I had an epic Awesome Mommy Moment today and I just wanted to share.
For the past few weeks, the twins have been acting up. Althea, in particular. Major ‘tude. Complaining, demanding, bad attitude, defying, etc. She just turned 5, so. This sucks.
Anyway, it’s been building up the past few weeks. It’s partly a reflection of my own mental state. My stress level has been through the roof between planning three birthday parties, Christmas shopping, <– going into debt, teaching at the school, writing the school newsletter, taking on two major freelance projects, trying to train for a half marathon (or rather, being totally unable to due to zero time to exercise, unless I would like to stop sleeping), my husband training for a 100-mile race, having no help throughout the day, meditating and doing acupuncture to care for my mental health (or rather, not being able to due to a complete lack of time for self-care), trying to cook/clean/do laundry/cut coupons/pay bills/vacuum/keep the bathroom from becoming a health hazard, and keeping up with the everyday demands of being a full-time stay-at-home mom to four small kids and and and . . .
Well. I’ve been a little . . . um. Fucked up.
Keep this in mind as you applaud my Awesome Mommy Moment. I promise, it’s coming.
Today, I picked up the twins from their pre-kindergarten program. There’s a small retention pond outside of the school building. The kids usually race each other and throw rocks into the pond after school while the moms gossip about each other within spitting distance of one another. (For good reason at times, mind you.) (<–This is the reality of having just-about-school-aged children, as I’m learning. Mommy Gossip.)
The pond is a problem because we live in Florida. The rule of thumb goes that any standing body of water in Florida has an alligator in it. People who live here know this. And this pond is no exception. Two gators in this SOB.
Anyway, to get to my Awesome Mommy Moment. (It’s really, REALLY good, I’m telling you.)
Althea and Elise are standing at the pond’s edge. While I am mindlessly gossiping with another mom, they take off their shoes and socks and start digging around in the dirt around the pond, sticking their toes in the water, throwing things into the pond, etc. Really stupid, defiant shit. Stuff they know they’re not supposed to do.
Shoes off? I can handle. Digging around in the dirt with shoes off? I can handle. At the edge of a pond with their toes in the water which is home to two known alligators? Well, even I have limits.
I ask/tell them to back up to the grass line, stop digging in the dirt, stop throwing things into the water, warn that I’m going to count to three if they don’t make a decision about what they want to do, etc. They don’t comply. And they don’t comply. And they don’t comply. (I told you the books are bullshit.)
Cool Mommy has officially lost her Cool.
After the 4th or 5th request to step away, reason, etc., I pretty much lose it in front of all the happy suburban mommies.
Here’s your step-by-step guide on How to Lose It in Front of All the Happy Suburban Mommies When You Have Four Children:
1) Grab the non-running child by the wrist and place inside of the vehicle.
Drag the least mobile child (Elise) by the wrist to the minivan. Be sure that her feet are actually digging into the soil. Then grab her underneath her armpits and place her gently but firmly inside of the vehicle. Instruct her to “Sit down and buckle up because Mommy is extremely angry.” Breathe audibly through your flaring nostrils.
2) Attempt to reason with the mobile child and proceed to be completely ignored.
Count to three and hope that you don’t spontaneously combust in a ball of fury. Caution: This child will use her small stature, lack of social embarrassment, and relative physical mobility to her advantage.
3) Get into the driver’s seat of the minivan and pretend to drive away.
This will cause the mobile, defiant child to run toward the vehicle in a complete, hysterical panic. Be aware that any sane, concerned parent standing by will have an equal reaction. Listen for the screams of “WAIT, WAIT, YOU FORGOT ONE!!!!!!!”
4) Do not give a fuck about judgement because these people have not lived the past 2 months in your shoes.
Because I sure as hell don’t.