Today is shaping up to be one of those days. One of those days in which my caffeine addiction, something I usually revel in, turns on me because I’m a bit overstimulated, underfed, and the nerves are being worked over like the concrete under a jackhammer.
I’ve been a bit snarky all week, so I decided that was going to make a concerted effort to be more patient, and just try to enjoy the day-to-dayness of summer at home (i.e. the mind-numbing monotony of dishes, laundry, refereeing, disciplining, and butt-wiping).
It didn’t bode well for me when both girls were awake and upset at 4:00 (that would be a.m.). I’ve been having trouble sleeping, so I hadn’t even thought about sleep until 3:30. Anyhoo, it is completely unusual for both of them to be awake in the middle of the night like that. We brought them both to our bed (a family first for us), and they laid there peacefully, but awake, for about 40 minutes. Then they started to get antsy and back their beds they both went. And they both cried. For what seemed like for*freaking*ever. I finally pleaded with John to get up with them since he was getting up in less than an hour for work anyway (or so I assumed. It was light outside and the clock said it was 5-something). Because he’s great like that, he did. He put on cartoons, made them cereal and left for work. I woke at 7:45ish, but didn’t get out of bed for nearly an hour. I didn’t hear much movement in the next room, so I assumed at least one of them were asleep. Nope. Both awake since 4 a.m.
Morning was actually shaping up fine, so I decide to invite my mother-in-law, who I adore, over for dinner tonight because she’s leaving for FL in two days and we won’t see her for about a month. It’s time for lunch and that is when Super L absolutely loses it. First of all, she gets 7 kinds of p*ssed because she’s peed all over her Little Mermaid dress. This is the fourth time in two days she has shed her pull up without telling me, and then peed on herself or the furniture. I am not happy. Yes, I realize potty training is in order, and we’re working on it. But I’m soooo not the mommy to sit with my kid every moment of the day and ask her if she has to pee and escort her to the potty every 10-15 minutes. This is the price I pay for letting Laura-The Best Babysitter Ever-potty train my eldest. And she did it in, like, 2 days.
Next, she loses it because I will not accommodate her desire to have four different varieties of drinks at all times (milk, water, apple juice, and V8). Ain’t happening. I don’t event think she has that many sippy cups anymore. But she wants juice (which she’s not getting until she finishes her chocolate milk) so she plants herself in front of the fridge and proceeds to whine, “mooooooooooooooom, mooooooooooooooom, mooooooooooooooooooom for the next 15 minutes. It’s lunch time, so I must physically move her every time I need to get into the fridge. She is falling to pieces by the second. And so am I. Have you ever been in such a exasperated state that even good things annoy the heck out of you? I actually found myself aggravated because there was *too much* food in the fridge and everything I needed was waaaayyyy in the back.
Now, she is an excellent eater, and eats just about everything and refuses almost nothing. I cannot open the fridge without her standing in front of it and insisting she be given whatever her eyes land upon, whether it is relevant to the meal we are having or not. Today’s lunch menu was the girls’ favorite-tomato soup and grilled cheese. (I told you I was trying to be good). All I needed out of the fridge was milk, butter and cheese. Super L, however, caught a glimpse of the grapes that are still in the produce drawer and completely flips out because I won’t give her any.
