One of those days…

Attack of the giant toddlers
Image by drake lelane via Flickr

Did you ever have one of those days you knew you shouldn’t get out of bed? Yesterday was one of those, but I did get out- pretty fast, too, as one is wont to do when their five year old is screaming “He’s outside! By Himself! MOMMY! COME QUICK!!!”

That’s right, my three year old went for a stroll next to the major road we live by…he got through two safety gates and a deadbolted door before his trusty sidekick called the Sheriff.

Once I caught up with him (he was still in the yard) I sat him on the steps and said sternly, “W, you cannot go out there by yourself.” Then Girly chimed in, “Yeah, occos you could get hit by a car, or a stranger could take you, or you could get dead and kill yourself and we would never see you again, never ever ever!” Well, I thought. At least SOMEBODY’S paying attention. Although I’ve never voacalized the dangers of the wide world to her, she has their number, all right.

So I took the little guys to school, where they remained until 12:30. When I picked them up, my little escape artist had a fever of 103. I couldn’t remember if we had any fever stuff or popsicles, so on the way home, I stopped at the store. Fever boy had fallen asleep, so I left the 13 year old in charge with the AC running and the doors locked. I don’t do that often, but if it comes down to taking a sick cranky kid into the store or leaving someone legally (12 in Maryland) allowed to stay in the car, I’ll do it.

When I came out, said 13 year old opened the door and started yelling, “I’m so sorry! It was an accident!” Since the car was still there, I couldn’t figure out the problem: until I saw the two foot by six inch crack in the windshield.

Ohhhh, yeah. “What happened?” I asked, striving for a neutral tone. I saw his face, as he struggled the eternal struggle of childhood- to lie or not to lie. Then, he capitulated, and all in a rush said,

I thought for a moment, took a breath and said, “Well, I know you’d never break the windshield on purpose. We’ll get it fixed, it’s no big deal.” SWEET, I thought. I didn’t yell, he told the truth and learned that when you tell the truth, people understand. Not so bad!

Then I called AAA and learned it would cost $250 to replace, and can’t be done until Monday. “I’ll help pay for it,” he said, as I stared beady eyed at him with the phone clutched to my ear.

“That’s OK,” I said grudgingly, feeling like Charlie Brown. After three weeks, the truth is, I miss our other grownup. As used to this as we all are, there comes a point in a tour when we hit a wall.

The rest of the afternoon proceeded in kind…I pulled a teeny rubber ball out of W’s mouth before he choked, pulled an electrical cord out of his mouth before he gnawed more than a quarter of the way through. Monitored squabbles involving shrieking and hair-pulling, wishing we could just all go to the pool and soak our cranky selves. But, with W’s fever, we were stuck.

Then, my parents brought over their aged, mildly incontinent arthritic dog to spend the weekend. I always say yes to this, because I love the dog and I love my parents, but I’ll admit on top of this day, I was feeling a little grinch-ish about the whole arrangement. As I pulled W down off the table for the 8th time and my mom informed me of the dog’s arthritis medicine regimen, I snapped.

“This is the LAST thing I needed,” I huffed. “I can BARELY keep my head above water alone with these three kids, I have to take J to sleepaway camp on Sunday, W escaped this morning and he’s sick, and I am LOSING MY…” Here I stopped, as, as nasty as one can be with one’s mother, one generally tries to avoid cursing.

“I know, sweetie, I know,” said my mom, (Who is a Saint, BTW) patting my shoulder. “It’s a lot to ask. We’ll get out of your way…” and they left, leaving me to feel like the bratty teenager I was just made a resurgence. “Sorry, Mom,” I said as they left, and she hugged me. “Don’t be,” she smiled, and patted my cheek.

An hour later, my phone rang, and she said, “We’re coming over with an extra lock for the door.” Before I could formulate a reply, the doorbell rang, and my parents stood on the doorstep with donuts and a Home Depot bag.

