Last week, I had one of those days. My husband was out of town, which meant our three boys were extra crazy. They just know when Daddy is going to be gone for a while, and their brains kick into hyperdrive trying to figure out things they wouldn’t normally do when he’s here. Such as eat wood chips during recess because they refused to eat their breakfast and just couldn’t make it until snack time. Or the baby suddenly learns the word booty and parades around everywhere we go singing his new knowledge. Or other schemes/fights/general chaos. And I’m often the victim.
Now, I know my 19-month-old didn’t purposely stick Thomas in my hair knowing his little churning wheels would suck my hair in and cause it to wrap around tighter and tighter, until I finally got everyone buckled in their carseats and could finally locate the power switch, then have to find the scissors among the vases, candles, and matches all hidden from little people in the cabinet above the stove and butcher my hair.
That’s just how it goes. Except that morning was going to be different. Even though our oldest was sick (and by sick I mean just enough to not go to school, but not enough to slow him down by any stretch of the imagination…he took a personal day) and Mr. 4 still didn’t eat breakfast, I was going to make the best of it. I had gotten a snack for Mr. 4 to eat on the way to school, we were going to be on time(ish), and I was psyching myself up to come home and jam to iHeart90s while cleaning bathrooms as Disney Jr. babysat the other two boys.
But then it hit the fan when BabyMan jacked Mr. 4’s coveted toy that he didn’t care about until his baby brother wanted it, causing Mr. 4 to pitch a fit and throw his pretzels all over the floor of the car. Of course, two minutes later he was over it and pining for his pretzels, which were by then coated in crumbs of everything else they’ve throw down there. Then he decided all of a sudden he didn’t want to go to school since his big brother didn’t have to go to school that day and protested LOUDLY and stiffly (ever had your kid do the thing where they think if they become stiff as a board, you can’t make them go somewhere?) as we walked to his classroom. I let his teacher know we’d had a morning and that I foresaw more wood chips in his future.
Now, I know it’s ridiculous, but it’s also very easy for me to see other moms walking their calm kids into school and think about how much better of a mom/kid combo they must be because clearly they didn’t have to scalp themselves for the sake of a toy that morning. Or if I see a kid throwing a fit, I convince myself that probably never happens to that parent, and they will take care of it much more calmly and patiently than I would. I know it’s unreasonable to think that, but for some reason, judgement is just so stinkin’ prevalent in our parenting society. I don’t so much judge other moms’ decisions as I judge myself negatively based on them. And unfortunately, those moms do exist whose goal it is to out-mom everyone else, which totally sucks for people like me.
I just have to take it one day at a time and know my sweet/chaotic/energetic/growing boys were meant to be mine, and because of that, I will be able to handle life.
Meghan’s little brood of wild men are also some of the sweetest guys you could ever want to meet. They are good sharers, (generally) very polite and well-mannered, and, when encountered individually, can play quietly and manage to behave. It’s just in combination, and especially when alone with Meghan, that they seem to go a little off-the-rails at times. I like to think it’s just their way of showing their Mama how much they love her!