December 9, 2013

Stopped in My Tracks

This morning found us traveling that well-worn road toward frustration and flaring tempers as we inched out the door.  Bad enough that it was Monday.  Bad enough that we had (none of us) spent the early morning tending to priorities rather than email (me) and Singing Monsters (them).  Bad enough that oatmeal and milk refused to stay in their containers and instead blessed the floor with sticky kisses.  No--the streets had to be coated with a slick layer of well-packed snow necessitating driving at speeds in the single digits.  My car has the traction of a butterfly, by the way; despite all those buttons and lights on the dashboard.

My last nerve headed south even before I slammed the driver's side door and realized I didn't have the car keys.  Upon returning from the house with the ignition key, I discovered that, even though he'd been in the backseat for seven minutes, Liam had still not buckled himself in.  I started the engine only to see the digital clock display the tragic news that we were leaving 8 minutes late on a day when weather conditions meant we should have been leaving 20 minutes early.

Of course I lost it.  I chose my words to have the most impact.  I know my boys hear wahwah  waah wawhwawh most of the time.  Let's face it--we're often late, can't afford take-out or living in a sticky mess where no one picks up their socks or underwear.  They've learned to tune out familiar rants.   So this morning, I picked my no fail, hear me roar speech.  I'm pretty sure my yelling loosened a large clump of snow from the garage roof as I backed out the driveway.

Henry began to cry, of course.  Liam joined in for a bit.  I had used a threat that had only been uttered once before and with similar results.  Sure I felt bad that they felt bad.  But feeling bad was the point, right?  We were late; I was upset and didn't want to be the only one feeling that way.  So good.  They should be crying.  

By the time we had driven 100 feet, I was feeling better.  This will teach them not to diddle daddle.  I showed them.  Showed them good, until...

                                            Mama, I forgive you

                     {sob, sob, sob}
                            Mama {sniffle} I forgive you {sob, sniffle, sob} 

                              I forgive you, Mama...

Well now-- who has to pull over, turn around and hold this little boy's hand, look him in those soft brown eyes and tell him that everything is okay?  And who needs to be on time for school when with a teacher like that in the backseat?

Henry, if you promise me that you'll never change, I'll promise you that I will.


  1. Oh, I know that frustration SO well. When you NEVER get a break - and your neverending days are something like: dress cook clean pack hurry mess rush (forget something) work work work work rush drive cook clean bathe pick up clean work work collapse.... and then you wake up the next day and the next day to the same thing. It is just so exhausting. Who can be expected to not lose it once in awhile? The past few months I have yelled at Fiona more than in her entire previous life. Of course it is simply about me being overwhelmed. And then my innocent little girl pays for it. Breaks my heart. Hang in there. Try to have as much down time as possible (PBJ and applesauce for dinner is just fine!) and carve out some slower time with your boys. That always helps me feel better. You are not alone!

  2. Hugs... no advice just hugs! Been there, done that already and will probably do it again in the future!

  3. They sure can grab our hearts can't they! Hang in...I am constantly reminding myself to do better.

  4. I realize even at Sidekick's young age that some kids can be sensitive. Clearly your sweet one is one of those kids. I think that's a special thing. : )

  5. Been there. Great story. Brings us all down a notch. Parenting is hard!!!

  6. Lara, you Single Moms give yourselves way to much grief! It's ok to sometimes get mad and tell children off. Imagine a world where children never learned that sometimes adults lose their cool. It wouldn't go very far in preparing them for the real world. Children can't be well behaved all the time, they have moods like us. And fro sounds of it, you are teaching them wonderful values and already it is clear what loving, forgiving natures they have. So forgive yourself. You are a mom, true, but you are human too. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas xoxo

  7. Oh, what a sweet boy! I'm sorry you had such an awful morning...I've been there, too.