Right Back Where We Were

The little boy had a meltdown last night.

I didn’t plan our afternoon very well and we all paid for it.

I scheduled our contractor to come over around 4:00 to finish up the baseboards in the boy’s bathroom.

I knew he would probably call and say he was running late.  I was right.

Even when he told me he would get here at 5:00, I knew it might not be until 6:00 that the doorbell rang.

That’s just how home repairs go.  Everything takes longer than you think and if you’re the last stop of the day, you’re at the mercy of the delays in the job before you.

I get it, but none of it means anything to the little boy.  He just wanted to take his bath at the same time he always takes his bath.

But he couldn’t, because I wouldn’t let him go upstairs with the nails and broken boards and the man in there doing work.

I couldn’t let my kid strip to his birthday suit and take a steamy shower in the room where this guy was cutting and nailing and putting epoxy.

My son’s lips got twisty, his eyes filled with tears, and he started to knock things over.  First the little trampoline, then a foot locker in the front room.

Upstairs, the contractor was sweating away and probably hearing all of it, including my own deteriorating demeanor.

The whole situation kind of sucked.

Husband finally managed to get the boy interested in the bathtub in our room, but it was dusty and had to be cleaned because we never use it.

Once husband had wiped the whole thing out and filled it with clean soapy water, the little boy stepped in.

But he never sat down.  He had bubbles and water up to his knees, but the tears kept coming and he just didn’t enjoy the experience.

After a couple of minutes, he stepped back out and just stood there.  He was still very upset.

It was around 8:00 p.m. when our contractor finally left.  I walked him outside and apologized for what he witnessed as he worked.  He was gracious about it and even apologized right back for coming so late.

Back in the house, the little boy was finally settled into his evening computer time.  He was mostly over the disappointment of the bath issue, but his mood was volatile until time for bed.

I was already at the end of my emotional rope.  Today, I feel kind of numb from it all.  I went for a walk to clear my head this morning, but I really just muddied it further.

There is too much to do, no one to help me, and I am tired.

The boy’s upsets take everything out of me and leave me defeated sometimes, especially when there is anything else dragging me down.

My lovely Pasadena weekend seems like such a distant memory.


Good To Be Back

I just realized it has been eleven days since my last post.

I’ve written a lot, but all of it is unfinished and dark.  😐

I’ve been mad in the last few weeks.  Mad at myself mostly, but mad at other people too.  And sad.  And sort of desperate.

That last adjective motivated a very pathetic e-mail to my family and friends about my overwhelming need for their help.

It was extremely difficult for me to ask, but I did.

Today, my older brother kept the little boy for four hours so that the husband and I could have a date.

We saw Thor (very enjoyable and NOT in 3D, thank you very much), we ate a tasty, cheese-laden lunch at Chevy’s, and then we went to Extraordinary Desserts for some beverages and really huge chocolate stuff.  Really. Huge.

My iced tea arrived with a little pitcher of sugar syrup and a bamboo skewer of berries topped with one fragrant, lovely pink rose petal.  Damn, I love that place.

We had a good day.  A long overdue, woulda-lost-my-mind-without-it, good day.  Thank you, brother.  You saved us.

Now, the husband is out front spreading some very pungent manure on our dying lawn.  The little boy is “helping” daddy and I am here, trying not to lose the writer in myself to anger, fatigue, absence or anything else.

Yesterday, we went to the school to see our son receive an award for requesting help appropriately.  The other kids were recognized for academic achievements, outstanding citizenship or perfect attendance, but we think our kid’s award is the best one of all.  It confirms what we already knew, he has come a long, long way.  😀

That’s all I have to say today.  Just enough to get back here.

See you tomorrow?

Happy Saturday!

P.S.  My crafty friend, Erin from Kansas, started an etsy shop.

Go see it here.

Clever girl, she sent me that link and I promptly bought a little drawer she upcycled with light blue paint and polka dot paper.

Kinda had to – I ♥ cheery little things.

Go, Erin!  😀  Go, Erin!


Choosing Battles

The little boy came out of his room three times last night.  Husband dealt with the first request, but he was out of earshot for the next two.

After the afternoon we had, I was pretty much emotionally incapable of interacting with my kid, so I started up the stairs in a fury both times.

He wanted a cup of water.  Why he couldn’t pick up the cup on his bathroom counter, turn on the faucet and get it himself, I don’t know.  I suspect that it was just a means to a desired end.  The end being Mama upstairs.

I was annoyed with him and I’m ashamed to admit how little patience I had for his post bedtime shenanigans.  I was snapping at him.  As an outsider looking in, I might have thought my mood unrecoverable.  I might have claimed an ogre sighting.  😡

But there was this turning point, you know?  Just like there always is.  You moms know what I’m talking about.

I was so mad at him, so tired, so stressed out, so desperate for a break, and then suddenly, I looked at him and he seemed so very little.  And sweet.  And vulnerable.  And just as tired and stressed out and desperate as I was.

All he wanted was for me to lie on the bed with him and whisper how much I love him and how good he is and how lucky I feel to be his mommy.  And I do.

He wanted me to rub his little head, brush his too-long hair out of his face, and squeeze his little hands.

So I did all of that and told him goodnight.  He asked me to stay for one minute longer.  And when that minute was up, he asked for another.  And another.  And another.

When we’ve had such an awful time together, I have to fight really hard to hold back tears in the quieter moments.  I have to fight really hard to hold back guilt and depression and self-criticism too.  None of that does either of us any good.  Especially when the boy is falling asleep and needing me so much.

As I turned in the hallway to close his door, he asked me to blow him a kiss.  It’s part of our routine and I had almost forgotten it.

I guess I get to say the night ended well, but as usual, I am in a fog the day after.

Can’t even think what else to write about.

It’s almost time to pick him up from school.

If he wants some kind of cup today, I’m just going to get it for him.

No lessons.

No struggle to modify behavior.

No battles.

None of that today.

I’m tired.

Happy Tuesday.

P.S.  He just walked to the pantry and selected a cup without hesitation.  I have no idea why he was not able to do this yesterday.  I am exhausted from pondering it.

P.P.S.  Cheese.