It has been a long time since I’ve managed to stay awake after the kids have gone to sleep. They don’t nap at the same time either. So there has been very, very little “mommy alone time” as of late, and the few seconds I’ve had, I’ve been trying to catch up on things like paying bills and going to the bathroom alone. Needless to say, this can cause one to quickly lose one’s mind.
When I was working with little ones as a speech therapist, there were some days where the kids would just be extra grouchy, or rambunctious, or feisty. On these days I would seriously ask if there was a full moon. It seems that the full moon was on the 27th, but it’s still fairly full today, and that’s what I’m going to chalk today up to.
Today was one of those days where I just wanted to hide in my closet. The little guy was having a rough day just being a kid, and this caused us to butt heads on just about everything from not eating grapes when you’re lying down, to having the AC on (apparently he runs cold…).
After the full on tantrum I caused by taking away his grapes because he refused to sit up while eating them, I did the one thing that helps me to feel in control – I started cleaning. I realize that’s what I do when I feel my life spinning away from me – I make lists and I clean. I grabbed the vacuum and before I knew it, he fell asleep in the recliner. I thought to myself “he was exhausted, that’s why he was so grouchy.” Except, things didn’t get better after nap time.
Upon waking, he basically either whined or screamed through the rest of the afternoon. He didn’t want the AC on, he tried to change his shirt and the arm got all twisted up and to end the evening, after stopping him from climbing the high chair I was trying to clean, he threw his dinner on the floor.
I will admit, I did not stay calm through most of what went on today. There was a fair share of yelling and stomping on my part (I guess they do as you do, not as you say…). At one point, I tried to “take a break,” meaning just trying to go to the bathroom by myself. When I tried to do that, he opened the door, followed me in and adamantly stated “I’m coming in here mommy.”
It was not a fun day. So where can I find the joy in the insanity?? I guess I can start out with empathy. Our world is not easy on little people. Everything is enormous and/or heavy and/or hard to do. I know how frustrated I get when I try to put on a tank top and the whole thing rolls up into a tightly packed roll across my chest and I feel like I’m trying to get out of an inner tube that’s 3 sizes too small. Imagine having that kind of difficulty everyday when getting dressed. Imagine having to depend on someone else to either do things for you or help you learn to do things yourself – cut your food, wash your hair, help you learn to use the potty. It’s gotta be frustrating to be challenged every single minute of the day.
Where else is the joy? It’s in the moments after when you think back and actually laugh. Laugh at the fact that he says things like “Mommy why did I say shut up?” and I respond with “I think because you were really frustrated.” and he responds with “It’s because I’m 2.”
So maybe he doesn’t totally get that his words are probably connected to his mood yet, and maybe tomorrow will be another challenge, but if I look for the joy, I get to start again tomorrow and learn from today, and hopefully become a better mom. Plus, at least my floors will be clean…