Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 4 marks the return of Mean Mommy

Today's challenge, had it stood apart from the others, would have been relatively easy to accomplish; but for the fact that I still was incorporating the previous days' challenges, I must admit, I failed miserably.

Today we were to contact our spouse and ask them how they were doing (Steve and I do this several times a day anyway, so this was no big deal). I knew he had dropped off a bunch of shirts at the dry cleaners last week, so I asked if he wanted me to pick them up.

"That would be great! Thanks, Baby," he said.

So, I went and picked up his shirts, no problem. This is an area of our marriage in which we excel. We've always talked several times day and are usually very courteous and helpful if one of needs the other to run an errand. My failure today came in the treatment--or shall I say mistreatment--of my children, especially Carly.

Carly is two and 3/4 and she requires a lot of attention. Unlike the other two, who are perfectly content to play by themselves without incident, Carly needs almost constant companionship and supervision--she commands it. If she doesn't get it, then she sets out to do anything and everything in her power to achieve it.

After going to the dry cleaners, I took Carly to the grocery store, where, of course, she wanted to ride in one of those awful carts that has the plastic car on the front. (Whomever invented these things needs some serious counseling because only a sick individual would put these contraptions out for public consumption.) I tried to shop quickly before Carly got restless. By the time we got to checkout she had five-fingered a bag of Puff 'n Corn, a box of Ho Hos and some tampons. I took a deep breath and returned everything, with the exception of the Puff 'n Corn which she clung to for dear life when I tried to pry it from her hands. When we wheeled out to the car, I opened the door to the minivan so she could get inside and she darted out the other side of the plastic car and ran out into the parking lot. I screamed at her to come back, but she just started laughing this sinister laugh and running away. I was fearful she would get hit by a car, but she was oblivious to any potential harm. I finally grabbed her and dumped her unceremoniously into her car seat.

Things got worse. All afternoon she was getting into everything and destroying stuff around the house. While I was putting groceries away, she was pulling crackers out of the pantry and dumping them on the floor. She got into the refrigerator and opened up container after container of yogurt which she proceeded to dump, half empty into the kitchen sink. I left the room for a minute and came back to find she had stabbed a banana with a paring knife--I don't know if I should have perceived that as a threat or not, but I was exasperated. At one point, she had gone into my sewing room and removed all of the spools of thread from my sewing cabinet and was stringing them around my bedroom. When I tried to get the thread from her, she took off running and dumped the evidence along the way, all with her signature semi-evil laugh.

By the time we went to get Sophie and Max from school, I had had it. Carly had taken off running around the courtyard at school (a no-no) and the other two were chasing after her. I stood defeated. After we got home it did not take long for Mean Mommy to emerge. I was putting lunch bags away and going through folders, when Max and Carly appeared in the kitchen without any clothes on. Little piles of clothes and kid funk started to appear all over the house. I started screaming. I'm pretty sure at one point that my head spun around and pea soup was shooting out of my mouth and nose. I yelled and yelled and yelled. By the time I was done I was exhausted and the kids were just ignoring me--it seems they have gotten used to my rants, even though I had provided them a few days of respite.

I felt horrible. I felt as if I had just undone all that I had accomplished thus far in the Love Dare Challenge. I apologized, but I'm not sure that was enough. All Carly had wanted was to spend time with me. I realized if I didn't change this pattern of behavior that soon none of my children will want to be around me. I don't want to live life that way. I really need to do better here.

I am praying for a good Day 5.

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