Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mother of the Year Material. Alternate Title: This Week Sucks

I've had one heck of a parenting week.

Benjamin has never been agreeable or interested in following the rules. Claire is now turning terrible two and is therefore also uninterested in following the rules. It's not like she has a good example. The only difference is, when I scold her, she actually shows remorse. Benjamin ignores me entirely.

Monday was a rough day. Everything went wrong. I didn't have the week planned (my mistake), so we woke up sort of in a fog of boredom. I couldn't get my creativity flowing. I packed up the kids and some PBJ sandwiches and hit the road. We were having a park picnic. Except the first park had zero shade trees and Benjamin was protesting "skunscreen." The second park had an enormous lawnmower blowing bits of grass everywhere with no sign of ending soon. The third park was having their driveway re-paved (I'm serious). The fourth park was the ticket. Only a wee bit of shade at the elementary school playground and swarming bees around our lunches we gave up on eating halfway due to fear of stinging, but we played.

In the afternoon, we packed up to head to the pool. We arrived and applied sunscreen. Before our feet touched the water, the inclement weather alarm sounded. That means at least 30 minutes of pool closure. We had to exit immediately. I'm scrambling to get my kids out before the downpour, but so are the 150 other people. We make it in front of the pool area and it hadn't sprinkled yet, so the kids were playing at the park directly in front of the pool. It begins to downpour. I grab our things and Claire...

...but where's Benjamin? No where to be found. Have I mentioned he's a perpetual runner (away-er)?

Usually he heads back up the grass hill to the pool locker room because he's obsessed with urinals and those disgusting pink urinal cakes (thanks, husband for the terminology I went 32 years without knowing-- gross me out). He is gratified by pissing on pink, flushing, and then washing his hands in the BOYS LOCKER ROOM BECAUSE I HAS A PENIS. I want to encourage him using the potty and standing to pee because it's socially acceptable and easier on me, too. So I let him go in alone. There is a door near the entrance and a door near the pool. I never know which he will exit because no matter what I say, he does what he wants.

I digress. We were in a downpour with imminent lightning approaching and I can't find my 3-year-old. I put Claire in the car and a stranger comes over to watch her while I run up to the pool to hopefully catch him there. At this point, multiple moms are helping me look. I run in hysterics and as soon as I arrive at the pool entrance, a lifeguard says, "I have your son and I was just about to come looking for you." I start bawling. He had apparently wandered into the guard office (which is never open except this day, so his curiosity got the best of him). I explain to him how dangerous it was and give the whole child abduction speech. And then he looks at me, laughs in my face, and having apparently heard nothing I was saying, says, "It's raining outside." 

And now the lifeguards look at me like I'm a negligent mom.

Yesterday at the pool, Benjamin pulled his whole, jump in the deep end while making eye contact with Mom super far away because he knows he's being a punk routine, but luckily he can swim to the edge and does with great success. Still scares the daylights out of me though. As we were leaving, he faceplants and scratches his entire right side of his face.

Two days later (today), we're at the pool again. Benjamin has to use the urinal (he's making it his goal to eventually use all of them--also applies to water fountains. ICK). I stand in front of the locker room facing the pool. Wait 5 minutes. I decided to head to the other locker room entrance (WHY ARE THERE TWO???) and a lifeguard once again walks out as I'm about 15 feet from him to tell me she was just about to come looking for me because she, once again, had my son. Because he cannot, for the life of him, listen to me about returning exactly to where Mommy is standing in front of the door you entered. It sucked even more when she said, "I recognized him from the other day." He's lost all privileges of peeing in urinals at the pool. He's stuck peeing on wet toilet seats in the girls locker room like the rest of us (with vaginas or kids who don't listen to their mommies).

Ugh. I might buy a leash. Just call me #supermom. I'm feeling every bit of it this week.


Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Omg I know it sucks but I'm laughing with you. Losing his urinal privileges! Oh the indignity. It's so infuriating when they appear to be making a conscious and deliberate decision to do whatever the hell they want, regardless of what you say. Zu ran away from me up the stairs in the library the other day, forcing me to abandon the stroller (and Coco) as I chased her. But she has been good at the pool since we watched that DT episode about swimming and we sing "Listen to stay safe" in the car on our way there. I also wait for her to put on her listening ears (they do this at preschool). But she put on her listening ears before the library too. It totally depends on her unpredictable mood.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Ah.. he got away again, did he?! And DAMN that it was the same swim teacher, hopefully she has kids and understands.

I totally gets those "worst mom" feelings sometimes and they often happen at the pool as well. Yes, old ladies, I did look away for .03 seconds and (of course) that is when my kid starts to gulp pool water.. The whole "jumping in to the deep end while staring you in the eyes" thing is so familiar. Although Avery normally just threatens it and sees my crazy "dont you DARE!" eyes and stops. This is probably because I do not have another child to attend to and can race over and put her in T.O.

What I got from your stories? That you're willing to go to 4 PARKS AND THE POOL IN ONE DAY! That is legit #supermom territory. I'm not sure if you're joking about the leash, BUT I know a few moms who have them and there is no shame in using them for scary crowded times if you have a runner. Whatever it takes!!

Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

Ugh! This was funnier to read than I'm sure it was to live through. I have also experienced the defiant jumping into the pool and have occasionally had to yell to strangers for help.

Would it be possible to bribe him to come out of the right door?

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I agree with the comment above....four parks and the pool?! You rock. little pistol!

Kari Wagner said... [Reply to comment]

I just wrote a post about commenting and here I am a regular reader of your blog who rarely comments even though I LOVE your blog.
I KNOW, I KNOW bad blogger.....sometimes I need to just say, Hi. I adore you.
I will going forward, okay?
But I need to tell you this from experience, you are not a bad mom and these weeks happen to me more than I want to admit.
Ella has ADHD and a side dish of anxiety so life has been lots of fun for me especially before I found out her diagnosis.
But even with my oldest who doesn't have any diagnoses, I had plenty of moments.
The time I was chatting it up at OUR local pool with my friends and the pool director came looking for me angrily, with Anna.
Apparently my four year old was lost.
And I had no clue.
But she was right here, playing and splashing with her friends a minute ago.
Ever since then, SHE HASN'T LEFT MY SIGHT.
A few months ago, Ella and I were in two, TWO different stores in one week and she managed to wander three feet in the wrong direction from me and get herself lost.
She is seven years old, not a toddler but still old enough to call me and to remain calm enough to know I won't leave her.
She freaked out and was crying.
When both parents in each situation found me, I felt like mother of the year.
It has happened to the best of us.
Hang in there, momma.
You are doing a great job and sometimes, you just need to hear that.

Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

Oh wow, a bathroom with more than one entrance?! I am not super helicopter about many things but man I hate that! And the outright defiance is SO frustrating!!!

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

Use that urinal use as leverage! Sorry this week sucked. I'm going through similar non listening shit too. And spitting. Yes, spitting. On people. And laughing afterwards. Disgusting, right?!

Heather said... [Reply to comment]

Your Benjamin sounds a lot like mine. :)

Hang in there, mama.

Dianna said... [Reply to comment]

I am so sorry it was rough but I just loved reading this post! I fear my 2 year old will be very similar. I hope you had a big glass of wine after all of that.