Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mother of the Year I ain't!

I don't want to keep harping on the matter, but in my defense it has been a really looonnnggg 12 days without Don. I think all of us girls are getting a little weary of each other. At one point yesterday I had both of my girls in tears at the same time. Nothing says "Good job, Mommy" quite like synchronized crying.

Now, Maria is probably one of the best-behaved 6-year-olds that I know. That said, she's also a litte intense and has no idea what personal space is. Too but it mildly, she'd been up in my grill ALL day long. Finally it was 8:30...sweet, blessed bedtime. Wouldn't you know that this was the night that she pulls the old "I don't want to go to bed without sister" routine. I had two choices...let her stay up until Caroline went to bed or stick to my guns and make her go at her regular bedtime. Since later bedtimes are a privilege that comes with age, I didn't think it was fair to let Maria stay up. So the directive to head to bed was given and the hysterics began. I calmly and gently put her in bed, gave her a kiss, and left her to her misery. (Mistake #1: I decided to forego prayers because who'd be able to hear them above the tantrum.) After about 15 minutes of this nonsense I decided I'd better go in an try and settle her down. The moment I saw the tossed pillows all over I should have turned around and walked away. (Mistake #2: I went into her room anyway). Then it happened. You know, that moment when you hear the very last strand of your daily allotment of sanity go "snap." What I had intended to be calming and reassuring instead came out as what I refer to as the "crazy mommy scream". It probably measured on the richter scale. Now the poor child had a reason to cry.

I regained my composure and asked her if I could pick her up so we could talk. She sniffed a helpless little yes. (Who would say no to a crazy woman?) I explained that neither she nor mommy were getting their way and that my screaming was like her crying. Both behaviors were bad and I apologized. I reassured her that I loved her and would never hurt her. I asked if she wanted to tell me something. She smiled and looked at me through those beautiful, albeit reddened, almond-shaped eyes and said "I still love you when you scream." What unconditional love! Talk about feeling like the lowest form of life. We hugged and kissed and tucked her back into bed. We prayed that God would help both of us to act in a way that would make Him and our family happy. And that was it. She went right to sleep.

I on the other hand, slinked out of her room like the slime that I am, and berated myself for my lack of self-control. Caroline's eyes were big as saucers when I came back into the living room. I can only imagine what she thought was going on back in her bedroom.

The good news is that today is a new day and God's mercies are new each morning. Maria loves me and I love her and that's enough. God gave us to each other and hopefully in the end we'll both bring out the best in each other.

Simply stated: Everyone needs someone to love them unconditionally.


Anonymous said...

I've had many of those "lower than the slime on my shoe" days, too. Praise God that He wipes the slate clean every day, and that He gives us a chance to make it better--for ourselves and those we love :)


Joan said...

Well, Maybe in my mind, but that doesn't count.
Love you