Things have been changing around here, yet again. As the biggest case of my career looms in the distance like an approaching storm, I feel the project culminating. I’m working longer hours, leaving the office to take testimony, preparing. I’m a little off in the “perfect mommy” department, and it’s showing.
As the case takes shape, my son has been showing greater patience and tolerance with my work and for me when I am away. He is also beginning to understand when I am unhappy. And, as a lawyer, there are things to be unhappy about every day.
It used to be that my son paid very little attention to my emotions. That has changed. He recognizes anger in my voice and tries to apologize for something that has nothing to do with him. For example, I cooked my dinner, plated it, bent to get something out of the fridge and dropped the plate of food. When you are dieting, this is not a happy thing. I yelled out – this time without swearing. The little guy said he was sorry. I felt like doo-doo. I try to explain that it had nothing to do with him but I’m not sure he understood.
Sometimes, though, instead of me being loud, he is super loud one, goofing around, for an extended period of time. Today, he was playing a game of bowling and smashing loud pins and banging a ball all over the office while I was in a meeting. When that happens, he knows it’s wrong. He does it to get attention (what a surprise, eh?).
Most of the time, I can walk in and give him “the look.” Without saying a word, he will look at me, say, “no,” or “Sorry mommy!” and will stop the offending behavior. (I wish it worked with the hubs!) Today, I didn’t use “the look”. Really have no idea why.
One day, not so long ago, I got up wrong, on my injured knee and the s-word came out. Naturally, the little guy was right there. After I yelled it, he looked me right in the eye. “Mommy said….?” he asked, almost in a sing-song, teasing way. Busted. “Mommy said a bad word.” I responded.
“S**t!” he yells, looking at me out of the corner of his eye, with that sly smile.
“No, no, don’t use mommy’s bad word!” I exclaimed in exasperation.
It took about a week before he washed that one out of the vocabulary. Now that he knows it, I’ve actually heard him utter it under his breath, in appropriate circumstances. I wonder under which circumstances he will see fit to share it again. I’m expecting it will be either at school or somewhere very public…