I want a do over for today and I want it now. Ok, so maybe I sound like that spoiled girl in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory but I had a crappy day. I want be like Dorothy and click my heels three times and say “There’s no place like home” and I wake up in my bed twelve hours ago. Why, you ask? I want a do over because I FAILED today. No…fail is an understatement. Today was an EPIC fail. Today I didn’t get the Christmas shopping done. Today I didn’t go to the gym. Today I didn’t get my Christmas cards out. Today I didn’t cook dinner. Today I let laundry sit in the washer so long I had to wash it again. Today my kids ate McDonald’s AND frozen pizza. Today I didn’t work on my book. Today I didn’t make a list and check it twice so that I accomplished everything I set out to. Today I was a terrible wife and ignored my husband. Today I was an even worse mother than I thought I could ever be.
Today I screamed at my daughter because she wouldn’t go to school. By “wouldn’t” I mean full out kicking, screaming, tantrum throwing, refusing to go. She pulled out every excuse she could to get her way. She was “stuffy” (“snuffy”), going to PUKE (say this out loud as dramatically as possible for full effect and clutch your abdomen as if you are giving birth), scared of a fire drill (making sure to squeeze out just enough tears so that your mother notices) and “just wanted to snuggle”. She picked the worst day on earth to “pull this $hit” (my exact words) because staying home with a fake sick kid was not on my agenda today. Needless to say, I did not handle it well.
I, after attempting to reason with her for about ten minutes (knock this crap off, of course you’re going to school), ended up screaming and stomping and throwing a hissy fit myself. I actually had to lie down because I gave myself heart palpitations. After a hit of my inhaler, I popped back up and threatened to take away Christmas. She shrugged and said, “I don’t care”. She actually signed a “contract” that said she didn’t want anything for Christmas and she wouldn’t cry when there was nothing for her under the tree (oh, yeah, right). I knew it was one punishment I would never be able to uphold and she did too. (Yeah, yeah, tell me you could do it?)
Finally, I told her flat out to get her shoes on. She slammed her bedroom door and locked me out. I broke the lock and told her if she didn’t get her butt in the car (I’m paraphrasing for the Family friendly nature of this blog), I was going to take away her iPad. She laughed at threw a stuffed animal at me. I took away watching TV. She replied with “see if I care”. My eyeball was literally pulsating in my skull. I slammed the door and stomped downstairs to choke down my coffee in attempts to ward off an inevitable migraine.
As I strummed my fingers on the table with aggravation, I considered my options. I certainly wasn’t going to try to drag her kicking and screaming to school. If I could even get her out of the house, I still had to get her out of the car and into the school. I would be sweaty and pissed off and DYFS might be called by some nosy person who had no clue. Plus, I wasn’t going to subject her teacher (principal, secretary, fellow students to that sort of thing). I refuse to bribe her (mostly because it doesn’t work) so I needed plan B.
Taking a deep breath, I approached her like one would approach a cat you’re planning to throw in the bathtub. She didn’t hiss at me so I wrapped my arms around her and asked her what was wrong, why did she not want to go to school? I apologized for my own outburst while internally congratulating myself for my calm and rational behavior. She was immediately receptive. Yes! Maybe this day was salvageable after all!
After I let her whine and whimper and totally manipulate me with a completely made up story of why she didn’t want to go, I told her I would fix EVERYTHING (insert sunshine here) when we got to school. I said, “Ok, let’s get your coat. We can still make to school on time!” Fingers crossed with a perky attitude!
Screaming commenced again, this time with a dramatic blanket over the head maneuver. I was done. I left the room before I lost it and sat in the kitchen to stew. I let her stay home. I didn’t do anything that I should have done. I let it ruffle my feathers and affect everything else I had to do today. I might as well have pulled that blanket over my own head. I suck and I know that. But what can one do when your kid absolutely refuses to go along with your plan? Even if it’s a simple plan that she should go along with, like freaking GOING TO SCHOOL???
Simple. You suck it, chalk it up to a loss, and try again tomorrow. Parenthood isn’t about that one day you failed just didn’t have the answers to move forward with a win. Those days are going to happen. It’s about all the days combined that you DID have the answers and you DID win. So maybe I don’t get a do over for the epic fail today was, but tomorrow is another day! I sound a bit like Scarlett O’Hara there, don’t I? Maybe I should just pour some wine, cut my losses and settle down with a movie… Maybe this day can be saved.