Some days of motherhood are easy. The kids listen, the house stays clean, and everyone gets along fabulously.
Then there are bad days. In my house, we either have good days or really, really, bad days. Yesterday was BAD. Very, very, bad.
It all started with me picking up our oldest after school. Instead of going home, giving the kids a snack, and letting them play, I decided to drive into town with the 3 boys in order to accomplish my to-do list. I mean, really, what was I thinking?
"To-do list" and "3 boys" should never be in the same sentence together. Did I really think that my 3 boys, ages 7, 3, and 2 were going to show the same enthusiasm for checking off tasks on my "to-do" list as me? I should have known better.
After filling up a very empty tank at the gas station, we proceeded to the dollar store to by supplies for our oldest son’s teacher. It wasn’t intended as my next stop, but the kids were starving and melting down so I thought they could grab a snack there while I quickly grabbed my items for school.
After running into a school friend and browsing every aisle for anything not chocolate or 100% sugar, we got in line. I was so relieved that we were 2nd in line, except the lady in front of us has a credit card that wasn’t working. So we waited. And waited. And waited. The kids were getting antsy, I was getting sweaty, and the lady in front of me wasn’t going to give up.
The clerk persuaded to get her to go to the end of the line and try again. We finally started scanning our items and that’s when it all came crashing down. I told my oldest to stop bothering his brothers. He told me to stop. I told him to stop telling me to stop in my not so nice mommy voice. He told me to stop AGAIN (yes, my blood was boiling this point). Then 2 year old got upset with our oldest and hit him. Our oldest reacted and hit him back!
Don't worry, this was a very, very bad day. It isn't always like this and I'm sure they will turn out to be very polite and respectable people, not the little neanderthals they were imitating this day. We do teach manners and have read, Hands are not for Hitting a million times. We'll get there.
In the midst of the battle, I hear the clerk say, “Hi Jack.” What? How did she know our youngest son’s name? I look up and realize she is the nursery worker at my church’s MOPS (mothers of preschool children) group. Totally embarrassed, I mutter a quick “Hello” and grab my things. I’m tempted to run, but I try to calmly exit as if I have things under control. Hah!
Now you’d think I would have stopped, right? Oh no, not me. I still haven’t learned 3 kids later. Since the kids were still complaining about starving, I decided we could walk next door to the grocery store and get them a snack. Why? Why would I take 3 kids who have reached their limit into the grocery store? It was the mother lion instinct…must feed kids…must save cubs from starvation!
On our way, melt down #2 started. I grabbed my kids and huffed and puffed through the parking lot to my car. I think I was carrying one or two of them and was practically dragging the other by the hand! Once the kids were all strapped in I proceed to lecture (translate: yell) about their behavior when my oldest quite simply told me, “I can’t talk right now, you’re hurting my ears.”
Ouch… mommy moment of truth. I lost control. I took a deep breath and drove off. I could feel my blood rushing through my veins the whole way home and by the time we pulled into my driveway I could not even remember what had started the whole spiral of events in the first place. I still don’t remember. I just know it was a bad day. A very, very bad day.
Thank goodness they are not all like that.