Yesterday, I got Addie down for her nap and I ran downstairs to tell Lawrence I was headed to the store to do some MUCH needed grocery shopping. I would have rather played quietly with Bryson, or taken a nap myself, but diapers weren't buying themselves and Bryson's baby food cupboard was bone dry. Lily sort of stomped a bit that she couldn't go with me, but Lawrence reminded her that she needed to go to quiet time, because we let her stay up super late the night before visiting with her friend who was staying with us and going to Rachel's birthday party. She didn't listen to him and continued to sulk and pout. It was noon and I'd been up since 5am with Bryson after going to bed too late, at midnight the night before.
As I was trying to explain to Lily that it wasn't up for discussion, (though I continued to heartily discuss it with her!) I just needed to run and get a few things, and I'd be back by the time her quiet time was over and then we could make the flash cards from school; she continued to make a huffy face. Just then, Bryson got his arm caught in the top of one of the girls' stools and started to scream hysterically. As I went to rescue his pudgy little bicep from the weight of the lid plus his other fatty hand pressing down on top of it, Lily would not take no for an answer. I hugged Bryson, and I yelled at her, "Lily, get up to quiet time, NOW!" in a mean nasty mama bear voice. She scampered away in tears, yelling, "I want to bring my flash cards!". "NO!" I shouted.
Bryson calmed down and I looked up at Lawrence who had eyebrows raised. I could tell by the look on his face that I'd overreacted a little. I knew I had, and I didn't appreciate the judgment. I said, "Do you think I handled that too harshly?". He shrugged and said, "All I know is that we were down here having fun...", "...until I CAME ALONG!', I snipped. I reminded him about how the day before I wanted to run Lily over to the birthday party and Addie was practically dragging behind me on my leg - even though she had a friend here with plans and fun of her own. She couldn't go with to the party drop off because she has a runny nose and they have a new baby. I went on to Lawrence's raised eyebrow and wide eyes, about how earlier, Addie was crying and banging outside the bathroom. "I can't even go to the bathroom without disappointing someone in this house" I shrieked dramatically. I was so frustrated, explaining that while I would prefer not to leave the house to do errands or go to work, I literally have to kick someone off my leg and back in to the house as I close the door behind me.
"Do you know how that makes me feel? Every single day?" I demanded in my best woe is me quiver. He said that I was right, in a tone that told me he didn't think so.
Still holding Bryson, I attempt to do a donkey kick behind myself to illistrate for Lawrence yesterday's getting out the door debacle, but I trip a little. This doesn't stop me, once I get my grips again, I kick back in a reattempt and hit the toybox HARD with my heel. I lose my balance again while pantomiming a door slam, and sort of spin around falling on to the couch on my back with Bryson on my chest. "JEEZ! Take it easy!" Lawrence exclaims. I stop (easy to do when you are flat on your back on the couch). Horrified. Humiliated. Then I start laughing hysterically. Partially because I've been ranting and donkey kicking and I'm embarrassed by my behavior. Partially because I think it's pretty freaking funny how worked up I've got, all because Lily wanted to go to the store with me. I laugh at how ridiculous I sounded, and the hysteria in my voice as I ranted to my husband's wrinkled forehead and slight smirk. Then I start to cry. I'm not ever sure why exactly, but I think more than a little bit because my heel hurt so bad and more than a little bit because I feel so bad for how I yelled at Lily, and more than a little because I'm so glad Bryson is safe with my failed kicking falling fiasco.
I take my time out and then I say sorry to Lily, bringing her flash card materials to quiet time. And then I head to the grocery store, totally and completely emotionally depleted.
It reminded me how easily I come to expect my little ones to keep their composure when they are over tired and frustrated with things and how easily I can lose my own. Sometimes to be a better parent you have to get a little closer to where your kiddos stand and imagine what it feels like to be them for a moment, how it feels to feel disappointed or over controlled about something.
And sometimes, you just need to throw a fit.