Thursday, March 26, 2009

You know those days

when you wake up feeling energized and are determined to conquer the world and you just know you can do it because, I don't know why, but you just feel like you can?

This was one of those days.

The littles and I were excited to be going to lunch at 1:00 at Chic-Fil-A, we hadn't been in forever and better yet - I was so excited to be meeting a friend that I hadn't seen in AGES, literally like 2 years (and she lives 20 minutes - if that - sad).

However, we've had a busy week and my house has suffered. A LOT. Plus, while laying in bed last night I decided it was high time that ALL AS.IN.EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of the toys were put in a happy home in the TOY ROOM downstairs. Why we have a perfectly capable toy room along with HUGE baskets of toys in EVERY CLOSET is beyond me. Where was I? Oh yeah.

So being a list maker and all and a happy timer setter to boot I just knew I could handle everything on my list AHEAD of schedule. I got right to work by 8am.

Here is my list:

As you can see, I gave myself 15 minutes for the "toys" project. I wasn't ORGANIZING the toy room, just adding to it for now, I even allowed myself to place the boxes just inside the doorway. Two loads down, I hear Will playing happily in his crib. I think to myself quickly "he's awake, but he's happy, I'll let him play there until he starts to sound unhappy" this sounds good, so I proceed with load #3. Upon returning back up the stairs I start to hear his absolutely irresistible "muh-ma?" (Seriously, I've got to record it for you someday) I try to resist, and I can't. He's heard me shuffle baskets, he KNOWS I'm out here, he's calling my name and he just knows I'll be there soon. My heart and head battle it out. My heart wins. Afterward a flurry of diaper-cereal-more.cereal-more.cereal-oops.too.much.cereal-mopping.up.cereal.and.milk-clothes-Sesame.Street-MOM.GET.WILL!-MOM.GET.WILL-round 2,3,4 and 5 ensues. My 15 minute timer has easily gone off 8 times by now and I am 2 STINKING hours behind on a job that was supposed to take me 15 minutes. Grr.

I cross it off and move on to Laundry. I'm not too put out, I can make it up. The laundry is done after all, it shouldn't take more than 1/2 an hour to fold it up, right? Wrong. One very valuable lesson I've learned about myself is I am an EXTREME time UNDERestimator. Oh, and that if you type "cereal" more than a few times on your blog it starts to look really weird and you'll have to go to the pantry to verify that you've spelled it right, and that actually finding the WORD "cereal" is really hard to do on the cereal box, oh, and there it goes looking weird again. Where was I? Oh yeah.

It is now noon, lunch is in ONE HOUR and I've yet to do the kitchen, and I absolutely REFUSE to come home to a messy kitchen after lunch, so I put Gabe to work on getting dressed on his own and RUN AROUND LIKE MAD trying to Where was I? Oh yeah.

It is 12:30 and I'm done-ish enough to satisfy for now, but I look like I've been cleaning all morning and lunch is in 1/2 hour. AS in being PRESENT AT RESTAURANT in 1/2 hour. I'm happy to report that I made it only a few minutes behind schedule, right Cindy? :) We had such a great time and leave with tired kids in tow. It is 3:30, I know that for the rest of the day not much is going to be accomplished, and I'm TIRED too. The bigs walk in at 3:45 fighting with each other. JOY. Josh had a rough day at school, and wouldn't tell Sam about it. Sam HATES being out of the loop and wouldn't quit pestering him. I can see Josh is upset and that he needs me ALONE for a minute to talk it through. Turns out, he had to stay in for recess to talk to his teacher about re-doing a math sheet. I couldn't tell if he was more upset about the teacher needing to talk to him or about missing recess, apparently, he didn't know either, both I guess. We hug for a few minutes and I purposely don't tell him what I'm thinking (because I was kind of thinking that it was a lot of hype for just one little missed recess - but I remind myself that I am NOT 9 and I keep my mouth shut). Whew. Where was I? Oh yeah.

I don't even know what time it is now. I know that I denied the boys their after school snack because their room looked like tornado-ville, and I insisted they clean it up in 20 minutes or less or they're waiting until dinnertime. I give them 20 plus 10 minutes for good measure and they still don't cut it. Now they have to wait. This does not make them happy. They are hungry. I am trying to teach them a valuable lesson. They don't see it that way. I start to wonder if I do either, but decide I've got to stand by my word. I learn something else. Whiny kids are no fun. Add HUNGER to the mix, then throw in a 3 year old who tuckered himself out playing with his "New fwends" and is crying on the couch for no reason (again, I'm not 3 - so what do I know) and a one year old who can NEVER handle the evening/dinnermaking/ hour and you've got a recipe for DISASTER.

I am trying to hold it together but everything is unraveling behind me. Mark gets home and starts doing the only thing he knows how to for the screaming one year old and that is to feed him anything his heart desires, all the while the bigger kids BALK because they've been denied such goodness, and Sam wails that he hasn't eaten in like TWELVE HOURS (apparently breakfast and lunchtime don't count as eating - who knew!)

Mark wants to talk, we haven't seen each other all day but quickly gives up, even he can see we're losing this battle. He has to go to a meeting, I start to wonder if he actually skipped out the door, or if I'm just hallucinating - I think he did. I would have. It is now 6:30, dinner has STILL not been served, the boys have lots of homework, Will is still wailing and the cat - not to be left out - is scratching at the door to get out. (he thinks he's a dog) I need to lash out at something. I do the math. By process of elimination the cat's self confidence is by far the most impenetrable and I scream (really)

He understands me, I just know it. He takes a few steps back, LEAPS onto the blinds, and hangs from the middle as the blinds crash over and over against the door. Even I must admit, it was revenge at it's finest. I totally jumped, HIGH. Well played, Toby.

