As mothers, we are expected to handle everything. Not only are we expected to handle everything, but we are supposed to do it with patience, humility and grace. There are some days when I feel so far from patient, humble and gracious that I practically couldn't even tell you what they mean. Yesterday was one of those days. One of those days where your children are unbelievably off the wall, you have NO patience with them and you feel like running, screaming from the situation. These are days when you say to yourself, "why did I get myself into this whole motherhood thing again?"
I had to take my 8-year-old stepson to his physical, toting with me my 2-year-old who, right now, is like a little Sybil with her multiple personalities. One moment she is the sweetest, smartest, most well behaved little angel, then POOF! (usually at a very unfortunate time, such as at the doctor's office), she turns into a little screaming, kicking, rambunctious little monkey with a diva attitude. At these times, whatever I say is ignored and I feel like my head is going to explode. Partner that with an 8-year-old with ADHD that will not surrender his Nintendo DS, not even to let the doctor check his heart and lungs, that refuses to take a deep breath for the doctor and proceeds to tell the doctor that he doesn't eat, doesn't sleep, has not brushed his teeth in a month and hates to read. Now none of this is far from the truth, however, I wasn't ready to advertise this to the doctor and none of it was for lack of trying in my department. I stood there, helpless, feeling like the worst mother in the world and waiting for the doctor to tell me that I needed to get my shit together. She looked at me sheepishly, silently giving me the benefit of the doubt that he was exaggerating, and continued to tell him that he should only have a half hour of video games a day and one television program (I practically laughed out loud). You should have seen the look on his face. You may as well have told him that he was supposed to run 10 miles a day and read War and Peace. I am sure there are some parents that are able to limit their children's television and gaming time to this extent, but NOTHING would ever get done in my house because I would be spending all my time listening to him whine and complain that there was nothing to do. My kid just ain't one of those kids that keeps himself entertained for hours on end. Don't get me wrong, I am all for limiting the TV and game time, but even I thought her suggestions were a bit extreme.
Meanwhile, my 2-year-old is climbing all over the examination table, ripping up the protective paper sheet and yelling at the top of her lungs to try to get our attention. The 8-year-old is feeding into this by tickling her and taking away her "nunny" (a little plush bunny blanket that she has with her always), which makes her squeal with discontent. At this point, I am sweating my ass off and wanting nothing more than to just get the hell out of dodge before I lose my shit and pick them up by the backs of their necks and throw them in the car. But the best is yet to come. 8-year-old has to have a (dramatic pause) SHOT.
Oh God, no. Please no. One of his biggest fears is needles. He is not just scared of them, he is terrified. To the point where he is constantly asking when he has to have another one and he will actually cry just thinking about it. Turns out, now there is a second chicken pox vaccine that I didn't know about, and the doctor wants him to have it. He is not having any of it. First he runs out the door and down the hall. I run after him, leaving the 2-year-old in the exam room, praying that she stays put. I get him back in the room, only for him to hide under the exam table. I look at the nurse and she looks less than amused. "I can't do it if he is going to be this way," she says. No shit sherlock, I think, but I try to keep my "nice mommy" hat on. I finally get him out and we sit and I try to hold his arms with him on my lap, but he wiggles free. The nurse decides that, no, we will not give him the shot today.
But now I am pissed, and I am not walking away without him getting the shot. If we do that then we just have to come back and go through this all over again and he knows that we already gave up once, so he will just keep fighting. I talk to him. I cajole, I am calm and patient and I explain all the things that hurt more than a shot and that he can handle it. Finally, good ole bribery is resorted to and I tell him he will get a prize for being so brave. He agrees and I get the nurse. I hold him tightly while she gives him the shot. He cries. I feel like shit. But it is over.
We get our stickers, we say goodbye and I walk weak-kneed out to the car with my tear streak faced little boy. These are the days that we are never fully prepared for, that you never imagine when you are fantasizing about having your beautiful babies come into this world. These are the days that motherhood is JUST NOT COOL. But you know what? There are a lot of days that motherhood is pretty cool. So I guess we take the good with the bad and work on not going slowly and completely insane.
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