Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Some days are diamonds . . .

I'm having one of those days. You know the type -- where you just want to sit down and scream?
It started out well enough. Boober slept until 7:something - a feat which has been beyond him for quite some time. There were no night wakings between 11:30 and 7:30. And in a complete break with tradition, I didn't have to spend 2 hours convincing him to go back to sleep around 4 am. So I got a decent night's sleep for a change. And he even stayed relatively still throughout his diaper change, which is very much out of character for him.
I decided since he was in a good mood I would get him dressed. He HATES getting undressed. He HATES getting dressed again. Whatever state of nudity he's in, that's where he'd like to stay, no matter the temperature. As expected, getting him dressed was a bit of a challenge. Whatever. It's not like he never fights the onsie. Nevertheless, my veneer of 'well enough' was already wearing out.
Then Sweet Pea requested that she get dressed as well. Abnormal. Usually I have to coax her out of her PJs too. So I jumped on it. But she wanted to dress herself. As anyone with a three year old knows, that takes some serious time. So here we were at 8:10 and my patience was already wearing thin - because there is nothing quite like having your child look up at you with tears in her eyes and beg for help in doing up her pants, and then watching her totally lose it because she wanted to do it herself.
There is no correct response in a situation like this, btw. If you undo the pants you have to listen to the kid lose her shit over that, and THEN fight to do them back up, and THEN ask for help, and THEN the meltdown 2.0. If you leave them done up you will listen to the accompanying whining and moaning and possibly sobbing that she wanted to do it 'her own self'.
It was at this point that I realized I had neglected to make coffee.This was problematic because Mr. Wonderful was already running late for work. The coffee maker takes 10 minutes from start to finish, and he was already 10 minutes behind. Okay, no coffee today. I hate to be the one that let down the team. Now my patience was wearing very thin, and I felt like the weak link for letting the coffee slide. I think I was more upset about it than he was, but I still felt like a 10 year old who had been caught doing something terribly wrong -- like adding that extra pen stroke to turn an F into an A, or what have you.
After Mr. Wonderful's departure for work, the kids settled in for breakfast. Sweet Pea and Boober ate Reese Puffs. And every time I tried to put the box away, Sweet Pea lit into me. She was reading that! She wanted it back! I took another step toward the edge. And then I looked at the clock. 8:37. Time to go.
Boober is registered in a program which takes place at 9:30. In order to make it there on time, it is advisable that we leave our house at 8:30. 8:45 at the latest. It's a bit of a drive.
Sweet Pea was sent upstairs to use the bathroom. Debacle. She was sent downstairs to put on her coat, boots, hat and mittens. Debacle. Boober was packed screaming and sobbing into his boots, hat, mittens and coat. I juggled the kids out the door and into the car with many tears on Boober's part. That boy hates his car seat. Sweet Pea stood at her car door poking it ineffectually with her mitten and telling me it wouldn't open because "I CAN'T!!" There is little that sets me off more effectively than I CAN'T - especially when it's something that's been done before.
Finally, everyone is settled in the car. I get in the driver's seat, turn the engine over with a little effort, and turn on the heater full blast. For the past few weeks, I don't get hot air out of the heater. I get sort of warm air from it, and thus far, that's been enough. This morning, the windows of the car were fully frosted - inside and out. So I got out the scraper and dealt with the outer frost. Then I got in the car and scraped what I could of the inner frost away.
So there I was, running late, driving up the road peering through the holes and lines left by the scraper when I decided Fuck It. I'm already having a hell of a morning, I'm stopping for coffee, dammit!
I was at the drive thru speaker, ready to place my order when I learned my windows were frozen shut. Oh good. Entire transaction? Done with the door open. Maybe that's why I wound up with a lap full of coffee, dumped from . Who knows? Whatever the reason, my much-anticipated coffee was not as well enjoyed as I had hoped. The fact that the smell of the coffee is still with me and my pants . . . it sometimes seems pleasant.
And then for a while things went relatively well. The windows cleared. We made the program with 5 minutes to spare somehow. It was our first time in the older group, and I'm not entirely sure Boober is ready for it, but Sweet Pea really enjoyed it. I let the kids play for about a half hour. It all seemed to be turning around.
In fact, Sweet Pea was resting up for a giant douchebag manouever that would take her a lot of energy and possibly planning.
Time to go. No complaints. Until we got to the door and she realized it was really happening. Sweet Pea pitched a fit. Not your usual run of the mill fit, either. A fit so epic and massive that the staff at the centre actually came out of their offices to see what was going on. Please keep in mind that this is a children's centre. They see dozens of tantrums every week. There I was with Boober on my hip, a dipaer bag slung over my shoulder, fully expecting that we were about to put on our outerwear with no drama -- and my 65 pound 3.5 year old daughter throws herself on the floor and starts howling. I did all the right things. I talked to her. I empathised with her. I did not smack the crap out of her or threaten her with violence or any of the 'not right' things. She did not respond. I told her that Boober and I were headed to the coat room to get ready and that I hoped she would join us. She did not. It was at this point that one of the staff members came and took the baby off my hands so I could deal with my situation. I mean, I'm grateful for the assistance, I really am  . . . but that means that Sweet Pea was so disruptive that they felt I needed someone to take pity on my soul. Shelby (the staff-member) stayed with me right until the kids were strapped into the car - but it took a very long time to get there. There was a lot of cajoling, threats of loss of privelege, angry words, sweet words, etc between myself and Sweet Pea. She won't be watching TV for a few days.
Then there was a swift trip to Shall We Knit? It was mostly alright - just a little bit of acting out. Apparently home is a great place to finish up with your Alpha behaviour, though because those two kids put me through the wringer when we got here. It's exceedingly difficult to make the lunch your baby is requesting at the top of his lungs when he won't accept being set down. Boober cried. And cried. And howled. Until I gave him a fistful of crackers. Sweet Pea did her part as well. She whined, moaned and begged for mac & cheese - because we were not having mac & cheese. Then she stole Boober's crackers. Even though she had her own. ROAR!!!
Finally lunch was ready. Each child recieved a plateful. Boober ate a bit of his and then dumped his plate on the floor. He cried when I wouldn't give it back. I made him a peanut butter sandwich that he refused to eat. Sweet Pea ate all the chicken out of hers, and then requested a peanut butter sandwich. Finally, something worked to my advantage. I gave Boober Sweet Pea's plate, and Sweet Pea Boober's sandwich. It was 12:30 when they finished lunch. Boober went down for a nap without fighting at all. He woke at 1:30, and snuggled up with me until 2:30. Sweet Pea went down for a nap at 1:30. It's now 4:04 and I just heard her wake up. So we've all three had naps now. Hopefully this afternoon will be better??


