I know I am human, but lately it seems that my patience is ridiculously thin. Maybe it is from lack of sleep (Mad Man still doesn't sleep the night...he barely sleeps at all!!), maybe from the fact that I never have a break (no nap time for T and again Mad Man doesn't sleep...and if he does it is usually with me!), maybe this is all normal...who knows and really it doesn't matter what the excuse is my patience is thin. Super thin. I have been raising my voice more than I ever imagined I would. Mad Man is in to everything. I mean everything (I know this is normal toddler behavior, but I never had this with T because she was just learning to crawl at his age, since she had been in a cast...so cut me some slack!!). He puts things in the toilet. He constantly pushes the water cooler levers and creates puddles on he floor. He tries climbing everything. He pours milk out everywhere! He is a handful. A wonderful little handful, but a handful none the less! Add to that little miss T and her dramatic antics and it is a recipe for my insanity. T seems to have a VERY difficult time listening, mostly because her mouth is always going and she is trying to argue with me before she even hears what I have to say. I'm sure that someday I will admire her independent spirit, but at the moment I need compliance!
My latest breaking point came when we were trying to make it to a new play group. (Another mommy guilt I have is that my children are "missing out" on socialization because they are not in day care, since the majority of kiddos we know are). So, the play group start time was 9:30, my kiddos don't wake up until 8:00 or 8:30. On this particular day Mad Man woke up around 8:00, so I was able to feed him breakfast and take a shower before T woke up. When she woke up, she was excited about play group, so she ate breakfast fairly easily and cooperated getting dressed. Then she must have met her limit for cooperation because everything else became a battle. She didn't want to go potty, but she finally did, but then refused to wipe herself. So, as I finished wiping her and flushed the toilet Mad Man put two little toys in the toilet. Ugh. I admittedly was losing it at this point. T Bear's reaction was way over the top. She started screaming and carrying on that the toys were gone forever (mind you she had not played with these little key ring toys in like a year!). I still held it together and finished getting Mad Man ready to go while T Bear was supposed to gather her toys. Once Mad Man was ready I told T it was time to go. She carried on that she didn't have all of her toys ready. Now, she consistently has to bring an entourage of toys wherever we go and they are never the same ones so there is no real predictability! I told her she had one minute to gather her toys. She argued with me and questioned me and then carried on about not being able to find exactly what she wanted to bring. By this point I knew that the play group had already started (which I attempted to explain to T - not that she has any sense of time!). When she argued again, I had had enough. I put Mad Man down and went outside on the deck. I truly needed to cool down. I stood on the deck for a few minutes just breathing in the crisp cold air. Who knows what the kiddos were doing inside! When I came back inside all zen like (well almost!) I took off my jacket, then Mad Man's and sat down on the couch. T questioned me and apologized and I explained that we were too late for play group and we could try again the following week. She was heart broken and clearly could not link the things that had just occurred with why we couldn't go. After several attempts to explain the situation I couldn't take the genuinely devastated look on her face and said we could try. Lo and behold she was super helpful and pleasant the whole way there and we made it to play group (even if we were about forty minutes late).
As an FYI when we returned home later I fished out the two little toys from the toilet - DISGUSTING!! Freakishly the kitty's eyes were glowing red in the bottom of the toilet (they are only supposed to do that when the button is being pushed)!! Creepy.
After this little episode I made a vow to myself to not be one of those mom's who yells. So far so good, my yelling is way down - not completely diminished, but I don't find myself yelling nearly as often. I make myself breath and count most of the time. There are, of course, those moments when yelling is necessary - like when T is about to do harm to Mad Man. No one is perfect...