Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We had a hard day

Captain Adventure got up at 4:35 this morning, and he has been happy for precisely 39 seconds between then and now.

Yeah, OK, I’m exaggerating.

It was 40 seconds, and I know it.

These are the times when his speech delay becomes not merely ‘bothersome’ or ‘a little troubling’, but accelerates right into pisses me off.

And with that, I fully admit to being a rotten parent. I actually get mad at my son because he doesn’t really know how to communicate in words yet. I looked at him late this afternoon, as he rolled around on the floor yowling like a wounded animal and refusing to look at me, and I thought…What the @*^&@ is the MATTER with you?!

I stepped over his writhing form, paused to pat his back (which he did not appreciate, because could I not see that he was being MAD right now?!) and said, “Hooookay, let me know how that works out for you. When you’re ready to TALK TO ME, I’ll be right over here.”

Then I sat down nearby and attempted to pretend the sound of his yowling wasn’t like a thousand nails on the chalkboard of my soul. It remains the fastest way to snap him out of these fits; attempts to coddle him only make it worse, while a heapin’ plateful of ignoring him tends to bring him sniffling over for a cuddle sooner.

Although ‘sooner’ is a relative term. Five minutes having your soul ripped apart by a thousand fingernails may technically be ‘sooner’ than half an hour spent arguing with someone about a parking space, but it doesn’t feel that way.

I often find myself lying awake at night wondering who on earth thought it was a good idea to put all these children into my care without supervision. I have no qualifications, I have no training, no hard-earned skills. Shouldn’t somebody have stopped me, shouldn’t someone have given me a test at the hospital and then said, “Oops, sorry, kids are too advanced for you – have you thought about fostering kittens instead?”

I’m making this “parenting” crap up as I go along. And then I have hard days and I question what I thought I was doing having even one, let alone FOUR. I can’t juggle four! How many times did Boo Bug have to ask for things today, how long did she have to wait for even simple things because I was dealing with a pissy little brother?

I’m pretty sure other moms are better at this stuff than me. I bet they don’t snap, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak ‘whiny child’! Can you say that again in plain, un-whiny English?!” at their five year old when she starts whining about the milk you said you’d get her ten minutes ago, before her brother went into super-nuclear-melt-down mode.

I bet the little brother never goes into super-nuclear-melt-down mode to begin with, too.

Also they don’t pull a napkin out of the drawer when they get slimed by an overly enthusiastic kiss from their toddler and realize that it is positively stiff with…something bright yellow…or go to make themselves a nice salad and THEN realize that they put the salad into the crockpot with the roast and that what they left in the drawer are the braising greens (yuck!).

And they certainly don’t then decide that leftover birthday cake will simply have to do. Stale leftover birthday cake. With icing so hard it could break a tooth.

No. It was not the best of days around here today.

But at the same time, all my kids are still speaking to me – even Captain Adventure, who grudgingly admitted to an ‘owie’ in his mouth [throat] and found his happy again once bubblegum-flavored Tylenol was administered.

So I guess I’m doing OK, overall.

Until tomorrow, when I’ll probably mess it all up yet again.

At least the cake is finally all gone.

On a related note… ice cream counts as a dairy serving, right…?

14 comments:

PipneyJane said...

((((((((Tama))))))))

You're a good mum, really. And I think you're handling Captain Adventurer's speach delay in exactly the right way. He knows words. He understands you. He just needs the trigger to formulate sentences on his own.

You know those times when kids (and adults) say, "I'm hungry/bored/tired/whatever" with an expectant look on their faces but never actually state what they want? My friend Kate has the perfect answer, "Is there a question attached to that?".

- Pam

Rabbitch said...

Yes, you're a terrible mom. You must have learned it from me.

Last night I informed my child that if there was any food garbage on the floor of her room when I got home from work this morning that I would have to leave again, because I can't live in a house with food garbage on the bedroom floors.

Yes. I am now giving a 7-year-old separation issues.

But there is no food garbage on her floor, and by the time she gets around to signing up for therapy I'll have Alzheimer's anyhow, so really, it's a win.

Siercia said...

Hee. "I don't speak Whiny" is a pretty common response in our house too.

So if you're a terrible mom, I'm right there in the boat with you!

Mrs. H said...

You're not a terrible mom. A terrible mom would be out drinking alcoholic beverages by the gallons and pickin' up creepy, smelly guys named Rat and Thug while her kids stayed at home alone with nothing (not even a piece of stale birthday cake) to eat. :)

Steph Bolinger said...

Oh lord, I hate days like that. And no, you are not a horrible mom - or at least if you are, the club is really big! :-) Hang in there.

21stCenturyMom said...

Hey - what doesn't kill them makes them stronger and I'm pretty sure stale caked falls in there somewhere.

I can't even count the number of times I felt like I should have my parenting license revoked. Oh wait.... never mind.

Lisa T said...

Around here the response is 'I don't hear you if you whine'

Even worse, if they whine 'I want...' the response is 'how does it feel to want'

My seventeen year old got in trouble once at school for his use of sarcasm (no kidding) Got into trouble with me when he told the school it was all my fault for raising him with such liberal use of it

Yarnhog said...

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry and I think I'm doing both.

Oh, man, we've all been there. More than once. I consider it a good day if I make it into the relative privacy of the bathroom before I start swearing at God for giving me children. Whom I love. And who turn a fairly sane and normal woman into a raving, screaming lunatic on a daily basis.

My husband says, if you're worried about the job you're doing, you're doing a good job. And he should know: he had one parent who abandoned him as a baby and one who abused him his entire childhood. In the face of that, a little parental impatience is pretty forgivable.

Tola said...

eat 2 bowls of ice cream, make sure the kids g et some too, and realize that youre doing just as good as anyone else. i admire families with more than one child, because i know there's a good reason God only gave me one!

Kristin said...

"I don't speak whiny-child" is one of the best things I've ever heard and I am going to use it. I believe it is impossible to deal with a child tantruming/whiny without losing your sense of humour a little bit.
Also anyone who has all the parenting answers likely is lacking something somewhere else.

MadMad said...

And pie counts as a fruit! Not sure how I found you in the first place, oh so many posts ago, but am so happy I did - you mommy like I do: madly. (Which might rhyme with badly, but isn't exactly the same thing, is it?) You know what's sad? When I first started reading the post I thought, "Gee, I got up at 4:30 and have also had 39 happy seconds since..." Course you were talking about your son, and I, well, am 40 and should be a bit more mature... ah well. Anyway - hope today is going better!

Beth in WI said...

Right with you, especially the why-on-earth-four-kids part. I do love them. Just not usually at the same time.

My grandmother told me the other day that every parent makes it up as they go along. As a Cancer I can't tell you how scary that sounded!

terena said...

How many times have I yelled at my daughter for being deaf? Makes me feel awful every time, especially since she IS DEAF. But we do it cause we're human and sometimes we've had enough. You love you kids, they adore you, and you are an awsome mom. In fact, you have super power mom powers. Able to juggle four children while keeping your sanity (overall. I didn't say all the time). Love you sis.

Suzanne Day said...

I can totally relate to your 4am wake up call, kids kissing each other with goey foody bits and the irrational crying and whining that goes on every time I see them.

Yes you love them, but every day you will need to remind yourself, otherwise you'd go out the window...