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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Barely Passing

If I were graded daily on motherhood, today I would get a D-. The only thing that would prevent me from getting an F outright would be the fact that I did feed my children today. That has to get me some points, right? But dinner was macaroni and cheese... from a box... and not the Organic kind either. Nope I served my children the day glow orange mac and cheese. And I called it dinner.

Today I yelled at my children. They were fighting and yelling at each other all day long, so it seemed the only sensible thing to do would be to yell right back. I mean I know I listen to someone screaming in the background like a shrew.

Today I told my son that I did not want to hear another Calvin and Hobbes comic recited verbatim when he refuses to even memorize all his multiplication tables, because it makes me crazy that he is wasting his obviously limited precious brain cells on that useless crap. Yes, I said that. Nice, huh? He had a smartassed comeback about calculators and being an underappreciated genius.

Today I let my 1 year old son suck on the bottle of Hershey's syrup he took out of the refrigerator because I just couldn't bear to hear him cry anymore.

Today I held off giving my daughter Tylenol just a wee bit longer than the recommended time, because I was enjoying having her lay on the couch and watch tv for a change rather than climbing on and in everything.

Today I told my daughter, who is two remember, that I would buy her an iPod if she would just pee on the potty, something I have no intention of doing. So that makes me a big fat liar. She is refusing to pee or poop on the potty and is holding it in for incredibly unhealthy amounts of time. I have run out of ideas as the bribing, candy, entertaining and sadly, even yelling are doing nothing. I am worried that she is going to be neurotic one day and her psychiatrist will trace it all back to her potty training days with an uptight mother.

Today I told my nine year old son that I had sent in his entry for a contest he wanted to enter. In reality I had forgotten all about it. My motivation for lying was completely selfish. I didn't want him to be angry at me. Much better for him to think that his entry wasn't good enough, don't you think?

Today I hid in the bathroom with the last piece of pumpkin pie and a tub of Cool Whip because I didn't want to have to share it. I felt such a sense of entitlement to eat that piece of pumpkin pie alone. I'm sure that it isn't healthy.

Today I told my son that I would play Chutes and Ladders with him... later. And I never did. Tonight I walked by the dining room table and saw the game still sitting there ready to play. Being disemboweled with a butter knife could not be as painful.

Today I asked my daughter to do something and she said, "Sorry Mom. I can't. I too busy." She sounded like me. And then my heart shattered into a million pieces.

Today at 5:00pm I decided it was late enough to pour myself a glass of wine.

Finally, today I lied. It was big enough to be three pieces of pie. You know if I had cut it and not eaten with a fork right out of the pie tin with my back pressed up against the bathroom door.


Blogger Sorka said...

Oh dear.. aren't you glad we AREN'T graded on daily performance. Remember you can't do everything..for everyone at once.. but you can do a little bit for each one at a time, and they WILL each get their time. Mabye just not when they want it right away.
Hang in there. You'll get at least a B in the end!

8:22 PM  
Blogger judi said...

"some days are like that, even in australia".

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it wrong that I take a little comfort in the fact that YOU have days like this too???

I have an image of you as a superwoman.
My God, you have more children than me, a bigger house than me and it surely needs more restoring than mine built in 1973....AND YOU HOMESCHOOL!

You are a great mom and you are doing a wonderful job. You just needed a break!
I like to hide in the garage and pretend to be doing laundry.
Then after 5 minutes or so I hear "mooooommmmmmmmmm?????"

They always find me!

8:51 PM  
Blogger aka_Meritt said...

Coffeekid will ONLY read Calvin and Hobbes. He is using it as a study guide as I am the unwilling participant in acting them out most of the time (on his part... I just happen to respond pretty much like Calvins Mom whether I know it or not).

However: Let me say he also repeats them to me. Shows them to me. Reads them to me. I have let him know it really is only funny to the person reading them... but it doesn't work.

But... I figure; at least they're reading!!!!!!!!!!

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Jordana said...

I haven't surveyed all moms out there to know if they all have days/weeks/months like this, but I know I do. I have times when I yell too much, forget my promises, swear I'm not eating the last five pieces of their candy, etc. I hope it will all come right in the end. Very few of us had perfect mothers either and most of us turned out just fine -- if a bit neurotic at times.

9:11 PM  
Blogger TBG said...

Some days are bad and some are good as long as the good outweigh the bad you are doing a great job!

