Wednesday evening was rough in our house. Olivia couldn’t seem to fall asleep, tossing and turning and just basically driving me crazy on the couch.
Alyssa had found a new video (to her) of Avi Kaplan singing and playing the guitar. She wanted to watch it over and over.
At 9:10, Olivia asked tiredly when we were going to go to bed. I told her to just try to sleep right there and she sighed and rolled over again, digging her shoulder into my thigh.
I looked over at Alyssa, who was starting obsessively at her tablet. She saw me looking at her and sighed, “How have I missed this video all this time?”
I may have rolled my eyes at her. I mean, sure, I get it. She’s thirteen and she’s crushing hard on all of Pentatonix but Avi’s absolutely her favorite and so…I do get it and yet, at that point, I was over it
So I told her we were going to bed soon.
She sighed a different sort of sigh this time and said, “Can I just watch this one more time?”
I sighed (there was a lot of sighing going on in our house that night) and muttered, “Fine.”
It hit me. I was NOT being a nine mom that night. I was dipping into the low sixes if you must know. I was tired, I was irritated that my children would just NOT go to sleep. I wanted ten minutes of not having a one child rolling on me and another child talking to me about a group that I, while I can appreciate their talents, I’m kind of tired of hearing about.
I was just kind of done.
Olivia rolled over AGAIN and I stood up, pushing her off me. I declared, “Okay, let’s go. Sorry, Lyss, but I can’t do it tonight. That video will be on the internet forever. You can watch it more tomorrow. Come on, Liv, let’s get you into your bed where you can toss and turn all night long and NOT dig your elbows, head, and shoulders into my leg.”
Yeah, I was a real treat by this point.
We trudged up the stairs and as I was tucking Olivia in, she stopped me to ask me, “What about my Monster High blanket?”
I rolled my eyes and snapped, “Am I done tucking you in? Have I stopped and walked away? Of course I’m going to put your Monster High blanket on you…if you’d give me a chance!”
Again, not my proudest moment. But this child…she can make me crazy when she asks me to do the very thing I was just about to do if she’d have waited ten seconds before making her demand request.
I finally got her tucked in, Monster High blanket and all, kissed her goodnight (gently) and wished her sweet dreams when Lyss came into the room for her hug.
I apologized to her for being so grumpy and promised that tomorrow I would try hard to be better.
She assured me that she thinks I’m a perfectly fine mom and we went to bed.
So many sighs.
On my way home from work last night, I decided that I needed to go into our evening as if I were a robot who’d been programmed to be kind and loving. I told the girls this because I knew it would amuse them and they both told me that I’m weird. But they said it with a smile as we sat down to dinner so I felt like that was a win.
By the time we made our way upstairs to be that evening, I could happily say that I’d done it. I’d managed to be kind and loving and attentive to my children for most of the evening. I hadn’t yelled or grumbled or become overly frustrated at any point.
I think I need to do the programmable robot thing a little more often, if only because a loving, attentive mother is nothing less than my children deserve. Does ‘programming’ myself make it less real?
Nope, at the end of the day, getting attention is attention and love is love and that’s what they need from me. Of course, they also need rules and limits and to sometimes be reminded, kindly, that even Mom has her limits and that’s okay too.