I am a bad person. Today I swore at a 6 year old. And not just a little “oh blooming heck” type swearing, I called him a very bad word and then said “for goodness sake”.
Except I didn’t say “goodness”.
I said “fuck’s”.
Not only did I swear at this tiny person, I gave him the look which my own mother says “makes me a bit frightened of you”. And for anyone who’s met the armoured tank that is my mum, you can imagine the effect this look can have on the under-tens.
I’m having a tough time aligning my self-image and reality these days. I don’t think of myself as a person who can’t control their swearing and who tries to kill small children with the power of their eyes. And yet, apparently, this is the person I now am. The kinks and crevices of my character were being ironed out over 20 years of faith, but I seem to have become much more dishevelled again since having Mini. I’m grumpier and more self-involved (exhibit A: this blog), less likely to give people a break. It’s a shame that all the “character-building” events of the last two years haven’t brought me closer to sainthood. Instead, I’m a cross between Mrs Dubose in To Kill and Mockingbird and Hansel and Gretel’s witch.
We all hope that when faced with tough situations, our better selves will float to the surface, showing us that deep down we’re All Good People. But accessing that “better self” gets harder the more life presses down. I blame my new misanthropy on falling down Maslov’s hierarchy of needs. Forget self-actualisation — I’m at the bottom of the pyramid, lurking somewhere in the basic needs sections and spitting at those who try to take things away from me. (If you don’t know the hierarchy of needs, just skip this boring paragraph. I was going to link to it/give a tedious explanation but I can’t be bothered. Yes, that’s the kind of person I am it seems — both patronising AND lazy. I can’t even be bothered to edit this out).
Maybe it’s because all of the better parts of my character are busy dealing with Mini — loving her and being patient with her… There’s nothing left for anyone else. And especially not for little nitwits who stamp on her head in playgrounds.
(This post is dedicated to the mother of the boy I swore at. She happily watched him stamp on my daughter, and then listened to me swearing at him without batting an eyelid. I think she may have turned away slightly and got her phone out. I need to channel that insouciance when Mini is bouncing off the walls in public places… ignore, breathe deeply and text a friend.)