The worst feeling
It’s the worst feeling. The aftermath of the angry mummy. The mummy who just had enough, who for a few moments couldn’t hold on, just couldn’t hold back. The tired mummy, the hungry mummy, the mummy who has done everything under the sun to make him happy, to get him to sleep, to fulfil his every need.
The mummy who used a loud voice, wore a scary face and made him cry. The mummy who fills with remorse and sadness, fills with self loathing. The mummy who is supposed to be the safest haven, the mummy who collapses and hates herself.
“How could you make him cry? Why couldn’t you just hold it in? Why did you do that? WHY?! YOU TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE MUMMY!!”
There is not much I dislike more than the aftermath of anger and frustration, other than the anger and frustration itself. Particularly when it’s aimed at my son.
We’ve just had one of those days. He’s had one of those days. The kind that started at 5am, the kind where he’s just unhappy and I can’t figure out why. The kind where he cries and cries a lot, no matter what I do.
I knew there was something up and that it probably wasn’t the best idea ever to take him to the shopping mall and hope to combine grocery shopping with afternoon nap with the day we were having. We’d already been through the mill a few times. Deep down I knew bad would only become worse. Yep. Stupid mummy. He cried and squirmed in the pram once there for what seemed like forever, we gave up and gave in, got him up and thought “this is bad news”. He was obviously not looking fresh or like someone who could go without his nap. While Anakin clung to me for bare life I sent my partner to do the shopping while I took him to buy a new pop up book (because he really deserved a new book today of all days…) and sat down on a bench to read it. I hadn’t had any lunch, I was hungry and thirsty, but as long as Anakin was happy it was ok. And he was for about ten minutes.
There was some big sale on at the mall and people were swarming like ants to a juicy garbage can. I tried to let Anakin walk around, but all he wanted to do was to run away, and dragging a pram after me while dodging people and watching him just didn’t work. I picked him up and all hell broke loose. Again.
I became the mother with the screaming kid. The one that just stands there holding her child, seemingly cool while the kid kicks, squirms and screams and carries on…and on…and on…and on. The whole day was peaking at that very moment.
I called my partner. “Are you done yet?! The captain is having a major meltdown. I’m dying here!”
People were staring. About a quarter of them with that look that says “I feel your pain, honey. Been there, done that. You’re doing great.” The rest with eyes of blame and annoyance. “What a terrible mother are you just standing there holding your child while he screams?” “Would you shut him up already? I’m trying to be a consumer over here!”
I wanted to scream. I could feel myself slipping. I murmured under my breath “please stop, please, just stop it.” My partner was at the register. I headed over, Anakin finally stopped. There was a statue of a dog there, i put him down so he could play with it. My partner needed to go to the vegetable shop. We followed and hopped into a plane ride for kids. He was content. My partner returned. I said “you grab him, I’ll take the groceries.” Cue more screaming.
We finally made it to the car and got out of there. It was way past nap time. I closed my eyes and my heart started sinking. I felt terrible. My eyes were stinging. I kept them closed. “Don’t cry, just please don’t cry.” I did anyway. Just a little, very quietly without anyone noticing.
It was the worst feeling.
I’m only human. I’m not this superior, I can take anything, all day and I’ll never ever get angry or lose my temper mummy. But my humanity hurts, it hurts when it makes the person I love the most cry. He’s so little, he doesn’t understand what he’s really doing or why I get mad. And afterwards all I want to do is to hold him, tell him I’m terribly sorry and that mummy will never ever get angry again.
But she will.
And it will be the worst feeling.