Saturday, October 18, 2014

Popcorn


I did it again. I let it boil and heat up inside me. Then like a volcano I explode. This time the littlest took the brunt of the impact. She's a screamer at the end of the day. The kind of scream that makes you think bad thoughts. The kind of scream that pushes even the calmest of moms to a point they never thought possible.

The others want popcorn. And why not? I did offer it to them. But now. After this. I want nothing to do with Saturday evening fun. Snuggles. Bedtime. None. I want them in bed and I want to take a glass of wine into the shower and scream. 

I sit here thinking just find it in there to turn it around. It's not done yet. Today is still here. They don't know I lost it. Curious George has been their babysitter while the baby and I work things out. They will be so sad when I hurry them to bed and yell about their attitudes. 

I must turn this around. I am not a failure. Just weak. And tired. And frustrated. It doesn't matter to them that I am tired. They want fun and I must dig deep to say no to defeat and yes to popcorn and snuggles. Even if it is all a mess. Or my feet hurt. Or I feel stretched so thin. Motherhood is a process of stretching. Our skin at first. Our hearts with our first sight of them. Our souls. Our emotions. All stretched for these little people. All so that they have the chance to grow to be big people who don't make the same mistakes I do. Who don't become so overwhelmed with anger. Who don't make sweet cheeks hot with tears because mom was mean. 

I must go make popcorn. I must do it to show myself I can. CAN turn this around. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Self-Control Spot

We don't do timeouts in our house. We do the "self control spot."

If a child of mine for some bizzare reason sees fit to "loose it" they are escorted to the self control spot. Here they have as much time as they need to calm down, find their self control and actually communicate whatever their grievance was in plain english rather than screaming in tongues. Such as, "Mom, I would like more ketchup not ranch please."

If said child struggles with finding their self-control they are moved to their room and allowed more time to calm down on their bed.

Somedays every one of the four is in the self control spot. Okay,  I don't actually put the baby there, but I think about it. She's teething, aka, she has lost any resemblance to my sweet girl and has become a bi-polar hot mess. Every now and then they can calm down in the moment and not need to go to the spot. That's the best. That's the ideal reaction turn around time. That is also extremely unrealistic.

The thing is the only person that had to go to self control today was me.

Yes. Me. I put myself in mommy self control spot. I was getting mean. Angry. Unkind. Frustrated. etc... My poor children were becoming casualties of a war that was not theirs to fight. I was instantly frustrated with them when we were walking to school and my daughter no longer wanted to wear her sweater in the 65 degree morning we were having. Some days I'd be like whatever about it, but not today. I'd felt too many eyes already. Heard to many comments about the quantity of small people I was directing. Too much pressure to perform or respond or exist. I snapped and threatened and instantly was pissed. We got home, baby went down for a nap, breakfast was served to the girls, and I microwaved my coffee for the 7th time that morning.

Then I tried to get stuff done. Worst mistake ever. I had actual business to do, phone calls (hugely bad idea with small children around), papers to sign, emails etc. When the baby woke up we headed out to run errands. Cue stop at drive thru starbucks conveniently located by the office I needed to stop at. Praise Jesus for assistants that will walk out to your car so you can sign documents without taking the hot mess girl, the homeless child and the sweet baby out. Accidentally mention we have time to go feed the ducks. It's like I have no filter on my mouth. I thought it and it came out. Then I realize the girls had no shoes on. How? I don't even pretend to know. Oh, and Hazel spilled her entire cup of "special water" (aka water in a cup) from starbucks on her pajamas. Yes, she is still in pajamas. Was anyone else? Nope. Just her. She doesn't care, so I don't care. 

I decide we will go feed the ducks. They have a blast without shoes on and there are plenty of on lookers. They are cute so whatevs. 

