Tonight is ChicagoNow blogapalooza, a time when all ChicagoNow bloggers are given the same topic and we have exactly one hour to write and publish a post on it. This evening's topic: "Write about something you learned or experienced since you woke up this morning."
When I received the topic three minutes ago, I was at the kitchen table, as were my husband and daughter who were working on a math worksheet. I read it aloud to them.
My husband chuckled.
My daughter's eyes widened.
And then she yelled, "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo."
I smiled and sweetly said, "I'm off to write" as I picked up my laptop and headed upstairs.
Her continuing "oooooooooooooooooooooo" echoed behind me.
Why the reaction?
Let's just say that it hasn't been the best of days in our home. In fact, it's been a pretty darned crummy one.
As I traipsed off to my happy blogging place, my girl called after me, "Don't trash me in public!"
And it was at that point, four minutes ago, that I learned being a blogger can be a fun implement to have in the parenting tool belt.
In all honesty, though, I would not trash her on my blog. At least, I try really, really hard to never do so. As I write, I work to protect her privacy, her image, her growing pains. My goal is to focus on the tween parenting from my end, on my mistakes, my growing pains and yes, what I have learned.
If I share stories or anecdotes involving her, I always ask her first. She has right of refusal, and she has exercised it on several occasions. I respect that. I have said that I want her to learn to set boundaries about what information she shares and is shared about her online.
Thus, I'm sure you'll understand that I cannot share absolutely every detail of what I have learned today.
But I can share with you that as a parent I have learned since this morning that I can be angrier with my child than I thought possible. Maybe I've blocked out the blinding frustration that came with the terrible twos, but I really do think today reached a new level.
Today I learned, or at least was reminded, that just when you think you are out of patience and that your head might spin around, you can dig down and find more and keep your head on straight.
I have learned that tweens around the nation are making other parents just as batty and that social media is really good for sharing those stories so that we feel less alone.
In addition, I learned that the realization that I will, some day in the future, very much want this day back and to be in this same exact infuriating place snaps me out of my rage and makes me want to hug the child whose neck I wanted to wring just seconds ago.
My tween just wandered in. I read her the blog, and she has approved it.
Then I asked, "Can you tell me what you've learned since this morning?"
She answered, "No."
Well, way to set those boundaries, kiddo. Mama's gonna go have a drink and call it a night. Tomorrow is another day.
You can find all the Blogapalooza posts here - there was a lot of learning done today! Check it out!
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Filed under: Parenting