Lisa said...

Wow, that sure was a dose of real life. Thanks for being so honest, honey.

Stickyfingers said...

Today has been only marginally better.
I suppose I should just get used to the idea that I have a bonafide threenager on my hands now, and find a way to deal with it. In all honesty, I don't like the mommy I'm becoming. There's a lot more yelling than I'd like.
How's that for honesty?

Batty said...

Wow, I hope the nap helped! What a day. Or half day, really, but it's stressful enough for a whole.

FnkyGreenMama said...

Sorry for the hard day(s). We've had days like those. And there's a lot more yelling in this house than I'd like, as well. I'm not sure that's much help to you, but maybe a bit of commiseration? I know that it makes me feel a bit better to know I'm not alone! I just spent some time with another mommy friend and we were sharing these kinds of "confessions" and realized that we need to be easier on ourselves and know that we can't be perfect. Also, a glass of wine at the end of the day doesn't hurt ;)

Stickyfingers said...

I've had a lot of surprise and . . . shall I say delight? over this type of post. I think it's about time everyone stopped hiding behind the mask of perfection and started admitting to being off-balance from time to time.
Being a parent can be tough work. Really tough work. And no one does it perfectly, no matter how it looks. I don't think pretending life is a bed of roses does anyone any favours. I'm definitely on my toes a lot of the time. I let a lot of things slide. Pretending perfection just puts unrealistic goal posts out there, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

No advice...just a hug and an agreeing nod. Yup. We are none of us perfect parents. We try..we adjust and try again...most of all we just hope things will work out right in the long haul. Most times they do and when that's the case we should enjoy every minute. There will still be diamonds along the way. Enjoy! Oh...I guess that's advice huh? kwgma