Friday, March 27, 2009

Mommy's Being Irresponsible

First, the funny and the light stuff.

We drove Don to the urologist this morning for his vasectomy, and waited in the car while the deed got done. Inquiring young minds wanted to know what was going on. Guess which inquiring mind was the most curious? Yep, you guessed it - Daniel. We kept our answers vague. Personally, I knew Daniel would hit on the fact that Jesus might not like us deciding that we weren't going to have more children. Knowing this, there was no way I was going to reveal a single thing about this surgery. I've told the kids many times that children are a gift from God. Plus, Daniel picks up on the fact that babies (colicky ones) are hard on Daddy's nerves. Sometimes, Daniel asks me if Daddy is happy that we have Anna. Heartbreaking question, but I understand the differences between men and women in regards to babies. I can tolerate fussiness - for whatever reason, at any age - much better than my husband.

Mommy: "Daddy is having a routine, small surgical procedure, and needs to take it easy for a few days."

Daniel: "Where does he need a surgery?"

Mommy: "It's just a routine procedure. There's nothing wrong with him."

Daniel: "Does he have a problem peeing, like Cousin Elena?"
(Daniel knows of only a couple types of surgeries. His cousin's recent urinary-related surgery is one of them.)

Mommy: "No, there is nothing wrong with him."

Daniel & Timmy: "Then why does he need a surgery?"

Mommy: "It's just a routine procedure that a lot of people get."

I brought along books to read to them, and I'd purchased a large fry for them to share. Trying to keep them somewhat quiet and controlled for forty-five minutes in the van was my main goal.

Things went well. We read the books and played "I Spy", while Anna miraculously slept. Then Daddy came back out. He got seated, and I asked how it went and if he was sad. (I was very sad about it.) With Anna crying in our midst by this time, he gave me a look that said "Sad! Are you crazy?!"

Then Daddy was explaining to me that he couldn't do any heavy lifting, and had to take it easy and use icepacks.

Daniel: "The thing is, Daddy, you just can't get stressed. We should all try hard to behave for a few days."

Needless to say, I laughed all the way to the freeway. The other two don't give us much grief. It's mainly Daniel. :)

Now for the hassles and negatives.

Anna had a very fussy day, and Don couldn't jump in and help like he usually does. The house was a disaster, and everywhere the kids went, they made new messes. Rosey dumped her water-color-dipping water all over the table and floor. I couldn't put Anna down long enough to start any laundry, or even collect the piles around the house. The dishwasher hadn't been emptied, or the breakfast dishes done. The playroom was a nightmare, as well as the boys' room, and every floor in the house needed swept and mopped. And yet there I was, rocking or carrying Anna, who wouldn't stay content for more than ten minutes. Can you imagine what I try to describe here? I'm an energetic person who likes to get things done. Seeing messes in every corner of my house, and being helpless to do anything about it, had my nerves completely frazzled.

I'd mentioned making applesauce earlier in the day. Accidentally, I'd purchased another bag of apples before we'd finished our other. Never forgetting any suggestion like this, Daniel hounded me all day about the applesauce. When will I learn this about ADHD kids? THEY CAN'T WAIT FOR ANYTHING. NOT TO SAVE THEIR LIFE! Never mention what you might have time to do. Never. When you're ready to do it, just call the child over.

By the time we got to baths and stories, I was humorless and very edgy. Rosey wanted The Gingerbread Man. The boys were tired of it. Daniel wanted two non-fiction science books. The other two hated that idea. After more bickering and discussion, we finally settled on four books, and then Daniel kept interrupting my reading (with questions or comments) every few sentences. I was going out of my mind, and trying hard to just get through it. I usually LOVE storytime, but not tonight. It was a struggle not to throw up my hands and just scream.

We finished up, and I brushed Rosey's teeth, sang to her, put on her various creams - scar cream, moisturizer, eczema cream - and tucked her in. Then I went in the little bathroom where the boys were brushing (we go over their teeth, just in case), and noticed toothpaste all over the counter, and foamy toothpaste on parts of the floor. That was the last straw, Folks. I did my medium-level primal scream, and lectured them about messes and being more responsible and helping out and all that Mommy had to do everyday and couldn't they see I was already overloaded????

They went to their room after this, upset and sad, and I heard Timmy tell Daniel that Mommy was "being irresponsible and she shouldn't shout like that." Then Daniel yelled down the hall that Timmy said I was irresponsible.

Sounding so funny to me, I lightened up over that comment, and managed to pray with them and sing to them, before apologizing and tucking them in. I told them, calmly now, that they couldn't watch any TV on any day unless they were willing to clean both their playroom and bedroom first. All TV would be earned, I explained.

They've been watching too much since January, because Anna has taken up so much of our time. Sure, they pick up new vocabulary from "Word Girl", and science concepts from "Sid the Science Kid" and "Fetch", but today was at least 50 degrees, and we had to FORCE them outside. The TV thing has been bothering both of us. We've been at a loss - there's just so much to do! They don't watch much at one sitting, but if we had the stomach to add up the various PBS shows, it might add up to 2.5 hours on some days. We've both been looking for work as well, making it even harder to spend time with them and keep the TV off. Just getting the schooling done and meals fixed is a big challenge.

Anyway, I feel better now, having gotten all this out. I probably should have read the Bible first, though. Thanks for listening.


Jess said...

oh miss pam, God has indeed blessed you with a gift for patience! i must confess a colicky baby would drive me nuts, of this i am sure. i cannot imagine the strain of the noise on top of not being able to put her down to do anything. and as you were describing the car scene with your beloved giving you 'the look' after you asked if he was sad... oh could i ever picture that!

anyhow, what i was meaning to say is you're a good mama who loves her kids dearly and is doing her best in a most stressful situation. hang in there, sweet pam. i hope your quiet time with Jesus was like getting your thirst quenched on a hot day. :) have a wonderful weekend.

Evenspor said...

"medium-level primal scream" - too funny. I love your writing. And that Daniel cracks me up. I know they drive you crazy, but I can tell you also love each of their quirky little personalities.