At that point it was perfect timing to go get Laine from school. CRAP!!! I have no stroller, which means serious damage control. I have a strong feeling I'm the laughing stock of the Kindergarten parents. Or at least I feel that way. I feel the stares and the watching. The look on their faces are priceless. At one point today Cora had walked half way down the paseo for kicks and I didn't even know it because I was trying to get Hazel away from this old lady's grandkid who she's obsessed with. I have that annoying kid who loves other little kids and wants to put their paci's in their mouths. Turn around and I have no clue where Cora is, play it cool but notice the other parents  like, "Look at her. She doesn't even know where her kids are." Okay, they didn't say that but their faces did. The girls get put in time out and Laine gets out. PTL! Time for lunch. Hopefully that will help everyone refuel and get back to being normal. Wrong. 

While microwaving those chicken nuggets from costco I hear, "MOM!!!! Hazel PUKED!!!" Fantastic. It's her new thing. Once a day she pukes. Not a ton, but just enough. And usually all over herself. At this point she was naked. Why? No reason need if you are a toddler, especially if you are Hazel. I get her in her room and realize the baby wipes are in the baby's room. And she's sleeping. Even better!! Sneak in and back out without waking the baby. Winning! Get Hazel cleaned up, feed the kids and they start to whine about what we are having for lunch. 

At that point all the small moments of frustration mix together with my low self esteem from the day and I literally loose my mind. Harsh words. That's my thing. Over whelming Anger. Also my thing. I'm good at both. So a mommy time out it is. I just sit in my room. Listening to them talk to each other. Giggle. Discuss nonsense. Basic kids stuff. Nothing about mommy. That's good. 

I let myself go out and continue on with our day. Naps, homework, nursing the baby, etc. Reflecting on the path that gets me to the place of utter melt down status. It's the feeling of judgement. The feeling of others judging that lead me to believe the lies I tell myself. I'm not good enough. This will never get better. This is too hard. I just can't anymore. Obviously I don't know what I'm doing. We all tell ourselves these lies one way or another. For me, and many other moms out there these feelings of defeat can lead to depression. Which for me manifests itself with anger that turns to rage. It sucks. But it is where I'm at some days. The honest truth is that some of the things I tell myself can be true, and that's where Jesus comes in. If it wasn't hard I wouldn't need His help. If I didn't know what I was doing I wouldn't need guidance from the Bible. If I it didn't feel like it will never change I wouldn't need to put my HOPE in HIM! 


My first mistake. Not enough coffee. Absolutely no Jesus this morning. All of the situations today were laughable. They were normal and nothing out of the ordinary. The only difference was my attitude. I am the only one to blame. I am the one to own it and change it. This space has helped immensely and I'm hoping it's helped others who were too afraid to admit the honest truth of their days. Or their attitude regarding their days. I hope to encourage and remind others that we are not alone. 

I am actually hoping to do a completely out of the ordinary crafting post soon!!!! I know I have very few followers and most of them were because I made something crafty a few years ago. I miss it too people. I really want to get back to doing something that is an outlet for my soul. I promise that it will become a priority. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chick fights

I was standing at the sink. Washing dishes, really when I shouldn't have been. I've found I need to do the house work when they are sleeping. But, as I washed I could hear one of the best sounds. Giggles. 

Not just any giggles. Brother induced giggles. The girls save the best ones for when he's being silly and making them laugh. Then there was running. All three little people were running and shooting each other with fake Lego guns. Lots of chasing. Lots of laughing. I loved it. 

Then I heard it. The phrase uttered all the time. "Don't let Hazel get you Cora! Come on let's run away from her." They run and she chases. This is the core of every game. Sometimes it ends well, other times in hot tears down Hazel's sweet cheeks. It's no surprise that laine and Cora have a great time playing together. She understands his rules and mostly chooses to play by them thus granting her access to the 'Mecca' of our home.

His room. This is holy and sacred ground to the girls. No one knows what all goes on in there, just that they may only enter when invited and welcomed. Hazel is never invited. Never welcome. 

I keep explaining to him to give grace. She's only two. She doesn't understand the reason nor the importance of his "rules." (Join the club Hazel 'cause mama doesn't either.) Plus, I'm pretty sure if she did understand she wouldn't give a crap. She's a free spirit.  A wild heart. Completely crazy, quirky and full of vigor. But that translates to a liability for Laine. The "what if" scenarios run rampant in his imagination forcing him to push her out of his room. 

