I don't say this to brag, I just want to make it clear: I have really great kids (just look at that face-squishing hug above). They are so nice, thoughtful, fun, funny, friendly, and helpful. And so many other great things. Me on the other hand ...well, I try. I don't want to put myself down to sound like I'm fishing for compliments, but I am aware of some of my short-comings. And I am always working on becoming better. And Camaron: perfect. He's the best dad ever. Nothing more to say on that. But most of the time, it's just me home with the kids. Well, Camaron might actually be alone with them just as much, but I have the afternoons and evening usually. The time of day when we're all just tired. And worn out. And patience is just really hard to find sometimes.
I guess what I'm getting at with all of this information is that last night was just bad.
It was the perfect storm of no naps for either kid, my schedule/routine just being off from not working that day, me also being tired, and just the normal stress of being a mom. Most of the afternoon was fine. We played, watched shows, ate, played with forts, cleaned up ...and then it was time for bed.
Sloane went right down (she's a pro at her bedtime routine). Fox didn't. Something went wrong (maybe something I said, or the whole no nap thing?) and he just stopped functioning like a rational person altogether. He was all ready for bed, laying with his head on his pillow when the tantrum started. I couldn't help at all. He wanted to answer a question I had asked (The question was "what are some nice things you do for others?" in reference to the scripture we had read together), but whenever I said "ok, go ahead" he just said "I don't know." And whenever I tried to say or do anything else, he got upset and brought up that he wanted to answer the question. But again, "I don't know." And he wouldn't let me help him answer. So eventually, I told him I had to leave. "But I want to answer the question!!" I was in a pickle. And it was making me angry. This kid needed to go to sleep! Why wouldn't he just say something when I let him answer the question?! I wanted to go eat my dinner! Uggh!
I quickly became scary, angry mama. Patience: long gone.
It wasn't pretty. I became rude and not helpful at all. I didn't yell, but my voice was scary. Basically, I would never want an adult to ever see me like this. And it made me even angrier that I was being this way with Fox. He didn't deserve that. But I had basically lost it and it was too late.
I was finally able to leave with him not running after me, so I could cool down by myself. I don't know how, but I quickly became myself again. I calmed down and felt better. Fox had gotten quiet. I suspected he fell asleep. I thought of just leaving it at that, because he was asleep. I had met my goal. But why was that my goal? Shouldn't my goal at the end of the day be more than just enduring until the kids go to bed? So I went back in there*.
I laid down next to him and he turned toward me and smiled. How did he forget how mean I just was so quickly? I asked him what his favorite part of today was. He started jabbering about the feast they had earlier that day in preschool to celebrate Thanksgiving. Then we talked about our family's Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday. We discussed who would be there (Bowski isn't invited "because he knocks everybody down," according to Fox). We talked about the foods we would eat. We talked about daddy and Sloane. We giggled, hugged, gave back scratches, and said good night. It was wonderful.
I wish there was a switch in my brain that I could flip that would keep scary angry mama from appearing ever again. I really do. But at least I know that if/when she does, I am incredibly blessed to have kids who don't hold grudges. Who quickly move on and love with their whole hearts. Who hug and give good night kisses. I want to be more like them:)
*he still sleeps in our room. But not in our bed anymore. We put a mattress on the ground for him. Baby steps.