Family Life Personal

Things that go grump in the night

"You never look at your own part in all this", my daughter snarls

I actually began writing this at around half five this morning, rising from a horrible night’s — you could hardly call it sleep since I seemed to be awake for most of it —  tossing, turning, snorting and worrying. Feeling hopelessly lost.

Things had really got on top me and I went to bed early to try and sleep on through to some kind of miraculous enlightenment, or at least a new perspective. Different, better.

But it’s still dark outside, and in.

I know I have more than alluded here before to my ongoing woes in the parenting department. Dealing badly with a 12-year-old boy and an almost 14-year-old daughter.

Feeling sorry for myself, and cranky all day yesterday, this horrible analogy regarding some of the carry on with our kids just popped into my head — or maybe pooped into my head! … it’s like someone pooping on you, you have to wipe that poop up, and then they abuse for having made them poop on you!

There I’ve said it, the unvarnished, victimy whine of a failure. But it’s what I feel. All the positives, the good stuff I do seem taken for granted, expected even, and every fault or less than perfect response jumped on and added to the list of grievances stuffed into the hurt locker, to be taken out and examined in my daughter’s teen apartment upstairs.

My son usually throws a few F words — yes, the bad F word, Father — and I have also been given the finger. The anger and the hurt I feel then I will not try to describe.

For my daughter, it’s raw material for woe-is-me reflections on Snapchat and lines in her notebook, composed while she languishes across those gorgeous throws and cushions on her bed — all provided by my wife and I, but sure that’s what any parent would do — those flawless angry cheeks and lustrous locks glowing in the tasteful mood lighting.

The irony is not lost on me that I am engaging in pretty much the same thing: composing my own lines on a computer screen. In long moments of despair such as this one, I too am only seeing the negative side of behaviours and attitudes. And I am also the cause, or at least am some way responsible.

Not the old politician-type responsible whereby you admit you have made mistakes, but stoutly defend each individual mistake brought up. I too dispute charges of wrongdoing from my daughter.

“You never look at your own part in all this”, she snarls at me between my blusters, and she has a point — which at that moment I am unwilling — very unwilling! — to concede. Cue more bluster.

The real truth is  I actually cannot see clearly anymore regarding who is right or wrong, or what we can do about it.

I seemed to shout a lot yesterday at the kids, and even at my wife, which they all let me know about. And just like the poop analogy, there I was angry at them for making me shout. Their fault.

One family therapy session months back was an unmitigated disaster as our daughter said we all just ganged up on her and she never wanted to be there in the first place, and never again, you hear me, never again!

In the middle of all this, I somehow found myself drifting away and thinking of the match the evening before between Man City and West Ham on Sky, and the day’s sport. I have always loved sport, and even now I read all the guff about Jose Mourinho’s tiffs, Big Sam Allardyce’s latest spin on the managerial merry go round and all the rest

I often think that sport still has a morality and a reason to it unlike the real world antics of Trump and the North Korean rocket man, Brexit and, for all my lifetime, talk about Northern Ireland that drones on and on and on. 

Sport inspires a passion and a conviction in me unlike all those other important matters. Like if a Premier League manager fecks up he gets the sack; dodgy Police Commissioners or crooked civil servants here seem to end up with a big lump sum and a great pension.

Okay, the football boss gets a big pay off but you know what I mean! No-on ever seems to fess up and say, yes, I did wrong. Does anyone ever anymore? So why should our kids do so?

Here I am, in the morning, back at my desk, having spent the last hour putting on the heating, letting the dog out, preparing breakfast stuff for all, giving both kids an equal hug of the dog in bed before rising … the usual stuff, expected.

The sun is up. Like Beckett said, I can’t go on. I’ll go on.

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Lucy At Home

18 comments on “Things that go grump in the night

  1. Beautifully written and it strikes home – my 3 children are adults now and I continue to wonder “did I do things right”. I see other parents whose children had bad patches and are now in Uni and surviving beautifully and I see my own child still somewhat wrecked and wonder where did I go wrong? My step-sons have not fulfilled their potential either but with all 3 at 30 what can be done now. I recall those days of shouts and anger, blame and recriminations and look back on my devolution to a screaming teen myself with both wonder and guilt. But we do go on don’t we….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh, such a thoughtful and eloquent response, Faith. I wonder is there any coincidence in someone named Faith responding to my cri de coeur so soon after me posting — see it’s not just my teen daughter who can do drama! Thank you


  2. Seán Mac Aoire

    Cri that I care about! Yes I’ve had similar moments. Yes I felt sorry about letting loose with shouting that I said “never again!” In response to, many times. Yes I have been sorry about something I let slip. And still the circle lies unbroken. It is one of the joys of living with personalities too similar to my own or in ways too dissimilar to understand. But I am thankfully still here to trundle on with twisted wheels. You are a parent. Wear that badge with pride. What goes around, goes around. Keep on keeping (or getting) those channels open.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a tough time. I can only speak from the perspective of having a 16 year old sister in law – keep on keeping on, and eventually you’ll all come out the other side. Things change so fast in the teenage years. it seems impossible to keep up! Good luck! #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is tough sometimes – logic and reason seem to go out the window and when they go … and that’s only me!!! All is not lost, though and thank you so much for reading and commenting


  4. Wishing you well through this very hard time! Take everything in small pieces and breathe. xoxo #BlogCrush xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Solid advice that we do try to heed – most of the time hopefully we will look back and smile – ruefully! Thanks for reading and commenting☺👍

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Being without issue myself, I can’t relate to much other than the frustration at no one fessing up to doing wrong… that’s something that could give me a toss and a turn… As Alexander Pope is said to have said: ‘A man should never be ashamed to own he has been wrong, which is but saying in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.’ How hard can it be, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It never ceases to amaze me the length to which the kids go to deny responsibility. But then there are many adults in prominent positions here who exhibit the same thrait!


  6. My rant on said frustration – old but still bugging me…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really good post – something that has long exercised and frustrated me about politicians here. And the negative impact this has on society at large.


  7. Karen Dennis

    Such a thought provoking post #satsesh@_karendennis

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mackenzieglanville

    It really is small steps and taking things a moment at a time. I am constantly wonderful what I’ve already screwed up and hoping I am doing the best I can and more, having kids is hard and I know as mine get older we will face many challenges, it is the moments of love and hugs and the day to day things that seem pointless but somehow really matter in the end, the kids see those things even if we think they don’t. Just keep being there, keep loving. #thesatsesh


  9. That’s it in a nutshell: just keep being there, keep loving. Thanks Mackenzie


  10. #thesatsesh blooming love the honesty and hold my little dude a little tighter each night as i know the teenage years can be complex. I also deal in school with many complex families – but you’re right, they keep on battling and loving. My Mum use to say “I don’t like you right now, but i’ll always love you” (totally pinching that line when little dude is bigger.

    Liked by 1 person

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