Friday, June 4, 2010

More on "Some Days"

So my day wasn't really over yet with that last post, I was just tired of writing in present-tense. (It gets annoying really fast.)

After re-realizing yet again why it is that I don't usually attempt arduous tasks like folding laundry, I piled Addy and Jackson into the car to run errands. When Camryn came down this morning she said, "Mom, I need $16.69 or I don't get a class party." It turns out what she really meant was that she couldn't find her library book and unless she returned it or brought replacement money they wouldn't get a class party. I asked if she'd looked for it and she said, "Yes. I've looked everywhere." So I told her to eat her breakfast and I raced around the house, looking behind Camryn's bed and in the toy bins, but to no avail. Two minutes after Camryn had left for the bus, I saw her lunch sitting on the counter and I looked in a pile of papers on the paper-stacker where we put homework. Book found. Lovely. So basically that was a really long way of explaining why my first errand was to the school.

At this point Jackson was hungry, so I drove through Taco Bell and got him a cheese roll-up to eat while I sat in the parking lot preparing a bank deposit. When I checked to see how much he'd eaten, I saw a small stump of cheese roll-up by his feet and the rest was gone. Upon further examination I found that he had fed most of his cheese roll-up to Addy, who looked like she had enjoyed it immensely. After I drove through the bank, I pulled into a parking space to take a break to nurse Addy, who was starting to fuss. She had a stinky diaper... which had leaked onto her clothes. Which wouldn't be a problem except that I had 6 Jackson-sized diapers in the diaper bag and not a single one for Addy. After some creative folding, I got her changed and nursed her in the scenic parking lot.

Meanwhile, Jackson started to get fussy. He seemed hungry-- maybe that was because he fed his lunch to his 8-month-old sister. Baby back in seat, drive back to house, dump dirty clothes and diaper, get correct-sized diapers for Addy and milk cup for Jackson and off again.

In our family we wait to take baby pictures until the baby can sit up by herself. But Addy has been able to sit for a while now and is now 8 months old --and I still haven't gotten a studio picture of her taken. Even though it's been at the top of my list for over a week it still hasn't happened, so today, I determined, would be the day. We drove off to Babies'R'Us because they have a KiddieKandids that doesn't require an appointment. (I used to go to JCPenney but after enough experiences of waiting for an hour after my appointment before we got our pictures taken I just gave up.)

I got to Babies'R'Us and dinked around for a few minutes to see if they had an outfit there that was cuter than the one I brought. Jackson was still hungry (shocker, after how much of his lunch he fed to Addy) and was starting to whine for snacks, so I went to the back of the store and got a bag of baby cookies so he had something to snack on. Hopefully this would bribe Jackson to stay in the cart long enough to get Adelyn's picture taken.

I finally got up to the Kiddie Kandids desk and asked when their next appointment was. The lady cheerfully replied, "We have one at 3:00 pm." It was 1:42.... When I asked if there was anything earlier, she said, "I'm taking this customer at 1:45 and then we close for lunch from 2-3." Really... that's intuitive. I'm sure glad that wasn't posted on their website when I checked. The reasonable part of me realized that this was my fault. I should have called and made an appointment. I should have gotten an "appointment" as soon as I walked in the store. Honestly, I had been there before and never required an appointment or had them close from 2-3. But the unreasonable part of my was spitting mad. Did they realize that I drove 20 minutes through construction with a two-year-old and a baby just to come get her picture taken, not to mention wrestling Jackson through the store, trying to keep him in the cart? And I had to be home by 2:30 for the older kids to get home from school?

I wandered through the store, ready to punch somebody or at least put a two-year-old up for sale. At this point Jackson was trying to climb out of the cart seat and into the basket. He was putting a cookie in his mouth just long enough to get slobber on it and then spitting it out into the cart, where it was landing on the cute dress that I brought for Addy to wear in her picture. I don't believe in corporal punishment, but I had an overwhelming urge to smack that kid until he sat down in that cart and did what I said, but self-control prevailed at least in part and I contented my self with growling threats through clenched teeth. I got the handful of other things I needed and went to check out. By this time both children were upset and fussy. I imagine I didn't look very friendly. The checker asked, "Rough day?" Yeah. You could say that.

