Sometimes I say things to my children and I am stunned, simply stunned, by my hypocrisy. “Be nice to people,” I say. “Everybody makes mistakes.” “I don’t like that voice.”
I am the grown up. It falls to me to set limits, discipline, show them how to act, how to be, but so much of that is tangled in routines, anger, competing interests.
Sometimes I look at Trombone after I’ve reprimanded him or corrected him and he has this bewildered look on his face, like a baby bird that just tumbled out of its nest. If he could, he would say, “What is your DAMAGE, lady?” the way I do, er, think, when people piss me off in traffic.
Some days it seems my kid’s view of the world consists of: people’s knees, the occasional frowning face and continued, repeated, redundant, omigod are you still talking admonishments and instructions that are irrelevant to his main purpose in life: figuring things out.
Grown ups must seem as crazy to them, some days, as these kids seem to me.