So I’m feeling all nostalgic today…what better to do than dredge up some bad mommy moments from years past, huh? Here’s an old favorite that I wrote two Februaries ago when my little dudes were just 2 and 4. Time flies, and thank Holy Jesus for that, because I’d have an effing hernia if this happened again…enjoy!
So you know how, as a parent, the best of intentions don’t really mean a whole lot? And how just the slightest flick of a butterfly wing can turn a smiling two year old into a bipolar mess? If you don’t then I envy you. And your children should be cloned.
This morning Chinese Acrobats visited my sons’ school. I could launch into a whole tangent about that alone but I’ll stop myself and keep focus. Because wow…really, WOW. Anyway, as I am a “present and conscious mother” (see New Year’s Resolutions), I put off work for a couple of hours to attend the performance with my children.
Mistake number one. Since, as my husband pointed out, who needs to add any more excitement to a day already filled with spinning plates and kung fu? I’d planned on sitting with my kids on the auditorium floor, but decided last minute to take the boys into the bleachers so the three of us could sit together.
Mistake number two. Because not halfway into the show, little brother started kicking his feet against the aluminum stairs, which, truth be told, I didn’t even notice. I’m a mother of two small boys, who therefore wears powerful imaginary earmuffs at all times to keep from going completely nuts.
The dear sweet grandma next to me, however, must have forgotten hers this morning. She politely asked my son to stop, and he ignored her. I asked him to stop, and he whined. I asked him again and he headbutted my chest (Whaaaaaaaat??? Who DOES that?!). I asked him to stop a third time, and told him we’d have to leave if he did it again. The kid responded with another headbutt. So I stood *pretty* calmly, picked him up, and attempted to tromp noiselessly down the bleacher stairs in my riding boots.
Which I see now, after the fact, was surely mistake number three, since as soon as big brother realized that I was aiming to make an exit, he grabbed the hem of my (probably too short for a mom) dress, wanting to come with us. I, however, wanted to run in the other direction from the two crying children in a puddle at my feet creating a major distraction from the tiny Chinese contortionist scooting her way across the stage in boat pose with teacups on her feet. A dangerous scenario, to say the least.
Here is when the real test of character came in…and I failed. As soon as we stepped foot into the hallway I set little bro on the floor and got on the next plane to Bali. I’m writing this from a Virgin Airways Boeing right now.
OK, no, I’m actually at work wishing I were at Coffee Bean. And what I did was set little brother down on the linoleum and try to talk some sense into him. It took about 10 minutes, but by the end, big bro was happily back with his class on the gym mats, and little bro and I had miraculously re-entered the auditorium to join him. Victory, yes?
No. No, no no no no. Because after the show was over and little bro had joined his teacher in line, big bro decided it was his turn to go manic. I crouched down and in the most loving of ways told him I had majorly important adult shit to do, so tough nuggets kid, but you’re on your own. We negotiated an agreement that I’d walk him to his classroom but halfway there I realized he was going to balk. I did what any mother would do, and tried to hand him over to the assistant right then and there and flee the scene. She’d already had one kid crying for his mom in her arms, so I figured what was one more?
Yeah, that would be mistake number four…the final nail in the coffin. As soon as big brother wised up to what was about to happen he reared back in terror, screaming at the top of his lungs. I stood there, frozen in disbelief at my child’s vocal capacity as it echoed through the auditorium, until his teacher pointed out with terror in her eyes that the kid had given himself a nosebleed.
By the time I finally jumped into action he had blood in his mouth, on his hands, and dripping onto the floor, like it was coming straight from his brain. Buckets. Gallons, even. I am happy to report that I didn’t pass out or get even slightly woozy. Just ushered him to the nearest sink, applied pressure, and carried him to his classroom. After a graham cracker and appointment as line leader, big brother headed out to the playground. Almost with a smile on his face.
And I sprinted to the car, successfully holding back the urge to burst into tears or break into dance. Because that’s the thing of it. So often I find myself asking – victory or defeat? The morning sucked, but we all came out of it OK, and even got to see some cool Chinese umbrella tricks in the process. And if there’s a lesson to be gleaned from the experience then, as moms, we tend to shake it off and smile for the sake of the greater good.
Today my lessons were twofold: 1) Remember that even though the outcome was so not as planned, my intentions were still alright, and that’s got to at least count for something. And 2) Next time I get pulled over I’m totally crying myself into a nosebleed. I’ve got a feeling that one will work every time.