Dear Alarm Clock,
I blame you entirely for the end of my 8 day “No Yelling Streak.” Why couldn’t you walk over to me, shake me, and pull me out of bed on time so that I could start the day off on the right foot, instead of being trampled by 8 little feet? I mean really, is that asking too much? You know I can never get out of bed when you ring. There’s got to be something you can do to change that, right? Please, oh please, find a solution.
The Orange Rhino
* * * * *
Game over. I lasted a little over one week. 8 days and about 34 minutes to be exact.
When I woke up this morning I knew today was the day I was going snap. Funny. You’d think if I knew that I would have found more strength to keep it together, or just stayed in bed. Oh wait, I can’t call in sick. Darnnit. Seriously, though, you would think I would have better prepared myself for the onslaught of energy, noise, and chaos that normally gets to me if I am exhausted. And I was. I am. I am totally utterly wiped. And it’s all my own doing. I went to bed too late so when the alarm went off at 5:50am –I snoozed. Snoozed until 6:30. And that is ALWAYS. I repeat ALWAYS a lethal mistake because then I have to do my morning routine with three kids who’ve been cooped up in their rooms for half an hour and are all fired up and ready to go. And today, to boot, the baby was also up. So make that four kids in tow, all clamoring for attention.
Why is snoozing such a lethal mistake? I learned a long time ago that my key to starting the day off well is to be ready to start the day the minute the kids wake up. It’s like when I used to work in the corporate world, when I needed to be ready to go the minute I swiped my ID card. But in those days, I had an entire commute to think and plan the day. I had time for ME to get myself together and plan how I was going to be successful that day. As a stay at home mom, I don’t have the commute. I have 40 minutes to prepare on a good day…unless I hit the damn snooze button.
Can you imagine, rolling out of bed and two seconds letter having to swipe your ID at work and be prepared to talk to the CEO within seconds? In your pajamas, with nighttime breath and Medusa like hair, still dreaming of Ben from the Bachelor? And let’s get real – it’s not 1 CEO its 4 all with pressing issues that demand answers at. that. Second. Not minute. But second. Mommy mommy mommy MOMMY! It would be miserable. So I set my alarm for 5:50. And if I miss it, it’s pretty much in the bag that I will yell within 10 minutes of the kids barging into my room.
So now, its 6:30 and I’m starting the day off agitated as hell that I overslept, again. I start pumping while the three monkeys try over and over again to jump on the bed all while the baby is screaming to get out of his bouncy seat. Then I am joined in the bathroom with said lovely children while I take my shower. Normally a nice 10 minutes of peace where I let my lavender shampoo transport me to a spa far, far away, today’s shower is anything but like being at a spa. The three older boys are fighting, yes fighting, over who gets to sit in front of the baby and make him laugh. I know this sounds sweet, and in theory it is. But when the discussion is at such a loud, piercing level that it scares the baby and makes him start crying all over again, it ain’t sweet.
This is so not how I like to start my day.
Somehow, and I don’t know how, I managed to get past my 10 minute window. If you would believe it, I keep picturing you all. My non-existent Orange Rhino community. I keep thinking I can’t yell. I don’t want to let my readers down. I don’t want to let myself down. I don’t want to let my kids down. (Yeah, I clearly have issues since I am thinking about imaginary followers!)
And then IT happened.
The sh*t hit the fan.
#1 started getting hyper and silly. The not listening kicked in. The me asking TIME and TIME and TIME again to stop kicked in. All the little voices in my head start quoting Super Nanny and this article and that article telling me “that if you want them to stop, you have to stop what you’re doing, walk over to him, and tell him that. No parenting across the room. It Does. Not. Work.” So I did that. I stopped making breakfast. Walked over and asked #1 to stop and please get his shoes on. YES! It worked. Phew. Maybe I would make it through the day?
Ha. As if I could get off that easily. #1 got his shoes on and started up again. So I stopped what I was doing AGAIN. At this point #4 is crying for breakfast and #2 is running circles around #1 trying intentionally to piss him off. Well mission accomplished. #1 starts kicking #2, #2 kicks back. They both start crying.
So if you’re counting, we’re up to 3 crying and it’s not even 8:05, lord help me. Then the only one not crying chimes in “poop poop poop.” And for the reference that means – mommy I need you to pull my poop out because I can’t poop on my own. So whats a girl to do? I guess not Yell is the answer. But I did. I lost it. “#1 and #2, GET the H*LL OVER HERE NOW. AND I MEAN NOW!”
It is now triage time because we have to get the Poop out or problems ensue. I order #1 to go give the baby the pacifier and order #2 to get me wipes so I can help #3 poop. Are you tired yet of following this? Bottom line: poop is out, I’m even more exhausted, and we still haven’t had breakfast.
I of course swallowed my pride for breakfast this morning. I had been telling my husband how easy the not yelling was getting. Clearly, I need some more practice. On to Day 1, Take 2. Now, I know what my mom would say. “Don’t be so hard on yourself. No one’s perfect. You don’t have to go back to day 1 of your challenge. 365 days is too much.” Blah blah blah.
And my answer. Harrumph. That’s the point mom! To go 365 days straight – to make yelling no longer a part of my life! I’m not trying to be a perfect mom, but I’d like to save all my mistakes for other silly things like putting #1’s sandwich in #2’s lunchbag or washing #2’s hair on #3’s night. This one thing – this not yelling at my kids – it’s the best gift I can give my boys and it’s the one thing in my life right now that needs to change. I am determined to stop yelling. And I am GOING to do it. I am going to make it 365 days straight and officially make yelling a thing of the past.