I know what you’re thinking: Geez lady, you refused your poor kid apple juice and grapes? What kind of mother refuses grapes and juice in favor of chocolate milk and grilled cheese? Um, I am that kind of mother. Because I am sick-n-tired of washing the same five sippy cups 48 times a day, and I still don’t have the dishwasher installed, so cut me some slack, okay? And the last thing I want to do is clean and de-stem grapes when I’m trying not to burn the grilled cheese and overcook the tomato soup (which has milk in it). It was all going to be done by the time the grapes would have been ready anyway. But I was aggravated at myself because I’ve been looking at those grapes for 3 days now, telling myself I needed to wash and de-stem them so they’d be ready to go if/when requested. I didn’t do it, and I paid the price for it. Imagine my galley style kitchen and Super L lying on the floor right in the spot where I need to be, still moaning “mooooooooooooooooommmmmm, mooooooooooooooooooommmm, moooooooooooooooom” nonstop. And really, who doesn’t want to stir and serve piping hot tomato soup while their moaning, groaning, whining toddler wipes the floor beneath their feet with her hair. It was a fine, fine moment in our home, let me tell you. The only thing I could have imagined to make it more ironic/hilarious/unbearable would have been to have a certain relative,* someone for whom these girls can do no wrong, call and tell me what sweet angels they are and how much she misses them. Shyeah. Ok.
*[Sidenote: I adore this woman too, and she has had her eyes opened a bit in the recent past in terms of how difficult Little Miss G can get sometimes. However I’m quite certain she’s never seen *this* side of Super L. I only mention this relative because there have been times before when she’s telephoned while I was in in the heat of battle with my children, and after being given all the details, she tells me how wonderful they are, and it makes me just want to flip my freaking lid. I know she means well, I know she loves me, and I know she loves my kids, and believe me when I say that this woman has been an irreplaceable source of support for me and our family at our most difficult times. I love her. But sometimes I want sympathy for myself, not for the “precious angels.” Know what I mean?].
So 10 minutes later lunch is served and Super L is suddenly a different child. She’s happily slirping down her soup, dripping it on her bare belly, and Little Miss G is also on her best behavior. Things are calming down. But I can’t. The ‘ole nerves are a bit raw now, and my ire is directed toward the Charter Cable’s ’80s music selection on the music channel. Right now, I’m needing a little INXS, a bit of vintage U2, maybe some Howard Jones, Thompson Twins, or Duran Duran. What do I get? Crackhead Whitney Houston singing about “The Greatest Love of All.”
Okay, not only do I despise this song, but it is the biggest fricking load of crap. Like all I need right now is a little parenting guilt trip. All I have to do is “teach [Super L] well, and let her lead the way”? Really? To where? Total meltdowns on the kitchen floor? No thanks, I have my meltdowns semi-privately on the phone to my husband, over cocktails with girlfriends, or in the laundry room where they belong thankyouverymuch. “Give [her] a sense of pride to make it easier.” What is this ubiquitous *it* that Whitney sings of? Like if Super L felt she deserved simultaneous servings of juice, milk, juice, and water , it would “make it easier” for her to whine [talk] me into giving it to her? Seriously.
And while I’m at it, I really doubt that learning to love yourself is as “easy to achieve,” as Whit says. Like heck it is. Just so you all know, if Super L grows up and has self-esteem issues (and all girls do in one form or another), it’s going to be my fault because I wouldn’t let her have grapes and apple juice 3 minutes before lunch on July 24, 2008. And because I let her wipe her own head on the floor in the midst of her stubborn, unreasonable tantrum. Yep, this will be the root of it all. It’s all downhill for poor Super L from here. Mark my words.
And for the record, I’m virtually certain that loving yourself is not “The Greatest Love of All.” Puh-leze. As if anything we could feel for ourselves, good or bad, could ever compare to what God feels for us. God has that contest won with no competition whatsoever. Come to think of it, thinking we could love ourselves as much as God loves us is about as narccissitic an expression of self-love as I could imagine.
So, what’s the point? Well, here it is. Being a mommy is fulfilling, and wonderful, and gratifying, yes, yes, yes. But being fed up with your own “darlings” is perfectly normal and fine as well, and anyone who doesn’t think so can suck it. And Whitney Houston can suck it. Twice.
And I’d be a remiss if I didn’t show you this and admit, that yeah, they *are* angels, too.
I didn’t take my brains out and start playing with them, so score one for me today. Then again, it’s still relatively early. At any rate, I gotta go de-stem some dang grapes.