But sometimes I can not control myself. Last evening was one of those times. Every week Chris is out of town from Tuesday to Thursday. This week he is in Seattle. For some strange reason my kids will listen to everything that their dad says but when I speak it is as if I am talking to a brick wall. My mother told me that when we were kids we did the same thing. I guess most kids listen to their fathers and ignore their mothers. Maybe I should have titled this, “My Brick Wall,” because I swear that is what my kids are.
I was a single parent last night and have been since Tuesday. Tuesday night went very smooth but last night my kids hyperactivity was on overdrive and I lost it. I try my best to run a tight ship when Chris is out of town. I lay down the law, so to speak because I want peace and for everyone to help me out.
I like my schedule and it totally reminds me of the Smurf episode, “Tick Tock Smurfs.” We eat dinner at 5, clean up from dinner at 5:30, kids pick up their toys at 6, PJs at 6:30, story time at 7, watch one kids show at 7:30 and bed at 8. My schedule did not work out last evening like I had planned and I lost it.
We had enough leftovers to feed a whole army so I emptied both refrigerators. After getting rid of half of the leftovers (we ate some and I had to toss some), I had a mountain of dirty dishes in my sink. So while the kids were supposed to be picking up their toys I had to clean up the kitchen. I hate doing dishes and cleaning up messes that I did not make so my patience was at a zero last evening.
When I glanced over my dish pile to the toy room I noticed that Goose was trying but failing to get the kids to clean up. Instead they were being loud, obnoxious and do whatever they pleased. Parrot sat down to read, Kitty ran around doing who knows what with Monkey trailing behind, and Little Bear took the caps off of all of his Color Wonder markers and threw them across the floor. Total chaos overtook the Talbert Zoo. It looked like Goose was going to give up so I had to step in.
I yelled at the four little ones. And for once they listened. All four were tucked in bed by 8pm.
I hate yelling. Last year the neighbors across the street complained that they often heard me yelling at my kids from inside their home. After I raised my voice all I could think about was the day the neighbors complained. Did they hear me last night? Were they even home? I was humiliated and felt even more like Brainy Smurf. Maybe my kids should have just kicked me out of the village instead of listening.
I lost it. The yelling has to stop. I will continue to pray and ask God for grace to get me through tough moments like last night. Only He can help me become a better parent.