Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My trophy

On the couch we hardly use. In the living room. I think only a handful of guests have sat on it. But I was sitting on it then. The room was dark, except for lines of light shining through the slats of the window blinds. I wanted to be somewhere dark, to hide. I put my feet up on the good table because I didn't care.

That was it -- I just didn't care.

No -- I did care. I just wondered why I even bothered.

Because you love him, I answered myself immediately. If you didn't love Fly, it wouldn't bother you. The opposite of love isn't hate; it's indifference.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, I told myself back.

If I can't even get along with myself, how can I expect anyone else to? Especially someone who's not even two years old?

I crossed my arms and tried to put myself back together while going over the day and what I could have done differently to make it better. When Fly threw everything off the table at the restaurant, turning a drink into a puddle on the floor and causing the manager to quip, "Want a refund on this piece of bread?" When he almost pulled the earring out of my ear, slapped my face, pinched me and pulled my hair from its clip, all while screaming. When Fly repeatedly climbed onto the glass table JP made -- but not quite well enough to stand up to stomping feet -- and I had to put him in timeout. Twice. When he defiantly grabbed a book I was reading to him out of my hands and threw it across the room. When I finally put him, thrashing and wailing, into his crib for the night. What could I have done differently to make it better? There must be something I'm not doing right, or just don't know that I should be doing -- some key ingredient to parenting that got left out of our family recipe.

The couch was getting softer, the room darker, and my thoughts couldn't walk a straight line. I was thinking about how nice it would be to not be thinking and instead just go to sleep.

Then JP found me and sat down next to me on the couch. He got me talking about things other than tantrums and timeouts and the spectrum of discipline theories. He told me he's glad we think the same way about raising Fly.

And JP told me he thinks I'm doing a good job. Inwardly, I brushed it off, certain I am not.

But because the only awards passed out for mothering toddlers come from fathers' encouraging words, that's the trophy I'm placing on top of my mental shelf, and the hope I'm hanging onto today.

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Blogger Andrea said...

Awww...what a rough day! I'm sure you are a wonderful mom...in fact I know you are - because you care and you're taking time to think about how you could possibly have done things better or differently...I know many moms who don't care enough to consider how things could have been done differently, etc. I hope you are having a better day today though...I'm thinking of you!

3:51 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

oh friend.

sorry about the crummy day.

but you are right. husbands words are the trophy. not to mention the next morning when fly wakes up all happy to see you again. there is nothing like the next morning to wipe away a crummy day :)

3:55 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Oh, honey, it happens. You know the saying, "A face only a mother could love?" Sometimes I think the saying got screwed up. I think their behavior can be appalling. Thank goodness for husbands, partners etc.


4:20 PM  
Anonymous Much More Than A Mom said...

Well said, my dear. Sorry you had a crappy day. I have many like that and we're not alone. That's why we get to start again in the morning!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Bloggy Mama said...

Days like that are NO FUN. Here's wishing the rest of your week is blissful!

5:34 PM  
Blogger CaraBee said...

All I can say is thank goodness for supportive husbands, because there are some days where they're the only thing keeping you from taking that final step into insanity.

Sending positive vibes your way that tomorrow will be better!

5:54 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Oh, we have all been there! My only consolation on days like that are to call up my friend with 5 kids 5 and under and laugh at her and say "Hey, at least I'm not you!" (luckily she's a really good friend and takes it all in good stride!!!!)

5:56 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I can empathize with feeling like there is some major component to good parenting that I'm missing...especially with my son.

Some days are just very trying. Hope things improve around there.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

think about how you feel on your worst days....crabby....bitchy....wanting to punch someone's lights out perhaps. now imagine all those feelings stuck inside the body of a little person who is not only vertically challenged, but impulse control challenged, and constantly being denied the objects of his/her affections. AND...they don't get to drink alcohol or coffee. Yup. That's a toddler.

You are doing everything right...as evidenced by how much it all affects you. And the Fly simply had a bad day. Don't we all?

10:45 PM  
Blogger h&b said...

Public tantrums are humiliating. You've had your hair pulled, your face slapped, and people are looking at you. Is your face red from the slap, the shame, or the physical effort of pulling it all together, or from the tears brimming near the surface?

It's hard.
Did you get into your car and press your head to the horn and cry ?

It's hard.

Yay to the FlyDaddy for being on your side. Yay to you for keeping it all together in the face of the tornado.

You sound like a great mum/mom.

And Fly ? Well, someone needs a nap young man, so his mamma can have a nice wine ( whine ? ) with her husband.

So off you go right now, hop to it !


3:14 AM  
Blogger Jenn (Life's Sweet Melody) said...


Your post is so raw and honest. In some odd way it's also comforting. We're just beginning on the tantrums and such and they frustrate me tremendously. Your hubby is great to be supportive and reassuring. I'm sure you are doing a wonderful job with him.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Madeline said...

Gee Whiz, sounds like you deserve a drink and a trophy! The fact that the man who gets the closest view of your mommying skills thinks you rock means you're an awesome mom. So don't get too down on yourself. This too will pass.

2:53 PM  
Blogger MoziEsm√© said...

Sounds like one of those days when you wonder who they inherited it from! Daddy's great, so it must be from you. Are you really that bad?!

I LOVE my baby like crazy, but there are definitely times I wonder what I could be doing differently to prevent the naughtiness, and then I'm upset with baby because I'm really not that bad - so why is she taking it out on me? Sleep usually puts it in perspective - for both of us.

And from what I've seen, it sounds like you're a great mom with a great kid.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Guinevere Meadow said...

What a sweet guy JP is!

And you, my dear, are a ROCKIN MAMA!! Don't doubt yourself because of Fly's tantrums.

the same child who pinches you and yanks your hair is the same one who asks for hugs, and eagerly runs after a butterfly because YOU, his mama, taught him that such things are valuable and precious and worthy of being chased after.

I'll echo what everyone else has said- tomorrow is another day!

4:35 PM  
Blogger irmaJ said...

"Momma said there'd be days like this... I used to tell myself, but why oh why was there so MANY days like this? Then I had a dear lady friend tell me these words..."this too shall pass." I had one of those days like you and I will never forget her comforting hug and her words. You will get through this, she said, and you will look back and realize that you did the best you could and you loved them inspite of all your frustration. You are a great mom. Just love them and they will love you back. Hang in there.
Lots of hugs... from one who has been there, done that.

6:11 PM  
Blogger groovyoldlady said...

Hold on to that trophy darlin', because you ARE doing a good job.

Parenting is the toughest job there is!

7:19 AM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

That's the best kind of trophy, acknowledgment and admiration of your husband!

Oh, Fly, please be good to your mommy.

7:56 AM  

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