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for making me laugh until I cry!! Also, I just recently got back online after my computer crashed...I was reading through some posts from last month and noticed your Forty before Forty list...if you are serious about the knitting and you live close enough, me and three girlfriends meet Monday nights at a coffee shop for a "Stitch and Bitch" knitting night. You are welcome to join us for a lesson! It's in Enfield. For all that you take on with 7 kids and a big home, I give you an A+! Some days my two little ones seem like too much to handle!

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post has only stirred more admiration and loyalty to you and your blog. Your bad day is my bad day and since you are still a good mother, that means so am I. And boy, does that give me hope and a sense of vaildation!

10:04 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Actually, it's healthy for a child to have a fever, as long as it isn't too high. Burns out the bad germs, don't you know, and makes them WANT to REST, which is what they need in the first place! Right? So you GET brownie points for holding off on the Tylenol, not LOSE them! :)

10:09 PM  
Blogger deputyswife said...

Thank you.

Yesterday, I yelled at my kids like a crazed woman. I let my two year old lick the cool whip container because he wasn't crying while licking. I threatened to call Santa back because he made a mistake stopping here. I made my three year old sit in poopy pants because he used to poop in the potty, but has suddenly changed his mind on the potty thing. So sitting in poopy pants seemed like the most likely option, right?

And I felt like I was alone. I have been reading here for awhile now, and I think you are a great mom. Since my day yesterday was compariable to yours today, that might make me semi-great. Right? So, thank you for making me feel not so alone...

I hope tomorrow is better and here is wishing for school to start soon...

12:48 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

I had days like that when my sons were younger, and I only had two of them! I think you should get an A just for having that many kids.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

For heaven's sake, don't berate yourself for having what is an average day here. It would mean I'm consistently "performing below ability." Skulking off to my bedroom now to eat the secreted potato chips.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous blairzoo said...

Well.....hate to break the news to you, but you aren't alone in ANY of those "wrongdoings". Welcome to the reality of motherhood. Not the kind you read about in books like "Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Children." You are still showing up for them every day and they know it.

One word of advice.....bag the potty training. She is probably just not ready yet. Who says all kids need to train right when they turn 2? Some of mine didn't train until they were over 3, and when they did, it was no work at all. When the child decides they WANT to train then it's a cake walk. No asking them every 20 mintues, changing clothes 12 times a day, no bribes, no nothing. Don't forget she's your first girly to potty train and it's a different game. Put her back in dipes and let it go for awhile. Maybe this summer when she's running around naked every day (at least mine do that all day!), see if she wants the panties. Save what's left of your precious energy for eating that's important!!!!!

8:31 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

Calvin and Hobbes? "Useless crap"? Okay... Everybody just stay calm here...

Oh, and you still seem better than my mom.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I'm not a Mom, but I can tell you without being one, that you can't be a bad Mom if you know those things weren't necessarily great and tomorrow will be a better day. Sometimes we just have 'off' days... and that's okay.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Mel said...

I'm seeing a theme here: 2 days after Christmas, all heck breaks loose in a household. I yelled at my kids so loud and long that I was actually foaming at the mouth. And then my throat hurt afterward. And I don't yell at my kids.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous pj said...

Oh, don't we all love days like that. The fact that you want to do better the next day shows that you are a good mom and that you do at least love your children.

And I'm sure they woke up happy today, not remembering the bad things from yesterday (unless they have bruises, or bleeding, that is)

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

God I suck!!
Your "Barely Passing" day is my everyday...minus 5 kids.
You Rock~~!!!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Your nine-year-old actually sounds a lot LIKE Calvin, what with that comment about his unrecognized genius, etc. And also, this is why I hate the holidays now - the post holiday letdown is such a crap time for the family. Hang in there.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now - you crack me up! I'm a mom of six girls, and I have these days weekly...sometimes many in a row!

I've BTDT with the games too. :( It makes us feel terrible, doesn't it?

Somedays I just get so sick of hearing MOM! every 5 seconds...this a.m. I was actually yelling at 6 a.m. because my daughter was throwing a fit for potato chips for breakfast. Many mornings, I give in, then I get mad at myself for yelling at her for asking, when she's thinking she'll get it the next time. Ugh!

11:26 AM  
Blogger tender arts said...

