We’ve all heard it. “Don’t make mountains out of molehills.” It’s a great idea, in theory. But when you’re in a moment of frustration and there are nothing but molehills in your path, it becomes almost impossible to see how you will get around the next one.
Last night was, possibly, my worst night ever as a parent. And it’s all thanks to too many molehills.
Captain spent the evening in Urgent Care Thursday night for headache/jaw pain. It was frustrating, but we got through it fine. The kids were fed, bathed, and into bed by the time he got home with a diagnosis of tic douloureux (pronounced tick doo-la-roo, which we’ve been saying a lot because it’s kind of fun) and some hefty pain meds. Friday morning I made a to-do list for myself (I had plans to be productive) and he decided to take a half day so he could manage the pain better without being medicated at work (electricity and sleepy pills? Not a good combo). Upon hearing his plans I decided to surprise Cabin Girl with an early day out of school and a movie date. Then, he mentioned that some work friends were having a ping pong and beer gathering after work and he wanted to go. Uhm… okay, I guess. He never does stuff like that so I couldn’t say No.
Fast-forward to coming home after the movie and the t.v. was on, the living room had exploded, Cabin Boy was naked because he’d apparently wet his pants, though Captain wasn’t sure where or when, Mr. Monkey hadn’t been fed or changed in ‘a while,’ and Captain was looking at me through bleary, not-quite-teary eyes. Despite him not feeling well enough to completely take care of the kids, he was still planning on going to the pong party. “I won’t be gone too long.” Oohhkay.
Things pretty much went to hell immediately.
While I went to the laundry room to get CB clean undies, someone went into their room and tore apart a book. I went up to clean up the book and, upon taking it to the bathroom trash, discovered pee ALL OVER the toilet and surrounding area. As I was cleaning up the goodness-knows-how-long-it’s-been-there pee, MM brought me the cold, soaked pair of undies CB had stashed somewhere from earlier. Cue beginning of shit-losing. I charged CB with putting the dirty undies in the laundry room where dirty clothes go. After I finished cleaning the bathroom I came downstairs to find Cabin Girl dancing around the dining table, the cloth stripped and laying on the floor with numerous scattered dirty dishes. “[MM] did it.” Cue mommy tears. I instruct CG to grab the table cloth and follow me to the laundry room. On the way, I discover CB’s wet undies on. my. craft chair. Cue beginning of anxiety attack. I switched out the laundry and went into my room to scream into my pillows and hyperventilate a few minutes. Add ‘change sheets’ to the to-do list, since now I’ve gotten mascara all over everything (why do I even bother wearing makeup?!). I text Captain and my best friend, one to inform that it was in everyone’s best interest that he come home, and the other just to vent. Captain informs me that he’s in the middle of a “little” tournament, but will be home as soon as it’s done and hopes ‘things improve’ for me. I head downstairs to finally figure out dinner (which is now an hour later than the kids are used to) and discover all the couch cushions and blankets have been thrown amidst the dirty dishes that still haven’t been picked up, except a precious few that were relocated to the shoe closet in the entry.
|It’s like Scary Mommy was in my house last night.|
This is the point where I decided I couldn’t leave any child alone in any room for any amount of time for the rest of the evening. So instead of making gluten free pizza, which we had all the ingredients for, I ordered from our favorite, local pizza place (while MM followed me SCREAMING) and turned on a movie. While we waited the precious 30 minutes for our very late dinner to arrive, I grabbed a tote and started throwing toys in until I could fit all the living room toys into 1 big basket and 3 small ones (during which MM kept snagging toys from the tote and throwing them into the fireplace). Instead of bathing the boys, I wiped them off with a washcloth. MM went to bed just fine, but there was no getting the big kids to cooperate without daddy there to tuck in/snuggle/say goodnight (which I informed Captain of, but he never responded), so we watched the movie until CB passed out. I let CG sleep with me until Captain came home (2 hours after he had informed me of the “little” tournament he was in) smelling like beer and fun.
At least he had the sense not to try to touch me once he got into bed.
So here we are this morning. Captain is gone, working a scheduled overtime shift. We need the money if we’re ever going to have enough for a big down payment come the time we decide to move. The kids are in the same fantastic mood they were in last night, so we’re all gathered in the living room where I can keep an eye on the destruction they’re causing. I just want to shower, or go read a book somewhere quiet, or go make something wholesome for breakfast without fear of something being broken.
I can see these molehills. I know they are trivial in the scheme of things. First-world problems, if you will. We will be getting out of the house in a little while. They boys will get to play under someone else’s supervision while CG dances with her ballet troupe for 2 hours. I will shower at the park facility, knit, and hopefully get some socialization with other parents. We’ll probably get sandwiches from the Subway that’s in the building, so I can avoiding a screaming fit of hunger from one or all of the kids. We may go to a park to run out as much energy as possible afterwards. We’ll come home and I will lament at the amount of things I didn’t get done yesterday, because I was focused on cleaning the path of destruction my kids made. I will take a deep breath and get done what I can.
I will let my kids see me cry, if it comes to that again, because they need to know that sometimes Mommy gets upset and frustrated, too. I will show them how they can help me, and pray that they enjoy the feeling of accomplishment more than they like the atmosphere of destruction. We will get ready for CG to have a sleepover tonight and hope against hope that Captain comes home at a decent hour. We will show him how much we enjoy his company and how much we appreciate what he does for us.
Because the lesson I’ve taken from this is that it’s Captain that keeps my molehills from becoming mountains; Sometimes with his help, but mostly with his presence. It’s days like yesterday that remind me that, though it’s easy to be bitter, everything is better when we decide to be grateful instead.