So today was a really rotten day as far as being a mom goes. In fact, shortly after the day began, I put this on Facebook:
First day out of school for Ryan. He’s been up less than 2 hours & has already pitched a fit over a toy, screamed at Alex, punched Alex, thrown a fit over losing toy above due to hitting, pushed his brother, thrown a fit over Alex taking a turn with a game, & hit him one more time. So I was trying to get us all ready to go swim, but now Ryan will be sitting in his bed alone while Alex and I pray for patience!
The day got slightly better from there. I took Ryan to the pediatrician for a splinter that had gotten infected in his foot. He got the splinter Wednesday, but we were not in a place where I could look at it and take it out when he told me about it. It also seemed tiny, so I didn’t think much about it. Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, I noticed a red stripe on his foot and immediately realized that the splinter was getting infected. It took about ten minutes of kicking and screaming, but I got it out, put some medicine on it, and put them to bed. This morning, I put some hydrogen peroxide on it. When it didn’t look any better, but continued growing, I called the doctor. And the point of all that is that when I got there, the boys were very well behaved, but the nurse chastised me like a child for not getting Ryan in sooner! The way she spoke and looked at me, I felt like she was waiting for me to apologize! Since I had gotten him there as soon as I realized it was getting bad, I didn’t apologize. I said, “Okay,” and stared back at her waiting for whatever else she felt compelled to say.
I won’t go into every detail, let’s just say getting the prescription, having lunch with Daddy, and the trip to the grocery store were less than ideal, but much better than I have seen from other families! So I am thankful that my boys are at least fairly well behaved when we are out and about.
Nap time was a nightmare. For me. The house rule is that you stay in your own bed and you stay quiet. Books and quiet toys are allowed. Sleep is not mandatory, though Alex usually still sleeps for a little while. Today Ryan followed remained within his boundaries. Alex was out of his bed more than in it. He tried repeatedly to get up into Ryan’s bed and no punitive measures seemed to help! My constant battle with him meant that I did not get any of the housework I wanted done — or even begun. Walking the dog, preparing dinner, and eating dinner were slightly better, but I still felt completely drained.
I had planned to make my Wal-Mart run tonight. (The previous trip was Winn-Dixie for the big sale items.) But I was so frustrated that I, with my husband’s encouragement and blessing, took the boys to the bookstore instead. This is nearly always a joy for me. I love the atmosphere. I love being in the middle of thousands of books. And I love my hot white chocolate mocha (with raspberry when I’m really treating myself!). This time we ran into several friends from church, including our worship pastor, Carey, and his boys. His youngest son is 4. My boys love to play with him. Ryan sometimes calls Corban his “best friend.” My boys ran around a corner into the kids’ section to talk to Corban. Carey stopped and spoke to me as he headed out. A moment later one of the older sons brought Corban around the corner. While we said our farewells, I felt confident that my boys were being good in that back corner — as they usually are extra well behaved when we are at the bookstore. Imagine my surprise when I walked back to that little corner to find about 8 books flying through the air (and even had to jump back, sloshing my coffee, to avoid one)!!!
It was one of those tall carousels that holds the thin, square paperback books that kids this age like — the way that the Berenstein Bears is usually published. Alex, 3 years old, was spinning the carousel as hard as he could. The books were everywhere! My guess is that there were twenty to thirty books on the floor. It was everything I could do not to scream when I said, “STOP!” Alex did stop and very innocently looked up at me.
As I began to chastise Alex for his behavior, Ryan spoke up in his defense. “Well, Corban did some of it.” (Gee, thanks Carey!)
I, in motherly cliche fashion, replied, “If Corban jumps in a fire, should I let Alex do it, too?”
LOL… Ryan just stared at me, as if to say, “What does jumping in a fire have to do with these books?” Even as I sat there, the hilarity of the situation hit me. I wish I had taken a picture! After Alex cleaned up the mess (with my help) and sat in time-out a while, I allowed myself to laugh. Out loud. And we enjoyed most of the rest of the time in the bookstore! Now maybe I’ve regained a modicum of sanity and can deal again with retraining the behavior of two boys who suddenly seem to have forgotten their boundaries!!!