I Cried

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.”

“Sorry Mommy.”

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…)

not me – or my image

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.

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About pamelazimmer

Pamela Zimmer is a #1 bestselling author and speaker, transforming her personal pain and experience of Postpartum Depression into her purpose and passion. Through her #1 bestselling book, Reclaim The Joy of Motherhood, and her mentorship program, The HAPPY Mommy Method™, Pamela guides mothers on a healing journey from battling their own Postpartum Depression to embracing motherhood with joy.

Posted on May 7, 2012, in General Parenting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Marylin said it all. It sounds to me like you are OVERwhelmed. Maybe mom needs a break?

    Even my grandchildren take me to the edge sometimes. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Hugs.

    • Thanks Tess. OVERwhelmed for sure. We have a move coming up (which we’ve been expecting, but not ever knowing the exact date), and lots of other changes happening around here. I think once we get settled into our new house (I hope) things will get a little easier for me. Finger crossed!

  2. My boys are 2 and 6 and yes, they are also challenging sometimes! And yes, I lose my patience with them. It’s a learning process for all of us! We all learn just how much mommy can take before she snaps lol! Don’t feel bad about it.

  3. Oh, I felt so bad for you, for the situation, for everything. We’ve all been there.
    When I was growing up, we had a wonderful Italian family next door. The mother was a big-hearted, loving mother of 4. One day, when I arrived to babysit so she could go for lunch with a friend, Joan was head-to-head with 4-year-old Brad. He was doing everything you described, and more. Finally she lost it, again very similar to you. Bradley went to his room, and Mom broke down and cried.
    The friend–a mother of 3 older children–arrived to pick Joan up to go to lunch.
    I’ll never forget her advice: “Oh, sweetie, he has to learn when enough is enough. He’ll be going to school soon, then to college and a job and a wife and a family. He’ll be a better man because his mother taught him when enough was a enough, and did it without ever missing a beat of loving him with all her heart.”
    Brad did all of the things the friend predicted and became a wonderful husband, father, teacher and coach…and he never missed a beat of loving his mom with a full and grateful heart.

    • Thank you. I needed to hear this story. It brought tears to my eyes just reading it – knowing I’m not the only one who gets into these situations, that I’m a good mother, that I love my children, my family more than anything. 🙂 I do know all this, sometimes I just need reminding.
      I must be PMS-ing with all this crying lately! he he.

  1. Pingback: Two Too Long « Stories of a Mom

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