bad day, children

Duck and Cover

As mother to T.Puzzle and Full Speed, I know what it takes to get through a day. I have to be strong, set lots of stern boundaries and not give them an inch. If I can’t do these things then I have to be prepared to duck and cover.

We were down to our last pull-up and I had to take little T.Puzzle with me to Target. If I am in the right frame of mind and he is too, it is a reasonable task. If I am tired, crabby and not feeling up to being a drill-sergeant mommy, then we are in big, big trouble.

I just was not in the mood to fight him at every turn. He kept tossing everything I had in the cart onto the floor. Normally, I would stop no matter if we are in the food isle or near ladies’ lingerie, and reprimand him. He would be placed in time-out and would wail to the high heavens but most likely would get his act together. I just couldn’t do it today. I wordlessly kept placing everything he tossed on the floor back in the cart. I chose to ignore his behavoir and that was the first of my mistakes.

By the time we had reached the cashier little T.Puzzle was ‘helping’ me push the cart. It was my weak attempt at distracting him from his naughty behavior. It didn’t work (another mistake). He decides now is the time to run away from Mommy and giggle. I grab him and place him in the cart’s seat and he starts screaming ‘no!’ at the top of his lungs. To complicate matters he keeps getting up in the seat dangerously teetering over the side. He looks ready to jump. I try my best to unload the cart and to make light of his insanity to the cashier. She looks wholly empathetic and mortified at the same time. As I lean down to grab something off the base of the cart, little T.Puzzle makes his move. He grabs a heavy box from the counter in front of him and proceeds to chuck it at my head. The cashier lunges forward to save me and in the process her knee hits the counter with a sickening thud. It’s her bad knee she tells me. Well, of course it is. Why would it be her good knee? That would make this story less upsetting and as you can tell, I wasn’t catching any breaks today.

I effusively apologize for the misdeeds of my child and the unfortunate injury he caused. Of course, he hasn’t let up screaming ‘no!’ yet either. I take my cart, my wobbly self-esteem and my overtly aggressive child and exit. I manage to strap him in his car seat, get my things unloaded and put the cart back. As soon as I reach the car I dial Mad Dog. I cry and he listens and when my crying gets really desperate sounding, little T.Puzzle switches his ‘nos!’ to ‘sorrys’.

It didn’t help because I was very sorry, too.

children, parenting, self care (or lack thereof)

Shout Out to Mad Dog

Mad Dog could tell I was about to lose it. I was unsuccessfully trying to get little T.Puzzle to poop on the potty, which let’s be real, may not happen until he reaches puberty, and Full Speed was not helping the situation. Both boys were fighting and misbehaving and I couldn’t take it anymore.

That’s when Mad Dog took over. He told me he would watch the boys for the afternoon and made me some appointments at the spa. Then, when I returned, he hired a babysitter and took me to a lovely dinner.

Before he took over, Mad Dog announced, “Boys, you will be spending the afternoon with your father. It will be just the guys.”

Little T.Puzzle looked befuddled. “You’re not my father,” he said. We all stopped and looked at him trying to figure out what he was getting at. “You are my DADDY!” Oh, well that makes sense I guess.

I had a wonderful time at the spa. I even went to the shops they had nearby. It is an amazing feeling to walk into a store and not have to worry about spontaneous wrestling or the possible breakage of merchandise. I’m telling you it’s the little things like this that bring out the most joy in life.

When it was time to hand over the little men to the care of the babysitter, I was filled with apprehension. Not because of her, she was perfectly kind. It was BECAUSE she was perfectly kind. I worried the boys would be so out of control she would be tempted to toss them over the balcony. They really hadn’t behaved very well for the past several days. I could also tell by Mad Dog’s wearied expression and the shortness of his fuse that the boys had been in their full glory for their afternoon of ‘just the guys’.

While Mad Dog and I dined, I expressed my frustration with little T.Puzzle’s terrible threeness and Full Speed’s naughtiness. I was feeling like quite a failure in the motherhood department and was just about ready to quit my ‘job’ and outsource it to a nanny, neighbor or relative. I let it go after a bit. I think the two glasses of wine with dinner helped me to do so.

When we returned to our room, I cautiously crossed the threshold and waited to hear the horrible tales of what had transpired in our absence. And you know what? The babysitter had nothing but positive things to say. In fact what she said was glowing. My boys were ‘incredibly sweet’, ‘got along and played together great’, ‘were courteous’ and she even went so far as to say I was doing a good job as a Mom. I bit my tongue because my sarcasm was screaming for me to ask her if she had tripped at some point and had hit her head. I couldn’t fathom that the two boys I left behind were so amazingly well-behaved. It felt really good to have an outsider approve of the job I’m doing after a rough couple of days.

So, now we are wrapping up our family vacation adventure. We started our day off with a room-service breakfast which the boys ate out on the balcony. Yum!

Then, it was time to take my two over-the-top and thankfully, very cute and lovable boys, pack them up and hit the road for home. And, I know the adventure doesn’t end even though our vacation did.

bad day, mommyhood

All Time Lowe(s)

We are in the truck headed as a family to Lowes. Originally, we had said we would go to Home Depot, but Lowes ended up having the faucet we wanted. Full Speed ¬†initially wasn’t too happy at our change of plan. He likes to run errands close to home (Home Depot is right outside our subdivision) and didn’t like the sound of driving what he considers far (8 miles) to the nearest Lowes. He eventually realizes it won’t be so bad and determines that Lowes is like ‘a cousin’ of Home Depot and goes forth with a good attitude.

For about all of three seconds, the boys sit nicely in the cart together and even exchange some ‘i love yous’. Mad Dog is impressed that they are getting along so nicely. I tell him to give it ten minutes and check again. Turns out we only needed about thirty seconds before things head south.

I had to put T.Puzzle in time-out, threaten Full Speed and then I had to take them both to look at kitchens so Mad Dog could have some peace to pick out what we needed. The kitchen adventure part went fairly well (we all liked the red one the best) but check-out was disastrous. I had to place little T.Puzzle in time-out again and this time he screams so loud the whole store is stopped in their tracks looking for the source of the commotion. I get the keys, grab him by the arm and half-carry, half-drag him to the truck. The entire journey to the truck he yells and screams (mostly for Mad Dog) all the while attempting to hit and kick me. I try to walk calmly and to interact as rationally as I can with him.  Mostly he just winds up in a wailing jumble in the backseat and I stay outside the truck hoping he stops.

I am tired. Tired of the embarrassment, the frustration and the constant battle. Not a great day. Not a great day at all.