climbed right back down by himself and said "I DO IT, MOMMA!"
Just for all that, I made Mediterranean Couscous and broccoli for dinner. That'll teach 'em to treat me like dirt.