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Mommy the Monster


One of my daughter's favorite books is called Monster Trouble.  A little Afro puff wearing girl named Winifred can’t sleep because monsters keep creeping into her bedroom. She tried to set traps for them but nothing works. In the end, what made them flee was her being kind, sweet and giving them kisses. My little one finds the kisses part hilarious.

But..

What happens when mom is the Monster. A terrifying monster of epic proportions. 

I had been sick for a few days. I’d caught whatever my daughter brought home from daycare which was simply a runny nose for her but turned into a hacking, gagging cough and congestion for me.  I could get no relief. None whatsoever.  I didn’t want to eat. I couldn’t really sleep. It all came to a head a few evenings ago.  I coughed so badly that I threw up. My husband has to grab the blankets and things.  I laid my head down on the couch, wet towel on my head to try to feel better. My daughter, not fully grasping the severity of the situation, hopped on the couch with her toy cell phone on hand. She sat close to me. 

*BAM!*
I felt a throbbing pain in my eye!

*BAM!*

Now I felt pain on the bridge of my nose, I swore I was bleeding. 

My kid had hit me in the face and eye with her toy phone. I was furious. No. I was livid. I jumped up, tears streaming down my face and I yelled something vile and nasty to my kid. [NOTE: It bears no repeating here. Let’s just say it was bad.] My husband sat there dumbfounded and just told me to go upstairs. My kid was confused. I walked upstairs and yelled to keep her away from me. I got in the bed and cried some more... 

At first, I cried about the pain. I looked in the mirror and my eye was swollen. But then I cried because I instantly felt ashamed. I had said something terrible to a two-year-old who really didn't know what she was doing.  No. I said something egregious and horrible to a two-year-old who simply plays rough.  I was shaken.

My husband had done what I asked. He put my daughter in the room and I heard her crying. Normally, she would sleep with us until she fell asleep and we'd move her. But I guess he was fearing for both of our safety. My husband quietly got in the bed and I said "I am ashamed. I feel so bad". He said right above a whisper... "Maybe you should go back to therapy. You said what you said to a two-year-old. That came from somewhere deep...".  Tears welled up in my eyes again.

My daughter was still crying and so I went to her room and picked her up. She was bouncy and excited and I apologized over and over to her. I am pretty sure she didn't understand a word I said. She took her hands and put them on my face. And she kissed me with her usual, loud "MUAH!". She kissed the big ol' monster.

I rocked her back and forth until she fell asleep. As I put her back down in her crib, she stirred. So I somehow hoisted myself inside her crib and laid there until she was asleep. I saw her open her eyes and giggle at me as if to say "How'd you get in here, Mommy??".

I went back to bed and I told my husband. "Yes, maybe you are right. Maybe I need to go back to therapy."

No one told me that I'd have these episodes as a mom. I do not want to be my kid's monster in her life. My father, during my formative years, was my monster. He was awful, yelled and abusive. I do not want to be that person.

I remember several years ago, as a grown woman, my mother called me out of the blue. She said, "Baby, I want to apologize for something". I was confused. "For what?" I asked. She had done nothing to my knowledge. She continued, "I want to say I am so sorry for yelling at you when you were 3 and you dropped the jelly jar we were going to take to your Grandma's. You were just trying to be helpful". I laughed. I said "Mom, that was like 30 years ago..." and she said, "Sometimes things stick with you for 30 years if you are a mom".

I am praying this isn't one of those incidents for me. But I can't help but think I perhaps ripped a little bit of my heart.. and a tiny fraction of hers too. I pray she doesn't remember it. But I know there is a chance that I will...

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