As parents, we make a lot of effort. (At least, most of us do) Self-sacrifice and effort make up a large part of parenting. We do this lovingly and freely and their happiness is our happiness etc. We all know that parenting is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us and our children are little darling angels sent straight from heaven but sometimes they are also ungrateful little shits. Even the nice ones are sometimes.
Adam is one of the nicest children you will find. He is generous and kind and extremely caring. He has such a soft heart and one of the things that upsets him most is if he thinks he has hurt someone else's feelings. He is a total sweetheart and yet even he can be an ungrateful little shit sometimes. Like today.
Adam has been wanting to play soccer for a while. I haven't been keen because we can only do soccer privately (not at school) which means that it happens after hours. Very much after hours for me. But he LOVES soccer and he fancies himself as quite a good player (no lack of self-confidence) so I said he could play soccer this year. So every Monday and Wednesday night from 5:30 - 7pm (what kak timing) I take him to soccer practice. And every Saturday at 8am is a soccer match. Most of them 'away'. In winter. In the freezing cold and rain.
Today was his first soccer match. He was chosen as Team Captain, a role he took very seriously.
We all cheered for him and he did extremely well.
Then we all went out for breakfast.
Then his father took him all the way to the Tygervalley to have his name and number specially printed at the back of his soccer shirts.
Then his father took him to CNA to buy 10 packs of Skylander cards with his pocket money. (SUCH a waste of money. I am sure the cards will shortly join the grave site of all other collector cards including Moshi Monster, Match Attack, BlahBlah Whatever)
Then his father bought him a soccer ball plus a pair of shin guards at the sports shop.
Then he asked and was granted permission to play at his best friend's house.
Then his best friend (and the best friend's little brother) came to play at our house for the rest of the afternoon.
Then I took him and his siblings to visit his granny and play in the park.
Then I drove to the Spur to get chicken nuggets for him and his siblings.
Then I helped him clean up after he took a spill in the sand.
And THEN he moans and performs because I won't let him sleep over in Rose's room?? He has a fat sulk and acts like his life is SO hard.
I don't do all of the things I do in expectation of outpourings of gratitude etc, but there is nothing that grates me more than when my children act like spoilt brats / ungrateful little shits.
I know he is over-tired and not acting rationally (he had a late'ish night last night and a long day today), but it just reminds me that if you are looking for gratitude and acknowledgement of all the hard work you put, don't expect it to get it freely and expansively from your children, or else you are going to be sorely disappointed.
Parenting is hard work! But the alternative is way harder.
(Kind of reluctant to post this in case (a) you judge Adam or (b) you judge me but actually stuff that. Judge away. I've never professed to be the parent parent of the perfect children. I think we're ok though.)