I had another post I wanted to share right now, but since a “situation” is quickly unraveling itself right before my eyes, I’m taking a minute to acknowledge it.
I am currently locked in my bedroom (don’t worry, my husband’s downstairs). I’m removing myself from the situation because it’s 8pm and I’m at a ten. A ten? You know, that moment when your abnormally low blood pressure is probably rising exponentially because your children refuse to listen and they are driving you batshit crazy. Yes… that’s where I am right now.
Now it may not be entirely their fault. I had an early and stressful morning at two different doctor’s offices. It’s been over five weeks since I’ve been allowed any self-care outside of the home, and I had to get these appointments in while I could. I’m on a path to find wellness (more on that soon) and I have some extensive blood-work being done tomorrow. I was stressed all day about my very low blood pressure and why eating tons of sea-salt isn’t doing much for me.
On top of that, it’s freezing cold, which never works well with my body and you know life is happening every damn second and I can’t hit pause when I need it to.
So while it isn’t entirely my kids’ fault that I’m at a ten, they definitely didn’t help things. I happily took the boys to their tennis lessons and everything was going fine until we left to go home. The weather took a turn for the squalling polar vortex and we were in a deep freeze in our car. That wasn’t even so bad. What was really bad was the incessant screaming of my five year old because “You’re interrupting me!” “Stop talking!” “Your voice is annoying me.” “Your antagonizing me.” You know, just a few fun catch-phrases to hear at the highest decimal a human voice can shout in an icey snow-squall.
We pulled into our driveway and the screaming continued and that’s when I lost it. The whining and complaining continued on – all three had some issue or another. And then bedtime came. For twenty minutes I had to beg my two little ones to pick out their night-time stories. They didn’t. Finally, my little one did, so I read it to him and he said he would go to bed. He lied. For the next hour, up until ten minutes ago, he was screaming in my face that he needs “something to help him go to sleep,” and by something he means a snack. Not happening dude. I stood my ground and refused to give in. Sure, it would be a hell of a lot easier to give him a snack, re-brush his teeth, and get him off to bed, but I refused to acquiesce to his nonsensical demands and I refuse to allow him to think he has the authority to disrespect the household rules.
[Oh wait… As I type, he is currently banging on my locked door demanding that I “help him go to sleep.” I hear my husband telling him that it’s “not a negotiation,” and that it is bedtime… Just so you know, we’ve both “helped him to go sleep” a minimum of three times each already for tonight.]
When it was time for my middle one to get his story for the evening, he did everything he could to delay. Forty minutes later, after many warnings, I told him he missed his chance, as he sat clutching a great book with big puppy dog eyes. (He’s an actor. He knows how to work it.) I repeated that I had given him multiple opportunities to read the book with me and he chose not to follow the directions multiple times. (Not falling for those baby blues this time boy.) I explained that I would happily read him the book in the morning when we woke up, but that there are consequences for our actions and when we don’t listen after the first time, and then again after a warning, and yet then again after a final warning, consequences will occur.
Did I enjoy not reading to him? No, of course not. All I wanted to do was curl up in his bed and snuggle up close as we shared a good laugh over a funny story. The same way all I wanted to do was “help” my little guy fall asleep. But if I’ve learned anything along this journey called motherhood, it is that if I constantly give into their demands and their whims and their negotiations, it’s not going to help them now or later in life. And plus, if you’ve been following along, I don’t negotiate with terrorists.
So here’s to me planting my feet firmly on the ground, reminding my children that I love them, but it’s time to go the F to sleep! (ps – if you’re a parent and you haven’t read that book, read it: Go the F to Sleep
[“And children, I apologize for being at a ten and screaming more than I’d like tonight. Tomorrow will be better” – said all moms everywhere at the end of the day]
(Oh wait… exciting news… my little guy is back and he is now banging on my door again negotiating how he will only sleep if I go inside his room and help him… Sorry, but nope… love you dude, but nope.)