Thursday, May 05, 2011

This Is Just... Off The Rails, Here

Um, this is a rapid fire, absolutely no rough draft or editing going on type post. Am frantically getting ready for Jim's birthday party, to which I optimistically invited almost thirty people because hey! May! It'll be spring time and sunny and we can all just hang outside! Except... it has rained for thirty days straight, more or less. Our backyard is literally a giant muddy sponge almost as soon as you step off the deck, ending in a sort of soup bowl of standing water which my husband and BIL are currently trying to reroute by way of a giant EFFING DITCH in our back yard. To which I say, heck yeah, if that's what it takes. I am unspeakably sick of having a huge backyard which is virtually unusable months out of the year because of the horrible drainage issues. I'll take a giant ditch if it means the dog isn't filthy to his ankles every time he goes out to pee.

Can you tell I'm a little cranky? I'm a little cranky. The week started with the horrible news of the two deaths I mentioned, then we found out a teacher friend had been fired due to some.... personal issues, I believe, more than professional, so that sucked. I've been getting more and more anxious about the state of the yard, wanting so badly to be able to use it for the party and becoming more and more resigned to the fact that we WON'T be using it and that thirty people are going to be milling around our (smallish) house with nothing to do but eat stromboli for three hours.

Oh, and Jamie fell out of his jumperoo the other day- or more accurately, the whole dang thing fell off the door frame somehow (the only thing I can figure is that I put it on wrong- hangs head in shame) and while I was tearfully calling the hospital for a reminder on what to watch for and an assurance that he was probably ok, I heard Eli start screaming and crying because he had HIT HIS HEAD while jumping on the couch, something I've only been lecturing them about for, oh, their ENTIRE LIVES. I had to hang up on the nurse to go attend to his head injury, then call her back to check on Jamie's. A fine parenting moment!

Oof, and speaking of Eli, his recent issues have just been killing me. (This is the part where I should say, won't be printing THIS post off to save for posterity.) I've always said if one of my kids were aiming to be my favorite, he could probably manage it, with his cuddly little ways and his face basically a cross between Jim's and my dad's, and his mama's firstborn boy status and all. And also our personalities just mesh really well. BUT. This week he's lucky I didn't abandon him at the firehouse and drive off, cackling like a lunatic, into the sunset.

He is still having accidents so often that there are always a pair of his underwear or pants hanging to dry after being rinsed. ALWAYS. His room ALWAYS smells like wet pull ups no matter how often I empty the trash in their room. He is ALWAYS insisting he doesn't have to go and throwing a fit when we make him. Dudes, this is going on a YEAR that this kid has been in the process of potty training. A YEAR, minus that blissful month or two when he was completely potty trained, before Jameson was born and then all was lost. I'm about to either give up, stick him back in freaking DIAPERS until he decides to take himself to the bathroom, or take him to the doctor to see if he's having some kind of physical issue causing this extreme and lengthy regression.

I try to make no fuss about it, try not to get irritated, try to stay positive. But I know he can feel my annoyance, and it's making him defensive and grouchy and defiant, which in turn gets me even further irritated, and on and on we go until one or both of us melts down. Ex: yesterday in the DMV, when he ran in screaming circles while I tried to handle the always smooth process of dealing with bureaucratic stuff while Jamie cried relentlessly on my hip. Finally as we were leaving and I was getting Jamers settled back into his stroller, Eli darted out of TWO heavy glass doors and into the parking lot before I could catch him, ignoring my warnings and frantic waving. I couldn't even speak because I was on the verge of tears- I was so scared, and so angry, and so furious with myself for not being able to control my kid. Once I got everyone buckled in, I'm pretty sure I was just ranting. "Do you know what a car can DO to you, Eli!? Do you want to get KILLED?!" Etc. Productive!