But I don't stop there, I continue my rant, all self-confidence worries now put aside. "YOU STARVING KIDS SIT HERE AND EAT AND DON'T TALK - well, you can talk a little, but EAT, I am going OUT OF THIS ROOM FOR A MINUTE, AND PLEASE DON'T FOLLOW ME! The thing is, I never made it out. Turns out, I just needed to say it, then by the time I dished up my plate I felt better. Where was I? Oh yeah.

Daddy gets home, I hear him come in from the garage. You know it's bad when the first words out of his mouth are "Hey guys! You're still alive?!" oops. We sit for a minute on the couch, he puts my legs on his lap and we talk about our blessings, he makes sure I'm okay. This helps for the time being. But now dinner is done, the kitchen is deSTROYED again, and I'm helping with homework which is ABSOLUTELY.THE.LAST.THING.IN.THE.WORLD that I want to be doing at that moment - I am just SPENT - and so are they, but we persist and get through it. Meanwhile, I turn to Mark and announce that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES am I going to bed anytime soon (this cuts pretty low, as we both know our favorite time of day is our unwinding time - watching tv, or talking about the day and being together) and that he might as well just go now without me because I need time ALONE for a long long time while everyone else is asleep. He gets me there after all with a little plate of warm apple cobbler - he's sneaky that one. (that or I'm totally easy, the least I could have done was hold out for a foot rub!) The day ended with kisses and hugs all around, heartfelt ones. And you know what? Not ONE time in the midst of the craziness or my increasingly rotten mood did one person tell me to "snap out of it", "just get over it" or to "go away", none of them went screaming into their rooms, slamming their doors. They all endured the mommy of the moment and saw it gracefully to the end. Doing exactly as they were told, without hesitation. Once when I was complaining to Mark that I was frustrated because this, this, this, this and this all piled up at once and I felt really overwhelmed, Sam said lightheartedly "but, that's what mom's are supposed to do, right? They're supposed to handle everything." That's the only chastising I got, and it was more than deserved. Where was I? Oh yeah.

You know those days when you wake up feeling energized and are determined to conquer the world and you just know you can do it because, I don't know why, but you just feel like you can?

Today was one of those days.

Except it wasn't. Not EVEN close. That's okay, tomorrow is another day and I will try again - this time hopefully with a few extra helpings of patience. just in case.

Life is good.


Karina said...

Wow. I'm exhausted, Melanie. I'm not sure if I can survive four kiddos! But at the moment, I think 3 kids and a pregnancy is harder than 4 kids;)

I had an epiphany last night about how to truly apply Elder Wirthlin's "Come What May and Love It" talk. I feel much better today :) It's nice to know I'm not alone. Thanks for sharing.

Cindy said...

We all have days like that. I'm sorry you had one yesterday. Hopefully today will be more productive. I'm so glad we were able to meet up with you yesterday. That was so much fun. I realize how much I need to catch up with you and can't wait till we can do it again!

Trish said...

While I read through your post, I found myself wondering if you are my long lost twin. I love how similar we are!
I loved this post for its honesty. You're a good mommy having a long day. Thanks for reminding us it's okay to scream at the cat! (And anyone else who happens to get in the way!)

AD said...

I think I'm gonna start a Facebook group called "I heart Melanie Cain"

I'm still laughing over the cat's revenge.

Loved this post. You are a classic.

Anaise said...

I'll bet it feels so goooood to have spilled that all out and to know that today is a brand-new fresh day!!! I laughed with compassion because of course I've had days just like that, and you know what I've learned . . . DON'T MAKE LISTS!!!

No matter how satisfying it is to get things done and cross items off the list (and I truly love to cross items off to-do lists), the list vs. kids battle always leaves me nuts. No lists. Not one. (Except for what to be sure I pack for a trip--and I make that list a week ahead of time, so it can take a long time to complete!) If I MUST have a list, then I write the things down that I've FINISHED--fed the baby (check), served breakfast (check), and so on. Then I don't have any unchecked items at noon or any other time of the day.

Blah, blah, blah--I loved this post--totally identified with it. You continue to be a delight!

kirsten said...

seriously, your cat is hilarious. or must die, I'm not sure which.

And yeah, we all relate with this at some level. Hopefully you haven't had THAT kind of a day again yet, though!

Also, this might be the only kind of day that unmarrieds think of when they think of being a mom. But it's so worth it, even WITH these days. I think that's what you bring across, and that's important.

Anaise said...

Oh, I've been thinking this morning, and I just lied in my previous comment--actually my life is FILLED with lists (grocery, errands and otherwise) . . . I guess I just meant that I don't put together big to-do chore or school lists for each day--otherwise I end up crazy. Still wishing you a happy day today!

Judy Francisco said...

I'm going to print this blog because I just KNOW I'll be able to use it someDAY in some WAY... Very cleverly done. Very funny. Very heartfelt/genuine/loving. Very therapeutic. Just classic. Good job capturing a mommy day!

Riece said...


Greatest post EVER.

I was right there with you, every step! Well written, so honest. You're SUCH a GREAT mom, Melanie!

DIANE said...

This was your best ever. Somehow we are eternal optomists with lists. Where does the time go?

The Forney Four said...

I think you're soooo lovely.

I think I'll get a cat just so I can scream at it. Don't tell my sisters.

Good Carma said...

When I wake up thinking I can conquer the world, I diffently don't make a list then anything I do is an accomplishment. Actually anything I do anytime is an accomplishment for me. LaMont comes every weekend with a list of things he wants to do, never gets half of them done and wonders where the time goes, me on the other hand I wait to make my list until after I have done something, then I can say I got mine done, much better on the self esteem.