Over The Line

We love our kids. We nurture our kids. teach our kids. We discipline our kids. However in all of the aforementioned things we do as parents, there's a line. You know what I mean. There's loving and then there's suffocating. There's caring and then there's exasperating. There's teaching and then there's being a crazy demanding academic perfectionist  (o wait that's all Asian parents!). There's disciplining and then there's...explosions.

I would say in general I'm a pretty even keeled person. I so wanted to an even keeled mom however my hot Korean temper of fury gets the best of me more often then I care to admit. Sometimes I wonder "Maybe its because I was raised by my mom?" I know I should be past the stage of blaming my parents for everything but I can't help but see my mom, when I relive these recent explosions in my head.

Koreans are dramatic.

Thats not news to anyone right? Korea has a multi billion dollar industry in creating... drama (Fun Fact: employment alone in the drama and film industry in Korea contributes 0.7% to Korea's total GDP!! Oxford Economics). Even Korean expressions and sayings my mom used, were so over the top. Like, if she was really mad at me she just wouldn't say "I'm upset with you because etc..." she usually would say something along the lines of "my chest is going to burst [in grief]!" It sounds so someone-hand-her-the-vallium but that's just everyday Korean vernacular. My mom  loved us so much, but if we really ticked her off she would say "I hate you!" (GASP! How could she?!?!) She not only would say "I hate you" but she would say "nuh kolbeghae shi-rru!!" now there's no english equivalent to this expression, the only way I could put it is "I HATE YOU WITH A PASSION!" Just another run of the mill day at our Korean Household. These words and expressions seem so hateful but honestly in Korean it doesn't sound all that bad (shrug).

The thing is, my mom wasn't the typical Asian mom either. At our house my mom was super affectionate, always smothering my brother and I in hugs and kisses. I kid you not, she (w/out batting an eye) would say things like "My children are the most handsomest prettiest in the whole world!" She often called me "the Angel that fell from heaven because she sleep too much..."

Here is an email she sent me after I sent her a video of my son:

HI, JOY
HE LOOKS LIKE DAVID (my brother)-THE MOST HANDSOME MAN IN THE WORLD.
I MISS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!
SE YOU SOON

Heres another email she sent me after I sent a picture of my son sleeping when he was 6months old:

HI, JOY
JOEY IS SO CUT.
DID YOU HAVE HIM SLEEP FACE DOWN?
YOU HAVE TO LET HIM SLEEP FACE DOWN.  I DID TO YOU AND DAVID.  THAT'S WHY BOTH OF YOU HAVE A GOOD LOOKING FACE.

I then alerted my mom of something called SIDS.

Here's another from awhile back:

HI JOY

THANK YOU FOR CARD MY MOSTLY LOVELY DAUGHTER IN WHOLE WIDE WORD!

Enough said. My mom loved us. She didn't care what others thought and she was never shy in singing the most ridiculously embarrassing praises about her children.

Except when she was angry.

My mom would go from the doting, loving, mom ---> to being crazy psycho eyes of burning fire mom. 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds. Soon after she unleashed the flaming ball of anger on us she quickly cooled down and was in no time preparing dinner and asking us what we want to eat. In a Korean house food pardons all grievances... supposedly.

The other day Joey and Kaitlyn were taking a "nap" at the same time and suddenly we hear a loud thump and Kaitlyn crying! My husband races to the room only to find the Joey had carefully constructed a stair case made up of diaper boxes etc and Kaitlyn dresser to climb into the crib. Hes done it before but we had talked to him and told him he should not do that. Now, Joey was laying on top of her. Joe in a blind rage grabs Joey, sits him on the coach, grabs a wood ladle and starts yelling and intermittently smacks the ladle down on the couch cushion next to Joey. He then got a light spanking and was sent off to bed for a nap. I told Joe that when we hold the mem-e stick, we should never do it when we are angry. He agreed. When Joey woke up we noticed something different about his composure. He was angry. He would yell and wouldn't hug us. When I asked him to do something he hit me. Now its not like it hurt at all but the act shocked me. When Joe said he would be punished for hitting me, he went berserk. I looked at Joe and we both knew. We had crossed the line.

Joe hugged Joey and said "Joey I'm so sorry I acted that way. Daddy shouldn't have done that." immediately Joey's anger melted. He hugged him back and said "It's ok daddy." then he came over and said "Mommy I'm sorry. Are you ok?" I hugged and kissed him and said "Its ok Joey I love you."

Then it was my turn...

The next day I was talking on the phone with a gf about trying to have child. She said she was a bit reluctant because she sees her other friends and how hard it is for them to raise children. I reassured her about the joys of motherhood. Then I realized I hadn't checked on Joey during his nap so I asked her to hold on a second. I open the door and low and behold my son smeared the whole bottom half of his body with Bourdraeux's Butt Paste!!

This stuff is an incredibly thick cream used for diaper rash. He had caked his whole lower half in this cream to the point where it looked like he was wearing unbelievably tight white leggings. It was all over his shirt and smeared all over his sheets. Water and soap are no match for this cream. It doesn't come off, if anything the cream just moves around the skin. Needless to say it was my turn to go crazy. While my poor friend was waiting for me to get back to her about how awesome it is to be a mom, she could hear me screaming in the background "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!?!? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?! I CAN"T BELIEVE YOU!!??! GOD WHY ME!?!? WHY!?!? (cue dramatic music, beating my chest crying, next scene I'm laying down with a white band wrapped around my head --j/k thats kdrama style)

Grabbed him, attempted to wash him, didn't work so just wiped everything off with his ruined T-shirt. I screamed yelled, and spanked him. Afterwards I knew I crossed the line. I too, went 0-60 in seconds and crashed down 60-0 in a fraction of that. I know he did wrong and I know I should discipline him but it was the way I did it that was wrong. It was out of pure anger and fury rather than reason and love. Later that night I was putting Joey to bed and I laid next to him for a bit.

I hugged him and told him I loved him. He rubbed his tired eyes said "Mommy (yawn) please be nice to me."My heart melted. I knew what he meant. Reason and Love, not anger and frustration. Sigh. Today I can learn from my mistakes and hopefully when the moment strikes again, I can and will do better, to keep my foot from crossing the line.

Joey caught in the act 



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