Dude, last Thursday was just one of those days. Awful, awful, awful. Busy, busy, busy. And the kids were naughty, naughty, naughty. Things I didn't like about Thursday:
1. I had to mow the lawn in the wind. And our lawn is really bumpy because we have worms really bad, so it's like a 2-hour long weight-lifting session. You're pushing, and then you ram into a bump, and then you have to push and jiggle and wedge until you can get over the lump. And mowing the lawn gives me an allergy attack every time. Which really wears me out.
2. Gage was into EVERYTHING. You know the age, when someone leaves the toilet open, and the toddler throw toys in there? And throws lids and napkins down the stairs? And throws the entire contents of his very sticky meal onto the floor from his high chair instead of eating it? It was a huge mistake to give Gage fried rice and cut-up eggrolls. HUGE MISTAKE. Because you can't sweep up fried rice when it's moist. So I got on my hands and knees and sprayed it with lysol and wiped it up with paper towels. I used up, like, half a roll of paper towels. And it took twenty minutes.
3. It was reeeeeally busy. Play date for Sadie. Taekwondo for Dylan. Pack meeting for Dylan. Drop-by visit from the Relief Society presidency. Visiting teaching appointment. Did we get any homework done? Nope. Nopeity nope.
4. Pack meeting was a nightmare of epic proportions. Gage cried if I held him. Cried if I let him down. Cried if I sat with him. Cried if I stood with him. It was skit night that night, and each den performed a skit they had practiced. And then they did impromptu skits with props in bags. Here's Dyl, getting a couple of badges:
And then, right when it's time for the dens to perform their second skits, Micah is all, "Mooooooooooom, I have to go pottyyyyyyyyyyyy...." So I take Micah and Gage into the bathroom. Micah can't get his pants down. I put Gage down to help Micah. Gage starts crying. Micah pees. Micah can't get his pants back up. I put Gage down to help Micah. Gage starts crying. Micah needs help with washing his hands. Gage cries. When we got back into the cultural hall, Dylan's second skit was finished and I had missed the whole thing.
Unhhhhhhh. I really hate having Ben gone.
5. Sadie was horrible when my Relief Society presidency stopped by. They wanted to just see how I was doing, being basically a single mom, so we were sitting in my disgusting living room (it looked like it had been hit by a tornado) and chatting, and Sadie, Micah, and Dylan got into a fist fight in her room. And she was screaming like a banshee and calling them "butthole" reeeeeeeeeally loudly. Soo embarrassing. I don't like the word "butthole." "Butthead" doesn't bug me, but "butthole" does. I don't know why. So I ran back there and separated them and put them into their respective rooms for time out. So Sadie's in there screaming bloody murder and totally fake crying/screaming. She wanted to let everyone in the living room know how upset she was. Soooooooooooooo embarrassing.
6. The Visiting Teaching Debacle. Kay. So I could only visit with my Relief Society presidency for about 20 minutes, and then I had to go visiting teaching. Dylan and I had talked about it earlier that day, and the plan was that I would take Sadie and Micah with me, and that we'd put Gage down for bed (it was 8:30 and he had HAD it, as evidenced by his behavior at pack meeting), and that Dylan would hold down the fort here at home for half an hour. He's done this a few times for me in the afternoon and he likes just being able to play video games in the quiet of the house. He is able to lift Gage out of his crib and he knows how to get out in case of an emergency or fire. I mean, he's almost nine years old, for pete's sake. I was baby-sitting my siblings at this age alllll the time.
So when it was time for the R.S. presidency to leave, the president, Debbie, actually offered to take Sadie to her house for awhile. Sadie was still in the throes of her tantrum, so I gratefully accepted. So she got Sadie and they left.
So I went over it with Dylan again - "Are you okay being here if I put Gage down for his bedtime? I'll be gone for only half an hour." "Yeah." "And Sadie is with Sister S., and Micah is with me, okay?" "Okay, cool."
So I go down the street - it's literally maybe four houses away - to do my visiting teaching. Micah actually fell asleep in my arms while we were there. He was tired.
