When a Fairly Good Parent Has a Very Bad Day

Once in a while, it all goes bad

When a Fairly Good Parent Has a Very Bad Day

hell fire inferno

The Germans must have a word for it.

It's the feeling you get when you know you're locked into a battle of wills with a five year-old and you come to the sudden realization that you've gone over the edge. You go from wanting to find an amicable solution to wanting to win.  No, you don't just want to win. You want to win big. It doesn't matter that your opponent is your child - the one person in the world you devote your life to protecting. Because you're no longer a rational, loving parent.

You're an inferno of rage and indignation.

You find yourself full of the sort of blinding anger that means you want to hit or shake something - not your kid, never your kid - but something because fuck taking the high road at this point, the high road is where you go to be the bigger person and  you aren't really a person anymore anyway. You're a monster. A Bad Parent (TM). And you just want to win.

You know you should walk away. On another day you might. Most days you would. But today you don't. Nope. You nitpick. You claim semantic victories. You bait and you pounce when the bait gets taken. It's dirty and it's mean and you know it's terrible but you do it anyway because this kid - your kid - needs to be taken down a peg or two and nobody else is going to do it.

And then it's over. The kid has stomped off to her room or curled up in a ball crying and you realize that you're the worst person in the history of parenting because you just used every tool in your verbal and mental arsenal to break your kid's will. It's vile and it's disgusting and you are filled with regret and shame. You let enough time pass then you scoop them up in your arms and you apologize and you make them apologize and you desperately try to undo the damage.

The Germans might have a word for it. I certainly don't.

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