I Accidentally Called My 9-Year-Old Son an A-Hole

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A persistent
rain was falling as my sons and I departed from their swim practice. It was after
9:00 p.m. I was exhausted, it was a long day of work and I was spent after an
hour and half in a pool coaching sixteen swimmers, ranging in age from six to
eight.

 

As we
made our way to the car, we were surrounded by puddles, evidence that it must
have poured while we were in the steamy hot suffocating pool.  Boys cannot
resist puddles.  Really, who can?  They can be fun. “Can”
being the operative word.  But when you’re exhausted, already wet and just
want to get home to jump into your comfy cozies, not so much fun.

 

Before
I could blurt out what I was thinking: Don’t you dare go near those puddles!,  my
oldest son leaped like a frog and landed two feet in an enormous puddle that
splashed me from head-to-toe.

 

Head-to-fricking-
toe.

 

Without
thinking, I yelled “You’re an a**hole!”

 

The
grimy street water dripped down my hair, my face and my jacket but what was far
worse was the feeling of pure disgust that washed over me.

 

I just
called my 9-year-old an a**hole.  What kind of animal am I?

 

I
gingerly turned my head, thankful to find that we were alone in the parking lot;
then I peered over my left shoulder to face the music and look my son square in
the eye.

 

I
really thought I would find him sobbing – ya see my eldest is extremely
sensitive (like his mom, however this was clearly not my most
sensitive moment.) I was afraid I had just caused more damage to his already
fragile psyche and this would be the focus of many future therapy sessions.

 

But
right before our eyes met, I heard belly laughing from him and my six-year-old
and was filled with relief.  We continued
to the car, hanging my head as I sulked and slid into the driver’s seat – very
wet and very embarrassed.

 

Before
I started the car, I immediately texted my sister:  “I just called my son
an a**hole.”    I relayed the story as fast as my big thumbs
would allow and within minutes I had a plan to try and rectify the
situation.  I took the advice of my
sister – I would apologize to my son and let him know that I didn’t think HE
was an a**hole but that his actions were, well, “a**hole-ish.”  (I
also tried to explain what “a**hole” meant, but that explanation fell
pretty flat.)

 

As I
drove out of the parking lot, I started my song and dance:  I apologized
profusely, I went into how I was tired, how I shouldn’t have reacted that way
and that we always need to think before we speak because we can hurt people’s
feelings. I reiterated how deeply sorry I was for calling him that name and how
it was really his behavior that I was referring to.

 

The
car went silent. A deafening and scary silence.  Thoughts raced through my
head: I lost him. I talked too much. He hates me. He’ll never forgive me. Feeling
terrible, I continued to navigate the dark streets unsure if I should turn on
the radio to break the silence when my nine-year-old blurted out:

 

“My
second grade teacher was an a**hole.”

 

Well,
at least he isn’t scarred for life. 

Have you ever snapped and had a “I’m a terrible mom” moment? Share your story in the comments below.

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