Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seriously?

I feel defeated. I feel incapable. I feel like punching my children....well, not the baby.

It has been a rough week. It has been a crappy week. It's time to push that glass of wine up from 5 pm to 4 pm sharp. Let's recap.

We had our incident, or incidents, at the grocery store on Tuesday. You can read my previous entry for a full detail of the hell Cole decided I was due.

Yesterday, Aiden screamed for 35 minutes on a bench outside the doctor's office because I rewarded his brother for listening to me by giving him a tic tac and didn't give one to Aiden...because he didn't listen. He spent 35 minutes outside screaming, "Give me one," and attempting to hit me while I waited for him to decide he could stop yelling. In the process I had an older foreign lady (I'm throwing foreign in here because she was, not because I usually have anything against foreign people, but I do not like her,) ask me if I was going to do something to calm my child down because he seemed really upset. Seriously lady? I hadn't noticed him screaming in my ear and lunging at me every few minutes. Then when shot hours were almost over I had to drag screaming Aiden upstairs to the doctor and listen to 10 minutes in the office of him screaming, "tic tac, tic tac." Seriously, it's only 1.5 calories, it's smaller than a fingernail, just listen to me and I'll give you a whole backpack full someday.

This morning Cole freaked out when I dropped him at school for the first time and his teacher looked at me like I was dropping off a mental patient without their medication, should be a good year with her. I then listened to a long speech from the director about how any child that bites will be asked to leave the preschool program, spectacular, please see prior post about Cole's new defense mechanism. I should be saving my money for alternate childcare for him, good thing no one will be getting those pricey tic tacs anytime soon.

This afternoon my children ran away and hid from me in Target, knocked down clothing, shrilled-screamed in amusement, and as I began to scream at them (and cry,) the director from their former preschool strolls by and asks me what's going on. What's going on? I wanted to turn to to her and tell her she had clearly screwed up my children at her preschool last year since they don't listen to jack I say. (Instead I politely talked to her because she really is a nice woman, I'm just really at a low point this week with the offspring and it would make me feel better to blame someone else.)

Apparently my children have decided that since returning from Indiana they are going to freak out on me at least once a day. I truly believe they have some sort of plan to alternate throwing huge tantrums so both don't fully exhaust themselves at the same time so that they can out last me and take over completely. I feel completely out of control and starting to wonder if I shouldn't be curled in the fetal position in my closet and just let them do what they want. They could eat nothing but fruit snacks and try to shoot the dog with their nerf guns.

I have lost my patience with them more often than not this week. I have no enthusiasm for making any everyday task fun or faking joy when they put their pajama bottoms on their heads instead of on their legs. I'm done. I want them to instantly listen to what I tell them to do or I want to beat them. I've been constructing clever craigslist posts in my head all day to try to convince someone to take them away. (Not Stella though because I just bought her that adorable pink bumbo seat and she is soooo stinking cute in it.)

If one more lady interrupts me in my attempt to not give in to my children's screaming so that they will be quiet and I can not be embarrassed, I might punch her. I'm busting my ass to do the right thing and I don't need anyone to try to give me tips on how to give in to my kids' tantrum so that the next time I don't give them a breath mint they feel they can kick me in the shin and get anything they want. It is humbling and humiliating enough without the input of someone I have never met.

This week will pass, things will be better and inevitably another week like this will come, and go, again. I know this is part of the deal I made when I decided to have kids, but it is painful. I have cried more this week than I have in a long time. It is so personal, so maddening when my children act out. They are an extension of me. They are my every day. I care more about my impact on them and my ability to make the right decisions with them than anything else I have ever encountered so it is brutal when it feels like I am failing....no need to email me that I'm a good Mom or that I'm not failing, I actually have an irrational amount of self esteem about being a Mom despite all of these feelings of inadequacy. I'm complicated.

(Mom, feel free to email me all your tips, questions for the doctor about my children's behavior and suggestions of articles I could read which might help with my situation because I know you can't resist.....but seriously, I'm ok.)

I will wake up tomorrow and begin our routine. I will kiss and love on my children as much as I can until they piss me off and then I will step away and possibly even cry again. I will stress over what I am doing wrong and what I'm doing right. I will think about getting rid of them, punching them, or even crawling into the closet to give up.....but I won't do those things. Soon, I will take a deep breath and I will try to kiss and love on them again, or at least stand my ground and never give them a tic tac because I love them too much to give in. It's the way it goes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to Reality

I just spent almost three weeks at my parents house in Indiana, and it was heaven. Of course the obvious things like friends since childhood and being able to spend time with my family made the trip wonderful, but let's be honest, the other items are what truly sealed the deal on this being over the top fantastic.....I was not the only person taking care of diapers and potty all day. I never had to run an errand with all my children. I did not cook dinner, worry about what to feed someone, or stress over the grocery budget even once. I could sit outside on a porch swing, drink my wine, read my book and not melt from the Texas heat. It was oh so very nice.



