I’ve confessed that I’m struggling with mommyhood at the moment: I’ve run away to a hotel, I’ve sought the treatment of Doctors and I’ve yelled myself silly. Some days I’m working on all cylinders – other days LIKE TODAY – I just fall apart. Annie and I had an appointment at Children’s Hospital to volunteer for their PULSE program that helps train med students how to be better Doctors. I knew going into this that my two boys would be joining us when Daddy had to drop them off on his way to work. I’d explained to the Patient Educator, that if they wanted us to volunteer, I would have to bring my two other children because of lack of child care. It was a package deal – you need me and my daughter – you get my boys too. She immediately said, “no worries – it’s very relaxed around here.” Well, it didn’t quite work like that. There were other parents there that weren’t quite so forgiving, and I’d made myself a completely ineffective volunteer by constantly reminding my boys how to behave and to be quiet and to stop hitting each other. You get the routine. I’d promised them once we were done, I’d take them to the hospital cafeteria for lunch. Problem was, it was 10am and they had already cleared the breakfast items and hadn’t started lunch. So, all three pitched a fit in the middle of the cafeteria because there wasn’t anything to eat (or that I was willing to buy). The older two managed to sulk their way out of the hospital, but my 3 year old screamed all the way to the parking lot.
I knew I should have cut my losses, but I NEEDED to go to the grocery store. Next stop, Kroger. I’m not sure what it is about the grocery store that turns my kids into trolls, but their behavior is somehow adversely affected by vegetables. They were ALL over the place. Running into carts, running down aisles, knocking things over – I was a disaster and so was the store. I should have left the full cart in the middle of the aisle, but I REALLY needed milk. What am I doing wrong as a parent that I can’t communicate effectively – “you can’t do (fill in the blank) -- run, yell, scream, hit – in the store??!!” When I got home, arms full of groceries, and patience completely empty, they started demanding lunch. I proceeded to make the “usual” when they all started complaining. At that point I put down everything and said, “if you are going to complain, you may fix it yourself and you better clean up,” and walked away. I’ve been in my room ever since. My three year old told me he was tired and got in bed and is now asleep. The other two, remarkably, have been fight-free for over an hour.
Maybe I will let them feed themselves more often.