51 days down, 314 to go!
Dear Lion and Tiger,
Where do you get off hiding from #3 right before bedtime? Do you not know that #3 can’t fall asleep without you? And of all nights to go missing you pick a night when your best friend didn’t nap during the day and is completely and utterly inconsolable. Seriously? WTF? What did I do to offend you? I’m nothing but nice to you. I wash you when you’ve been chewed to disgustiness. I make sure you come on vacations with us. I try my hardest to let you stay snuggled in bed all day so that you don’t get left behind somewhere or fed yogurt for breakfast. And yet, this is how you repay me. Thanks. No truly. Thanks. You made me realize something. 51 days of not yelling and I’ve actually changed. So while I am grateful for my new insight, let’s not pull this stunt again, okay?
The Orange Rhino
It’s 5:59. Finally, time to go up to bed. I’m counting down the minutes until 7:00 when I have my night to myself. I have lots to do. But, oh my, Lion and Tiger had other plans.
It’s now 6:15. #3 is out of the bath. Up since 5 am with no nap, he looks like he is going to face plant any second. He frantically starts looking for his friends. And by friends I mean his 3 Lions and his 2 Tiger loveys that he NEEDS in order to go to sleep. We are 2 lions and 2 tigers short. Sh*t I think, knowing the hysterics that will follow. Yup.
Through tears: “Mommy, mommy. Tiger gone. Lion gone. Missing. All gone. Downstairs.”
In an effort to save bedtime I quickly grab the baby and bravely leave #1, #2, and #3 alone in a room (which by the way is asking for someone to be pushed into a door or kicked just because it’s the end of the day and that’s what we do. Duh!) I go downstairs and do a quick sweep of the house and find 1 lion and 1 tiger. Double sh*t. Still down 2.
I hesitantly return upstairs to deliver the news to my now screaming 2.5 year old.
“#3, look I found Lion and Tiger!!!”
#1 points out: “Mommy, you’re still missing a tiger.”
#2 points out: “And a lion.”
#3 “chimes” in: “NOOOOO. Lion and Tiger gone. All gone. No nap.”
(Oh yes dear son, you are going to sleep. With or without Lion #3 and Tiger#2, you are destined for bed!)
Well, at this point there isn’t much else I can do, scratch that, will do. It’s way past bed time and I desperately need to get the kids to sleep so that I can feed the baby (and because well, I am desperate for the day to be over already). I promise #3 that I will find Lion and Tiger and bribe him with an episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates in the morning if he goes to sleep. The bribe worked. Jake is my new best friend.
Fast forward to 7:00 ish. I am on my hands and knees crawling all over the first floor looking under every curtain, chair, couch, table for Lion and Tiger. When I am not looking under I am looking in. In every bucket, box, wagon, car, tool box, backpack, bed, cabinet. And let’s not forget IN the garbage. Yup, I looked in every FULL (because why would they be empty on nights I needed to look through them?!) garbage bag. No luck.
It is now 7:30ish. I have just wasted 30 minutes of MY PRECIOUS TIME looking for these blessed animal friends that are SUPPOSED to stay in their room for this exact reason. I don’t know how many times I have cursed these friends out. And not just lion and tiger. I’ve cursed out daddy elephant, mommy elephant, froggy, ducky, lamby, giraffe, puppy#1, puppy #2, teddy #1, teddy #2, and the newest friend, #4’s bunny. Because yes, each child has not 1, not 2, but AT LEAST 4 of these friends.
Why? I don’t know. I guess because when I was a first time mom and some experienced mom said “oh you mustn’t buy just one, you need several in case you lose one. But oh, don’t buy the same one. Buy different animals so he is equally attached to all so if one is lost, he’ll be happy with another.” Okay, well that logic was WRONG. As proved tonight.
My boys don’t care if they are the same or different. If they have 1 or 600. They love them all equally if and 1 is missing well their whole universe falls apart.
And normally I fall apart with it.
“What the h*ll! How did you lose your friends?! They are supposed to stay in your room! Why didn’t you leave them there. This is your fault. Your responsibility. I have things to do besides looking for your friends. Give me a break!”
Oh yes, I have had MASSIVE tantrums and screaming fits over missing friends and blamed the kids. Some of my best shows actually. And all right before bedtime. It wasn’t bad enough one of my sons had to go to bed without their best friend, I had to scream at them too. Talk about an AWESOME send off to bed.
But tonight, I didn’t. It was hands down the weirdest out of body experience EVER. I didn’t even flinch. I just offered hugs and kisses and lots of love and encouragement that he would sleep okay which is a MUCH better way to send him off to slumber. Was I annoyed? Oh yes. Did I b*tch while looking through the garbage that smelled of fresh fish? Yes. Did I yell at myself for losing the friends (because really, my son is 2.5, it’s my job to make sure the friends, ALL 5 of them, stay in his room)? Yes.
But I didn’t lose it at #3. I didn’t even have the urge to throw a raging Level 6 temper tantrum. Or to even yell.
And wow is that refreshing and ridiculously awesome. I feel like I have actually changed. And given the length and intensity of the screaming rants I used to have, I honestly never thought I could. I never thought I could hold it together. I never thought I could go 1 day, let alone 2 days, let alone 51 days without yelling.
I lost the loveys and in return found a new, calmer, me. A me who yells less and loves more. Totally worth the hassle.
And rest assured, Lion and Tiger were found and are now snuggling with #3. They were at the Train Station with Thomas. Because, really, why hide in an obvious place and make my life easy?
Do you think you that you can’t stop yelling? Is there one event that always sets you off? Share it with me! I picked 365 days of not yelling for my goal. That was perhaps a little intense. Maybe I could have picked just one event, like becoming a screaming mama whenever a friend was lost, and decided to not yell in that situation. If you are hesitant to start the challenge but want to, maybe try picking one event and choosing not to yell at that time. It’s a start, right?