But, a few days ago I boarded a plane with my three children and husband and left all that peace in Indiana for the next time I come. Of course it is always nice to get back to my own house and my own stuff, and even the kids were excited enough to have their toys to play with that I barely had to speak to them for the first three hours after they woke up the first morning home. It seemed as if a little trickle of wonderful had snuck into our suitcase and come home with us...but apparently the trickle did not want to go to the grocery store.



I knew going into the store that this might be a tough trip. Cole refused to nap and was exhausted from our trip back. Stella was due to eat about 45 minutes from the time we walked in the store (would definitely not be happening when she wanted.) Aiden had been unable to let Cole make a move without his instruction all day, which always leads to trouble. I figured since we only had fish sticks and chicken nuggets in the house I better suck it up and make the trip...bad move.



After strapping Stella to me in the Bjorn, and unfortunately violently waking her in the process, I got the boys in one of the fantastically horrible car carts that give the kids joy for about 5 minutes, but cause me torture for the entire trip. I quickly realized that mine had a jacked up wheel, as if something were caught under it (not that I could bend over and check with a child strapped to me) and preventing it from actually turning....of course it did.



As we arrived at the deli, things went south....no....shit hit the fan is a better description. Cole was attempting to strap himself in, but was not doing so quickly enough so Aiden decided he better step in and help. Cole did not want help, Aiden insisted, Cole leaned over and bit Aiden right above his right nipple with all the force he could muster....seriously, shit hitting the fan.



Aiden is a straight up wimp with pain and I am pretty sure this actually really hurt. He screamed, and screamed, and screamed, and hit Cole. Cole screamed, and screamed, and then asked for chocolate milk. I got Aiden out of the cart, which made Stella start screaming, and caused Cole to request to walk beside the cart also. I of course calmly and patiently explained (I mean, there were at least 6 people staring at me so I couldn't freak out too, one of them was holding a large slab of peppered turkey that he could have hurt me with) to Cole that he had hurt his brother and was not allowed out of the cart. A large man with a pick in his hair smiled at me and told me that I had my hands full. I wanted to take his pick out and chuck it across the store. Cole thrashed and screamed, hitting his lip on the fake and irrationally small steering wheel of our cart, which only made him more joyful. I proceeded on to produce.



While in the produce section I apparently picked up plantains instead of bananas and more zucchini than one family should eat in a month. Cole continued to screamed. Aiden smiled and hugged me, loving the fact that Cole was causing this much trouble. Aiden also put asparagus, carrots and an irrational amount of tomatoes into my cart for kicks, and I purchased all of it. Two more people told me that I really had my hands full, which was super helpful. I plastered on a huge smile and pretended to be in control of the situation.



Mid-way through the store, Cole was still screaming and Stella had joined him. I was attempting to hurry and avoid any people from the deli or produce area so as to spread the torture around to the other shoppers. I'm pretty sure everyone could hear Cole anyway though, he is very loud. I received three more "you've got your hands full" comments and several stares of disbelief. I wanted to cry but continued that crazy smile.



In the dairy section things took a turn for the worse, seriously, it got worse. A very kind, older man tried to talk to Cole. He tried to distract him and be funny, Aiden loved him....apparently Cole did not. Cole had been playing with his shoes while screaming and actually took one and threw it at this nice man. Screw the fake smile, I cried. The man was extremely nice about it and even laughed but I was horrified. This went beyond my child throwing a tantrum. Horrible, horrible, horrible. We proceeded to the checkout.



Lucky for that nice man we were right behind him in the checkout line. (He even asked me if I needed help getting them out of the store and everything into my car....I told him no, but really felt like getting his number so he could hang out with us, such a kind man.) And then one of my favorite things happened. An older woman at the next checkout lane started talking to Cole.



"Honey, what's wrong? Would you like a balloon? What color do you like? "



A balloon? Are you kidding me? Lady, this child has violently bitten his brother, screamed for the last 30 minutes straight and thrown a shoe at a perfectly nice stranger. What about that behavior deserves a balloon?



So, I tell her in as nice a voice as I can muster, "thanks for trying to help, but he isn't getting a balloon today. "



"Well honey, he needs something to calm him down. He's really upset. Don't you think you should give him something to get him to stop crying?"



Sure lady, if I wanted to be a crappier mom that is exactly what I should do. I just let my child scream for 30 minutes and embarrass me through the entire grocery store so that I could reward him with a fun token like a balloon. Now I felt more angry at this lady than I did at Cole.

I quickly got out of the store with $170 of random groceries, two crying children, and not even a hint of that trickle of wonderful. I was embarrassed, frustrated and exhausted. I cried the whole way home and tried to figure out how I was going to tell Alex that I am going to move back in with my parents. This violent shove back to reality was rough. I've seriously got to go look for that trickle of wonderful, it must be here somewhere.