This morning I woke early, before the baby and my alarm. I had a few moments to put on coffee, brush my teeth, and use my netti pot. Then I climbed back into bed, lulled by the sound of our cat purring in between my husband and me, and the baby’s soft snoring.
It was actually kind of blissful, although the clock was still ticking. Even ten minutes in the morning can seem like an eternity, and I run a pretty tight ship around here.
Looking at the clock, realizing it was almost 7:00, I made a conscious choice to relax and not stress if I am a little late for work. Being with my family on this peaceful morning was well worth it, right?
Eventually, Emily woke, nursed, cuddled, and I got up to get in the shower. The kids ate and dressed. I put on make up, dried my hair and went out to make lunches. Everything was going so well (!) until Jack came out of his room sans socks. I told him if he put on socks and shoes, he would have time to watch a show before catching the school bus, but he was going to have to show a little hustle because we were all running a little late this morning.
“Oh! Why do I have to get my own socks?” he whined.
“Because it is your responsibility,” I replied, stuffing a banana in Emily’s ladybug lunchbox.
“But I was just in there, and you didn’t tell me I needed socks!” he shouted. Like he isn’t told he needs frigging socks every frigging morning? He eventually did turn around to get the socks, but tripped over the baby gate. He was totally unscathed, however not all actors are in Hollywood, my friend. He took this moment to make his Oscar bid, wailing and flailing to beat the band.
My head whirrled. Do I ignore him? Offer him an ice pack? Go get the damn socks for him?
Ultimately, I kept doing what I was doing, packing the lunches. I took a moment to fill Jack’s water bottle and heard my husband come out of the bathroom to help Jack. Whew. I sighed. Crisis averted. It was being handled by my sergeant at arms. I came around the corner to see my husband, still disheveled in his pajamas. Five minutes before go time.
“You haven’t showered yet?” I quipped.
“No, I haven’t showered yet.” he nipped. I heaved a huge, heavy breath and placid morning turned to prickly morning. I looked at Jack bawling on the floor, still tantruming over his stupid socks. Empathy paled as I embarked on my own Oscar bid. The following words came out of my mouth:
“Great! Now I’m going to be late for work. Thanks guys. I’ll probably be fired and we will have to live in a box on the street!”
As soon as the words were out, I felt awful, reactive, and narcissistic. And as soon as the words were out, they dialed up the intensity on Jack’s meltdown.
“Mama you are stupid! You are the worst, stupid, idiot Mama in the world! I hate you!” he screamed at me. I tried to redirect him by reminding him he is working on earning a yellow stripe in karate for being responsible and calm, and he screeched, “SHUT UP!” at me. Then he kicked me.
In retrospect, I see his point. It was kind of hypocritical of me trying to bribe him to get control of himself when I was not modeling very proper self control of myself.
Some mornings it is really hard to find the joy when we are all bustling to get to places to which none of us really want to go. Sometimes I say and do really stupid shit. Sometimes I feel like Jack was put here on earth to call me on some of that shit, but man, I really would like to catch a break here and there.
I drove to work feeling guilty, ashamed, and angry I had been robbed of my peaceful morning. Correction: that I had robbed myself of my peaceful morning. I totally made things worse by losing my own composure, by stressing over time. In the end, I wasn’t even late for work, so it was all for naught.
I also felt pretty crappy because Jack has been doing so much better lately with his behavior. Karate seems to be helping him with his self control. His break through anger is much more infrequent and usually shorter lived. So, exacerbating his distress this morning really did make me feel like a stupid, bad, idiot mama.
At the end of the day, I entered the house saying silent little prayers that everything was going okay and there wouldn’t be any tantrums. My husband kissed me at the door when I cam in. Jack and Emily were already in their pajamas. They were both thrilled to see me and wanted lots of cuddles. We had all moved on, and the day ended peacefully. The way it had started.
Do other parents have these vain and crazy moments where they say and do things that are senseless and regrettable? I’ve heard tell of it. But I feel like everyone presents such a pretty picture and would never do or say the crap that I do. Especially because of my job, I think I should hold myself to a higher standard.
But I guess I’m human, so by design I screw stuff up.
Alright. Time to get back on the horse and do better next time.
Thanks for listening. Momaste.