Fact: Most days, I consider myself to be a pretty good mom.
I know that there's a lot that I could for my kids that I don't, and I know that there are a lot of moms out there that could be considered "better" that I am, but there are also a ton of them that are a lot worse. Point is, I think that I'm the right mom for my kids and, for the most part, the days flow by with relative peace, love and understanding.
But amid the great days, and good days, and ok days, and bad days, there are also "those days." You know the kind? The kind where the chemistry in the house is just off and no one is getting along and by the time bedtime rolls around, you had needed the day to end hours ago? Those are the days when I have the potential to full on lose it. Those are the days when I genuinely believe that wolves could do a better job caring for my children than I can.
Yesterday was one of those days.
It might have been because my kids were all feeding off each other's bad attitudes, or it might have been because Brent's been needing to work late each night this week and I was getting sick of doing bedtime by myself. It might have been the half bottle of lotion Jane pumped onto the bathroom counter or the childrens' refusal to unload the dishwasher. It might have been because of the severe sleep deprivation we're all suffering from or the stress of the holidays or the fact that I'm pregnant and moody. It might have been the lunar cycle, for all I know, but whatever the cause, war broke out upstairs last night as I was trying to get the kids in bed. War, I tell you.
After I'd had more yelling and screaming and crying and verbal abuse (on all parts) than I could handle, I told my kids that I was done. They could tuck each other into bed and I'd see them in the morning. I went to my room to spend some quality time feeling horrible about myself. I was sitting there, riddled with guilt, but still too angry to summon up the strength of character to go apologize to my children, when Jane showed up at the door. She had a note for me. I was informed that it was a revised Christmas list and that I "really should read it."
In case you can't make out her handwriting, allow me to translate.
I know that I said I want other things, but not anymore. All I want is for you to treat me better. And for Christmas, I want all love.
Who's the worst? Ya, that would be me.
Where are a nice pack of wolves that would like to adopt your children when you need them?
So at that point, I started to cry. Again. I cried for, what seemed like, a good long while. And then I sat. Just sat on my bed, half seething and half wanting to find a rock to crawl under, when Jane came to my door again... with another note. I braced myself, and read.
I want other presents than love. A CD player and other things. I love you. I hope you have a good Christmas.
To: Mom and Dad
From: Jane and Lizzy
Someone teach her how to spell backpedal.
And all of a sudden, I started to feel better. Better and HIGHLY amused. In fact, I still I laugh every time I think about it.
I don't quite know how the retraction alleviated so much guilt. I mean, for all intents and purposes, the damage had been done. My kids aren't going to remember that I was pregnant and tired and pushed past my limit that night, they were just going to remember the way I had made them feel. Not to mention that my daughter is clearly more motivated by her selfish desires than altruistic ones, but I still felt better. Maybe it's that she obviously hadn't been damaged beyond her ability to connect with her inner materialist. Maybe it's that I obviously hadn't pushed her far enough up into her pyramid of human needs for her to forget the frivolities she's come to expect.
At least I did know one thing for sure. I knew I had something on those wolves. I mean, how could they possibly provide her with a CD player for Christmas?