My Dad installed a latch that will surely put a crimp in my little Houdini’s style, while my mom and I and the kids ate donuts. I started about 8 times to try to say how grateful I was, but finally wound up catching my mom’s eye and saying, “Thanks.”
She smiled her beautiful smile and said, “You’re a good mom.”

Not so much yesterday, but at least I have someone to aspire to.:)

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Comments (11)

  1. L.A. Stylist Mom Friday - 31 / 07 / 2009 Reply
    That is SO sweet! You? Amazing. The fact that you were able to hold yourself back from yelling, in that situation, under that kind of stress, is commendable at the very least! My dear friend is married to a musician who has JUST come off of touring, so I know how it is. Your kids are lucky! Hang in there... .-= L.A. Stylist Mom´s last blog ..Currently Coveting The Crap Out Of… =-.
  2. Jo G. Friday - 31 / 07 / 2009 Reply
    I am not reading your blog at work anymore b/c no one likes to see a librarian cry.
  3. Jo G. Friday - 31 / 07 / 2009 Reply
    PS Let me know the next time you need another grownup with donuts. That is a rescue I can manage, sister.
  4. rockrollmama Friday - 31 / 07 / 2009 Reply
    Thanks, you guys.:) You are so lovely. Today is much better, and I'll confess two weeks of sleepaway camp is sounding sa-WEET- he always loves it, and it's the same one I went to as a child, so I know he has a good time. LASM: That's very kind. Usually, I just chalk it up to how we choose to do it, and that there's no sense complaining when it was a very conscious choice to structure our family life this way. But some days, I just go, wow. Thanks for indulging my vent. Jojo- Darn straight, you know I'll take you up on it.:)
  5. Brenda-SeriouslyMama Friday - 31 / 07 / 2009 Reply
    If you need to call and just yell and scream into the phone, I'm here! I won't try and tell you it'll get better or this stuff happens to everyone. I'll just give you a long distance hug and tell you it f'ing sucks to do the single parenting gig. xoxoxo .-= Brenda-SeriouslyMama´s last blog ..Catching up or maybe not. =-.
  6. sarah pekkenen Saturday - 01 / 08 / 2009 Reply
    What a great post -- I can so sympathize with days like that, when it seems like you're just bouncing from one crisis to another, grim and unshowered, wondering if it's too early to try to put the kids to bed at 4 p.m. Thank goodness for your Mom. And thank God for donuts.
  7. Sugar Jones Saturday - 01 / 08 / 2009 Reply
    I have a Houdini kid story. She got all the way across to another neighborhood following some ducks. Our story concluded with helicopters and glaring looks from neighbors. Not so much fun. You are a good mom, girl! Your mom is, too. I got all teary when you wrote about her patting your shoulder and being all understanding. There really aren't too many words to say to someone who has had an upside-down kinda day. Hugs, Mama! .-= Sugar Jones´s last blog ..Sisterhood of the Traveling Bloggers =-.
  8. Megan Saturday - 01 / 08 / 2009 Reply
    Ugh. I know those days. I had one myself right before BlogHer. I'm glad your mom was there with donuts. What a perfect cure. I'm going to try it myself when I have another one of Those Days.
  9. Susan (Trout Towers) Saturday - 01 / 08 / 2009 Reply
    Oh man. We're all there sometimes, huh? .-= Susan (Trout Towers)´s last blog =-.
  10. Stephanie Smirnov Monday - 03 / 08 / 2009 Reply
    Your post made me cry. I lost my mom four years ago and one of the things I miss the most -- deeply, painfully -- is having her to look at me on one of "those days" and tell me (as your mom told you) that I'm a good mother. I'm 42-years old (acccckkkk) and I still need my mom. .-= Stephanie Smirnov´s last blog ..BlogHer Has Funny =-.
  11. Amy Monday - 03 / 08 / 2009 Reply
    You are a good mom and don't you forget it! .-= Amy´s last blog ..With all due respect…part 1 =-.

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