I don’t know about you, but sometimes I like to hold onto anger and resentment like a teddy bear. I don’t get annoyed often, but when I do, I like to stew it in for a bit. Really soak it up with the bread of self-pity.
There is something about wallowing that is satisfying. Allowing yourself to feel the negativity, and have it wash over you with the tides of victimization. Ahhhhhhhhh. But when you are fighting with an adult, this can also be a strategy of coping with asshole behavior. When someone is being a jerk, you have to figure out how to deter them from treating you like that in the future. So these passive aggressive tactics often drill the point home.
But of course, as an evolved person you want to practice non-attachment. To let go of emotions and let them pass through your being like diarrhea. And that is why I think The Munch is like a Zen practice for me. She can be so inanely irritating, and then within seconds transform into a little cherub. She is like an emotional shape-shifter, and in order to keep up with this emotional extremism I have to be the same.
For example, the other morning The Munch woke me up at the butt crack of dawn… which I particularly begrudged because the night before I was in her room until 2am stroking her hair during her night terrors. Now even though The Munch doesn’t wake up during these night terrors, I feel really bad leaving her alone screaming and writhing. So I just sit with her until they settle down. I mean, where is my fucking award for this shit!
I looked at The Munch and realized, “holy fuck, she has had those same braids in since Wednesday – when she went to school last. It is Tuesday! Her teacher is totally going to recognize that those were the braids she made because of those rubber bands. Then it will be really fucking clear that I haven’t washed my kid’s hair in 6 days.” *disclaimer – it has been more than a month, but there is no way anyone would know that.
Toni: Dude, I have to take your braids out and brush your hair before you go to school.
Toni: Munch, I have to. Anne is going to recognize her work. She will know those are the same braids, and that I haven’t washed your hair in a week, let alone brush it. We have to do this.
Munch: NOOOO MAMMA!! I WANT MY BRAIDS!
Toni: Look, I will do them again! I have to brush your hair! You seriously have dreads forming.
Of course she cried the entire time I sorted through the chupacabra nest in her hair, and finally brushed it.
Toni: Munch, why are you crying?
Munch: Because I really wanted my braids. They were pretty!
Toni: Dude, you have to trust me on this one. You looked like an abandoned child at a railroad station. I will do them again for you.
Now, not to brag or anything, but I can braid the shit out of hair. The Munch had nothing to worry about. So I did one side, she felt the rubber band, and ripped it out of her hair.
Munch: WAHHHHHAHHHAAAA! THAT WASN’T PRETTY! YOU DIDN’T DO IT RIGHT!?
Toni: You have got to be out of your mind. All you did was touch the elastic!! I did an amazing job. If you looked in the mirror you would have seen it!
Munch: Do it AGAIN! BUT DO IT RIGHT THIS TIME!
Toni: Seriously Munch, if you take this one out I am going to get soooo annoyed. It takes time to French braid your hair, and when you just rip it out like that if feels really disrespectful for my efforts.
So I braided her hair again… and again she felt the hair elastic, NOT HER HAIR MIND YOU, but the ELASTIC, and ripped it out.
Munch: NOOOOOOO IT WASN’T PRETTY! WHAHHHAHHAHHAAAH!!
Toni: That is it. You have to go sit in your room and think about how this makes me feel. I tried really hard to braid your hair nicely like you asked, and you didn’t even look before you ripped them out. This is just beyond unreasonable…
I was pissed!!!! Those braids were epic! So she went in her room and cried and cried. Can I just add that her sobbing can be kind of obnoxious? It isn’t subtle at all- but a dramatic wail of discontent. And I have to say; she is kind of full of shit sometimes too. I would hear her cry, and then stop for a second because she got distracted by a toy, then almost remember she was pissed, and then violently cry again. After about five minutes of listening to her waxing and waning of tears, I went in.
Toni: Are you done crying now?
Toni: Why were you crying so much?
Munch: Because I wanted my braids to be pretty and you don’t know how to do them right.
Toni: Fine. Then have your teacher do them. Here are the elastics, put them in your pocket and bring them to school.
Munch: I love you Mamma so much.
I wanted to be mad still!! That stunt was total bullshit and her teacher doesn’t braid better than me god dammit!!
Munch: I got a good idea. I will eat my breakfast while you meditate… and I promise to be really quite. Does that sound like a plan?
And yet again The Munch transformed into a miniature Buddha to show me how absurd I am.
(PS… when Munch came home she made me redo Anne’s braids and make FOUR braids instead… bc she is totally out of her mind).