The post I’ll wish I didn’t write tomorrow

*This post is mostly for therapeutic purposes and does not claim to offer anything constructive, inspirational, or even useful.  In other words, read at your own risk.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Actually I woke up in the wrong bed this morning.  I had to sleep down in the basement because while I stayed up late working on some stuff for my calling, Clark got out of bed about 20 times.  Against all my fire-breath wishes, my husband let him get into our bed, which is where I found him at midnight.  He is the heaviest kid on the planet.  And he sleeps in a top bunk.  And I was way too tired to try to pull off the the hefting and heaving (and possible bad words under my breath) that would probably be required to relocate him.  I maybe could have woken up Matt to help except that, oh, that’s even harder than moving Clark.

My kids are sleeping horribly.  IS ANYONE ELSE HAVING THIS PROBLEM?  I don’t know if it’s the daylight savings, longer day issue or what, but even when I put them to bed on time, they are playing and tossing and turning and not falling asleep for a couple hours. And THEN, they’re getting up earlier and earlier.  I’m talking about times that kindle my wrath, like BEFORE 6 a.m.

Remember that video I linked to a little while back?  The one where the comedian (I mean WISE, WISE man) said, “Sleep deprivation in a mother leads to murder.”?  Well.  It’s not as hilarious as it was a week ago.

So.  Sometime around the inhuman hour of pre-6:00-ish, I hear Clark thumping around downstairs where I’m trying to sleep.  Anyone who knows Clark knows he does everything in a very thumping way.  He even thumps when he tiptoes.  I try to ignore him, but I just can’t so I woke up much earlier than I wanted to (in a very not-surrendering, grumpy kind of way).

I then resented every one else in the house who was still sleeping.  Which is stupid, but I did not care.

My children like oatmeal.  I used to like oatmeal . . .  before they started waking up so early and trying to make it on their own.  EVERY morning, I wake up to whole-grain artwork around my kitchen.  WHY do they pour more of everything than they need?  Would not the fact that the bowl cannot contain it be a clue that perhaps the serving size specifications have been surpassed?  I think I could probably feed a third world country if I added up all the quick oats I’ve vacuumed up the last six months.  In order to keep my blood pressure under control, I will only mention in passing the milk that they insist on pouring while seated on the floor and the large bottle of syrup that I bought 2 weeks ago and has now totally been consumed as a “garnish” for their oatmeal.

Natalie is 3.  Getting her dressed in the morning is, um, difficult.  She is going through a stage where all of her clothing “feels funny” or “weird” or “too tight.”  She even squats into strange, contorted positions and wails “It feels funny when I go like this!,” to which I lovingly respond, “Well then don’t go like that.”  And then I mock her by wrapping my leg behind my head and saying “My pants feel funny when I put my leg like this.”  And she kind of laughs, but it’s still strangely demonic.  This weeping/screaming/crying with desperate sobs routine continues as I try to get Grant dressed for school.  It is now the end of the year and most clothes have holes in them or are getting too small, so the “get dressed!” portion of the morning drags itself out for much longer than it should as I repeatedly ask him to try again.

This is also the time of day when Grant and Clark confess that even though they said they didn’t have any homework on Friday, they just remembered that they really do, and then argue with me and cry when I tell them they need to stop playing and DO IT.  I try to unload the dishwasher to make room for the unsupervised breakfast aftermath.  My husband sleeps through all of this, which fills me with an unexplainable jealous rage.  It goes without saying that this is the time of day where mothers who are not bound by covenants begin drinking whiskey.

This is all dumb and unimportant.  I KNOW.  But sometimes I am dumb and unimportant and mornings like this make me CRAZY.  I am writing this because, deep down, I know that even though this is NOT the right way to act and react, it is NORMAL, and I’m banking on the fact that some of you readers totally get this.

I DID feel some temporary relief when I said the morning prayer and had to thank my Heavenly Father for the things we enjoy and do not deserve.  But the recovery was temporary because life just kept happening, like when Clark and Natalie ripped all the blankets and sheets off my bed and jumped on it (which I’ve only asked them 3,279 times not to do) and when they couldn’t find their shoes and made me late for my class at the gym (and didn’t care).  And Clark missed his kindergarten bus because he kept crying that I told him to make my bed.  And right now I’m having an ongoing argument with Natalie about using the bathroom before her nap.

