The ones where I think I should have gone back to work while Evan is 2 and taken a year off to be with him when he is 6.
The ones where Evan tries to test every boundary, break every rule, and destroy everything in our house.
Last Thursday started out like any other Thursday. I made a long to-do list since I didn’t have to pick Ava up until 3pm, I sat down with my coffee to relax for a few minutes because Nathan was taking Ava to school, and I was excited to have time to exercise and get some things done.
I started the exercise DVD and immediately Evan was whining, “No dance, momma, no dance.” I tried to push through the 25 minute video thinking, he’ll be fine, it’s only 25 minutes. Well, HE didn’t think he’d be fine and his whining turned into a full on wale. I stopped the DVD and held him for awhile to calm him down.
Then a man came to give us an estimate for air conditioning and as I tried to follow what he was saying, Evan sat it my lap yelling, “Momma, draw bus, DRAW BUS, BIG BUS.” I told him I would draw a bus after the man was done talking. “NNNOOOOO.”
Later it was time to take a shower and I usually drag Evan’s little activity table into the bathroom so he can play with that while I shower. Normally he does play with it, but on this day he learned how to use it as a step stool and get into everything on the counter that is too high for him to reach. Before I could get out and stop him, he dumped out my expensive powder makeup and applied about a 1/4 of my expensive sunscreen to his face and hair.
By this time in the day, I thought I could squeeze in a trip to the grocery store before naptime and while I was getting the grocery list and shopping bags ready, Evan carried his stool out of the bathroom and used it to get into the forbidden junk drawer. He got a couple of Tic Tac mints (not a huge deal) and then set off the car alarm trying to get my keys out for me.
I put him in the car, half hoping he would fall asleep and I could come home and carry him up to bed. Nope. We went inside the store where he wouldn’t sit in the cart and insisted I carry him. Carrying a 25 pound two year old while pushing a cart one handed is not only inconvenient, it looks funny and people kept offering to help me which was embarrassing and I just wanted to explain that it was the only way I could get the milk we would need for bottles and lattes the next day and yes it was worth it to me to do it this way instead of coming back later.
I don’t remember Evan napping that day although I’m pretty sure he did. He never naps longer than an hour and a half though, so it’s barely enough time to take a few deep breaths and check my email.
Thursday is Ava’s dance day and the teacher asked us to stick around because she needed to talk to us about the recital. Instead of taking Evan outside where he can run around, we stayed near the dance room. He can now open most doors, and he kept trying to get into the dance class. When I tried to pry him off the door, he screamed, “No, Evan self. Evan dance.” Once we were allowed into the class, I was trying to focus on what the teacher was saying when I heard all the little girls giggling. I looked over and saw Evan running around in circles and falling down on purpose. The teacher said, “We don’t run on the dance floor, do we girls?” I scooped him up and told Ava to listen to the rest of her directions for the recital and I’d be outside waiting for her.
I gave up on making dinner that night and just sat with Evan until Nathan came home. When he has my undivided attention, he’s the sweetest little boy. I felt so guilty for not giving him more attention, but I have one day a week where I plan to get things done and every other day, I spend most of the day doing fun things with the kids. For some reason, I thought a two year old would understand that and have a little more patience- what was I thinking?!
Nathan put the kids to bed that night while I was out having a little grown up time with a friend. He reported that Evan head-butted Ava so hard she was in tears, and while in timeout, he demonstrated for Nathan what a two year old tantrum is all about. Sounded like I got out of there before he pushed me over the edge.
Wednesday was lovely, Friday was a blast, but oh how Thursday made me feel like a terrible mommy. I know these days will happen and luckily they are rare, but I’m caught off guard every time and find myself wondering what I’m doing wrong. I love people who acknowledge that raising kids can be hard at times and I love moms who tell me about their similar experiences. I’m not perfect- I could have done things differently, but I didn’t and I’m sure we’ll have a few more days like this in the future. Without them, how could I appreciate the days where I feel like supermom handling every crisis with grace, practicing extreme patience, and providing my kids with the type of parenting I feel they deserve? (Ok, those days are kind of rare, too. Most days are in between, which is just fine with me.)