HAVE YOU HAD THE WORST DAY EVER?
Date Published: September 17, 2013
“Why are you laughing mom?!”, my older son who’s sitting right behind me asks as I am driving over Rickenbacker bridge. He’s so used to seeing me happy, it doesn’t cross his mind that I’m not ok. My face is covered in tears and I don’t have enough air in my lungs to answer. “Mom!? Hey, mom? Are you crying?”. I shake my head yes. “I know”, he says wisely. “It’s because we weren’t good”.
I had one of those days that my kids call THE WORST DAY EVER. This is hardly my reality anymore; it was a brutal reminder of the past. I embrace this day as a reminder of how valuable it is to grow and find peace in my life.
1) Tantrum – Child #1
It’s Monday morning and of course, I can’t get them out of bed until 7:25am. During the weekend they both woke up before seven. Waking up is hard for me too. I just spent the whole night waking up repeatedly telling myself I’m in my light. This intense burning of energies set up my day! (Yikes! I guess I skipped saying ‘with ease and grace’). I’ve packed Ben’s lunch, gotten dressed and organized the house; I’m letting them know that they won’t have time for breakfast.
“NO way I’m going to school”, Ben says firmly. He hides his head under his pillow with his bottom sticking up into the air. I stand there unable to understand his attitude, I’ve always been ready to jump out of bed and head out to life. Sebastian is acting the role of the perfect child. “Mom, am I behaving well? How about Benji?”. He’s waiting by the entrance of the apartment ready to spend the day with me; there’s teacher planning at his school.
I focus on my peace and yet I have to set boundaries and take Ben to school pronto. I invite him to a fun afternoon if he cooperates right now. Nope. I tell him I won’t invite any friends this week. He’s not listening. Next time I come around, I know he’s standing in the bath tub holding his breath. In a quick flash I pull the curtain aside and his heart stops. He brings his hands to his mouth and I firmly grab one of his wrists. “Por las buenas o por las malas”, I say to him in spanish letting him know it’s gonna happen. He pulls back and I hit my bare foot against the heavy door. I scream in pain and out of fear I’m hurt he walks with me towards the entrance where his clothes are waiting for him.
He starts choking as he continues to cry and throws up on an empty stomach all over the floor. He’s going through this episode and I look at him with steady eyes, letting him know he’s ok. With saliva drooling down his bare chest, I take his arm again, this time headed towards the bathroom to clean him up. He’s in shock and I can get him dressed into his uniform. Apparently, I’m the worst mom ever. I tell him I love him.
I manage to drop him off at school and we agree I will pick him up earlier. I want to motivate him to get through his day. He’s been staying in after care at school to get his homework done and give me a few more hours to work.
2) Plans change for a plan that changes
I was planning to go to yoga this morning but I want to meet a friend who suggested Starbucks at 9am. It seems like a much better plan at this point and I can go to the gym later at 10am. As I wait at the coffee shop, I find out it’s not happening. My mind reasons and can understand but my already tense body doesn’t relax, we’ve already played this game the previous day. My son sits on my lap, asks for my phone password ten times, and then wants to Skype his dad. At least I’m entertained.
3) Tantrum – Child #2
The day is grey and it’s either drizzling or the air is very humid on our way to pick up Benjamin at school. Sebastian is dragging behind me and pulling on my arm. He has his plush giraffe hanging from his other hand and it’s making him drowsy. He says I’m walking fast; I stop and apparently it’s still too much for him. He begs me to carry his heavy body but my white jeans and my stiff neck say no. I take baby steps and he bawls at me. “I want to be with my daddy!!!!” He hasn’t seen his dad in person for one month and it’s affecting him. He’s counting down every day to meet his new baby brother. Suddenly, he savagely bites my arm twice and sits on the sidewalk. We’re half a block away from the school. Time is ticking! Banging. “Stay there Sebastian. Don’t move!!!!”, I say with an extremely firm voice and steady eyes. Parents are still walking past this block between the school and the community center.
4) D already?!
Of course I’m late. His teachers are standing outside and they tell me Ben decided to head to after care because I wasn’t showing up. That’s a smart boy, I think. “How is Ben doing at school”, I ask giving them permission to speak what’s on their mind. Back to school was yesterday… How can he already have a D in Spanish!? That’s my native language; I was born in Argentina. They tell me they want to have a meeting with me. This week. We coordinate a time and thank them for their support and attention.
5) Thanks for your help. NOT!!!!
Ben comes out skipping with a huge smile on his face. “You came!!!”, he says lovingly. He’s thrilled to see me. “Come! Let’s go get your brother. He threw a fit and he wouldn’t walk. Look how he bit my arm”, I update him quickly and show the bruises on my right forearm. As I finish saying this I see a mom bringing Sebastian with her and my heart opens up in gratitude. “Is this your son?”, she asks me. I acknowledge and thank her. “This is the LAST time you ever do this”, she scolds me with the fiercest face I’ve ever seen. She rabid; it almost seems like a demon has possessed her! I agree I won’t leave him again; I explain he wouldn’t budge and had to get my other son. She won’t stop. “You pick him up under your arm and carry him with you!!!”. She points her finger sharply at me and threatens me: “Next time you do this, I’m calling the police”. Is that smoke coming out of her nostrils?! Wow. My kids don’t understand what’s going on. Sebastian is still upset and I firmly grab him by the arm even though he’s squirming like a worm. The woman is walking towards the police woman who’s always there at the school.
She exactly proves the point of why you should never leave a kid alone. They might find a crazy mother who takes over him and spits her anger around threatening their mom to be disciplined through the police. It’s not always easy being a parent. We are all doing our best. With a bit of compassion and understanding we can be helpful and support each other.
We’re loaded in the car and I drive off with tears pouring down my eyes. I honor the frustration and let it stream out. I’ve had more than enough for today. My son caresses my hair as I take us to South Miami.
We make it to Cool de Sac (a kids indoor play area) where I sit at a table with my laptop while they come and go. The owner is a friend and I have open access (the card was actually never given to me!) so I walk in past the desk on my word. There’s a new manager who doesn’t know me and drills me for information. I dig into my bag to give him a business card. opps. My wallet? Of course this isn’t the end of the drama. Hard to be focused with all these things going on. I suddenly know exactly where I left it. It’s at my son’s preschool where I went this morning to take the medical documentation. I call the school but it’s already closed. My son rushes to the bathroom and I walk out with him with wet underwear in my pocket.
A friend who’s working out nearby rescues me with some cash. The manager ends up being an amazing guy, spends the afternoon entertaining my boys. I get to share and laugh with my sister in law on the way back home while my boys and their cousins watch a movie in the back seat.
Here are some things I do to get through a bad day:
1) Know it’s temporary. How often can I have a day like this?
2) Cry! Let myself feel the frustration and wash it away.
3) Share with someone I love. It feels great to know someone cares and I can laugh
together with them at how absurd it all is.
4) Understand that they are energies shifting and things are clearing up.
5) Figure out what can I learn from each episode.
6) Never judge myself or feel guilty about what’s going on.
7) Nurture myself. It’s been another day on the path and I bet the next one is gonna be THE BEST!
Have you had the worst day ever lately!? I would love to know you handled it. : )
Love. Light. Laughter.