When I come home, I see my mom's car in front. "Oh, cool," I thought, "My mom came for a visit!"
So I walked in, put Micah in bed, and was like, "Hey, mom! What's up?"
She was sitting on the couch with Dylan, going over scouting stuff. She glanced up and said, "Well, Dylan called me in a panic. He didn't know where you were. He told me he was scared and asked me to come over."
Dude. For reals???
She said that, when he called, he was like, "Mom left Micah, Sadie, and me here all alone. And I don't know where she is. And I don't know where the baby is."
Yeah. For reals??? After all the explaining and talking he and I did. And was he delusional? Sadie was at Sister S.'s. Micah was with me. My poor mom must have been like, "What is Kar THINKING???"
When she got here, she was like, "Where are Micah and Sadie? I thought you said they were here."
He looked around, confused. "Um, I don't know. Maybe Mom took them with her???"
What a weirdo.
So now I know I can't leave him at night. Sheesh. Again, how EMBARRASSING.
I was just soooooooooo exhausted and frustrated and mad. I felt like a complete failure. Ben and I were unable to skype that night, so I wrote him an e-mail and kind of poured out my frustrations. I was thinking a lot about my sister, Nat. She does EVERYTHING. Her kids have a chore chart, and she helps them do their chores every night. They have Family Home Evening every Monday night. They have scripture reading every night. She cooks a homemade meal every night. AND she teaches piano, AND she does janitorial for my dad's office. She has four kids, too!
So in my e-mail to Ben, I was like, "How can Nat do all of this, Ben? What is wrong with me??? I'm a FAILURE!! Our chores are hit-and-miss at best. I always forget to do FHE and scriptures. It's all I can do to get homework done every day and get the kids fed."
And you know what he wrote back to me? In his totally clueless manly way? "Well, just study what Nat does and try to imitate her."
Wow, thanks, Ben. Just what I wanted to hear. :)
What a dork. He is such a man when it comes to stuff like this. What I wanted to hear was, "No, you're not a failure! You're amazing! You're doing your best! I love you so much!!" Luckily for him, I let his "solution" roll off my back, because I know from having read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, that men try to "fix" things. Women just need a sounding board and need validation. They don't want suggestions as to how to solve their problems. Men don't get this and just offer suggestions on how to "fix" the problem. So I just rolled my eyes and moved on. Not even worth getting mad over.
Oh, and then he told me that I was spending too much money. Talk about adding insult to injury. :) Men...
My mom and I talked on the phone the next day, and again, I expressed my feelings of failure, exhaustion, etc. and wondered how Nat does all that she does. And what Mom said really put it in perspective for me: "Nat's kids aren't the same as your kids, Kar. Maybe she can get more done because they have different temperments than yours do."
And it was like the lights went on in my head. That's RIGHT! They are different! Nat's kids are really, really, really well-behaved. They do their homework without being asked. They do their chores without being asked. None of them have ADHD. They're easygoing, for the most part. And super-obedient
It made me feel worlds better - I can't compare myself to Nat, because though our situations are a lot alike - we both have four kids, etc. - they are a lot different. I was going through pictures from Christmas Eve the other day, and I ran across this one of Nat's kids:
They're sitting there, coloring. I've always found this to be amazing about her kids. They'll just sit and color for HOURS. Quietly. This is something my kids have NEVER, ever done. Ever. Ever. They'll color on walls, or throw crayons at each other... But they just don't color. Sadie will color every now and then. But not my boys.
So the picture made me feel even better. See? Her kids are different than mine. So I can't expect to be the same type of mother she is. Because there are different variables. And I don't want to diminish the fact that sometimes she has hard days with her kiddos, too. For sure. We talk about it all the time. She has her trials. I have mine. I guess what I took away from all of this is that I shouldn't compare myself to others.
And do I adore my kids? I do. I understand them. Mainly. And they understand me. And if I had a chance to switch them for better-behaved kids, I wouldn't. Because they're mine. And I'll love them forever. Even with their ADHD and their punching fights. :)