It’s after school and it’s a balmy 75 degrees in March. I open her backpack and read her daily note to discover that she’s had yet another bad day. She kicked a boy in the head and refused to apologize, told her teachers “NO!” all day when they wanted her to work and topped it off by calling the grown-ups by their first names. She spent recess in the office for her bad behavior.
But then Olivia hops on her Ambucs tryke and takes off. All by herself. I am clapping like an idiot and tearing up at the sight of my baby girl riding by herself.
And then she’s done 5 minutes later.
She wants to play catch with me. Awesome. We get situated on the driveway. I roll the ball, she catches. Then she rolls it back. I’m so excited that she’s actually playing this with me. She’s rolling it right to me! She’s catching it!
And then she’s done 3 minutes later.
She takes off down the sidewalk running and is at the neighbor’s house two doors down before I can even get my almost 36-year-old body up and out of the indian style position I was sitting in. Damn I’m sore from that workout yesterday.
In the meantime the boys want to have friends over, they get mad when I say no, they want a snack, can they have a pop, when are we going to Grandma’s, can you find my scooter, where is my helmet, did I tell you about what Johnny did in class today, don’t forget I have that assignment due tomorrow and I need to practice my piano and what’s for dinner?
I catch Olivia and thank God she didn’t make it to the street. I encourage her to head to the backyard to jump on the trampoline or play in the playhouse. I turn my back for 5 seconds and she’s chosen to sit in our lovely sandbox that’s full of melted ice from winter and filthy. She’s now soaked and dirty. I strip her naked on the back porch, hang the clothes on the fence and make the boys watch her while I go grab new clothes. I get her dressed, clean her up and ask the boys to jump on the trampoline with her.
I go in to put the dirty clothes in the wash and I go back outside and she’s in the fucking sandbox again. Luckily this time just the bottom half of her jeans is wet so I just leave her. I can’t do it again.
I try to entice her with a show up in her bedroom. Yes, I’m that mom right now. Please watch TV so I don’t lose my mind. I get her settled, go downstairs to start dinner and drink a much-needed glass of wine and hear a boom from upstairs. I go up and she’s taken down all of the decorations in her room that I spent 2 hours putting up the day before. She’s also torn up a stuffed animal and the lovely tiny little stick-to-everything balls that make up the filling are everywhere. She’s emptied the baby wipes bin all over her room, torn them up and eaten a few. She knocked over the vacuum cleaner that I forgot I left in her room and broke it. I’m seriously going to lose my shit but I take a deep breath. What good will yelling do? Oh did I mention she’s naked? And peed on her bed? I forgot that. At least it’s not shit this time.
I clean her up, clean her room up and bring her down with me to try to make dinner this time. I feel guilty because we’re only having spaghetti tonight. Somehow I’ve got it in my head that if it’s not a gourmet dinner, I’m a failure. My kids need all-natural, healthy foods at all times, not white noodles, right? Damn it. The kids like these kinds of meals better anyway. Why don’t I make nuggets and mac-and-cheese every night?
I finally get dinner on the table and we’re all enjoying decent conversation when Olivia dumps her chocolate milk all over the floor. On purpose. Did I mention I cleaned the day before? I don’t yell because what’s the point? It’s a joint effort to get it cleaned up because even the boys know I’ve had it today.
After dinner we jump on the trampoline. All 5 of us. We laugh, I only pee a little 3 times and then it’s time for bed.
I hate bedtime. I think it’s because I’m SO done by then I have no patience and everything drives me crazy. The boys ignore me, I have to do everything for Olivia and I just want to curl up in bed and read my Kindle. Matt is so stressed out because of work and just got home right before dinner so I don’t ask him to help even though every fiber in my being is screaming “PLEASE COME DO THIS! I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!”
Did I mention that while they were at school I worked all day? Chasing failing students who don’t call me back or come to class or turn in any work at all?
I finally get the kids to bed after threats of taking video games away and teeth are brushed and stories are read. I feel guilty because we only read 2 books; they weren’t even good books, just the shortest ones I could find.
I brush my teeth, floss, wash my face and take the 2 sleeping pills I take every night if I even have a hope of sleeping for 4 hours at the most. I collapse in bed and escape into my Kindle. I feel guilty at the laundry that piled up, the dishes in the sink, the husband that I’m annoyed with but that I love with all my heart, the phone calls I didn’t make today, and did I yell at the kids too much today?
