Last night my 5 year old son was hatching a plot to kill me. He enlisted his dad to do the dirty work and in graphic details explained to him how to stick the knife in me! But he also asked his dad to take me elsewhere, because he doesn’t want to see blood!!! I tried to be a silent spectator of this drama as long as I could; after all I was the one who started it all.
When we were buying our cars, sonny boy expressed his desire to have a car which has a DVD player (read Mercedes Benz R500 MSRP $ 56,275…the guy has expensive taste I must say), so that he could watch Tom & Jerry in the back seat. Now, I know a lot of parents actually buy silence from their little ones by turning on the DVD player during long drives, and sometimes that silence is priceless, but I’m an old-fashioned girl…15 channels of so-called kids’ programming on TV plus countless “educational” computer games plus Gameboy is more than I can handle anyway…no kid of mine needs to be stuck to a pixilated screen in the car too! Of course the biggest reason is we can’t afford a $56k car…but try telling that to a 5 year old who thinks daddy owns the World Bank. So in my characteristic need to have the last word, I told him “over my dead body!” Little did I know that my famous last words will come back to bite me in the derrière!
So last night I watched my little baby, my bundle of joy, the light of my life, making plans to snuff me out so that he could have his daddy get him a car with a DVD player! In a flash I remembered the miserable nine months of carrying him inside me, the three day labor I went through to bring him to this world, the sleepless nights spent watching over him when he was sick, the years I spent being a stay-at-home-mom stifling my ambitions so that he gets the best attention…all mothers do that, right? That’s what motherhood is all about. You bring a child into this world, and then do your best to raise him/her right and lose yourself somewhere along the way…you stop being a person…your only identity is Mommy! But nothing in the handbook of motherhood had prepared me for this!
Of course I was told that he didn’t know what he was saying, that he has no clue what death is or the permanence of it, that as usual I’m over-reacting. But when my baby was asking his dad to put the knife in me, he looked so cold and distant. Where have I failed in raising this boy, I ask myself? Who do I blame for this…the TV? Tom & Jerry and their mindless, graphic violence? The consumer-driven world of instant gratification that we live in? Our policy to let our son have an opinion about things, treating him like person instead of a child? Are we raising a child who’s completely detached from reality?
I recall my childhood and my relationship with my mother. She was quite the Hitler…hers was a tough love and of course we were raised deprived, somewhat by design and also because she couldn’t afford to splurge. Growing up, I wished to get away, live my life on my own terms, earn enough money to be able to buy all the things I knew my mother could never afford to get me or herself for that matter…but never ever I wished her dead!
Every now and then I come across hapless moms trying to calm down hyperactive kids in malls, stores…typically the kid wants something that the mother is unwilling to get them and more than once I’ve heard a kid scream “I hate you!!! I wish you were dead!!” Such scenes would numb me to the core and I always wondered about my own reaction if my child ever said that to me. I had visions of slapping the living daylights out of him and then giving him up for foster care or something irrationally dramatic like that! But when it hit me last night, I was speechless. Was it because he didn’t throw a tantrum or scream at me, instead in the calmest manner one could expect of a 5 year old, he wished my end? Would it have been easier to deal with tantrum than the cold resolve I saw on his face?
I know the whole thing is much ado ‘bout nothing and this post is also quite meaningless. My ramblings here will be dismissed as the typical over-reaction of a drama queen! But what I’m trying here is to introspect and answer some questions about my own ability as a mother and to see if I’m fit to carry out the task that nature has entrusted me with! It hurts to fail you see!