Posted by pamelazimmer
I am officially asking, requesting, for a do-over. You know, the kind like when you’re little and young and you’re home sick with the flu and the only thing that makes you feel better is to play Chutes and Ladders with your Mom, and you botch the spin on the wheel and ask for a do-over because if you didn’t you would land on the spot that would send you flying back down the ladder all the way to the bottom. Yeah, that kind of do-over.
It was bath night tonight, and though usually bath night is on Sunday, we had an “event” last night (“event” meaning a party with a bunch of other families and everyone was having such a great time and behaving so well that we pushed it a bit and stayed out late) and didn’t get home until almost 9 (yes, 9 is late when you have kids that go to bed at 7), almost 2 hours past the boys’ bedtime. So, bath night was tonight – which was okay because I had been planning on it, and they weren’t so filthy going an extra day wasn’t a big deal.
Brayden is at the age when he is really testing me. At least that’s what I’m calling it. Zack is at the age when he knowingly does something to piss me off bother me. Tonight, it was Brayden that had me all in a tizzy, which makes me sad because that means he’s growing up (and learning to be oh so clever and smart from his clever and smart big brother…)!
Anyway, in the bath, the boys are soaped up and rinsed off and just playing. They typically play well together, so that wasn’t the issue. The issue (along with not listening as I was demanding he sit down on his bottom) was the sponge and the washcloth and the little plastic pour bucket thingy that I use to rinse their hair – that somehow kept getting water all over me, the floor, and everywhere other than in the bathtub. All of this happening with a BIG, giant, happy, hey-look-at-me-Mommy smile.
My patience lately is, well, to be honest, short. Tonight, no different. I squeezed out the washcloth, fetched the sopping sponge from across the bathroom floor, and pried the plastic pour bucket thingy out of Brayden’s puffy (he still has all his baby fat and I LOVE it) and surprisingly tightly gripped fingers. “That’s it, you’re done, time to get out of the bath.” Brayden was not happy about the abrupt ending to his delightful water experience.
“Zack, you can stay in the bath while I dry off Brayden, but don’t splash around too much…” *holding my breath and biting my tongue*
Up on the changing table, my composure regained, I’m back to wonderful, calm, soft, tender Mommy – drying him off, lotioning his squishy little body, and then… Whack! He hits me! I say “no, we don’t hit.” Whack! He hits me again – and again with that BIG, giant, happy, hey-look-at-me-Mommy smile. I scream at him. “Sorry Mommy.” Not 2 seconds later, he’s yanking on the curtains. “No, Brayden, you’ll pull the curtains down. We don’t do that.”
He keeps doing it, with the you-get-the-picture SMILE.
I scream again, this time a bit more intense.
“Sorry Mommy.” And this time he looks scared for a split moment just after, and then I hug him and say “I’m sorry I yelled at you. I love you.”
Another “Sorry Mommy” and before I could even respond to that again, he’s pulling the curtains AND taking a swing at me. You’ve got to be kidding me?!
I really scream. So much that Zack pipes in from the bathroom “What Mommy? What?” (Side Note: I don’t make it a habit of leaving Zack in the tub by himself, but on occasion it happens. I constantly talk to him and make sure he’s okay, and he knows how to get out and dry himself off all on his own. He really is getting big…)
I don’t know if it’s all the stress I’m under lately or that both boys are growing up and finding new ways to push my buttons, but I am not “that Mom.” (I say that in the most sensitive way possible, because I know that sometimes we probably all become that Mom, but I don’t let it define me.) If I could do-over bath time and the remainder of the evening, there are probably a few things I would change. Of course, I say that now, looking back, after the fact… I’m not sure that if he starting whacking me again I wouldn’t yell at him – especially if he kept doing it (in a knowingly I’m-going-to-see-how-far-I-can-push-Mommy kind of way).
So I sit here now, upset at myself for having to have it go so far that I had to yell and make myself cry. And I sit here in the quiet sound of only the tick tock of the clock and the clacking of my keyboard as I type, boys asleep peacefully and safely snuggled in their beds. And I sit here contemplating if I did the right thing. And I realize, it doesn’t matter. I did what I did, it’s done. Hopefully Brayden learned a lesson, and I got out some tension and frustration. Every moment can be a new choice. If I don’t like how I chose the last time, then next time I can choose differently. I can take a do-over.