Motherhood

A defining moment of Mommyhood

Smiling boy with lunch clipart

There are some moments of Mommyhood that I call defining moments.

They are moments when everything you stand for and believe in, moments when everything you put your energies into, are suddenly on the edge.

When all you live for is about to tumble down on your head.

If you’ve had any of these type of heart pulling and nerve wracking moments, you’ll know what I’m reffering to.

Which brings me to adorable little boy #3, my 4.5 year old. He’s a charmer. Big puppy eyes, always happy, always having fun. He’s had a total of 3 tantrums in all his toddler years. He’s the life of the party. Ok, he’s also mischievous, rambunctious and at times a downright troublemaker.

It was because of this charming little boy that I installed a chain lock high up on my front door; he was a runner. In simple English that means, if the door opened, he was down the block. Laughing and squealing, of course. He was the only one of my kids (so far!) that pushed me to strongly consider buying one of those kiddy leashes.  Truth be told, even a dog leash. But as I said, a charmer indeed. And he has helped me reach many a defining moment, with the most recent taking place last week.

I came to pick up my little guys from an after school activity. All the kids were having fun. Moms were hanging around talking.

And then it happened.

Right in front of everyone’s eyes.

Sweet little two year old girl was standing minding her own business. And rambunctious 4.5 year old squealed by swinging his lunch bag. And I saw the glint in his eye. It’s a .01 second spark that those in tune with it (like me) can pick up on, but can’t sop in time.

And then he did it.

He. Hit. Little. Girly. On. The. Head. With. His. Lunchbag.

In. Front. Of. All. The. Moms.

I saw it. So did the other moms. I couldn’t defend him. I couldn’t deny it. And I couldn’t disappear, either.

If it was someone else’s kid, sure I’d know how to react. I’d laugh it off to the mom and tell her not to sweat it, kids are kids. I’d swoop up my little girl and sympathize that her head got a bit of a bang. And I’d reassure her that no, lunch bags are not for hitting. The little boy made a wrong choice.

But that wasn’t the side of the coin I was on at the moment. I was on the wrong side.

There I stood, in my defining moment. As a mom, As an adult. As a friend. As a person.

All the pages of the mommy books swam before my eyes, all my life experience as a mommy rushed through my head, and there I stood; little girly screaming, mischievous boy waiting for mommy to react and all the moms very un-casually half watching.

What now? Look the other moms in the eye and smile? Frown and admit failure?

Quite the humbling moment, watching your own kid starting the trouble.

And then I got myself together. It was a defining moment. A moment that defined my love for my adorable and rambunctious 4.5 year old.

A moment that allowed me to take him  by the hand and lead him away calmly, but not to be angry at him.

A moment to understand him, love him, admonish him, discipline him and hug him, all at the same time.

Certainly a defining moment of the paradoxical relationships that comes along with the wonders and joys of  Mommyhood.

Motherhood

They keep staring at me!

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They keep staring at me.

Go away!

But I can feel their eyes on me. All of them. Big and small alike.

C’mon, I worked so hard today, can’t you cut me some slack?! Do you know what I DID today?

Served a total of 20 something meals
cleaned the counters 12 times
handed out 9 band aids
refereed 6 fights
crawled around on my hands and knees looking for some miniscule and precious red Lego diamond
swept the floor 4 ½ times (got called away in middle of the fifth round due to some urgent business)
almost did 5 loads of laundry (I kept heading that way but never got there)
and that’s just to name a few!!

Apparently they don’t care, They’re still staring. I can swear they’re talking about me.

Just go mind your own business!

Nope, looks like they like my business better.

Can’t you guys just work things out between yourselves? Pick on someone your own size!

They’re still staring; mocking me. They’re not giving in.

The dirty dishes in the sink just won’t go away. They’re on my case. and they won’t let up.

I turn my back, a trick I learned from my kids.

But just like with my kids, it’s not working!! They still see me!

I march over to the sink and assert my authority. I rearrange the dishes so that none are sticking over the top.

There, much better. Now leave me alone.

Nope, they won’t go away.

I can hear them continuing to scornfully talk about me.

Your phone is more important than us? Can’t you put that thing down?

Yes, my phone is more important than you!

And I leave the room. This is my house; I will decide when to do my dishes.

Behavior & Discipline

I can’t control my kids. (And I won’t.)

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Whose kids are they anyway?

I catch my husband’s eye and sigh in annoyance; can’t someone control these guys?

My husband gives me a knowing look and nods, sharing my frustration. Where are the parents?

But I look around at the crowd and see that it’s pretty obvious; the secret is out, and I can’t pretend much longer. After all, they kinda do look like their father.

It’s our monthly community dinner and it’s apparent that everyone, my  kids included, are enjoying themselves. One is lounging under the table, one is eating chummus with his fingers, oblivious to the guy sitting near him. Hmm, I notice his seatmate leaning as far away from him as possible…I don’t blame him, looks like his suit is dry clean only. Brothers 3&4 are in middle of a game of who-can-finish-all-the-soda-in-this-room-first. Thankfully the two little ones are home with the babysitter!

Yes, they’re mine, and I’ll take care of it.

Can I control them?

Actually, no, I can’t control them. More accurately, I don’t want to control them.

I want to teach them.
Guide them.
Discipline them.
Love them.
Reprimand them.
Praise them.
Kiss them.
Hug them.
Influence them.
Motivate them.

Be a good role model for them.
Listen to them.
Talk to them.

But I won’t control them. I won’t control my kids.

There are many things in my life I do control; like my laptop. When it’s acting impudent or pushing my patience, I control it. With a click of
the lid, I snap it shut and I win. I control it.

When my oven starts overdoing my food, I just hit cancel and ta da, its off. I’m in full control.

When my phone rings and I’m not talkable, I swipe the decline icon and just like that, I control my phone.

I have higher expectations for my kids; I want them to be successful, passionate adults. I don’t want them to grow up and be little gadgets or robots; ones you can control by switching them on and off.

I want them to thrive. I want them to be people.

And so I won’t control them.

But I will continue to teach them to eat chummus with a spoon.