On Friday night I enjoyed Rosh Hashanah with a family I'm friends with. Mom, Dad, 4 boys, and Grandma. I love them all (though I don't really know Grandma). Dad and I gchat during the day, he can convince me to get up to go to shul at 7:30 in the morning on the occassional Shabbat, etc.
But Dad seems always to be yelling at the kids. I am sure that it is stressful raising four boys. I'm not there all the time. And I know it's not my place to comment on his parenting. But he'll yell at one or more of the boys to stop doing something, or to do something they're not doing, or to correct how they're doing something, and then not give the boys time to switch courses before he yells again.
And then I was at their home and it was all family except for me, so I don't know if the filter was off or it was just a more stressful time, but from the time I walked in the door it was awful. (For me.)
So we're enjoying dinner and at some point I excuse myself to use the bathroom (I know, TMI, but it's relevant). I'm sitting in the quiet and all of a sudden I realize why I'm so stressed--because I feel like I'm at home with my mother who didn't necessarily yell (and I don't recall doing anything wrong in my childhood anyway) but who was always negative, and my passive father who didn't do anything about it, and their friends who I now wonder if they were inwardly cringing the way I was last night. Woah. (Dad was also interacting with his mother the way my mom interacts with her mother-in-law.)
Crying in the bathroom, what a great way to start the year.
I finished reading How to Talk so Kids will Listen... this afternoon and want to slip it in their mail box anonymously. Probably not an effective plan.
While I was writing this, the boys' mom called and asked if I could pick up Boy4 from pre-school tomorrow so that she can take Grandma to the airport. So I'm excited about getting to spend a bit of quality time with him without his dad. I need to do that with each of the boys more often.