Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So it goes like this.

Thumper has a double ear infection. We cannot hold this against him. I have no hard feelings that we were up from 3-5 a.m. last night. Ear aches hurt. He is a baby. These are facts, like gravity.

Khubz plows through a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast. Scully is off to catch the bus. Khubz gets in to bed and begins to harass me to, um, mother or something. So I get up. Thumper is asleep in his crib. Khubz is needing some attention.

We sit and read. We plow through all the books in the library bag and we check out 157 books at a time. But it is destined to be a hard day and not because I am doing a bad job. It is destined to be a hard day because my staff or my customers or my board of directors or whatever labor model (MT, perhaps?) you'd like to use. . . because my children today were dictatorial & unyielding ( a phrase some of you may have heard before.)

And really, this bitch session is directed at Khubz. She was maddening and we are all lucky to have made it through the day without going to jail. A few snapshots of the day.

Thumper is asleep. She has my lap all to herself. We are reading & reading. Out of the blue she gets this look in her eye. This is the look she gets when she decides, "hey, I think I'm going to act like a shithead!" (And listen, o ye loyal subjects of Khubz. I know she is your beloved. I know you are her defenders. I love her too. But really, today? You would have voted for impeachment too. Trust me.)

"What's that, mommy?" She stabs at my chin with her finger. Her finger fresh out of her mouth, thank you very much.
"What? My zit? Mommy has a zit." A great big puss-filled painful zit, actually. Get your finger away.
She scrunches up her face in disgust. "Yeah. Yuck! A zit! And hair. . . Ewww."

Are we reading a story here? Stop touching my face. We are reading a story, right? No? Okay, then you can get off my lap. Okay then--let's just keep reading. No! Stop touching my zit. No. I don't want to talk about it. Or the hair. (sigh.)

Or later when Thumper is up and nursing and nursing and nursing. And crying. And nursing. And Khubz wants to paint. I suggest shaving cream because I am brilliant. After playing at the kitchen table for a few minutes Khubz wants to move the frivolities to the bathtub. "That is a great idea, Khubz. She is in the tub. Thumper and I are having fun watching her paint her body with shaving cream. She is playing peekabo with Thumper. We have gotten this day turned around!

So Khubz looks at me and gets one of her bathtoys (a small bucket) and drinks the water. This is against the rules. "Oh. I see that you're all done." I tell her and drain the tub. She gives me a smile. That smile. And she drinks the water again. I get the towel and invite her to come out of the tub. She scurries to the far end of the tub. I put Thumper in his crib (he doesn't need to see this) and proceed to pull her wet, slippery, kicking body out of the tub. She stinks so badly of aftershave musk from the shaving cream that I almost gag. Screaming, kicking, grabbing on to the door jam and musky.
A-mazing. So I drop her in her room.

"You are welcome to throw your fit in here. Let me know when you are ready to be polite." I turn to leave the room. She screams like a tribe of banshees, "NO MOMMY! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!" and charges at me. I am not making this shit up. What do I do? I looked in the damn parents-as-teachers book. It said nothing about a transmogrified three year old. And I was startled. So I tossed the towel at her (I didn't throw it, I promise) and it landed on her head. This stopped her in her tracks and I was able to escape. Temporarily.

Now I've been watching some supernanny and I know this is not how time out is supposed to go. But at that point we needed to be separated and it was either the towel or call the police for back up.

Its just that, for real, I tried a lot of things that would have worked great on another day and it just all went to shit today. TV backfired on me today. How does that happen? When we watch a show it is usually a 30 minute show. When it is over I ask her if she wants to turn it off or if she wants me to turn it off. She wants to and turns the tv off. I was making lunch and looked at the clock and saw that the show would be ending soon. So I asked her which of us should turn it off. "Its not over yet!" she protests. Ok. PBS often has a little talking bumper to a show or something. So I wait another minute. Then I go in there and ask again. And I see that, actually, the clock in the kitchen is slow. An entirely new show has started. And "It's NOT OVER YET!!!!" So even TV turned in to a knock-down, drag out fight.

Everything was like that.
No-nap-time is basically "how many diapers can I fill with shit in quick succession?"
Play time was basically "how many things can I take away from my brother?"

In the morning I talked to my mom and she said "why don't you let me come pick Khubz up and you can have some one-on-one with Thumper and I'll get her out of your hair." I scoffed. "This is not an SOS," I told her. "We'll all come over this afternoon but I have a brand new can of shaving cream and we are going to turn this day around!" Fast forward a few hours. I called her back, "okay. At this point it is, in fact, an SOS."

I called Scully about 4:30. "Do you want us to pick you up on campus?" Put that through the Mommy scrambler and what I really meant was, "I cannot spend one more minute alone with these children."

We got home and Scully walked in first. "Whew! What's that smell?" "What do you mean? It's roast in the slowcooker." And I walked in. Ah. It is burned roast in the slow cooker. Burned with little burned sun dried tomatoes all burned together in one fucking burned masterpiece. Okay. Pizza it is.

We get home from pizza and I check out to write all this out. Halfway through the mommy-is-bitching guilt catches up to me and I decide I want to do bedtime for Khubz. I asked Khubz to pick her toothbrush. She ignored me. "I'm going to count to three and then it will be my turn to pick." Wailing on the floor of the bathroom when I picked green because she " wants purple!!!" Alas, that is not how we get purple toothbrush. Thirty minutes later we brush her teeth. Yes we used the green toothbrush and, yes, CPS did not swoop in to rescue her from our abusive clutches.

I finish up her bedtime song "you are my sunshine. . . and I am sunburned" and as I am singing to her she gently lifts her hand up to my face to grab at my zit.

I think she was too tired today. I also think she had too much time awake in her room this morning before I got up. She seemed bored/tired/attention seeking. She was looking for trouble all day long and trouble was everywhere. I have elaborate plans to make sure today never ever happens again. My mom says I am incorrect to assume there is a planning solution to what is basically a 3-year-old problem. "She had a bad day. She is 3."

I have decided that I need to get up earlier with Khubz so she is more tired at naptime. PBS does yoga at 6 a.m. I'm going to see if Khubz and I can make a date for some a.m. exercise. It is much more likely that it will be another hard night and I will sleep as long as I possibly can tomorrow morning.

But even if that is the case I will be warm and snug in the knowledge that I will not have to live through this exact day again. After all, tomorrow she has preschool.


Veronica said...

We've had days like that. Days when we were all lucky to make it to bedtime. They're ... not pleasant.

Here is hoping she sleeps wonderfully and it is a pleasant day tomorrow. And Thumper feeling better would also be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I am so not laughing...really :o)
YAY for preschool tomorrow :o)
I hope everyone feels better quickly. Hopefully they will wear her out at preschool.

I wonder where she gets her defiance from?

Love and miss you all,