I am going to share a Mom moment. The kind that we try to pretend doesn’t happen. Like our kids are made of only rainbows and sunshine and we never sometimes wish to be in a cave by ourselves somewhere. It has been one of those trying days. As a mother, there are moments when of course I love my kids more than life itself, but I also wonder how I could have possibly spawn a being that is so destructive, mean and unyieldingly stubborn. Don’t get me wrong, during that time I still love them, but I’m also not looking at them like they’re the best thing since sliced bread, either. I am looking at exactly who they are in that instant. Kind of like that saying, “I love you, but I don’t like you.” Today has been that day. Well actually the past few days have been.
My almost four year old toddler hit the “terrible two’s” at age one and I think somewhere in there she decided that this is just who she’s going to be because she has stuck with it, going strong, for the past nearly three years since. This little girl of mine, ALWAYS wants to go somewhere. I mean every second of the day that she is awake. I cannot always accommodate this request, which she in turn throws a fit about and follows that up with telling me how mean I am while stomping out of the room.
Yesterday I needed to do all of the grocery and toiletry shopping. This is quite typically an all-day affair because, well, I’m cheap. I will go to one store to buy all of the meats because they are cheaper there. Then I’ll venture over to another, better priced store to get toiletry items and then make a final stop at a not to be named mega store to get the things the better priced stores didn’t carry. Most times I have to come home and unload items somewhere in-between and fix lunch for the baby and then we head out again. I thought this would be an amazing day for my daughter because she would be getting out all day. I started this task late in the morning, after she ate her breakfast and played for a little bit. We did not get back home until almost 5 o’clock that evening. I was utterly exhausted. Each time I pulled my child out of her car seat and put her into a shopping cart, then loaded the groceries into the car and pulled her out of the shopping cart and placed her back into the car seat, it was as if my back was screaming a violent shrill at me. Just for fun, I calculated how many times I lifted her to put her in one vehicle or another yesterday. To my amazement, TWENTY times. Half of those times were leaving the store or coming back home to unload and each of those times she threw a fit because she didn’t want to be home or get out of the car. Consequently, I passed out in the living room at 9 o’clock last night, waking up in the middle of the night sometime and stumbling my way to bed.
Today I was supposed to go to one more store and my back said, “Are you CRAZY?! Ain’t happenin’.” This day started with me being overly excited to finally try out the Nutribullet that my parents gifted to me a little while back. Since I had done all of the produce shopping yesterday, I had endless amounts to choose from. As soon as I drank the green smoothie I made, I felt energized. Like I could be unstoppable today if I wanted to. I was hopeful. I decided to try rearranging my daughter’s room and as I am visualizing all of the ways that I could change it around, she’s literally dumping bins of toys out all over the place. Toys that I might add, would need to be picked up in order for me to begin rearranging her room. I finally said, forget it and went back to my hopes and dreams.
After lunch, she did her typical routine of wanting to go outside (which in her mind usually means leaving the house) so I said “Okay, let’s go outside.” To the porch. She had her sidewalk chalk out there to draw all over with and I could sit and enjoy my tea and talk with her. Nope, this wasn’t good enough. Even though she wanted to go outside to draw, she also wanted to run towards the street to pick up sticks and rocks. I coaxed her back onto the porch with a promise to read her favorite story, Pinocchio. She was happy for a few minutes while I read and then got thoroughly agitated because she could not find a way to lay down in the chair. I offered up the idea of us going inside where she could lay down and I would continue to read to her. Then she threw a fit on the front porch because I simply mentioned going inside. With that I quietly said, “Okay then. It’s time to take a nap.” A phrase that went over as smooth as broken glass. Total and complete toddler meltdown. She cried, “I don’t want to go to bedddddd!” while refusing to move so that I could open the screen door. It was one of those moments where I could feel that anxious laughter welling up in me. Often referred to as a nervous break-down. I could feel it. While she was throwing the tantrum, I wanted to bust out laughing while simultaneously crying buckets. I just couldn’t take another temper tantrum. I don’t even know how many I have experienced just within the last two days alone.
I had one of two options — Snap and lose my head for the whole neighborhood to see or let my last words out of my mouth to her be my last and silently guide her to bed. Now, she hardly see’s this reaction out of me. Usually I will sternly let her know what punishment awaits her if she doesn’t pull herself together and quick-like. She continued to tell me she didn’t want to go to bed the whole way into her room, during me changing her clothes and for another ten minutes after she was already in bed and I was long gone from her sight. Then this happened.
That’s right, she went to sleep. Hard. I felt somewhat vindicated in that decision to place her in solitary confinement.
I am sitting here, wiped out and thinking about what I will need to make for supper. My back is tight and still screaming, and that boundless energy I felt from the green smoothie, dissipated hours ago. Now, I can’t even will myself up just to get something to drink. It’s been one of those days that I will be so glad, once I can lay my head down and forget about. I think for the next three hours, I will let this child be my husband’s problem. After all, I shouldn’t be the only one getting a taste of this joyous splendor!