I try to fall asleep although my thoughts won’t go away. Where can I get diapers for Olivia because she’s almost too big for Huggies? I should really be using cloth because did you know it takes 500 years for a disposable to decompose? We waste too much water; we need to be better about that. I just read an article about how much water we waste and we need to be better. Tomorrow I need to make lunch stuff and snacks for the kids because they eat too much processed food and that’s terrible. I also need to eat better and work out more or soon I will have not one stitch of clothing that fits. What happened to me? To my body? To my mind? I also need to pay more attention to Matt and be a more sensitive, caring wife. I’m so shitty lately. Have I talked to my sister this week? Is my Mom ok? Is she happy? Will she ever date again? I want her to be happy, deliriously happy. I have got to get those Girl Scout cookies delivered this weekend. Do I have everything for my Mom’s birthday dinner on Saturday? What will happen to Olivia when we die? What will happen to her in junior high? Dear God, what will she do after high school? Gabe is turning 10 soon. 10. In 6 years he will be driving. How did that happen? I hope he’s not disappointed in his birthday presents. That reminds me, I’ve got to get working on his decorations. And go to the party store. Oh and call those moms to make sure they’re all set for the sleepover. Jesus Christ if I fall asleep now, I’ll get 5 hours. I’ve got to fall asleep. I’m so sore; my fingernails are sore. I swear to God I’m getting old. That reminds me. I need to research anti-wrinkle creams to find the best one. I’m not getting any younger. Oh my God, Matt’s turning 40 in May; what will we do to celebrate? I need a vacation.
It’s like that. And some days I can handle it just fine, thankyouverymuch, and others I can’t. But I do know this: when I get over this, I’ll be stronger. I promise you that.
First and foremost, BREATH WOMAN!! It happens, it’s called life! We grow up, gain a ton of responsibility we have families who require every second of our lives and we demand too much from ourselves. We don’t stop to smell the roses or sleep or laugh. We are women, moms, sisters, cousins, friends and the strongest life force on this earth. You are, we are SUPER WOMEN!! We can beocome fed up and we complain but in the end we cannot see past what we love in our lives. Our families they are the driving force for our insanity. At the end of the day though who or where would we be if not exactly where we are at today. I sympathize with you regarding Olivia’s tough days, Sophie is still so young but I feel so overwhelmed I have been locking myself in another room to calm myself lately. I cannot imagine what it will be like in 7-8 yrs but I imagine I will make it work. Remember to breath! You are in fact ONLY HUMAN! And an awesome one you are!
Oh geez, I’m wiped out just reading that!! I’m sorry you had such a rough day. Hopefully today is better!
Amazing explanation of your day – I could feel every minute of it. You’re doing all you can…trust me. Ok. off to Friday….(deep breath)….
I can’t believe how much Olivia sounds like Gracie…right down to the pee (thankfully not poop!) on the bed.
You are amazing. This phrase really got to me:
“I don’t yell because what’s the point?” I yell all the time, I wish I could remember this while I am yelling, but I only remember it after when it is too late. Sigh.
I know I said you are amazing, but you are also human. A super human, yes, but still human. Know that you are not alone!! Now go pop open that vino and fire up that Kindle. You deserve it.
Oh, i wish I had the presence to know that there’s not point to yelling. No, I just lose my mind for about five mintues and then I have to apologize to my girls for being insane.
You’re doing an amazing job, even if there are days like this when you feel like you’ve taken three steps backward.
Hang in there, know that you will, indeed, be stronger when you get through these tough days.
I’m right there with you. Auuggghhh. But we know it will get better!
Wow and I complain about my days!
First you are an amazing wife and mother! You have so much patience that many would die for! You are very active with your children, which will help them grow up to be an amazing parent like you!
And you shouldn’t feel guilty if things pile up once in a while. You deserve to relax and destress! That’s what helps keep you insane and keep your cool on days like this!! I wish I could keep my cool like you! Gibby hit it right on!
Dang….I have had those days!!! I understand and my heart is with you tonight….peace and encouragement!! We just keep going, we don’t really have a choice, right?? Luckily, the good days tend to outweigh the bad! Be gentle with yourself…..speak it like it is, I love it! Authenticity brings us all closer in this crazy world. I hope the angels are sleeping and you are too!!! Today is a new day…whew!
Wow, I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who pees when jumping on the trampoline. And I’m not the only one whose head works that way. Some days I just cannot stop it.
I hope your week gets better! You are amazing!
Hugs… You are strong to not only get through these days but write about them too. They are the truth. The truth of having children, the truth of having a child with special needs. People don’t like to talk about this part. But it exists and you help so many parents see they are not alone when you share this part of your life.
Sometimes when I get about halfway through a post like this, I wonder how in the hell you don’t just get in the car and run away. But then I get to the end and I’m reminded how much there’s to gain, even from the really hard days. They really DO make you stronger. You’ll probably be a freaking super hero soon 😉