So I’m forcing myself to have a count your blessings moment. This is your chance.  One up me. No, really.  Put my problems to shame.  It’s probably pretty easy because this post should have been called “An Adversity List for Pansies.”  Please don’t give me advice because I probably won’t like you.  Never mind, that’s rude and maybe I need it.  But I think a reality check would do me a world of good.  Here, I’ll give you a trigger:  “You think that’s bad?  Well . . . “

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35 thoughts on “The post I’ll wish I didn’t write tomorrow

  1. SO I can’t “one up you” today, but my 4 year old did sleep with us (cuddled into me all night and waking me up if I dared to move away from her), puppy decided 6:00 was a good time to wake up and not go back to sleep. My bleeding heart bush is now a broken mess from the weight of the late May snow storm. It took me 45 minutes to get to work – a drive that typically takes less than 20. Oh, and I’m still trying to figure out the ending of LOST.

    hope your day improves and you get a better night’s sleep tonight. 🙂

  2. My husband and I have to pin my 6 year old to the ground two times a day and inject her with insulin, while she sobs, kicks, and screams, “Don’t do it! Don’t hurt me!” Yeah, no fun. You know that children’s story “Going on a Bear Hunt” or something. I think of days or weeks, or entire phases of life, like that book sometimes. Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, gotta go through it. That doesn’t count as advice, does it? I hope not. Sorry about your day. I hope there is some happiness, a moment of peace, or some chocolate in your near future. Good luck!

  3. Those days of raising small children are foggy in my brain so I won’t try to one up you. I do have one memory though of a 7 yo, a 4yo and a 6 yo friend in the house being very quiet in the 7 yo’s room. I finally went in to check. They had taken the Vaseline from the changing table and greased up all their puzzles, clothing, and skin. I was pregnant with #4 at the time and had a very short fuse. After some yelling, I threw everything out (except the children, only because the garbage can couldn’t hold all of them).

    One of mine had clothing sensitivities too. The seam on the toes of socks were always bothering him, as well as the waistbands of pants, the tags on shirts (but it bothered him even more if I cut the tags off). Getting him to put his clothes on in the morning, especially when he started school took generally upwards of an hour. But he’s gotten over most of those sensitivities now and he’s pretty much a fully functional human being. Or at least he can find clothing that doesn’t bug him.

  4. So… it must be that kind of day everywhere! I had the same thing happen. And seriously – what is it with kids that don’t sleep when they’re supposed to??? Well – I could one up you. I got up, fed the kids breakfast, realized my house was a mess and I STILL had to go to work… then ended up getting very close and personal with my toilet bowl. Yup – pregnancy is great! I’m sorry you’re having a bad day. Here’s to more and more good days!

  5. I have not had that kind of morning today, but I have before and have those same thoughts.

    Today I just woke up with a sore throat and I’m tired so it made your post that much more funny.

  6. Funny, just a few minutes ago, I updated my Facebook status to this: “While *I* was cleaning up all of his toys that he had dumped in the kitchen, Benji ate our one -almost- ripe strawberry, then 99.9% destroyed our 3 little strawberry plants. I am -thisclose- to breaking down in tears. Scratch that…I am in tears…stupid pregnancy hormones.”

    And the whole time reading your post, I was saying to myself, “I KNOW, I KNOW. It’s just horrible. Oh, I hate it when my husband falls asleep the second his head hits the pillow, and nothing bothers him [jealousy extreme]…blah, blah, blah” And right at this very moment, I hear the kid -re-dumping all of his toys over the childproof gate into the kitchen. Argh!

  7. “Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays!”

    Up till after midnight, up again early with kids, messes, whining…….sounds very, very normal and quite maddening.

  8. So I don’t have an “I can top you” moment, but I do have a funny moment. My son just made my day by asking, he is 4, “Does Cammie have a tiny brain?” out of the blue all serious like. (Cammie is his 2 yr old sister.) Loved it. Thought a little bit of a laugh might help on days like this. I know for me when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and I am worse then a fire breathing dragon with a thorn in their foot. A little bit of laughter goes a long ways. Hope your day is better.

  9. I can’t one-up you, but I’d say I was on a par with you this morning. Dal is in Thailand while Isabel is having the worst sleep during in the nights. So I am up to night four of wanting to quietly smother my child who has flopped herself over me in an attempt to get comfortable in MY bed. And each day I have had to go to work or church and act nice to people I just want to glare at. I feel your pain sister.

