Abby announced that she needed to go to the bathroom after getting fully into her tights and leotard...so she got undressed again while I dealt with Jake's diaper. I asked him to go into the bathroom to use the potty before we got in the car while I put Alex's shoes on, and Jake insisted on taking his train (with three large parts) into the bathroom with him so that Alex wouldn't get it. Yes, he just really dislikes sharing that much. Here's how the next 10 minutes went:
Me: "Jake, no trains in the bathroom! Alex won't play with it--we are seriously about to walk out the door. PLEASE go in and go potty."
Jake: "But Abby won't let me use the step stool! Abby, MOVE! WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" (Jake has a major emotional control issue--every little pitfall of his day is accompanied by him falling to the floor in a crying, often screaming, crumpled mess.)
Me: "Abby, let your brother use the step stool--you don't need it to wash your hands! You are tall enough to reach the sink. Jake, GET ON THE POTTY."
Abby: "Mommy, now I can't reach the towel, and my hands are all wet!"
Me (washing my hands): "I will get the towel."
I reach over to get the towel hanging above the toilet, and in the process, I knock one of Jake's three train pieces off the bathroom counter and toward the toilet. Thankfully, Jake was finally sitting on the toilet, or I would have been fishing train out of a used toilet. The train piece fell to the floor behind the toilet.
Me: "JAKE! THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I SAID NO TRAIN IN THE BATHROOM! THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU DON'T LISTEN TO ME! NO TOYS IN THE BATHROOM FROM NOW ON, DO YOU HEAR ME!?!" I kind of growled and screamed this at the same time while chucking large pieces of train out the bathroom door, sending them skittering into Alex's room across the hall. The kids were a bit shell-shocked. My head was steadily getting much worse. Time was escaping us. I walked into Alex's room to gather him up and head down the stairs to the garage.
Alex: "Mommy, you're mean Mommy--you frow toys."
Well, that actually made me laugh--I did throw toys, which is exactly what I tell the kids all day not to do. I also do think I probably sounded quite mean with my little temper tantrum. My good humor over being called out by my 2-year-old only lasted about 5 seconds, when I heard Abby and Jake yelling at each other in the basement. (I did manage to tell Alex I was sorry and throwing toys is never a good thing to do, so at least I had one redeeming moment.)
Abby: "Mommy! Jake is doing all kinds of things with his hands--he's hitting me and pushing me, and he has long nails that he's scratching me with!"
Me (while dragging Alex and 6 of his bed friends that he insisted on bringing in the car with us down the stairs): "Jake, do you want me to kick you?"
As an aside, I have no idea where that thought came from, except that I really did feel like kicking him. Obviously I would never do that, and usually I do a much better job filtering what I would like to do out of what I actually say...but yesterday was not that day. Jake just looked at me with a very worried look on his face.
Me: "Obviously I would never kick you, Jake--or any of you, obviously. Can we just get in the car and try to manage to be nice to each other? Your sister is going to be late to dance class!"
Jake (after we're all loaded in and I'm backing out of the garage): "Mommy, you sure are in a mood today." This is what I say to him when he wakes up grumpy. Very observant, little one...very observant.
Fast forward to today--I was determined to have a better day with the children. Unfortunately, some weird postnasal drip had me hacking up a lung ALL NIGHT LONG last night, and I got about 2 hours of sleep. When this Mommy is tired, things tend to go poorly... I got a little rest on the couch this morning prior to Jake's gymnastics class, and then I got up to get ready to go--I gave myself 30 minutes to get myself dressed, get the last-minute bathroom run done, and get out the door. We were right on time--I was putting Alex's shoes on while Jake was in the bathroom when I hear, "Uh oh..." Jake somehow missed the toilet and instead peed all over himself, the step stool, the bath mat (which I just washed YESTERDAY, not kidding, after the last peeing on the floor incident a few weeks ago...I'm really lazy about washing bath mats, apparently), and his clothes for gymnastics. I. WAS. LIVID. I yanked him off the toilet while growling incoherently at him (I don't really remember what was said, but I definitely remember that I was growling because now my throat really hurts) and sent him straight up to his room with a naked behind. I considered cancelling gymnastics. Alex sat quietly on the floor, playing with his shoe while avoiding looking at his lunatic mother.
I Fantastik-ed the bathroom while thinking that it really did need to be cleaned, so in essence, Jake was helping me accomplish more than I had intended to today...but now we were running late. I calmly walked up the stairs, helped Jake wash his hands, got him some clean clothes, and got us back on track to head out the door. Both boys must have been really stunned by my behavior (which is a good thing, because it means I don't act this way normally--I'm just having 2 bad days), because they were so good going out the door. Jake even put his own shoes on, which he never does--I was so touched by the effort that I didn't even care that he put them on the wrong feet. He was genuinely trying, and it was very sweet. I love these ornery boys, even when they drive me nuts. And to top off my morning, Alex says to me as I'm buckling him into his car seat, "Mommy, you're a bad guy."
|I can't stay mad at these two little monkeys!|
The Good Housewife Project clearly needs to add
- Try not to blow up at the children in such a way that it brands you "mean Mommy" or "a bad guy" and you end up threatening to kick one of them
to my list of goals.