It is Saturday, mealtime. Lucio is sleeping, Val is seeing some potential buyers about his pick-up truck. I prepare pasta with ham and cream. I call Martín to supper. As always, I have to call him at least ten times. I start getting annoyed. He sits at the table and we agree that when he is finished, he can play video games, which is what he likes most. He is very pleased when he sees the pasta. He eats one or two mouthfuls, then starts playing with his food.
Lucio wakes up. He is not in a good mood; he still seems sleepy. He nurses at my breast for a while. This almost always makes him happy. I try to sit him in his high chair. He won’t have it. I set him down on a normal chair and when I feed him, he spits it back out. Martín doesn’t want to eat either, he’s just fiddling around. I hate telling him to eat his food over and over again.
So I just say to him: You know that if you want to play video games, you have to eat. We get up, we go into the studio, we go in circles. The plate is still on the table.
I repeat: No food, no video games.
He starts to throw a tantrum, demanding that I let him play. Lucio is standing on the chair. He still doesn’t want to eat. I go into the kitchen. I turn around and I see pasta, tomato, cauliflower, breaded chicken all over the floor. Martín is still yelling at me. I take Lucio in my arms and put him down on the ground, scolding him sternly. Martín yells louder, defending Lucio, insulting me: Bad Mommy, you treat kids bad… He follows me around the house screaming and crying nonstop. I think I will go crazy. He begs me to play video games. I can’t backpedal, even though it’s what I want most: to turn on the video game and forget about the screaming. But no, I can’t. So many problems because I am never consistent, because he doesn’t know limits, because out of comfort, or my own lack of limits, I have never taught him how to control himself.
I watch him suffer, but I can’t stand his yelling anymore. He follows me, he hits me. I go to the sofa and sit down, he throws himself on top of me yelling, crying. I plug my ears. I just want to get out for ten minutes, I need a little quiet to be able to think, to get out of this whirlwind. I see Lucio and feel sorrow because he is experiencing this situation. I see Martín and I feel sorrow that he doesn’t know how to control himself. I feel very guilty. And at the same time, I just want to hit him and make him finally shut up and leave me in peace. I lose track of time.
At some point, I decide to bathe them. Little by little, Martín calms down and stops yelling. We turn on the tv. I play with Lucio, he laughs, I carry him, I fly him through the air, I chase him. Suddenly, everything seems all right.
And yet it takes me days to snap out of my depression. I feel so incapable of providing Martín with restraint, educating him, giving him parameters in life, being an example to him in something, anything. I am afraid of my own lack of control, an element that seems to elude me, and this frightens me.