House Devils and Street Angels
I am pleased to say that I hear many wonderful reports about how well behaved my children are. Teachers, friends, random strangers smile and tell me what a beautiful family I have, how good they are, how pleasant.
They have never been in trouble at school for behavior-related problems. They are polite, respectful, kind and fun to talk to. Or so I've been told.
At home, there is another reality.
At home, they are evil to each other, and sometimes to me. Take today, for example. Since we got home, 34 minutes ago, I've heard yelling, screaming, crying, howling, door-slamming, stomping, whining, accusations and insults.
And there are multiple fronts: two are going at it in the dining room, one is running back and forth spewing venom and slamming doors, and one or two seem to be loudly proclaiming some injustice that the universe is guilty of.
If I could isolate the problem, I might be able to do something about it. Instead, I sit here blogging because I cannot be in three places at once, using my depleted motherly skills to negiotiate multiple peace settlements simultaneously. I am, for the moment, defeated.
On the one hand, I am thinking of starting my own 12-step group, YA: Yeller's Anonymous. "Hi, my name is Monica, and I'm a yeller."
On the other hand, how can a person be expected to spend any amount of time around the vitriole my children are subjecting each other and me to and NOT yell? I would talk in a calm, even, low-toned voice if anyone could hear me over the fray. This is not the case. The only way to be heard around here is to be louder than everyone else.
Am I really the grown up here? Am I the one in charge? What the hell am I doing wrong, then, because it appears that the natives have taken over and chaos is reigning.
A friend of mine once referred to the phenomena of having well-behaved children outside of the house and ill-behaved ones at home as having "House Devils" and "Street Angels."
That's great for the rest of the world, but right now, my future depends on my making a deal with the devil. Or rather, five devils.
Chances are very slim that I will emerge unscathed.
However, as Elasti-girl says in The Incredibles, "it's time to engage." Wish me luck: I'm going in.
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