  10. Steph, you are my idol! And I mean it! Even though I’ve only met you once or twice… I talk about you like you live next door. Zeke will come home from work and I’ll say, “Do you what happened to Stephanie today?” And he knows EXACTLY who I’m talking about and that’s a good thing.
    We really enjoy your quick wit and fiesty-ness (not sure if that’s a real word). I love your outlook, because I feel like I’m right there with you — I love my children very much, and I’m thankful to be a mother, but DANG there are days when I want to run FAR away! Zeke, on the other hand, enjoys thinking of all the “torment” Matt goes through. (that is what he said, not me) He’ll say, “Wow, Matt’s got a wife that reminds me a lot of someone I know….”
    Just like your post today, Zeke is so like Matt, he can and does sleep through almost everything! and waking him up is SO much work it is just not worth it! (but is he is a great husband, just not when he’s groggy or asleep, which feels like most of the time 🙂
    We’ve had a crazy weekend…. yeah…just the usual, 6 year old with asthma gets pneumonia. I can relate to the mother above with the wrestling matches to get her to take her medicine. Oh and my 12 year old wrecked on his bike and cut his knee bad enough to warrant a trip to the ER… this is all very normal for us… (that doesn’t mean I like it, I just don’t know any different)
    In protest to this insanity at my house, I also decided to remodel the kitchen, yeah, I’m crazy! Zeke just says, “If that will make you happy…” (see, he is great)
    Anyway, if we lived closer, I would come take you out for some serious ice cream! (While Zeke and Matt cleaned up all the oatmeal and got the kids ready for bed!)
    Here’s to a better tomorrow! love ya 🙂

  11. Other than having had a continual headache (thank you small fetus!) for the past two weeks, a child with a cold, a husband out of town (who has business trips to Kansas? My husband), an HOA board blowup (I was almost personally sued – what?!), dinner, my child not sleeping (much like yours, except that I can still confine him to a crib), and still being a Nursery leader, life hasn’t been so bad. 🙂 At least I’m almost done crocheting the almost-baby’s blessing afghan. And I get to leave my life for a few days to attend a wedding. May that weekend come on swift wings… And hopefully you start getting a little reprieve.

  12. No babe, yours is really cruddy. As much as I would love to one up you, you deserved to write this post.

  13. Whoa baby, mama said there’d be days like this!

    My night wasn’t as bad but I did have to contend with a dog who barked all night long and a husband who snored all night long. This morning he was talking on the phone with a friend who mentioned getting a bark collar for the dog. When they bark it sends a little electrical shock to their neck so they learn not to bark. My husband said, “We really need to get one!” I replied, “Do they sell snore collars too? Because I want one of those worse than a bark collar.” He got my drift….and it made us all laugh because it really was funny how I said it.

    Hope you are able to catch up on sleep tonight. 😀

  14. I’ve had many a morning like yours. I can’t one-up you but I can sympathize. I’m pretty sure you’re handling it better than I have. No, really, I’m not kidding. 😉

  15. I just sent all my kids to bed early because I couldn’t take their constant yelling and bickering. I did so by yelling louder than all of them combined. They are still fighting in their rooms. I am avoiding cleaning up the spilled orange soda on my newly cleaned floors. So anyway, I guess I’m saying I can’t relate. Not at all.

  16. “It goes without saying that this is the time of day where mothers who are not bound by covenants begin drinking whiskey.”

    ********Belly Laugh********

    I AM really sorry you are having a bad day. If it is any consulation…everyone walked into the house…dumped their stuff and messed up my kitchen. I also can’t get my kids down until about 10 and they are so grumpy in the morning…I think it is daylight savings time!!!

  17. That just about describes my everyday. I am a fire-breathing dragon more days than not. My kids don’t listen until the fire flies…something’s gotta change, cuz I get a headache from all the yelling…and then I feel guilty…and then I want to run away to protect my children from my awfulness…and then I vow to never do it again…and that lasts all of 2 seconds and the cycle continues! I feel your pain! I love that you share not only your wonderful insight and inspiration, but also the “ugly truth.” It makes me not feel so alone in this whole motherhood thing!

  18. I completely understand your pain because that has happened more times than I can count. I don’t know how many times I’ve called a friend of mine just to say I was having a – “If I was a drinking woman I’m fairly certain I’d be sloshed right about now” – kind of day. Add to that an 82 yr old FIL who acts more like a stubborn 13 yr old and you would have my life to a tee.

