Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to my blog post

**Sometimes when I start a post, I have a specific topic in mind, but as I write things go completely in a different direction. I usually hit "delete" and they get lost to cyberspace. But today I'm posting one, because I think it is exactly what I want to say.
I just haven't been myself lately. I don't know what is wrong - maybe I've got a touch of the SAD or something. I'm just totally unmotivated to do anything - eat well, workout, clean my house, blog. And I've been super-duper grumpy. I haven't had a visit from my Aunt Flo in over 3 months, so perhaps hormones are to blame. And I am still recovering from pneumonia, so I'm sure lingering illness is to blame. But I just feel blah - and like a fat, lazy, bee-otch.
My poor sweet girls have been bearing the brunt of it. I've lost my temper with them far too much, and they don't deserve it.
Last week, my husband was working late, and I was doing my best to be supermom. I had just started the bath for the girls and sent Bryn in to potty. I got G in the water and turned off the faucet, but I could still hear water running and dripping. Bryn was still inside the closet that houses our toilet, with the door shut, but I could tell that the water was coming from in there. To my horror, I saw that water was coming from under the door. She had flooded the bathroom (apparently because she tried to flush an entire roll of toilet paper, and kept flushing, and flushing, and flushing to make it go down).
I suppose it is pretty humorous now, but at the moment I wasn't laughing. I'd had a long day, and was looking forward to getting the girls to bed so I could pound out my frustration on the treadmill. Instead, I was going to be mopping the bathroom. I began to clean up the water, and the more I cleaned, the more rage filled me, and I'll admit that I got right in Bryn's face and yelled at her. What she had done was naughty (because she'd done the same thing the night before, only with not as drastic results), but she certainly didn't deserve the verbal lashing I gave her.
She simply hung her head and got into the bath. I proceeded to wash her while she remained sullen - I knew she felt badly, but I was still fuming. I washed her hair and body without either one of us speaking. After about 5 minutes, she finally broke the silence:
"Mommy," she said, her big green eyes filled with tears, "I so berry sorry I flooded the bathroom."
Ouch. Her sweet apology melted my heart and I was instantly sorry for being so mad. I hugged her naked, wet body, and we both cried. I told her how sorry I was for yelling, and explained that I loved her more than anything.
A normal person would have learned from this, and tried to be nicer. But not me. Apparently I need lots of lessons. This one came from G, a couple of days after the flooded bathroom incident.
It was a Friday - my day off. Bryn was playing in her room and G was helping me hang up daddy's shirts inside our big, walk-in closet. While she was in there, she noticed a headlamp that actually worked. So, she decided to go spelunking in the closet. She got behind the clothes, and moved along the wall looking for treasures - but all she found were boring boxes filled with things like mommy's old maternity clothes. She was undeterred, and was sure there must be something of value in there. She moved all the boxes into the center of the closet and dumped them out - all in the space of just a couple of minutes.
This was very uncharacteristic of her - Bryn is my mess-maker and G is usually the one who likes things clean. So, needless to say, I was shocked when I looked inside the closet to see if she was finished hanging up the clothes and saw the huge mess she had made. We were supposed to me making things cleaner, not making them more messy. And I was mad. This time at least, I refrained from yelling, but I told her very firmly that she was going to clean up the mess.
Defiance took over, and she told me there was no way she was cleaning up. She was done cleaning. It was time to play. She and I have such similar personalities that we actually butt-heads quite often and this time was no different. Neither one of us was backing down: I insisted she was going to clean, and she refused. We argued over it so long, that we probably could have had it cleaned up if we'd worked together.
But, I'm the mommy. I was going to win this one. So, I told her that she was not coming out of the closet until it was done and I shut the door (there is a light in there, so it isn't nearly as bad as it sounds). She screamed. She cried. She banged on the door. But she knew she was defeated, and eventually cleaned up. When she was done, she sulked out of the closet and proclaimed me the worst mommy ever.
"That is just fine," I calmly told her, "Maybe you want a new mommy."
"Yes," she said. "I do want a new one."
Good. I can play the reverse psychology game. I told her to pack her things, and that I would take her to the orphanage. She could live there and then maybe one day, a new mommy would come and take her home. But the orphanage is awful - there would be no one there to play with her, no one to hug her, and she may never have another mommy again. And she will have to do lots of chores there, every day, and won't have nearly as much time to play. Am I really so bad that she would choose the orphanage over me?

Apparently I really am that bad. The orphanage sounded better than having to live with the mommy she has.
So, we started to pack her things. I really didn't expect it to get that far. I was devastated, and I was fighting back tears. But not G. She remained emotionless. It broke my heart. I won't bore you with the details, be we did eventually make up - after many tears and hugs (from both of us).
A few days later, G crawled up in my lap and put her head on my shoulder.
"Mommy?" she asked, "Do you remember that orphanage place that I was going to live at one?"

