Friday, March 27, 2015

Spilled Milk (Spoiler: She Cried)

With all the medication having to be swallowed around here, Olivia has developed a new and improved love of milk.

Tom is thrilled beyond words.

I’m, um, happy she’s happy? Yeah, that’s it; that works.

So the evening that Tom headed to Urgent Care I got dinner around for the girls. O’s medicines suggested being taken with food to help ease potential stomach aches. After dinner, I got her both medicines in the appropriate doses and a cup of milk so she could take it all.

My first mistake was giving her the milk in an open cup.

Yes, I know. She’s eight. But she’s used to cups with lids and/or straws. My bad.

So there we were, at the table. She’d taken both doses of medicine and I was about to take the cup of milk away when she said she wanted to sip some more of it.

I knew…I KNEW I should have taken the milk right then and put it in a more user-friendly cup. I flipping knew it. And yet…I turned away as she picked up the cup.

The instant my back was turned, I heard the cup hit the table and the milk spill all over the table only to run off the edge onto the floor.

Let me state right here that I know I didn’t react as well, as lovingly as, as patiently as I could have. I know this. In my defense, I was still feeling like crap and I was tired and I knew that since Tom was officially ‘sick’ I’d have no more rest for the rest of forever.

But I got a couple of towels and started to clean up the mess, muttering things like, “I knew this would happen. I knew it! Livie, you’re eight years old, what the heck?”

As soon as she dropped the cup, Olivia said, “I didn’t mean to!”

As I knelt on the floor to sop up the milk, I glanced up and saw Olivia looking across the table at Alyssa, smirking. Olivia was SMIRKING as I cleaned up the puddle of milk on the floor beneath the table and her chair.

That smirk set off a grenade of fury inside my head.

I stood up and smacked my hand on the table beside her and said quite loudly (but not screaming, no, not screaming or even really yelling), “This. Is. Not. Funny!”

I watched Olivia’s face crumple and the tears start to fall. Then I went back to cleaning up the floor, this time not so quietly. I talked and talked and talked about how I was still sick too and I was tired and I wanted to sit down and rest but I couldn’t, could I? No, I couldn’t because I had to clean up messes made by other people. I even said, “You know, Liv, I’d love to comfort you right now, but I’m too busy cleaning up this mess.”

It was ugly. I’m not proud of myself. I had an internal dialog going the entire time my verbal rant was going on too. The internal dialog was telling me she didn’t do this on purpose, she was still sick too, she was probably smiling because she was nervous about the stupid spilled milk.

Finally, my internal dialog was louder than my verbal rant. I started saying, “And poor Lyssie is sitting over there thinking, ‘Okay, Mom, she gets it. Let it go already. You’ve said everything that needs to be said. Stop with the complaining already.’”

I saw Alyssa fight a smile as I turned my inner dialog into what I thought she might be thinking.

Olivia had already moved to the couch where she had to recline and recover from her hurt feelings. When my tone changed from one of anger to one of almost apology, she called, “Will you come and sit by me?”

I calmly replied, “I can’t quite yet, I’m still cleaning this up. But I will soon.”

She hiccupped (she’s a bit of a drama queen, even though this time it was sort of justified) and said, “Okay.”

By the end time the mess was cleaned up everyone had calmed down and it was just one more memory of mom losing her shit for a few minutes before coming to her senses, apologizing and moving on.

I’m really lucky that my kids are so forgiving.

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