I am commenter #21 so you may not even read this, but I have been enjoying your blog for about a month now, and I think you are doing a great job. Everbody has days like that with kids. It is an eternal verity. And, hell yeah, you deserve all the pumpkin pie and Cool Whip you can get your hands on! And since I know you LOVE un-asked for advice, I agree with Blairzoo on the potty training thing. It's like trying to teach a 6 month old how to walk. You just can't do it, but she will do it herself...when she's ready! (I know- I used to hate to hear that, but it is so true.) Here's wishing you a fun and happy day today!

11:49 AM  
Blogger speckledpup said...

OMIGOD! You're real!
All this time I thought you were super mom.
Glad you took off your cape and ate some pie.

Welcome to my world.

12:02 PM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

Awww, Chris, you just need a tiny bathroom break with the pumpkin pie. Kids get a little insane around christmas, of course it rubs off on us. You are a WONDERFUL AMAZING mother. I am positive of that. Your kids won't remember these moments, they will remember all the great memories you have given them. Hugs.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for all the nice comments. I'm feeling slightly less bad about eating all the pie.

I assure you, pj, that no one was bruised or bleeding. Yikes! I said I was barely passing not narrowly escaping prison.

the "Stitch and Bitch" sounds fun, but alas Enfield is as far away from me as you could get and still be in the same state.

re potty training : my daughter won't wear diapers. She will use the potty but just holds it in for SO long. Rob bought her M&Ms and lollipops last night so all day today she has been peeing for the candy.

well, thank God.

tender arts,
I read every comment! Just usually don't get around to responding.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

You've know you've got a big hug and a virtual bottle of wine from me...Sophia's been crying for what seems like 4 days nonstop. First, it's because I won't let her pick my nose, then it's because I acidentally poked her in the eye while combing her hair. And there's only one of her!!! You're doing a GREAT job...

3:50 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

I am sorry you had a stressful day, but so grateful that you wrote about it. Just hearing that someone else has days like that is helpful!

The game playing thing is a ditto, as well as snuffing out recitals about Star Wars Return of the Sith or a verbal reenactment of an accident between 2 Hot Wheels cars.

Tomorrow is another day!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Nap Queen said...

I don't have kids, but if I did, I think I would aspire to the things your write about in this post. Sounds like you're doing a great job with creative solutions to the problems! The Hershey's bottle is GENIUS!

5:54 PM  
Blogger The Movie Monkey said...

I'm not a parent (yet) but I know my mother had days like that and I still love her. But if I ever found out she was sneaking pumpkin pie in the bathroom, that'd have been it. I'd have run away.

Just kidding. I have been known to sneak pumpkin pie myself. Luckily, I only have to hide it from my wife. ;)

5:58 PM  
Blogger DollyMama said...

Sorry you had a bad day...

but I'm relieved to know that I am not the only mother who has days like this!

8:34 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

All of us moms have our "D" days. Sometimes more than I would like. I laughed out loud at your post, because I can relate so much.. Thanks for being so honest!

12:19 AM  
Blogger B.E.C.K. said...

I read this after I read your latest post, and I'm laughing. I can so relate. Of course, no matter how many wonderful things I do, my son's day can turn into "the worst ever" if I take time for myself (note to self: try eating pie in the bathroom), so what's a mom to do? You're awesome in my book. Thanks for sharing this. :-)

2:50 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Ah, this is so familiar!

I'm so glad I read this last night. But I couldn't comment then because...

I had promised my little girl I would lay down with her just as soon as the baby was asleep...and there he was, asleep in my arms whilst I was reading your comment about being "disemboweled with a butter knife could not be as painful." And I legged it up the stairs as fast as I could to go give her a cuddle before she fell asleep and I'd broken a promise to her.

So thank you.

You know you're a good mum (sorry, I'm English) because you feel bad. If you weren't a good mum you wouldn't have noticed.

6:35 PM  
Blogger JustMomma said...

You are a totally terrific mom, and I wish I had as much grace as you....

Tell the hub you'll be back in a few (hours...), call your best bud and go out for coffee and some complete silliness (much needed and totally deserved).

mom to 5- and 6- year-olds with terminal holiday psychosis (I am soooo glad the holidays are over for a while!)

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Alecia said...

You usually make me laugh and think and even a bit jealous when I see glimpses of your beautiful house. But today I cried. Thank you for being honest, especially about the pie. ;)

Nice touch on the Good MOther Day too. Very nice.

9:54 PM  
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5:06 PM  

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