By Jessica Garvin of Live and Let Mom
I’m in the bathroom right now. If this were a Nora Ephron Romantic Comedy, I would be crouched down in the corner with a bottle of Jack Daniels, rocking back ‘n forth. In the dark while looking disheveled, but in a cute way.
But this is not a Nora Ephron movie. This shit is real. And both of my kids are literally scratching at the door. I don’t understand. They are well fed, they have toys, clothes, movies, sports and every bit of love I have to give. They are my sun and my moon and I would pull my limbs from my body slowly and painfully to ensure their lifelong safety and happiness.
But I don’t like them right now. I don’t like them so much right now that there was a moment of I can’t do this anymore without hating them feeling. Granted, it was fleeting and totally internalized; only those that could see the invisible smoke coming out of my ears and hear the old school cartoon red train whistle blowing would know. But I felt it. Normally I would make self-deprecating jokes about it and say things under my breath to them, like, “Where’s Mommy’s drink helmet?” Or, “What’s a little kahlua in a 6 a.m. coffee on a Tuesday?” But I wasn’t feeling jokey. The humor I am usually able to find in these types of situations was nowhere to be found. A barren ground of funny where the air is so tight and thick, I couldn’t even throw something or slam something shut. I was completely and totally immobilized.
They had thrown the annoying dart at my last nerve. And I wanted to let myself lose it and be lost IN losing it. But I knew I couldn’t. Not because I’m better than that, but because I’ve never really been able to successfully throw an adult-style tantrum. The few times I’ve lost it, and I mean totally lost it (not raised my voice and gave time-outs), I mean top of the lungs yelling, throwing backpacks into their designated places, tossing dishes into the sink and roughly returning toys to their appropriate boxes, all the while rambling about all the things that I do for them, how ungrateful they are, loudly reminding them that they have been exhausting ALL day and then ending with a red faced, wild haired, “Why are you HERE?”!!!!
The few times in all their years that I have TOTALLY lost it… have never gone well.
I once slammed closed the cupboard above the sink so hard that it bounced back and hit me in the face. Then, one time, while making a point, I shut the fridge door with such emphasis that as soon as it shut, I heard the clunk and crash of the door shelves coming unhinged and all the condiments now spilled and broken. (Could I get a better metaphor for that moment?) Or when I was aggressively putting the furniture back into its place after “fort time” was SO over and the cushy sofa square with the wooden legs that I have covered to protect THEM landed on MY toe, crushing it and turning it blue instantly and reminding me of that weaker moment for weeks to come.
So I’ve learned that the only person who truly is punished by me losing it is me. The kids grow quiet, yes, but not because they are ashamed of their behavior and plan to change it; because they are stunned and probably a little weirded out by this sudden crazy person that has clearly taken over their mother’s body.
So today when I got to that point, I knew better, and this only infuriated me more. I had no… release. No out. No end product. No ultimate warning to my kids that seriously, you guys. Shit is going down.
And I was clinging to my sanity.
BUT, the thing was, they weren’t doing anything really out of character. I mean, they were acting exactly how two happy, excitable, post sugar intake, long day inside because of the rain siblings are expected to act. But nevertheless, they were bugging the shit out of me.
So, there I was. In the bathroom. Hiding as they tried to – what sounded like – EAT through the door.
And then silence. More silence. Then a fart. Not mine. One of theirs.
Then hysterical laughter. Again, not mine. Theirs. Together.
Then, “MOM! You hear that?” said my son. “I farted into her eyeball!”
Then more fits of giggles.
And most of the days go by with them bugging each other, and so in the middle of my pure annoyance with them, I settled down and just like some creepy Rom-Com mom, laughed too as I listened to them through the door have their moment of grossing their mom out, together, as partners. The buddy system. And I was just glad that they were on the same side for once.
I opened the door to their messy, beautiful little faces and let it go. Just gave into the madness of it all.
But not before I flipped them off through the door in every way I know how.
This post was originally published on Live and Let Mom.
About the Author
Jessica is a comedian, writer and single mom of two. She tries every day to find the funny in everything that is most likely NOT funny (i.e., booger walls, carpool lane, lice) Parenting is hard; she chooses to laugh, vent, be silly, swear, cry and live truthfully. She’s currently contemplating that it might be that time in her life for a swim skirt and feels the F-Bomb is highly under-used and definitely under-appreciated. Read more at Live and Let Mom.