Cool Hand Parenting

Today reminded me of the movie Cool Hand Luke.  Luke goes to prison where there is a sadistic warden.  Luke continues to take a beating by the warden and the guards whether it is punches, brick laying or solitary confinement, and he never gives up.  He just keeps getting back up over and over again.  It becomes inspiration to the other prisoners.  Unbreakable will like this is needed for parenting (especially single parenting).

Another over scheduled day after a sleepover.  The girls and I went from choir practice to carnival to errands to photo shoot to soccer game.  The whole day the girls and I are yelling at each other.  They aren’t moving fast enough to go anywhere on time and aren’t following directions, and I am “mean mommy who doesn’t care about them.”  They choose to spray paint their hair at the carnival an hour before the photo shoot.  They don’t want to do the photo shoot, they want to direct the photo shoot, they don’t want to listen during the photo shoot.  R lets me know it’s my fault the rental van air conditioner won’t get into the back of the car and because I’m not finding an immediate solution, I don’t care about her.  And I continue not to do enough for them and am “too focused on my phone”.  We’re all annoyed.

I don’t have a spouse to dump them with when I get home, so I hope for the best and a mood change on the couch watching TV with them after dinner.  I pull out my computer to help R with a picture collage for school and ask her to sit next to me.  She decides to jump over her sister and me to get to the other side and accidentally jams her knee into my eye, knocking me out.  For a second I think, “I don’t want to get back up.”  I literally was knocked out, my first knock out by my eight-year-old daughter, equally powerful to the emotional knock out of the long day.  I wanted to curl up in a ball.  I cry out from the physical and emotional pain and just let it all pour out.  R runs to her room crying because she feels bad she has knocked me out and given me a black eye.  M is hysterical because she fears all bad things happening to her last remaining parent.  I dig deep to find my Cool Hand.  I get up, ice my eye and love on my girls until they are calm.


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