good grief, marital blissishness, self-discovery, self-image/self-acceptance

My Penance


I went to get my hair cut (a teeny trim since everyone knows I’m growing it out) and colored. I started getting gray hair when I was thirty years old (I’m approaching thirty-five now). This is something I inherited from my Mom (early gray, that is). Yes, I did get her sense of humor (which is good if you think I’m funny) and her slightly imperfect yet glorious, beaming smile, but …..I also got this. I was able to deny it for a couple years by getting tedious and time-consuming highlights. My denial process had me believing that these highlights “blended away” my gray hair. They did not. A couple years ago I made the decision/commitment to single-process hair color. It is faster, less expensive and I love that I have hair color now that is similar to that which I had when I was four years old (golden and delightful).

If I lived in Hollywood and anyone actually gave a damn about what I looked like, I would have to get my hair colored every three weeks. Since I am a Mom who lives in the real world, I go more on an every six-to-eight week basis. My stylist, Cris (misspelled for her enjoyment), is a talented and lovely young (emphasis on the young for her enjoyment as well, which she really is since she’s still in her twenties) woman who I have found to be a kindred spirit. So, not only does she make my hair fabulous, I get to have a real, enjoyable conversation while I’m there. That’s priceless.

As usual, we spent our time catching each other up on each other’s lives (hers could be a whole other blog, I’m telling you) and it feels great. I tell her about the boys and some of their adorable antics and then dive into the not-so-great dynamic I’m currently experiencing with my own Dad. I thought I handled it all fairly well until later.

I was scheduled to take the boys over to Grandma and Grandpa’s since their Great Uncle and Great Aunt were in town for a short visit. I picked them up from school having relished my break from them during the day and took them home to get them ready for our visit.

You would think that having them with me for only an hour-and-a-half before Grandma and Grandpa’s would be a cake walk. It was for the most part until it was time to leave. Some sort of fracas started over who was going to open the front door and before I knew it, fists were flying and teeth were bared (T.Puzzle is famous for his biting shenanigans). I sent both to time-out and they begin screaming and crying in unison begging me wildly not to leave them (I’ve never done that to be clear), that they really wanted to go to Grandma’s and that they were super sorry. As I loaded up the truck with the diaper bag and I could hear them carrying on inside, I had a fantasy of getting in my truck and simply driving away. However, I fought that instinct and I went back and retrieved them.

We arrived and overall, they did well. There was only one biting incident involving T.Puzzle and his cousin (so sorry to their cousin, Lil’ Superman) which never ceases to mortify me, T.Puzzle’s glasses almost were broken (twice!) and general mayhem ensued (mostly in good fun). The boys spent time with their Great Aunt and Great Uncle, enjoyment was had by all and we were on our way.

Upon returning home, an ugly mood that I didn’t realize had been brewing in the pit of my stomach started to show itself. Today, as I write this, I can see it with more objectivity that it has to do with feeling sad about losing my Mom and being confused about my new, shifted family dynamics. Since I had shared it all with Cris the stylist, it sort of brought it unwillingly to the forefront of my consciousness. Last night, I did not see that.

How did I handle it? Not well. I took it out on Mad Dog and said some things I didn’t mean. It was along the lines of how I wanted him to be more hands-on with the boys (he is very hands on – I think maybe I wish he could be home more is all). I didn’t say it so nicely though. I was more accusatory and I was not open to hearing anything he had to say. I wound up shooting myself in the foot. Normally, on the weekends, Mad Dog will get up with the boys in the morning so I can have a break from the breakfast routine. I got up with the boys instead today. It was my penance.

4 thoughts on “My Penance”

  1. I remember not so long ago looking at my hair in the mirror one morning and thinking, “Hmm – it looks like I have blond highlights in my hair,” and I kind of liked it. After seeing them for several days, it dawned on me that it was actually gray hair! But I actually like my gray hair – I tell Dave that the streaks on the left were caused by him, the streaks on the right were caused by Ben and the rest is just from misc. stuff through the years!
    And yes, your Mom did have a great smile! 🙂

    1. I’m sure I will accept my natural hair in time, too. Eventually, I’ll be lucky to look as much like a silver fox as my Mom did when she finally accepted her own hair. Thanks again for being a religious reader and a constant support.

  2. well I happy that you found a nice stylist…she sounds friendly and I am glad you get adult time to talk. Does time out work?? I am just curious because I often think how in the future will I discipline…I remember how when I got in trouble I had to kneel in the corner and be silent… when I look back I think how weird ad creepy that would be to do to a child now…hahah lol…but then in those silent moments I bet my mom was loving life!! As for your penance…I dont think you should have had to do that on your “day off”….booo

    1. If I am being honest, it seems like nothing works. The key is consistency because kids are relentless in their quest to establish independence. I also use spanking (sparingly) which I have not included in my posts because it can be so controversial in the parenting community. Sometimes it’s the only thing that works to get my boys’ attention. The older they get, the less I use it. Now it’s more about finding what is precious to them and threatening to take it away. They understand that priveleges like special tv shows or clothing items are a luxury and to maintain these priveleges, they must show respect and have appropriate behavior. Honestly, it is all a crap-shoot. Every child is different. Time-out has been a lot more effective with Frick. He’s a little more emotionally sensitive. However, nothing seems to be working with him right now as he is deep into his terrible twos. You learn as you go. You learn from what worked in your own upbringing and what did not. Mostly you wing it (and pray). You will be a wonderful Mom because you are so caring and loving. I’ll always be here to support you.

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