Friday, June 27, 2014
the birth of a bad attitude
We’ve been living with some really gritty moods around here.
I can’t say really that it’s one person over another who is struggling the most. We’ve all been a bit on edge.
Of course it is easy to see how the mood travels through the family, like some kind of virulent bug eating away at our ability to be happy and enjoy our summer together:
Enter the preschooler, who once again, is up in the middle of the night. She’s just decided that sleeping is just so very boring and wouldn’t mommy and daddy like to read her a book. Or give her a back rub. Or even watch a little TV. And so both she and momma and daddy are tired the next day. Now tiredness in itself, is not a reason to be crabby. Usually. Caffeine and breakfast go a long way to restoring both mom and dad. But…
Since the preschooler is tired from her late night romp-about, she isn’t very tolerant of her bossy older sister. Instead she nags and screams and looks for fights. Finally older sister takes the bait, and lashes out in some way. Maybe a push, maybe a broken toy, but something big enough to send her off to tattle for the fourteenth time of the morning.
Enter tired momma half-heartedly ready to referee. Again. And she sides with the little one, since after all, the older one should really know better. This of course is perceived as inhumanly unfair, and stomping, screaming, and door-slamming are sure to follow. A little time in her room where she plots and plans and schemes, possibly even packs a suitcase in case running away should become an appealing option.
I feel a mutiny underway…
Enter the ten year old. Who instead of completing his schoolwork, has been sneakily sifting through the playroom, looking for long lost toys, and effectually postponing his much dreaded long division assignment. Just yesterday he located a silver sandal, and this morning has recovered a golden chain.
Now tired momma is starting to get suspicious, since after all, she was not indeed born yesterday. Certainly these things are not just sitting around, he is actively looking for them! Ten year old is at once questioned, and strongly encouraged NOT to lie, and reminded thus of the consequences should he be found guilty of lying to his mother. Reluctantly, he confesses to “mostly doing school work and a little looking in the playroom.”
Humph! Tired momma is starting to become cranky momma. “Get your school work done!” is said more than a half dozen times in two hours.
Enter the nine year old. Nine year old who has been bickering with older sister all morning. Who had to eat breakfast alone outside because he could not stop himself from being mean. And who is now complaining about doing chores. Again. And who, in his infinite nine year old wisdom, is acting mediator in another of the girls fight, which is breaking out right now.
Yes. Really another fight. This one involves hair pulling and scratching, and tired, nearly cranky momma is more than a little hesitant to get involved. Probably because of the aforementioned hair pulling and scratching. Finally after shoes start flying through the air, mom swoops in with her head ducked, spanks the squirming four year old bottom, and puts her in the bedroom for a much needed “time-out”. “Feel free to come out when you are ready to be sweet” is muttered behind clenched teeth while, “Go ahead and try throwing shoes in my house again!” is running through the brain.
Now it’s time for business. The real deal. Enter dad.
Mom has to call dad. Because if she doesn’t, someone is going to get thrown out a window. Tired nearly cranky momma has crossed over into a new realm: I’ve had it up to here! momma. What mom really wants to do is pour herself a glass of wine and lock herself in the laundry room. It is, after all, the only room on the main floor with a lock on it.
Somehow, someway, Dad always seems to get things back under control. He calms down mom and gently reminds her that she doesn’t want to go to prison for throwing her children out the window. And someday, this will just be another funny memory we have of raising our kids. We may even get to use it when our kids are grown and raising their own brood of trouble makers. We’ll be laughing it up then, he says.
Ok. That’s right. You got this momma. Make some sandwiches, finish another load of laundry, and get those kids down for a nice long nap. We’ll go out for dinner and everything is going to be ok. You can even have that glass of wine and won’t have to lock yourself in any room to enjoy it.
And you better get to sleep early tonight…
Because you just never know what craziness you will have to repeat tomorrow!
*Just to be clear, no child of mine will ever be thrown out a window.