May 05, 2010

The Angry Side

If you want to know how I feel about astrology you need to understand Jack's rule regarding horoscopes. Good horoscopes are always true and bad are simply false. It is really that simple or at least I think so. It is a slightly different perspective from my 86 year old neighbor who believes that there is more to it.

Or should I say that she tells me that I am the embodiment of a perfect Taurus. I don't know if I agree with all of the descriptions of my sign, or maybe I just don't want to accept the negative alongside the positive. Kind of a silly thing really, I am mature enough to admit that I have faults. Yep, I said faults, that means two. ;)

Anyway, the one area that I know that I share in common with the bull is a temper. It takes some effort to bring it out of me. Very few things are serious enough for me to waste getting angry about, but every now and then it happens. More on this in a moment.

The dark haired beauty is going to be a flower girl a little bit later this year. So last night she went dress shopping with her mom and the bride. So I decided that it was a good excuse for a boy's night out and took my son to Du-Pars for dinner. Nothing fancy was required, just some comfort food and quiet time for the boys.

We were seated in a booth next to a couple of women who spent much of the meal passing a cellphone back and forth so that they could talk to Jen. It was a very dull conversation and something that I had no interest in listening to. Under slightly different circumstances (without my son) I might have said something, but I didn't feel like dealing with the fight that I was sure would come afterwards.

On the way home the big guy and I spent some time discussing common courtesy and general manners. He knew that I was irritated with the two women and wanted to know why I didn't stick up for myself. I explained to him that sometimes we have to weigh the benefits of taking action versus silence and why this didn't merit any attention.

That led to a discussion about how to deal with anger and why I have told him not to let his temper guide his actions. He told me that it made perfect sense and promised that he would try not to act solely out of emotion. I told him that sometimes it can't be helped and explained that I wasn't saying that you can't ever get angry. I don't want him stuffing it down.

Flash forward to Tuesday evening. It was a very long day for me filled with all sorts of stressful moments that tested my patience. It is almost bedtime and I have two children who think that listening to their parents is optional and a puppy who decides that he is going to leave two sets of presents for me.

I am at the end of my rope but the kids ignore it and push one more time. Most of the time that last push would receive a sharp glare and a verbal warning that is rarely ignored. But since today is a special day I lose it and scream. The kids think that's funny and start laughing.

Good old Jack decides that the best response is to kick the coffee table. Too bad that it wasn't on tape because I tore that sucker up. One kick and Cosell starts shouting "Down Goes Frazier!"

There is immediate silence. The kids have never seen me really blow up like that and now I have provided them with a lifelong memory of something I am not proud of. Thirty years from now I'll hear "do you remember when dad broke the coffee table?"

So much for being a role model. I don't mind them seeing me get angry, but I'd prefer that they not see that. I guess now they need to see me try and fix the table. Might as well try and turn this into some sort of teaching opportunity.

Confession: I am not proud of this, but I have to admit that the five year-old boy that lives inside of me wishes he could see it on tape. It probably looked kind of cool.


Kristen @ Motherese said...

I can count on one hand the number of times I saw my dad get really angry as a kid. I don't recall any broken coffee tables, but his uncharacteristic reactions were similar. What I wish he had done - as you did with your son regarding the cell phone incident - was talk more openly about feelings in general - so that the outbursts came in the context of a normal, healthy emotional life. Sounds to me like you're laying the groundwork for your kids to understand how to handle their feelings - the strong ones and the mild ones.

Jack said...

I try to strike a balance. I don't hide my feelings, but I don't share the depth of concern. There is really no reason for the children to know about most of it.

I want them to recognize that it is ok to feel whatever it is they're feeling and to understand that parents are human too.

They need to see that there are limits and that there are consequences for exceeding them. I just wish that they didn't see that.

But,what is done is done. Good thing that I didn't like the damn table anyway. ;)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Hey you need to connect your email with your Comments!!! I emailed you back for commenting on my blog and found out right before I hit send your email wasn't attached! "No Reply" is all I got!


Loved the video above! :)

Jack said...


I'll try to remember that. My email is listed on my profile page, probably why I have received so much spam.

Ben said...

I once pushed my dad to breaking point, and remember it clearly to this day. But I also remember the countless times he took me on days out, the times he gave me advice, and the times we just sat and watched TV together. The good times massively outweigh the bad. You, and I, and my dad, and everyone else: we're only human. And sometimes, anger can be good. Don't let it eat you inside.