Disaster Weekend

It was supposed to be Daddy’s Weekend! A time to bond (ironic, considering my recent post, i know…) just me and the kids.  It was Disaster Weekend instead.

My wife (strategically?) went out of town the weekend before Mother’s Day to do some zip-lining fun with family in NC.  As it turned out, it was also the weekend that Ella, Pax, and I were all sick.  I don’t have anything to complain about though, Erica made a huge batch of waffles and lasagna before she left so meals would be a cinch, and had given me suggestions on things I could do with the kids.  She makes my life so easy.

But when Friday night rolled around and I got home from work, I guess the combination of not feeling well, having stuff on my mind, and missing my wife didn’t exactly bring out my parenting best.  OK, that’s not completely honest.  They brought out my parenting worst.  Friday was a throw-a-way night.  We didn’t do anything except dinner, baths, and bed.  Then I had to drag the kids around the next morning while I was doing errands.  Saturday afternoon was really when it all went downhill.  That’s when I threw my parentrum (I don’t know how else to describe it, like a tantrum, but as a parent)

I’ll spare myself the humiliating details.  All I know is, after a frustrating hour of trying to get them to clean up the mess in Ella’s room I finally booted them downstairs and grabbed some garbage bags and started stuffing them full of everything that wasn’t put away.  They were both crying and I was just angry.  It was ugly.  I was ugly.

(sigh) I had such high hopes for this weekend…

This is what failure looks like…

As I mowed the lawn later that evening, I felt like such a jerk.  I knew I had been a jerk.  I called Ella over first and asked her if she was having any fun this weekend with Daddy.  “A little bit” she indicated how much by holding her fingertip and thumb a small space apart.  “No, you didn’t have any fun” I argued.  “What was fun?”  Her answer came like a dagger to my heart, “Cleaning my room was fun.”

I had to apologize right then and reassure her I wasn’t going to throw any of her toys away.  Then I called Pax over.  “Daddy scared us” was his take on the day.  What a disaster.

And even though things have improved since that afternoon, and I know they have forgiven me and moved on, nothing has been able to erase the feeling I have that I let my kids down.

Can’t wait for Erica to get home…

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8 Replies to “Disaster Weekend”

  1. Yeah. That crap sucks. And the interesting this is how you’ll still do it when they are older. Been there, done that . . .

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      1. I do believe you followed my blog through WordPress, so I clicked over from there.

        Indeed, you should not read that post as being critical of anything I’ve read here. Not at all. That post covered a range of topics, so you can pick and choose what to take away from it. Just know that I’m a dad of older kids, so my perspective is a bit . . . weathered, if you will. I’ve truly been there and done that. I remember being a young father, and now I’m an aging father with more than a few unique experiences under my belt, so I guess there’s that. Young guys like you give me hope, for myself, for our children. Hang in there . . .

        (And, gosh, if that didn’t sound a wee bit condescending. Not my intention . . . )

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      2. Interesting post. I hope it doesn’t come across like I’m “begging the pity party.” but I try not to think too much about what the ‘critics’ would say about my blog. I write the good stuff from my experiences as a dad (or as you put it, “the stuff of wide-eyed wonder and salty tears”) but I also write about the bad because those are my souvenirs of fatherhood, too.
        I think you mean from your link that I need to make sure I forgive myself and do my best, so that my kids won’t grow up to beat themselves up for their mistakes, too? I think saying you’re sorry to your kids is important, and it makes sense to me that I should also learn to be able to accept their forgiveness, it’s just hard sometimes to fight those feelings of parent guilt. But I’ll try.

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