I love my children. I love them from the top of their curly, sand filled scalps to their little dirty toe nails. I love when they say naughty things that make me giggle in secret and when they say sweet, good things that make me tear up with pride. I didn’t expect that motherhood would be this hard, this painstakingly difficult. I also did not expect to hope so much from my little, seemingly fruitless efforts, to raise good men.
I went and got a job. I decided, in order to maintain my finger-on-the-pulse-of-these-children lifestyle, that I would work from home two days a week. I worked this agreement in with accepting the awesome position of pretty much the beginnings of what I want to be when I grow up. Every Monday and Wednesday evening, I schlep my laptop home with odds and ends of incomplete transferable work. I usually start my day with my laptop set up next to the coffee pot and the kitchen cupboard radio so that I can oversee breakfast while opening the day’s first emails.
Sometimes, when my children need to be run like rabid dogs I am feeling capable, I take them to the local Burger King with the outlet under the table next to the tubes, the library or the bounce house. Sometimes, this plan goes well. Sometimes, this plan goes down in flames like the Hindenburg before I can say, “Leeevii! If I get to three…big trouble mister!“
On one such occasion, I decided an outing to the library after a few errands for work would be just the thing to do before lunch. I told them they could choose a few movies for the afternoon (so I could work a little at home) and that Levi could play with the trains (so I could work a little at the library).
Until that other kid showed up.
Well, to be honest, no other kids showed up to set Vito (Levi) off. It was actually his own siblings. The ones he has been sharing with his entire life. The ones who grab him a sippy cup or a snack when mommy has her hands full. You know, the big guys with the longer arms and the cooler toys that they have to share “because I said so“.
And yet, one wrong move regarding the train yard and all hell breaks loose. You would have thought the flippin’ British were coming!
Levi had…give or take about a thousand trains. Isaac wanted two and Levi lost his mind.
I am not talking a little yelp of indignation. I am talking legs kicking, screaming fit that made a librarian walk from the front of the library to “check and see if everything was okay.“
Um, yeah right! Cause this is my first day parenting.
True story. She was coming to make sure we were packing our stuff.
I told her it was fine. No one was dying. It was just a two year old protecting his train yard.
I slowly and calmly discussed with Levi the fine art of sharing and asked him to choose three for himself so that other children could have a few. He sniffled a very put upon okay and chose one….and then grabbed them all.
When I told him he had to choose #2, he lost his shit all over again.
(I am sorry, this post requires some foul language for accuracy)
I said in my finest, quietest mommy voice, inches from his face….”then we have to go home.”
As I said that, Man Librarian came over to help. “Oh, I guess the trains have to go bye-bye.”
Now, I do not know why Man Librarian thought this would be helpful. I can only say that it must be how men don’t know why you would need an eyelash curler, or to dust…I know, I should not diss the opposite sex because some daddies are way more in tune with reality than that guy.
But he was trying to help.
Luckily, Levi was already way to pissed with me to even notice Man Librarian kidnapping the train yard.
So, I asked the gentlemen to help my older boys check out, while I put my work away single handedly sequestering a psycho not unlike Hannibal Lector trying to run (more) a muck.
I grabbed my heavy bag and my limp, pissed off child and headed for the door. His angry, tired head collapsed on my shoulder and I realized just how tired he must be from trying to make me look like an awful mother in one of the quietest buildings in town.
I mean, it is exhausting. I almost pitied him.
Well, I kind of truly did because he fell asleep before we got home and I remembered before I gave birth to Isaiah a friend giving me advice.
If nothing else is right, bed is always right.
He was tired before we got there and I just didn’t notice.
Anywhoooo, as I carried him out of the library with my head held high, I made no excuses for him. I did not repeat the consequences of his behavior for the ogling onlookers to hear so that they would know that I was doing something about his behavior.
I love him. I did what I thought was right. I didn’t even notice until after I left that I did not react to anyone but him.
Ladies and gentlemen, including Man Libarian, I have reached a major milestone in my parenting!
I no longer care what ya’ll think and it feels really good. I have totally bought into the fact that I was indeed gifted with these little heathens and that means I know them better than anyone else in the world. I can see when they are tired, hungry or just being jerks because I am their mother. I have spent too many days and sleepless nights learning about these children and loving them the best way I know how to not have some insight into their inner workings.
So when Levi says, “Get your own damn train!“, I will deal with it how I see fit because I am the most qualified in the room to do so. When onlookers judge me, I will say, “Get your own damn kids.” because parenting is not a game for spectators. Parenting is only for those willing to play a very difficult game with very few time outs in an away stadium most of the time. That’s right.
We parents, we’re hard core and your stares don’t even phase us anymore.
We are way to busy.. I don’t know…raising people?