I wish I could say it got better. I got home and Camryn was a pill. We did her piano lesson and she had checked the box on her assignment sheet twice for a worksheet that she never did at all. During Jared's lesson we had weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth because I had the gall to ask him to play the right hand alone, "forte" like it was marked. And I asked him to practice slow!!!!!!! (Sob! The indignity of it all! The tragic, tragic horrible-ness....) "Mom," he explained in a cross between a growl and a sob, "how am I supposed to play it fast when I've practiced it slow?" "Jared," I responded in what was just plain a growl, "which one of us studied piano for 20 years (including studying just piano in college) and has taken lessons with famous teachers who are experts in the field just so she could know the best way to practice? I don't think it was you. So why are you trying to tell me the best way to do it?" (It turns out he was just expecting to pass off his piece right away and once he passed off one of his pieces on the first try he was happy as a lark.)

Grand illusions of cooking a beautiful, nutritious meal for dinner evolved into a plan to cook the corn on the cob before it went bad to supplement leftover mac and cheese. I sat Jackson up to eat, but he ate a few bites and then started chucking his food to the floor. I took away his high chair tray but then made multiple attempts to get him to eat more, to no avail. After dinner, the kids started building a fort out of chair cushions and Jackson's slide and a few minutes later Camryn erupted into a cacophony of savage screams, "Jared ruined my invention before I even got to try it!" By this point I had had enough. I sent Camryn and Jared to bed for the night at 7:00 pm followed by putting Jackson to bed. At this point, Jackson realized he was hungry. But I was not in the mood to be merciful, having spent 20 minutes trying to get him to eat that only resulted in him throwing food on my newly-mopped floor. So his sobs of, "My milk! My milk!" (as if maybe his milk would show compassion on him, now that his horrible mother wouldn't) fell on deaf ears. Sorry buddy, if you won't eat every time I sit you up, you feed all of your lunch to your sister and you've already had 5 cups of milk today that's what you're going to get.

Such was my day. The mother with the "lovely smile" who "cooks watermelon" that Camryn immortalized in her Mother's Day poem had turned into the wicked, evil stepmother. I guess I'll go buy a broom.


Ranell said...

Ring, Ring. (telephone ringing at the Williamson's house)

Ranell: Hello?

Karen: Hi, Ranell. I was wondering if you could please watch Jackson for a few hours today so I can run a few errands and get Addy's picture taken.

Ranell: Sure! Bring him over. Natalie would love to have him come and play. That reminds me, I have a Dr. appt for Natalie tomorrow, do you think you could watch Michael for me while I go to it?

Karen: Absolutely. I'd be happy to.

Ranell: Great! See you in a few minutes!

Karen: Okay, thanks!

This is what friends do ... we all need help, and I, for one, am ALWAYS willing to help if I'm available. I think you know that. I get frustrated reading your posts because I feel that you're making it harder than it needs to be, my dear friend! I don't mean to over-simplify it; life as a young mother is extremely challenging, and we've all had days like the one you described, so I'm not saying it's your fault, at all, but we're all just taking it day by day and we need to rely on each other more!

I defy you to enter another store with both Jackson and Addy for at least 6 months, maybe even 12 months. It's never going to go well, so just stop doing it! You're driving yourself crazy! It doesn't make any sense! You're just going to walk out frustrated and exhausted and realize as soon as you get home that, after all that, you forgot 3 things and you have to go back tomorrow! (Can you tell I've been there?) Let me watch one (or both, or all 4) of your kids, and all I ask is that you return the favor when I need it (or teach my kids piano lessons).

I know what it's like to have a husband work impossible hours (or be in the bishopric) and not be home so you can go run a few errands in the evening by yourself. But you have daylight hours and lots of friends who also need help and we're all willing to trade babysitting and come over and chat and fold laundry if that's what you need. We're all looking for excuses to get out of the house for a few hours and coming over to your house to let the kids play while we get stuff done sounds great to me!

I care about you, and I hate to see you unhappy, so please don't take this the wrong way, but wake up, Karen! Contrary to popular belief, you're not Superwoman, and you don't have to be! You can't do this all on your own, and you don't have to. You have me! (and I know you have few other people who care about you and also live closer, too). I know it can be hard to ask for help, but actually it's helpful to all of us, because we all need it at times, and it's nice to know we have someone to call when we need it, too.

Enough of my rambling! Seriously, call me!

Ranell said...

P.S. Did you like that my comment is practically as long as your post? Sorry I got on a soapbox for a moment. I hope I didn't offend ... you know I love ya!

Anonymous said...

your son/daughter is so cute............................................................