I'm in the midst of one of those nights that makes me question what the heck I'm doing bringing another child into this family...
I was already in a bit of a mood when the boys got home from school as I'd spent the afternoon searching our apartment for our hasn't-been-used-in-seven-months cheque book. The sale of our house closes in just over a month (very good!) and we have some
relatively important crucial cheques to write... and no cheques (very bad).
I made the boys a plate of pineapple, pretzels, a bit of dry cereal (and a marshmallow) as their after school snack... which was in addition to the granola bar they'd each eaten on their 45 minute bus ride home. Even though it was a sufficient snack and they were assured several times that dinner was in just over an hour, I heard nothing but whining for more food.
Liam got send to his room when he refused to listen to reason and be content.
Simon and Andrew fought almost non-stop from the moment the older boys got home... except when Simon was laughing at Andrew drawing all over the (thankfully closed) Macbook with Crayola markers.
While I was cleaning the laptop before Peter had the chance to see it, Andrew lined up all the cars out in the living room. Simon messed them up. After abandoning the cars to Simon for a bit, Andrew returned only to start picking up the cars and throwing them down the hall. Simon freaked out and stood in the middle of the hall screaming "NOOOOOOOO!" at the top of his lungs, then picked up one of the (metal) cars in his fist and ran at Andrew to try to punch him repeatedly in the head. Luckily I was right there to block his blows. Luckily.
(I'm sure the little old lady living below loves us...)
Liam came out of his room and proceeded to follow me around the kitchen while I was starting supper complaining about how bored he was and that HE NEEDS the computer or wii (only allowed on the weekends). All of my suggestions to play Lego or listen to Adventures in Odyssey or draw or paint or colour were all met with even more whining, and he ended up stomping off loudly screaming.
Meanwhile, Simon and Andrew had made up enough to decide to build "a fort" while I was busy getting supper ready and cleaning our disaster of a kitchen (yes, we have a maid, and yes, she comes tomorrow, but I'd feel like we were seriously taking advantage of her to make her clean that mess!). Their idea of "a fort" apparently meant taking our smallish hockey nets, pushing them up against the front door, and filling them with every toy/piece of clothing/bag/paper/coat/shoe/boot/etc they could find nearby. This included emptying all six drawers in the dresser we keep by the front door AND dumping in a double set of LeapFrog fridge magnet letters. Among other things.
I'm not sure if it was before or after the "fort" making that Andrew decided to shake the entire contents of a full sippy cup all over the living room.
While Simon sat and watched.
And probably egged him on.
During supper (which no one liked), Andrew got down from his highchair (while I'd gotten up to answer a call from Peter), got himself a cup of water and then decided to jump up and down while holding it. As you can imagine, not much water stayed IN the cup. Then he repeatedly threw his pasta across the table at Simon instead of eating it.
After supper, Liam kept complaining that he was hungry so I relented and let him make some toast. I was too tired to fight anymore.
AND while I was in the kitchen rinsing the supper dishes, Simon came in to inform me that Andrew had spilled his potty all over the family room floor. AND because I'd been busy all afternoon looking for that &*%#! cheque book, said potty hadn't been empty in, um, awhile. AND sweet little Andrew had not "spilled" his potty, he'd somehow sprayed/splashed/flicked all the lovely contents (thankfully all liquid, but still) ALL. OVER. the floor, walls, carpet, couch, end tables, nearby books and an unfortunate game of "Trouble" (thank you, I see the irony).
All while his two older brothers sat right there and did nothing.
I lost it.
I yelled at Simon for standing there right in the middle of the mess all over the floor and tracking it through the rest of the house.
I yelled at Liam for sitting on the couch and not noticing/doing nothing to stop something that clearly took several minutes to accomplish.
And I spanked Andrew.
I spanked him.
He turned two this last January and had never been spanked. To say he was shocked would not be an adequate description. He started crying and I didn't even comfort him. I just stomped out of the room to get the mop and figure out how to tackle the mess. And after mopping a path to the door I snapped at all three boys to get to their rooms and get in bed.
Now I sit here still seething about how awful the afternoon went AND feeling like the worst mother ever. I hate when my kids fight. I hate when I lose it and yell at them. I hate feeling angry and stressed and annoyed the entire afternoon/evening when we only get a few precious hours together each day. I hate that I spanked Andrew... even though he knew it was wrong, the whole situation wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been too busy/preoccupied to empty the potty and had been paying more attention to them all.
But if I can't even attend to the three of them, how on earth will I function with a fourth?!
One of the things that's making me feel even more crummy about all this is that I'd just read the following earlier in the afternoon and found it so poignant:
I just want to cry reading that again.
So while I go crawl into bed with each of my boys and try to somehow salvage at least a few minutes with each of them, I'll leave you with another quote I read last week...
Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet
voice at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
So here's to a (hopefully) better tomorrow.