Monday was a good day.
Let me rephrase. Monday was a GREAT day!
The sun was out for a change. I dropped my happy children off at school and took an impromptu detour to the zoo. Just the boy and I and 14 squirrel monkeys, 1 kangaroo, 2 pythons, 4 ducks and a dozen baby bunnies. Only a handful of words two months ago, but today he was talking my ear off. So exciting, and his attempts at the word “duck” were particularly funny (but I’m just immature like that).
When we got home he “helped” me vacuum the whole house AND mop the kitchen floor (apparently it IS still white under there); we did laundry, cleaned the kitchen and sang songs together. By “we” I mean he came behind me and undid everything I was doing, spilled a bowl of Cheerios on the kitchen floor and danced to my off-tune rendition of “This is the way we clean our house…” During naptime I read a chapter of an actual book, worked out, and wrote a blog. After school I read to my children, prepared a
delicious edible meal – and if this all isn’t amazing enough for you – I MADE JAM!
NOTE – the making of jam is approached with much stress and trepidation since the Great Jam Debacle of 2005 (a long story involving broken shelves, a video camera, and a pile of shattered jars of blackberry jam), and also the Tragic Jam Overflow of 2008 (which filled the stove top, stained the counter/floor/cupboard below and destroyed every cookbook I owned at the time). I would stop doing it altogether, but in his most pathetic voice, my husband tells me that he can only eat MY jam, because it’s just so much better than anything else. Let me tell you, flattery works.
Suffice it to say, I was flush with my unprecedented success. I surveyed my domain with a sense of deep satisfaction. Eat your heart out Proverbs 31 woman!
Once I got the boy to sleep, I could head out to coffee group with my girlfriends. FINALLY, I was going to show up (I have cancelled more often than not lately) AND I was going to be in a good mood. Wearing make-up and jewelry and a clean shirt. With GOOD news: I think I’m finally getting the hang of this!
In 23 minutes, I went from Overcomer, Valiant Keeper of My Home and Queen of my Universe, to a bawling, frustrated hot mess.
Just like that.
There’s something about a screaming toddler. The sound is designed to jangle our nerves and disrupt our calm. And he was MAD that night. And his teeth hurt. And he didn’t want me to leave him. Or rush his bedtime routine. Or lay him down in his bed. Or let go of his hand. And Glen was busy with B, so I was on my own.
Most nights, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. It’s not that unusual. After a bit of a snuggle, some rocking in the rocking chair and rubbing his forehead, he usually calms down.
But tonight I could feel my temperature rising.
I had PLANS. This is THE DAY. The day when I got it all figured out and things worked like clockwork and I reign supreme. How dare he defy me?
I made one of the most crucial parenting mistakes: I took it personally. In my head, it wasn’t bedtime or sleeping or being alone that he was fighting – it was ME. My success. My plans. My time to myself.
So I made the situation worse. Soon I was too frustrated to snuggle or rock him. Turns out harsh whispers of: “Just. Go. To. Sleep.” are not as helpful as you might think. Even though we aren’t supposed to let him cry it out with our adoption so new, I had to leave the room to collect myself.
After an hour, I ended up leaving the house. He had chewed through two soothers that day, so I ran to the store to buy some more. By the time I got back he was finally quiet and Glen was ready with a hug for me.
Sigh of relief.
Then, from the next room, B started wailing for Mommy. Somehow, I ended up in bed, wearing flannel pajamas, blubbering something like, “I’m done. I’m just done.”
So here’s me, and I missed coffee group that night. But I watched a show with my husband and the boy slept through the night and my jam… is delicious.
I’m not sure what the moral of this story is. What do you think?