Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mad Diary 9.5.06

I'm sharing yesterday's meltdown with you because I am relatively assured that most of my days are governed with a modicum of sanity, and I am also blissfully unafraid of my more, uh, interesting side.

Olivia is probably one of the easiest babies in the world, and while that makes for some pretty banal posts, it helps doing this all over again at the crazy age of 43 be more bearable. So when yesterday, from 12:00 on, she decided to be beligerent, stubborn, and incredibly mom-needy, it came as a great shock to my system. But it probably would have been easier for me to handle if Jake hadn't walked through the door with, on top of his regular homework, 21 pages of grammar and sentence structure homework.

I felt the panic rise up within my throat, the wave of maternal drowning crashing over me. Jake, historically, has found ways to make one sheet of homework last an hour. So, we were now possibly looking at retiring for bed after one o'clock in the morning. Olivia must have fed off my panic, because for the first time ever, when I needed her to take a nap--or at the very least play with electrical outlets while in her walker--she simply would not have it. What started as whimpering, turned into full-scall screaming by seven o'clock. And the reason I am jumping ahead to that hour of the evening is that you do not want to hear the details in between, some of which include:
  • insanely screaming "Verb, Jake, VERB!!!!" to "assist" him in understanding what a predicate is
  • freebasing Ativan.
What the end of last night showed me was that I do not get to ever call Jake unmotivated again. With few outrageous promises, he finished his homework at seven pm sharp, with minimal complaining. Olivia--having performed enough uncontrolled screaming that my babysitter handed her to me, muttered ear infection, and ran--fell asleep after I rocked her and gave her full attention. The house was a veritable rat's nest of dirty dishes, turned over and half-consumed bottles of formula, toys askew. I was unbathed, still wearing the mismatched sweatpants and top I had thrown on that morning to drive Jake to school.

I let everything get out of proportion and lost so much focus. That very focus that my kids depend upon. I should have appreciated Olivia's clinginess. I claim to have wanted that since Jake in his infancy was so very happy to go to anyone who would hold him.

Today I held her with extra special tenderness, and in my newly regained sanity, thanked her for needing me. And Jake, he said it all after I apologized for yesterday. "Mom," he laughed. "You just love me too much, that's what it is."

1 comment:

Di said...

You are definitely not going to survive the hazing for Beta Mu (AKA Bad Mothers AKA apropos). We don't apologize....we BLAME. And if we do apologize, we certainly don't blog about it. Now, we do offer XBox 360's and other utterly inappropriate rewards to our children when we know in our hearts there is no way that they will actually earn were on target there.

We will blame this on the Ativan...which can make us so much more empathetic and compassionate...more than our nature actually. You may continue pledging, but be warned, the initiation is going to require stronger stuff (the Olivia electrical outlets thing might offset).