Yes, it is!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wanted: New Parents (or perhaps, New Kids?)

Okay, for the most part, things haven't been too bad around here during the time Tim has been out of town (nearly 2 weeks).  I have been busy with start of school for Jackie, working out, coaching Jackie's soccer team, taking kids to appointments, cleaning the rental, etc.  And through it all, the kids really have been troopers except for a bad half hour last weekend.  Things started to change last night.

It all started with soccer practice.  First of all, I nearly forgot about it and was planning to go to the Y to run before zumba.  I remembered just a couple of hours before practice was to begin so I quickly printed up this week's practice plan.  Upward sports is nice in that it has a weekly planning format that the coaches can follow.  It makes it much easier to coach.  That is, if the coaches follow the plan and work together.  Unfortunately, the other parent who is helping is not working together as a team. He doesn't care to follow the weekly plan.  And when I am on the field trying to get the kids to listen to me and explain what it is that we're going to do next, he just sort of sits by the sidelines.  Until that is, he decides that what I'm doing is not what we should do and we should do it this way and proceeds to take over. Actually, it would be absolutely fine with me if he took over completely because he seems to know more about the game than I do. And this isn't a task that I was all that excited about taking on.  Quite the contrary.   It's been years since I've played soccer.  Now Upward modifies some of their rules to make it a fun learning experience for the little people.  That's one reason why the organization has a weekly plan to follow.  So, last night after the other coach finally jumped in and took over, I just tossed aside the weekly plan and pretty much just watched and encouraged the kids.  I sort of would like to not coach Jackie's team anyway, because Jackie has a tendency to come to me and whine about things not going her way.  Ugh.  However, it made my evening when one of the players came over and hugged me.  She was and is just so precious. 

As soon as soccer practice was over, I took the kids home to the babysitter and headed out to zumba.  After coming home from zumba, the kids were still awake and Jackie started demanding a snack.  A snack?!  Gah! I'm sick of that word.  As soon as Jackie finishes breakfast, "can I have a snack?"  As soon as she finishes a snack, "can I have a snack?" As soon as she finishes lunch, dinner, ice cream, snack, whatever, it's just automatic, "can I have a snack?" Ugh, ugh, ugh.  I'm sick of it.  I should just buy all kinds of junk and just let the kids have free reign.  I try to make good choices for the kids but it's not good enough.  Anyway, when I reminded Jackie that she had a snack after dinner already and it was past time for bed, she immediately melted down.  Then the phone rang.  It's Tim.  Of course, he calls at the most inopportune time.  He could hear what was going on in the background so he asked to talk to Jackie.  I don't know what transpired between Tim and Jackie.  But because I just get so sick of the constant crying, whining, and screaming, I finally just gave in to Jackie and told her that since she wants to do things her way, have at it, including getting herself ready for and going to bed and getting ready for school the next morning.  Well, Jackie didn't like that, either, and she got even more angry and upset.  I was just frustrated and fed up.  Finally, I got a grip and got everyone changed and put to bed.  Poor Ben, bless his heart, he was actually very compliant after witnessing my wrath with his sister.  He stayed put in his bed and fell asleep. 

Unfortunately, Jackie would like a new mom.  She no longer likes me.  She wants to live somewhere else.   I can't win for losing.  I let her have her way, she melts down.  I don't let her have her way, she melts down.  I just cannot please her.  I yelled at her, I screamed at her, I just lost it verbally with her.  Jackie can be a very challenging and frustrating child.  But I love her none the less.  After I left her room, I calmed down enough to go back in and apologize. I really felt bad about the whole episode.  And poor thing, my heart went out to her.  I know I hurt her.  I felt like a terrible mom.  I just hoped that today would be a better day.

After getting Jackie up this morning, I told her to get the outfit on that we picked out the night before.  "No, I don't like that shirt, I don't want to wear that shirt."   Well, she's wearing it anyway.  In the past few weeks, I bought some really cute and pretty clothes (Jackie picked out some items) but Jackie wants to wear old and worn clothes.  No way.  I got her breakfast ready.  She wanted cereal and yogurt, as usual.  Jackie cried again.  Not enough cereal.  And not enough milk for the cereal.  Aghhhh!  I just cannot please this child.  I told her to eat what was there and I would give her more if she was still hungry.  Instead, she cried, she pouted, she stalled, etc. until it was time to go to the bus stop.  Jackie sobbed all the way to the bus stop because she doesn't like the clothes and she didn't eat breakfast.  Tough luck, kiddo, you had ample time to eat.  But I was kind enough to dump her yogurt into a cup and take it to the bus stop where she could eat it while waiting for the bus.  The bus arrived and Jackie was still crying when she got on the bus.  I'm just at a loss because the last thing I wanted to do was send her off on the bus when she was still in meltdown mode.  But then again, I was looking forward to not having to deal with it today.  

After I got Jackie off to school, I came back to the house and started a load of laundry.  I have a couple of hours before my personal training appointment.  After some time passed, I realized that Ben was really quiet.  Sure enough, I found him, in my bedroom, with the carton of ice-cream.  Chocolate ice-cream that he was just eating right out of the carton.  In my bedroom.  By the time I found him, he had a couple of chocolate spots on my bed, some spots on the carpet where he was sitting with the ice-cream, and his face and hands were a huge sticky mess.  On top of that, I discovered that Ben also had taken a bowl of rice-krispies (dry thankfully) and dumped some of it onto the living room carpet.  Thankfully, that was an easy job for the dogs (and vacuum cleaner) to take care of.  I immediately got Ben into the bath tub to wash all the mess off of him, then I cleaned up the mess in my bedroom.

I just feel so drained and I know it's going to take everything in me to make it to personal training.  And I feel like I deserve "evil mom of the year" award.  I can't help but think about how Jackie is feeling right now, sitting in her classroom, wondering if I love her.  But, I cannot let her manipulate and control me. I do not remember causing such anguish as a little girl.  But then, I was too scared to put up too much of a fight.  I knew I would suffer the wrath of not only Mother, but dad, too.  I would sum it up by saying that the fear of being beaten kept me in line.  Can't say that for their son, though.

I knew parenthood would not be easy but gee, if there is a god, then why did he present me with 2 very strong-willed children?  Jackie was strong-willed from the beginning. But Ben, he was such an easy baby and very easy to bond with.  Now he is just... well... a cute little MONSTER.  I'm certain part of his strong-will is a result of his frustration with his speech delay.  I'm really hoping that once his speech really takes off, he will be my sweet, compliant little boy again.

So often, I feel like a single parent due to taking on most of the responsibilities surrounding the kids and home.  But, these past couple of weeks have given me a greater appreciation, especially with the start of school and the addition of other activities for the kids on top of everything else that they have going on.

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