Know what I hate? Hymning and hawing. Wishy-washy. Passive aggressive. (although, at times, passive aggressive can be pretty funny to watch) I hate when someone wants something but does not ASK for it. Like when my grandmother, whom I love dearly, will sit there and say,
“Oh, it is such a hot day out.” (pause) “You just can’t seem to quench your thirst on a day like this.” (level look) (pause) “I wish this weather would break.” (glare) (pause) “My throat feels so scratchy with this dry heat.” (fanning herself) (she is the Italian Blanche Du Bois) Then, when I take the bait, and offer her some water, she will protest. “No, no, don’t trouble yourself, you are so busy just sitting there.”
Why wouldn’t she just say “Can you get me a glass of water?” I kind of forgive a little because she is 91 and in her generation, women were not allowed to just come out and ask for what they wanted. It would have been considered rude or bitchy, so they became masters of manipulation. They always seemed to get what they wanted in the long run, but it took a lot of time and effort.
In this day and age, just come out and say what you mean and mean what you say. There is no need to expect others to read your mind. You are an idiot if you get mad at them for not picking up your cues! I think it is a co-dependency thing too. When one gives in to those manipulators, jump at their cues and try to anticipate every need, they are just as much at fault, making themselves crazy while the other sits pretty without a care in the world.
Now that I am thinking about it, I am guilty of trying to anticipate every possible land mine, obstacle, and problem before it happens, which, at times, include anticipating how someone will react or feel. I have been called 'Hector Projector.'
This can work to both my advantage and my disadvantage. For instance, if I correctly predict that my 4 yr old will be tired with no nap by 2pm and my 8 year old will be hungry by 3:30pm and my husband will not be home by 5:30pm like he said but probably closer to 7pm, I know that means that I should make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner by 4pm. What? (stay with me) That meal only uses 2 pots for quick cleanup, the boys will eat their full of it without hesitation, and it is an easy reheat for the Hub. I can give the kids a bath so the Hub can eat. Then, when the boys are in bed and screaming that they want daddy, he can go up with them after he eats and I can catch up on facebook clean up the kitchen for an hour. See, it all works. The problem is, there are times that I anticipate the future so much that I ruin the fun now. I am so worried about cutting obstacles off at the pass that I can’t just enjoy the present.
But enough about me being wrong. Let’s go back to me being right. It is the kind of thing that makes me feel like I know what I am doing. Makes me feel invaluable, like the hero of every day life. Especially when we are out and about. When, for instance, one of the kids is thirsty and I pull out an extra water. Or we are sitting in traffic, they are just starting to argue and I hand them coloring books and crayons. When someone skins their knee and I whip out the wipes, Neosporin and bandaids. When Little One has an accident and I pull out the extra underwear, pants socks and shoes. When someone is cold and I have the sweater, someone is hot and I have the cool towel. When someone is scared and I remembered to bring Mr. Turtle. When someone is looking for his sunglasses and I find them where he always leaves them (in the center console of the minivan) When we go on vacation with the dog and I remember the can opener for the dog food. When someone’s alarm clock on their blackberry goes off at 4AM on a weekend and I get up to find it and turn it off so the kids are not woken up. When...
Oh MY GOD, I am about to cry! I can’t take this shit anymore..... WHERE IS MY COOL TOWEL! WHERE IS MY SIPPY CUP! WHO IS TAKING CARE OF ME? But here is the thing. It’s completely my fault. Who said that I have to make sure that everyone wants for nothing, all the time? I mean the Hub runs out the door with the boys, with nothing but a plan for how to have fun. And you know what? They always do! They have a blast. There are times where he may have wished he had an extra water/pants/bandaid/snack, but not too often. Why am I so friggin neurotic? Why do I have to anticipate everything? I guess that is just my job? Is it? I mean maybe that is why the kids don’t see that there are consequences for shit happens! And sometimes there is not a GD thing you can do about it. It’s life. You can never anticipate everything. Now, I am still going to be an advocate for being prepared, because it has saved my ass more than a few times, but maybe I don’t have to be so crazy about it. Maybe I don’t need to focus on it as much. It sounds good in theory, right?
Isn’t it good enough just being me, being their mother who has fun and gives advise instead of sippy cups, time instead of activities, love and attention instead of bandaids and a change of pants? Maybe I should let them figure out their needs all on their own? Naaa, who will be the hero, then? ;)