Saturday was a really sucky parenting day. The kind of day that had me just sitting there, completely defeated, like a child whose mom has just told them they’re not going to the amusement park tomorrow after all.
The day started off ok. I got up just after 7:00am (which is sleeping in for me) and I got the kids out of the house on time for the skating lessons scheduled for 9:30am. That’s when it started. The bickering, the insistent bickering, the “he touched me”, the “he started it”, the “she always get her way”. All this noise is happening behind me while I’m driving and I was doing well. I had decided to stay out of it. I decided to let them work it out. I took deep breaths and just kept driving.
After skating we had only half an hour to be home before we were off to guitar lessons. I gave the kids some clear instructions (at least I thought they were clear) “When we get home, don’ t bother taking off your shoes, you can have free time to watch TV, play video games, or go outside if you want. Please make sure the guitar is downstairs by the door so that we can leave in exactly half an hour. I need to do our meal plan for the week and the grocery list.”
We got inside and I went straight to the computer, created the meal plan, made the grocery list and download my coupons. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! (I use the stove timer to keep me on track and the beeping meant the half hour had passed and we had 15 minutes to get to guitar lessons) I closed the laptop and bellowed “Time to go!” The Life was the only one ready to go, Baby Girl had taken off her shoes and had set herself up to colour, she was terribly upset that it was time to go and couldn’t finish her picture. The whinnying started and then the crying. I was able to talk her down, get her shoes on and to the door in record time. The Plan was outside playing basketball, the guitar was nowhere to be found.” Where’s the guitar?” I asked (I don’t know why I ask these stupid questions, I knew there was only one place the guitar could be. It was upstairs in his room.)” Hum..? The guitar…? What…?” This has become his go to response when he’s trying to buy time to think of some B.S to feed me. I.e. Hum..? homework …? What… ?, Hum..? Shower…? what..? This time I put my whispering technique into action. I keep trying to yell less and I have found that whispering sometimes has the same effect.
I dropped The Plan off at guitar lessons 8 minutes late and headed to the grocery store right next door with baby Girl and The Life. I was happy to have scored a “Parents With Children” parking spot ( it’s all about the small wins) but before I really got to bask in my parking spot win I found myself in an argument with Baby Girl in regards to why she shouldn’t bring in her pink princess cup to the grocery store. Where the cup came from? I don’t know. But there it was, and she wanted to bring it into the store. All of you moms know that a five year old bringing something into the grocery store can only have one of 2 outcomes:
- The cup will be lost and there will be crying
- The child will grow tired of holding the cup and you will end up carrying it or worse you will put it in your purse where it will remain until the end of time
This time I put my natural consequences tactic into effect. The concept is you let them do what they want, and then allow them to suffer the consequences and so I explained there was a good chance the cup would be lost and that I would not be carrying the cup if she grew tired of it. She chose to bring the cup anyway.
We got to the grocery store and not ten minutes had gone by and already the following had happened:
- Baby Girl and The Life had a heated argument over who would put the cucumbers in the cart
- Baby Girl and The Life had a heated argument over who would put the pears in the bag
- Bay Girl and the Life had a heated argument over whose fault it was that there were 7 pears on the floor
- Baby girl knocked over an apple display which sent me chasing apples in the aisle
- An old lady paid the price for my natural consequences technique when I gave in a let Baby Girl push the cart.
I kept it together though, I really did. Yes there was some speaking through clenched teeth, but overall I really did remain composed.
The Plan joined us after his guitar lessons “Do I have to stay here? How much more do you have to buy? Can I wait in the car? “This is where I started to lose it. Not so much outwardly but I did feel something snap inside me.
We were able to finish the shopping and make it back to the car without much further incident, until of course all the bags were in the car and baby girl asks “Where is my cup?” AUGHHGHGHGHG. The cup was gone. She blamed The Life because she remembered him having it by the pears, but after sending the boys back inside to look around, the cup was nowhere to be found. The crying started, not the regular I’m sad, I scraped my knee crying but the “I’m mad and I want the world to hear it” crying with the intermittent whining and the boogers and the name calling targeted at her brothers.
This time I snapped. I had everyone in the car; I finished putting on my seat belt and snapped. At the top of my lungs I told her how I had warned her this would happen, how she should trust me, how she shouldn’t blame others and I went on and on and on and on.
To be continued………….