Monday, March 28, 2011

this day was a mess. both literally and figuratively.

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 laughed.

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.


  1. Amy, I am so sorry that it was such a hard day. I don't even know what to say right now except that I am sorry and that I admire you. Thank you for sharing your heart and the quotes. Praying that tomorrow is a better day. Love ya!

  2. ((hugs)) Sorry you had such a horrible day Amy.

  3. Maybe it's something in the air...only we live in Sask. and you way down there! Had a couple of wild children today too! But you win Amy...hope today is better and yes...I agree with the "I will try again tomorrow" That is all we can do!

  4. This is the first post of yours that I've read and your day sounds a lot like mine (with 3 boys also and hoping for a girl one day).

    Those words are great. I think I might stick them on my fridge.

    I hope tomorrow is easier and that you find your cheque book ;)

  5. Every night I whisper to my boys that tomorrow Mommy is going to try and be a better Mommy. It's hard work Amy and you're doing a great job. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully the sun will be out!

  6. Oh Amy, that is indeed a horrible, no good, very bad day. :( But you know what? We have them. All of us. Because we're only human.

    The part that makes you a good mother is that you're aware of your own humanness, and you're sad that you can't do it all all the time, and you want to do better. I think you're a terrific mom, and so do your boys.

    And being really pregnant made me really crazy, so you get a free pass from now until your due date. :) I hope today is better!

  7. Oh Amy, what a horrible day. Seriously, a day like that would try a Saint! Hugs.

  8. oh goodness. what i craptabular day! don't beat yourself up too much about it. the kids weren't there best, and perhaps neither were you, but it's done and you love them and they love you. we all have our days. and while Sark's words are wonderful, and something to try and accomplish, no normal parent can do that every day.

  9. Thank you for sharing that, Amy. All of us react in ways we do not like but not all of us admit it to others (which I think we should more often). I admire you. In those situations (which we all have. ALL of us) I just make sure that I apologize to Ethan for yelling at him and tell him that I'll try better next time. It's all I can do. This is a great way to model an appropriate response to being angry. I think you've done that! How can we teach them how to ask forgiveness if we never do it ourselves? You are a fantastic mom. And the fact that it took all day for you to freak out and raise your voice shows how much patience and love you have for your kids. I would have lost it earlier on in the day (after the Macbook & markers incident).
    Here's to a better today....

  10. Okay Amy, Did you find the check book? How exciting the house sold!!! These kind of days happen. I had a few (many) of them while teaching. The one thing I realized, was each day was a new beginning. The modeling forgiveness is something they will never forget. Young children always forget how naughty they can be. I feel bad and hope the same thing never happens again. Unfortunately, there will always be something new. Don't let it get you down. You are a Great Mom and your little girl is going to love growing up with those crazy brothers! Hugs, A. Dianne

  11. God knows how much I can understand you! While I was pregnant with Levi and Pat worked double shifts...I lost it very too often, and cry a lot...and asking myself several times a day...what I'm gonna do with a fourth!? But do you know what? It's happen than my kids only remember the best of these days and Jorick can't stop telling me than ''I am the best mom ever''. Sometime that makes me cry, cause I tink about all the moments that I yell at them or spanked them. So the thing is, we are not perfect and we will never be, we have to ask for forgivness and move on, and love them...:)
    This litlle baby girl and your three boys are really blessed to have you for a mom, you are the best for them cause God choose you to be their mother.
    Amy I miss you soooo much and I can't wait to see you again and chat with you while our kids play all together, and be there for you in thoses moments!! :)
    I send you a lot of love
    Elise xoxoxoxo

  12. Oh boy does this sound like my house:) We have six boys and two girls!! Hang in there, some days are better than others! I LOVE the end quote!! So right, we momma's are not perfect! Climbing in bed with them holding them tight and telling them you love them and will try harder tomorrow is a great, great thing! Congrats on having another!

  13. Andrew sounds like a little trouble maker, lol! Great job on the patience it must have taken to get you through to the potty moment. I would have lost it MUCH earlier! Love you lots, and am praying for a better day today! So good to talk to you guys the other day, by the way.

  14. Have you ever read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? You could write a mommy version of it. :)

    Thank God for His GRACE and that his mercies are new every morning! He also won't give you more than you can handle. Baby girl is going enhance your family tremendously!

  15. Kinda sorta sounds like our yesterday: the door slamming (5 year old), the sobbing (3 year), the yelling (30 year old). Oy.

    Here's hoping today is a better day for everyone!

  16. Oh, what a perfectly awful day. I don't think I would have made it to the point that you did before losing it. It happens to all of us, brush it off and move forward. Your boys sound wonderful most other days - because they have a great mama!

  17. Just wanted to chime in to say I've been there, too. It really helped me to hear that other moms have been in the same tough spot at the end of a really, really tough day.

    When this happens to me, I definitely try to put it behind me and refocus on tomorrow. It'll be better has to be!

  18. you are such a good mommy. some days are worse than others - and there is ALWAYS tomorrow!!! you will be just fine with your little girl!!!!

    so glad i finally caught up with you - you've been BUSY!!!!



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