"Yes, sweetie, I remember."
"Can I work there when I grow up? Those kids really need someone to love them."
AH. Some days I feel like the worst mother. My kids teach me way more than I teach them.


Anonymous said...

This brought tears to my eyes because I have been the same way 9worse, though) with my daughter the past couple of weeks. It has been terrible and I sometimes wonder with a mom like me how screwed up she is going to be when she gets older.

We are all going to be OK. Right???

Koreena said...

Thanks for sharing all that. We definitly have those kinds of days over here and it's always nice to know I'm not alone in my frustrations and occasional bad parenting choices. I agree, my kids are the true teachers in our relationship.

Julia said...

okay, maybe you didn't notice my facebook status, but I hold the title for worst mom in the whole world. It is a relief to read something like this to know that I'm not the only one in the world who gets this way with kids. jeff thinks that I'm sooooo mean and so impatient. But honestly i think I'm just kind of okay...like all the moms out there. I haven't had to pack any bags yet, but Landon tells me at least three times a day "YOU GO WAY MOMMY!" makes me start to wonder if I should....bleh!

we should do dinner again soon, or britney. something to get us out of the funk.

The Gatherum Family said...

And this is why I love blogging. It makes you feel not alone and helps you know that others have the EXACT same struggles-I also feel like the world's worst mom sometimes. So glad that someone as GREAT as you feels that way too sometimes!

Heather said...

First of all, I have to say, thank you for being so honest. It's nice to not feel alone. EVERY mother has her moments, myself definitely included. And the fact that your little girl said what she did about wanting to work in the orphanage shows what a loving, sweet girl you have - and that doesn't happen by accident, she learned it from someone! :) Hang in there, Christy!

TwoGoosMom said...

Thanks for sharing this post. There are times that I yell at my girls or over react and I might even know I am doing it at the time, but my frustration still gets the best of me.

Like tonight when I was just outside the bathroom and I heard the girls out of my tub. I was pissed that the floor was wet and worried that they could have fallen on the tile and before I could even ask why they were not IN the tub, I yelled at them. And Evy started crying and said she just had to poopy in the potty.

Or tonight....I gave them jelly beans for a treat. And when I wasn't looking later, Elsa went and got more, right before bed. And b/c I worry about her and she has trouble sleeping, I let that emotion turn to anger and I yelled at her for acting like a 3 year old and sneaking more jelly beans~! Seriously?

So when she was pottying and I was in front of her to help her down, she said..."I'm sorry I got those jelly beans and ate them." Dagger through the heart.

I am getting better though. Every time I have a moment like those, it helps me to think a bit longer before I get upset the next time. Maybe by the time they leave the house, I'll have it down.

And finally....Evy fluhed a half roll down our powder bath toilet the other day too. And it clogged and over flowed...all over our wood floors and into our kitchen and hallway. It was lots of fun.....with an anal DH there and the girls walking through the water with their running commentary.

These really are the days though.....don't forget it!

PS....Happy Belated to Brynn!

Pedaling said...

i am glad you posted this.

we've all been there.

children end up teaching us in so many ways.
and just melt our hearts.

Kari said...

Great post!!! I can't say I've experienced this just yet but now I know when it does happen, I won't be alone! Thanks for sharing. And like my 'horrible' mom always told me, "One day you'll thank me." She was right.

Lindsay said...

Ahhhh, thanks for that. You are SO not alone - I felt like I was just reading my life - except with boys.

tiburon said...

Great post Christie. I think we all have those days. Good to know I am not alone.

You know what you need? A weekend in Vegas!

carrie said...

I totally agree with what everyone has been writing. You are definitely NOT alone. :o) We all have those moments as mothers. I love what Grace said after all of it was over though... That shows what a GOOD mother you are and how compassionate you've taught your daughter to be. :o) What a little sweetheart. I'm really loving catching up on your blog. You write so openly and honestly....and I absolutely LOVE it. :o)

Omgirl said...

You know what, Christie? You are not a bad mommy. Sometimes we all get overloaded. Sometimes we are all in a bad mood and the things our kids do make us snap. Sometimes we all have to make a point that we are the authority figure even when it makes our kids mad or sad. You didn't punch them. You didn't give them away. And in the end you made up and gave hugs. That will teach your kids some very important lessons: that life isn't always smooth sailing. Bad things will happen. They'll get in trouble. They'll do stupid things. and there will be consequences. But our parents will always love us and be there for us and forgive us. I consider that good parenting.

Misty said...

I can totally relate to gonig off topic. I wouldn't think that you could do that - you're always so organized. Good to check in, it's been a while for me on blogging - this pregnancy is kicking my butt!

Lynita said...

I know exactly how you feel. I have been there so many times. I have too many bad days, I love my children so much, but I am not the best mother. In the end I pray that my children will forgive me my imperfections and teach me how to be a better mother.