Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Parent confession number 1,478,233: I won't feel guilty about that

Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the Jewish year. People traditionally fast until sundown, excluding children, the ailing and pregnant women (that would be me). (Not that I won't be partaking in a decadent break-the-fast meal later on.) (Because this baby really needs bagels and cream cheese.) We confess our sins and ask God to forgive us and give us a year of life, health and happiness.

Oh, yes, I have sinned. I have yelled at my husband. Screeched, some might say. I haven't visited my elderly mom enough. I have spent too much time looking at my iPhone. I've occasionally forgotten to help the kids with homework. Late at night, I've polished off their snacks. And that's just for starters.

But there is one thing I refuse to feel guilty about: the times my patience with Max dwindles, because he requires copious amounts of it. This is mainly due to his fondness for discussing the same stuff again and again, especially that he wants to be a fireman when he grows up. Also, he wants to be a fireman when he grows up. Also, he wants to be.... Plus he likes to do the same things repeatedly (visit our local fire station or find new ones to explore). Or, most nerve-grating of all, his habit of playing YouTube videos of fire trucks in action and echoing their sirens. Loudly.

I humor him. I nod my head enthusiastically. I say "Yes!" I have the same conversations again and again, like a real-life version of that old Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. I put up with it. And sometimes, I snap. 

"Max!" I will say, sounding agitated. "I know you want to be a firefighter when you grow up, can we please discuss something else?" 

"Max!" I will say. "PLEASE! Can you lower the volume on the iPad?" And he will. Only he doesn't lower his own volume. 

"Max!" I will say. "We are not going to visit the fire station again, we have a lot of other stuff to do today!" And his bottom lip will jut out and tears will fill his eyes and inevitably I will at the least do a drive-by, or Dave will take him, thereby further enabling his obsession. 

Oh, to be sure, parenthood can generally test the limits of your patience. When Sabrina whines or calls me at work wailing because, say, she cannot locate her favorite pair of socks, I sometimes want to bang my head against the nearest cubicle wall. But Max's repetitive tendencies are a more regular, trying presence in my life. And I'm just not going to feel remorseful about losing my patience. Because you know what I always say: I am a mother of the human variety. And I have a whole lot of patience being tested.

I generally think I do a pretty good job of raising Max and Sabrina, too. Or at least I try to. So I give myself a pass on this one, and do not feel the need for repentance.

I now return to atoning for my other sins.

Image source: Flickr/Irina Patrascu Gheorghita


  1. Being human is a trying thing to do.

  2. Oh mama. I hear ya. My D is the same. Same things over and over. I just remind myselfni ber and over it isn't his fault. Brain injury is a rotten bastard. Resembles Alzheimer's. I dont "correct" much. This is his comfort. This is his bliss. Joy. Exhausting for the typical person, absolutely

  3. This may be really old news for you but did you know that i-devices have a volume limit lock on them? Not sure if Max enjoys headphones for iPad time (I know he uses them for blocking too much noise but not sure if he actually enjoys for youtube/music/whatever). I allow Ms. 19 free range on her iPad but to protect her already compromised hearing I have the volume limit set mid way with a password on it.

    That way Max can enjoy his obsessions alone! In our house it is Broadway musicals. OK until you have heard Cats or Joseph about infinity times.


Thanks for sharing!