Friday, July 03, 2009
It's Hard for Me to Say I'm Sorry
I had a scream fest last night. For any of you who have fooled yourself into believing that I am a calm, cool collected and patient woman, you shoulda seen me last night. Grrr.
It started around 5:15 when Wilson, who was supposed to be at his baseball game at 5:15 came in the house looking for socks. The message I had been given by Bart was that he had all his stuff with him at the pool so Rand was going to pick him up at the pool and take him to his game. I was going to go later after the game started with Bart to watch it.
So here he shows up asking for socks and insinuating, in his indignant way, that I should have his socks ready. For a very small child, he has this indignant voice attitude and I was in no mood to be blamed for his missing socks. His room is a disaster and he refuses to put away his clothes. . In adidition, I had been paying Rand and JImmy to help with laundry, which turned out to be quite a serious mistake. I won't give you the details, but it involved a heavy load of clothes mixed with damp towels from a month ago that Rand had used to clean up the leakage from some pipe plugging episode and then hidden in a closet. OK, so I gave you details. Let's just say that I was not happy about their stupidity.
So Wilson comes in so insistent that he had put his socks down the laundry chute and that I SHOULD have them ready for him. I looked in the dryer (where I discovered a half wet load of the most foul smelling stuff (and this was after they had been washed with Tide with Febreeze and Downey) and no socks. I then proceeded to go to my bedroom and dig through every single basket of clean clothes. The whole time I'm doing this monologue about how I'm expected to work a miracle at the last minute every time someone in this house looses something. Yup, Mom to the rescue. I was ranting and carrying on. I ended up dumping out about five baskets of clean clothes all over the bed because apparently when Rand and JImmy do laundry, they can't separate out the socks like they are supposed to. No socks.
I then went into Wilson's room that I had told him he had to clean on Monday that he had ignored and refused to clean and found a horrible horrible mess of clean and dirty clothes mixed together and thrown everywhere. That of course, sent me on another tirade of foolish yelling about how he had been told for days to get it done, but NOOOOOO, he has the Wii to play. I'm guessing it wasn't pretty.
Well, as you can imagine, I finally found the socks. They were still dirty, and stuffed in Wilson's closet. This was one of the few times where he has actually been caught in a minor screw up, and he wasn't sure what to say. He put on his dirty socks and went to the game.
When I arrived home after game I came in to find the kitchen a disaster. Rand was home alone and had done nothing for hours. The dinner I had made on Tuesday had been reheated and then everything was left out. In fact, he had not covered anything after doing dishes on Tuesday, so everything had to be thrown away. The pans he washed were black with beans, and generally he had done a horrible job with everything so so he could be done and watch TV. Having worked several 14-15 hour days in the last couple weeks (Me, not him!) I am beyond annoyed with his laziness. In addition, Jimmy had been charging me by the hour to do chores and housework and he usually does a great job, but I found a few things that he had simply not done that he had told me were finished.
I came unglued and began to clean with such a burst of anger-induced energy that I shocked the children. I was yelling and wiping and slamming and stomping and carrying on. Dominyk, Ivan and Jimmy were all trying to help however they could, but mostly just stood there mouths gaping while I banged around. I told Rand to sit on the couch and watch TV because that is what he does best (I know, mean). Of course, he could do the sitting part, but he couldn't keep his mouth shut, so he had to argue with a few of the irrational things I was saying, fueling my fury. I guess I should have told him to sit on the couch and watch TV quietly but I forgot to say "quietly".
Wilson was hiding in my bedroom. Bart went to hide from me too and found him there. Apparently he was very nervous, having not seen a true fit in the year and a half he'd lived here. I don't have them very often.
So when the kitchen was clean, and Bart had taken a few of the guys to the grocery store, I pulled Wilson on to my lap. I explained to him that sometimes when people yell, that's all they do. They don't leave. They don't hurt people. They just yell, and then it's over, and then everything is fine. Tears slipped down his perfect little face. Eventually he was satisfied and in his own way, wordlessly, accepted my apology.
Bart had taken Jimmy, Ivan and Rand to the store and they processed my fit. Bart tried to explain that if Rand and JImmy simply did what they were supposed to do, big outbursts like that could be avoided and that they built up when the kids didn't do what they were supposed to do for long period of time. Bart reminded them that I don't get like this very often and Ivan simply said, "At my house, it's always like that."
The boys came home with stuff for Root beer floats and we let the "little boys" (Dominyk and Wilson) get up and stay up late and we laughed and ate and joked around until past bedtime.
I shouldn't have flipped out. I shouldn't have scared the kids and possibly re-traumatized them. But maybe in doing so I reinforced to them that even when I am very very frustrated, I'm still their mom. Even when I yell and carry on, I don't walk away. In the middle of my biggest tantrum, nobody gets hit or hurt. And afterwards, we can hug and have floats and laugh.
So if you've ever had a fit in front of your kids, remember that there is some good in it. You're teaching them something they may never have experienced before. There can be laughter beyond the anger, joy after the pain, and no matter what, we're still here.
And we always will be, even if imperfect.