I once observed her fighting to get in. My points were on her for success and much to my surprise Laine went all Gandolf the Grey on her...you shall not pass... the Balrog sat defeated in the hallway. Again. 

I don't necessarily interfere here. Many may say I'm a bad mom for that. That's cool. To each his own. Here why. Every moment from the day laine got his first sister he has had to share, take turns, love others more than himself, etc. The one place he's allowed to be ruler supreme is his room. He knows the rule of the house is anything outside of his room is fair game. If you don't want them to play with it, don't bring it out. Especially not into the playroom. So, when it comes to him trusting Cora to play in his room and share those special toys with her I welcome his decision. 

It's hard on Hazel to be the third in line. She gets so sad they don't include her. I monopolize on it and get extra cuddles and one on one play time with her. I try to make her feel special. I realize too that in a few short months, maybe a year, Cora and Hazel will be much better at playing together and Laine will be on the outs. Yet for now, being the third is a hard road for her. 

She is quick to learn the game of survival though. She knows to eat fast, especially if it's a shared desert. She knows to fight for what she wants and not let anyone bully her. This makes it a little hard for only children to play with my third child. Sorry about that mamas. Yours will learn when they get siblings. It's every man for himself somedays. Other days it might be "one for all and all for one," but it's rare. 

Hazel may be hands down my favorite toddler I've had yet. She does have some scrappy qualities that I'm sure her siblings would appreciate she grow out of. Case in point the following scene happened on Friday....

Scene:
I'm sitting at the table finally having lunch. This means the kids are all fed and have been sanctioned to baby jail. Also known as the room with all their toys, that apparently they hate. Aka the playroom. The gate has been closed to ensure that I am guaranteed 4 mins to consume my microwaved burrito hot. Cold burritos are no bueno {gag}.  Laine has been called out front by his dad and the following plays out before me...

Cora is standing a few steps from the gate crying that I won't let her out. {I hear nothing just white noise, but I watch.} Directly behind her is Hazel. She's got that crazy eyed look and without saying a word she reaches over Cora's head and pulls her to the ground by her forehead. Yes, she's that strong. 

Cora turns over on the floor on hands and knees screaming and in slight shock. {I just observe. Maybe Hazel will feel bad and oh look she's going over to her.} Hazel crouches down and says, "get up!" and tries to pull her up by her clothes. Clearly this is a second act of war to Cora and she begins to scream at her and pulls her down on the ground. 

{This is starting to get good. Continue consumption of burrito.} They are now totally chick fighting. waving of the hands in a frantic manor hoping to make contact with the other, but not really able to because they have their eyes closed. Because of course. 

Then Cora goes in for a bite, misses. She has underestimated Hazels swift retaliation which looks like one of the best MMA moves I've ever seen. In one move Hazel grabs two handfuls of Cora's hair on either side of her head and simultaneously put her left foot on Cora's collarbone. She then pulls and pushes at the same time, rendering Cora in a pure panic. {I stand up. Debate getting my phone out for video, but decide I should probably do something.} 

I walk in break it up. Tears, hugs, "sorry's" are said and we move on. That happened in three mins tops. It was amazing. I'm not gonna lie one of the funniest parts of my day is the way those girls go at it. Okay, I admit it's probably not the best thing to let them do. Fighting is super frowned upon. I get it. However, I have zero intentions of raising girls who can't defend themselves. My girls will know how to throw a punch. My girls will not be only sweet and mild mannered. They will be able to say no and mean it. Heaven forbid a boy ever messes with Hazel. I only hope that she stays true to her passionate spirit and has such a love others that she is moved to be a defender of the weak. I can see her being involved in humanitarian work.

I realize that's ages away and fighting with her sisters is not something I should encourage. We strive to teach the right way to communicate our feelings, frustrations, and that injustices done to us by others should be worked out peaceably if possible. However, the reality is that there are four people here in this home with four agendas, and their own set of priorities. So, I try as I may but the fights are going to happen. Sometimes I let them, sometimes I stop them, sometimes I'm not even around to see them and I am only witness to the aftermath. Either way we are working it out. Learning to play. Learning to serve each other. Learning not to bite Cora on the booby. {Oh yes. That actually happened.} 
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