Those days. You know the ones. You’re out of creamer, you oversleep and everyone coordinates the day to get out of bed on the wrong side. They then proceed to bicker and argue and antagonize each other (and the dog) until the moment they walk out the door to go to school.
Yep, that’s me. Right now. Right smack dab at the end of a really rotten one. I’m sitting on the couch calming myself down so I don’t scream. I hate being screamed at. But that’s what my first instinct is to do. I hate yelling. I hate being angry.
My dear daughter decided it would be funny to put her pajama pants in the toilet to pretend she had peed her pants. This was after she’d put half a tube of toothpaste into the sink to see what an “ice-cream swirl of toothpaste” would look like. For. The. Second. Time. Today. It’s not like I’m not paying attention. I’m not sitting on the couch watching TV. I’m doing homework with one kid, while the other one is “going to the bathroom”. Or so I thought.
I was given a bit of parenting advice when my first was just a few months old. It was that “whatever you do, you have to live with the consequences; good, bad, or indifferent.” At the time, the issue of our days was whether or not to co-sleep. With our son – it’s worked out beautifully. He is now six and sleeps like a champ, often going to bed on his own. We thought the day would never come when we were in the midst of mattresses on the floor and playing bed-switcharoo for a few years. We have friends whose kids (the same age) say, “I’m tired. I’m going to bed. Goodnight!” and will promptly walk upstairs and go to bed. Our kids have NEVER done this. Some may say we created this with our choice to co-sleep. But now, while he likes someone to lay with him until he falls asleep, he goes out very quickly and without a big to-do.
Our lovely little girl, on the other hand, is having a real rough time of it. We do our normal routine, dinner, baths, teeth brushing, stories, etc. But once it’s time to head to dreamland, she throws the biggest fits – needing a drink, needing something more to eat…anything to prolong the actual act of sleeping. It’s wearing on me. Big time. We then usually receive a wake up call around midnight or 1 a.m. We’ve been walking her back to bed, and she’ll go back to sleep, but it usually involves tears and crying.
I have patience (and have learned not to pray for more!) and most days it’s manageable. We are going on about 2 months of this. Looking at the big picture – we’ve had some big upheavals in our world (moving, starting 5-day a week preschool, etc.) and I am sure that has a lot to do with it. But with no real basis of comparison (Jake being entirely different) I wonder if some of her behavior is just normal 4 year old girl stuff. Either way, it’s rough.
Parental confession: Rotten days suck. It makes me question everything. I know in my head, it’s just a bad day. I know that there will be better days. When these days occur, I tend toward thinking that the volume and quantity of tantrums is directly correlated to my parenting skills. It’s not rational. I know that if a friend confessed this to me, I would instantly remind her that we ALL have bad days – even our little ones. So I remind myself that in fact, this too shall pass. It’s just a bad day.
What is your parental confession? How do you cope with the life stuff that drives you bonkers and makes you want to scream? Please share, raise a glass of wine and we can toast each other’s rotten days!