  19. I really hope you don’t regret this post tomorrow! First of all, you are awesome! I love your spunk and your spirituality! I come to your blog and feel so uplifted. And not just by the spiritual stories but also by the posts like today. The ones that help me feel like someone out there understands! Sometimes being a mom is so isolating and it is nice to know that even the really great moms have totally crappy days (not that I want any mom to have a crappy day).
    Oh and on the sleep thing, if you figure out why your kids aren’t sleeping as well, let me know. I just spent the last 3.5 hours trying to get my 2 year old (who slept really well until two weeks ago) to bed. Super Fun!

  20. The baby was sick last week and ended up in the hospital, again. He is now so clingy that I can’t even leave the room.

    Hubby leaves for Germany tomorrow, for a week, leaving me with 3 kids, and an all conference pass to CBC that I can’t use because he was my child care.

    And I’m up at 1 am, and the alarm goes off in 5 hours so I can schlep to violin lessons. I’m going to be the fire breathing dragon tomorrow.

    Thanks for the chance to vent.

  21. All I know is that yesterday it was 93 degrees here in Upper Michigan and it was so hot in our house last night (non air conditioned, btw, because normally we wouldn’t need it!) that I couldn’t sleep at all.

    And it gets light at about 6 am nowadays and dark around 10 pm and it’s still only May. We have 3 more weeks of school and my children are not getting any sleep!

    So we’re all a bit sleep deprived, and none of us is nice right now.

  22. My child calls me a jerk when he is sent to time out and often hits and kicks and screams the entire way and tells me how bad I am being. It usually starts because he wants to do something like pour his bowl of cereal when it has been poured for about five minutes and he has already been eating it. Ya, something along those lines. I feel for you. There will be other, better days and probably some bad ones too. By the way, I HATE when my husband is sleeping and I get to deal with all the trauma in the morning.

  23. I have also been cursed with children who are early risers, and who won’t go to bed at night. Things that have helped me:
    1. Locks on the pantry. Nobody gets any food until 7:00am. I have already prepared sippy cups with milk that they can come downstairs and get themselves. That’s it until Mom wakes up.
    2. I don’t care how early you wake up, but I better not see or hear you before 7:00am, and if I do you will be locked in your room until 7:00am. (I’m not kidding!)

    I know this sounds mean, but really it’s in the best interest of everyone involved. That guy was right- getting enough sleep can prevent murder!

    Also, have the fight about the clothes the night before. I know you are exhausted at the end of the day, but imagine how good it will feel in the morning when you don’t have to fight that battle.

    Thank you for posting this- I feel more normal!

  24. My kids aren’t going to be either and we are completely baffled! Some mean-spirited child fairy has cursed all of our homes, I suppose.

    Oh, and I totally love that line about the whiskey. You are my brain, only well-written.

  25. Umm, I’m 8 and a half months pregnant. Does that count as a one-up?? How about the swollen ankles/feet that look like they should be on a person from Wall-E? :S

  26. Hey Steph —
    Does having to pack up your house and move to another state 5 days after you birth your 5th child, after your husband has been out of work for 4 months and had to take a job for 1/4 of his last year’s salary count as having a crummy couple of weeks? Oh, and add to that a 1 1/2 year old who has been teething molars for the last week and will only eat otter pops and cries constantly, and a 12 year old who was constipated enough that we had to take her to the doctor, who recommended enemas until the blockage “cleared”, which it finally did after about 6 enemas, and 3 days of shear heck. I have to say, though, that even given all that, I don’t think I got it worse than you, just different trials — different chapters of the same story….And despite our grumbling, I have no problem saying that we are wonder women! Cause even though it’s tough, we do it, we get through it, and we soldier on.

  27. Ok, so I know this is a bit late to reply, but this was too good to pass up. This post was hilarious! I hope you don’t mind if I print it and hang it on the fridge. After 4 blissful years of marriage (no seriously, I do have a good marriage), a 3 year old, an almost 2 year old, and not to mention being somewhere like 30 weeks pregnant (lost count somewhere back when I found out I was pregnant, doctors really should mention that ALL forms of birth control are only 99% effective for a reason…ME, excepting abstinence of course) I have quite a few stories I could tell. So many in fact that I could write a book from the few short years I’ve been a mother. Tonight at our Relief Society/Enrichment a few women were having a little rant about their “bad days.” I decided I’d make them feel better by telling my stories. Yes, I won! Hands down. Seriously though, the stories (like 2 sticks of butter rubbed in the carpet, small can of black latex paint thrown down carpeted stairs, getting your son up from nap to find poop everywhere in his room and on him while he’s holding out his hands saying, “dirty”; just to mention a few) are always funny…after they happen!

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