I Apologize For My Child...
Do you sometimes wish you could wear a sign that says, "I'm sorry for my child. I don't know why, but today he's an a**hole?" (If you say that you've never thought this before, you're lying).
As parents, we always want the world to see our child as WE see them.... and every parent knows that there's a certain time of the day that your child is exemplary, outstanding, at his or her "best." For my son it's 6:45am. Everything after that sort of goes down hill. Okay, fine. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but in truth, catch my guy at 4:45pm and it's a different story. He lives in Meltdown City and I live in Hell. The towns are very close in proximity, which makes visiting the nearby village of Wine, Please a no brainer at nightfall.
Fine, FINE. I’m massively exaggerating... YES. There are certain times when he's been okay and even delightful during the widely referred to "witching hour." But here's the thing: I wouldn't count on it. In fact, I often avoid plans and play dates that are scheduled for that time because I know it won't end pretty. It'll end in me apologizing to a child's mother/a friend/a boyfriend/a grandparent, etc. "I'm so sorry he's acting up/tantruming/not listening/ throwing toys/calling me a stupid lady... He's not usually like this. He's so tired/hungry/coming down with something.... We should do this again in the morning. The early morning."
Usually I'm met with a "Pleaaaaaaaaaase, I totally understand. Don't apologize. (Insert kid's name) acts like this all the time..." OR... "Pleaaaaaaaaaaase, he's fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Don't apologize. I've had kids myself. I get it." Sure, it's reassuring and sweet, but I know what they're really thinking. I know they're secretly feeling sorry for me and/or judging my parenting (or lack thereof).
Crap. I just remembered I was supposed to be nicer to myself in 2012. Fine. I won't be so critical of myself.... I'll just make all plans at 6:45am. He'll be sweet and talkative, and I'll be crabby and un-caffeinated… In which case, there will still be some apologizing: "Sorry for my mom."