Friday the 13th

Today started out “fine”. True, I had a little harder time bouncing out of bed than usual, but whatever. I said my little thank you prayer and asked for some help in getting it together for another day. I was proud of myself for washing the shirt that C wanted to wear on “jersey” day. I had all my stuff together. I hadn’t even gotten the least bit upset when C left his backpack on the bus yesterday and I packed up his lunch in an old lunchbag and pulled out an old backpack and wrote a note to his teacher and everything was going swimmingly.

Now, I don’t know about other mommies, but I’ve come to realize that the morning routine is one of the keys to the whole day. If it goes smoothly everything else does too. And I have taken great pains in making sure that we have our morning routine all set to ensure it goes smoothly, but there are just those things no one can predict. Which is why I should always wake up early and bounce out of bed instead of lying around for an extra ten minutes because those extra ten minutes could be needed to solve a mystery, or answer a scientific question, or referee a fight, or clean a mess, or perform hostage negotiations…one never knows.

So today as my voice was getting louder and I’m saying things like “only five minutes left- where are your shoes?” and “i can’t talk to you about that now, when you are all done getting ready we can talk”, I realized that I had screwed up by staying in bed those extra minutes. The schedule was too tight. But the boys were moving and seemed to be all ready until

“where’s my coat?”

“i don’t know, C, it should be hanging in the closet”

“but it’s not!” (whiny voice)

“well i don’t know where you put it, but we’ve got to go. i don’t want to miss the bus.”

silence. i turn to his ordinarily cute face and see he is wearing his tiger hat over the hood of his sweatshirt which makes him even cuter. until

“oh, i think i left it on the bus too”

suddenly, he isn’t cute. suddenly, he is just defiant. he refuses to keep that god-forsaken coat on and continues to stuff it in his backpack. i’ve told him repeatedly that he’s got to wear it home.

“aaargh!” i’m yelling. like I said that i wouldn’t. and i see G looking at me somewhat reproachfully since he has suggested that when i or C feel like yelling or losing our tempers we should go into our rooms and write a note to let it all out like he does. it is a good idea. i’ve told him so. and i don’t feel the least bit ridiculous taking anger management advice from my 6-year-old. he learned it from me (sort of), from “doing as i say and not as i do”. God bless him. but it takes all of my restraint not to yell at him that i don’t have time to go into my room and write a note about how angry i am about the coat!

“you will not take that coat off any more!” i yell

C nods. OK.

‘let’s go!” i’m shouting “we’re going to miss the bus” then i’m muttering and stomping down the stairs. i go into a bin in the basement where i have snow coats. I grab one and i hand it to C to put on.

“no mommy” he screeches “i won’t wear that”

“yes, you will!” i screech back and start attempting to stuff his little arms in the coat while he struggles back. all i can think of is we’ve got approximately 45 seconds to get out the door and into the car so that we can make it to the bus stop.

“no! it’s too small!!”

i’m yellling at him and then i stop. i am doing what i said i wouldn’t do. yell. argue. i storm out of the house and tell G we need to start walking. C comes out without the coat and I flip again.

“it’s winter!”

“it’s too small!”

all manner of things flash through my mind about letting him be cold and then thinking about him getting sick and then thinking he needs to just listen to me and thinking it actually isn’t that cold out and realizing we’re 1 minute from missing the bus AND the coat that will be on the bus and i tell him to get in the car. we drive in  silence and I’m just so mad i can hardly stand it.

and the bus is a good 2 minutes late so we had nothing to worry about anyway.

so much for letting things go. i ruined our mornings because i couldn’t keep a hold of my temper. i don’t know why i feel like i’m one of the few moms that yells at their kids and why i think it makes me such a bad mom. where do i get this idea that other mothers just calmy tell their children what to do and the kids do it without a fight and everything is sunshine and roses?!  or am i wrong that other moms fight with their kids?


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