The Day Before

The day before I worked on set was not a great mummy day. Epic fail.

Boo was up super early with DH, but I stayed in bed.  So I knew he was going to be tired and cranky but he seemed fine when I took him to my wardrobe call.  That went well. Funny how wearing an expensive designer suit can make me giddy.  Then because we were so close to a Costco and it was still early, I figured I’d go there and pick up some corporate gifts for my clients.  As I looked up the directions on my phone  to get there, Boo started having a meltdown, screaming he wanted to go home.  That daddy said we had to walk the dog.  Then he had a strange little rant, “I know you yell at me, I know I won’t be playing with any of my friends, I know you hurt my feelings, I know ….” and proceeded to fill in some random facts that were completely unrelated to each other.  I sucked in my breath.  Well, I had tried calling a friend to set up a play date for the afternoon but he was busy, Option #2 playdate didn’t work out so well the last time.   I certainly wasn’t going to call the sitter at the last minute and drive him all the way back to the North Shore so I could go to Costco.  We still had to walk the dog at some point.  But the ” I know you yell at me” part.  It hurt.  Yes, it’s true.  I do yell at him.  Sometimes.  And he has heard me say to others, that I do indeed yell at him because it works.  Not in the WHAT THE BLEEP ARE YOU DOING? way, but after many repeated polite requests are ignored (Darling precious one, can you put on your boots now so we can go?  Sweetheart?  Sweetheart?! )  and I then raise my voice in an deliberate effort to get his attention because I know he doesn’t like it. I even warn him  that I’m about to start yelling.  I use the counting 1, 2, 3 method.   I hadn’t even yelled at him that morning. 

I have to admit, I almost cried.  Then I realized he just didn’t want to go to Costco.  He was tired.  I explained to him that I was sorry for hurting his feelings, but sometimes we had things to get done during the day that Mama wanted to do, that we weren’t going to stay long and then we’d do something else.  So I drove there, drove around a packed parking lot a few times before giving up and going home.  Boo fell asleep in the car for about 10 minutes.   I made him a big breakfast when we got home and his mood improved.  He seemed content to just stay home with me. 

Me?  I was miserable.  It started to rain, it was cold and I felt trapped.  Hubby wasn’t coming home til late cause he was at his office Christmas party.   I felt defeated.  Angry cause I knew I’d be working on Friday, then the weekend would come and there was no way we were going to do a Costco on a Saturday, we’d have other things to do and then Monday would come and I’d have to choose between rushing while Boo was in preschool to get there and back and then I’d have to go to work without the corporate gift basket.  Let’s face it, it’s not really about going to Costco cause I could go anywhere to get a gift basket.  I just wanted to go there because I hadn’t been in several months and I just wanted to go so I could browse. For the hell of it.   I just wanted to do what I wanted to do.  Who’s the pre-schooler now?

Guilty.  Bad mama.  I couldn’t even run an errand cause I was tired of negotiating with a 4 year old.  Cause that would have led to raising my voice, right?  And I was bloated and my breasts hurt on top of it all.  My skin is crawling.  That lovely PMS feeling that makes me feel like I’m caged tiger.  Obviously not feeling on top of my game that I let my 4 year old son psych me out.  There was no one to call.  I did consider calling the sitter cause I thought I was going to go nuts.  (Hi, can you take my kid for an hour, I just want to go to Starbucks and have a coffee and read a newspaper) I don’t, cause I’d have to explain it to hubby.   I surrendered and then we ended up watching the Hulk and Ironman on my laptop in bed.  We had popcorn.  It was cool.  I was just going to say yes to every reasonable demand.  I put on my acting hat and pretended to be patient and sweet.  We ended up walking  the dog in the dark down the streets and looked at people’s Christmas lights. That was actually nice.  He sings a song announcing me his best friend and we hold hands.  I would have walked some more but there was dinner to consider.  I even told Boo that if he could leave his boots and coat on while I fed the dog we would go out for dinner.   He insisted on removing them even though I repeatedly and quietly said that if he did, we were not going to go out for dinner.  Idiot me.  See, I told you I wasn’t on my game.  It was me that wanted to go out for dinner.  Not him.  He could care less.  His cousins were in lockdown due to chicken pox so dinner with mummy alone is no fun.  There are days when my kid just wants to stay home and those are the precise days I long for another adult to talk to.  I knew I had made a tactical blunder and so quietly I surrendered (well, I pouted a bit) and made pasta with a homemade aflredo sauce.  With shrimps.  I tried to remain in the moment of sauteeing scallions and garlic and concentrate on making a sauce that didn’t taste like glue.  And then he tried to drag his play tent  inside the kitchen and torment the dog  while I was cooking.  A no-no in our home. Playing in the kitchen that is, not tormenting the dog.  Our stove is located directly next to the entrance from the dining area.  Ridiculous, but true.   Hot pans, a whirling mama and rambunctious 4 year olds do not mix.  He knows this but he had to be told firmly and repeatedly.  By now, I’ve poured a glass of wine that is slightly off but beggars can’t be choosy.  I end up feeding him dinner cause now of course he doesn’t want to eat it.

He really just wants me to feed him and by the time he’s had a bath, a few games of Angry Birds and bedtime routine has started,  he’s all acquiescent and calm and I read him his bedtime stories and he’s as sweet as can be.  I’m good mama again.  All his requests were met, even the ones for extra cookies.  We cuddle up on his Spiderman foldout bed, well, half of me is on the floor. I read his superhero stories.  I love him like crazy.

The next day I jumped out of bed and got Boo ready for school, got him dressed, made him breakfast, got his snack ready, even though Hubby was home.  I went to work on set.  I was so fucking happy. 

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3 thoughts on “The Day Before

  1. This sounds like an average day with my 4-year-old. Parenting really is the toughest job in the world. Don’t beat yourself up too much- most days, it’s all about survival. I’ve been off work for a month now due to illness, and even though my job makes me want to claw my eyeballs out, I can hardly wait to go back. Just so I can be around other adults (a term I use rather loosely around many of these people…lol). You both survived the day, and sometimes, that’s all we can expect.

  2. Four-year-olds just can’t cope with much generally speaking. I’ve started vetoeing all after-4pm activities. Hang in there mama and know that’s it’s all totally normal.

    And I yell a lot and Theo points in out a lot. But I always ask him WHY was mommy yelling? And then I apologize (sort of … cough…!)

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