Ugh. Then I realized I had to get the kids dinner really quick because lo! It was Addy's night for dance class, and it started in an hour! So we went to McDonalds, where at least I knew the kids would eat, and they proceeded to fuss about every little thing, and I ordered the wrong flavor of milkshake for Addy, and Jamie lost his sock in the car, and then the lady at the register was like, "Ma'am? Did you know your baby only has one sock on?" SO loudly that the whole room turned to look at the sweaty mama with the sockless baby on her hip and the feral children clawing at her leg.

Basically the night continued like that: late for dance class, hurriedly running errands for the party while Addy was in class, Eli running off and trying to steal sunglasses and toy cars in Rite Aid and finally having to be physically removed from the store, HITTING me and yelling about the car, losing all his toys for the night, crying hysterically about that, pooping his pants, me grocery shopping until ten pm....

I am living the dream here. Sigh. Sometimes I wonder if I'm even doing my kids any favors by being at home with them while they're small. Would I be nicer to them, more patient, if I saw less of them?


Misty said...

We all have those days, hon. Out of home work or no...

I am sorry about the extensive potty training. He will get there someday, right? Everyone gets there in the end.

I am sure the party will be fine...every little thing is gonna be alright!

Pickles and Dimes said...

Oh wow - you are Superwoman for handling all this with such patience and good humor!

Molly said...

Thanks for posting, makes me feel good I'm not the only one.

B said...

What a SUCKY day. We all have them if that helps. Hope it's your last one for a long long time!

d e v a n said...

Oh, dear. I have those days too, unfortunately. My heart is thumping with empathy over here!!!

Nik-Nak said...

You are my hero. That is all.

Swistle said...

I hear you. I always imagine bystanders thinking smugly, "See? This is why two is the right number of children to have." Then all the way home I answer them in my head, and I get all ready to tell Paul all about it, until I remember no one actually said anything.

Tracy said...

so what if he only has one sock on! at least he had ONE sock. ;)

Some days feel like this. They do get better. I promise. Especially when one goes to school most days.

As for the PTing- Austin went through the same kind of thing when Isaac was little. Its so hard to stay calm. And, it totally affects every other part of your life. :( boo.

Jules said...

The last part of your post hit me... I am gone 12 hours+ a day working, and hubby is at home with the kids 2 days (3 they go to preschool).

I seem to spend a lot of time repeating, yelling, loudly sighing and wondering if I stayed home with them, versus work, would it be different?

No... Apparently from your perspective if won't be.

The issue is you have your hands full and probably a majority has to do with the internal stress you feel over the party/yard and having it all go well. You may find (stress on may) that after the party some normality returns.

The issues with potty training are endless. My 3 yr old tells me "I went yesterday"... Yeah, as if we were all so lucky to only have to go once a day.

Wishing you a happy mothers day ~ You are doing a wonderful job!

Jana said...

"Sometimes I wonder if I'm even doing my kids any favors by being at home with them while they're small. Would I be nicer to them, more patient, if I saw less of them?"

Girl, I think this on a daily basis. During PMS, it's on an hourly basis. I think the grass is always greener on the other side, no matter what side you're on to begin with. Whether you're at home or at work, motherhood is hard. Just plain old hard. Big hugs, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah.... Happy Mother's Day. I pray your Sunday is filled with all the joy that comes from being a mom.


Fran said...

Oh Sarah! Ditto to every single other commentor!! We have all had those days :(
My oldest was still in Pull-ups until just after he turned 4. he'll get tired of it eventually! Hang in there and have an AWESOME party, you deserve it!!

Mommy Daisy said...

I just wanted to say...the potty training's a boy thing. Or so I've gathered from other mothers and our own problems. Zachariah was difficult to potty train, but once he had it down I thought we were good. Nope, he had accidents for quite a while. They were few and far between (most of the time), but he would just be too busy to get to the potty in time. And after speaking to other mothers of boys, I hear this is really common for them.

I know, that doesn't help. Just know you're not alone. ;)