Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Please. — Just Tell Me What You Want!

on November 28, 2012

I think it might be hard sometimes to be my child.

Sometimes I am tired. Sometimes I am distracted. Sometimes I am overwhelmed. Sometimes I have a checklist.

Sometimes I am strict. Sometimes I am more lax. Sometimes I am playful. Sometimes I have more patience. Sometimes less.

Sometimes I am silly. Sometimes I am no-nonsense. Sometimes I am prepared. Sometimes I am flustered and running late.

And as much as I talk about parenting with intention, I don’t always make it happen.

I came home last night after a 10 hour work day that seemed less than productive, which meant I brought some of that home with me and on top of which, was going to need to get to a conference call at 10 p.m.  That wasn’t a surprise. I had planned for that. The best friend/partner/hubby had done his partner jobs already which is beyond awesome–kiddos were fed, one was putting on pajamas and the other was in the bath.

But I hadn’t eaten and there was leftover evening clutter and the crazy dog was still outside and now barking to come in.

Deep Breath. Quick Turkey sandwich…Dog will have to wait. So will the clutter.

Now I’m on  a mission. Get the boy child out of the tub, dressed, teeth brushed and let’s wrap this evening up!

There is one thing you should know about X. He loves his bath. And by love, I mean, this is a boy who will voluntarily take 2 or 3 baths a day if we let him. He swims around, plays with his million and one toys that he has collected in there. Superheroes of all kinds, random boats and cars, whatever he can find that can be in water without being ruined, is there!  I’m sure it is a bit of a sanctuary to him. Private time with his four year old thoughts.

So, when the tired, on a mission Momma shows up to ‘do his jobs’ aka wash his hair and body, he complained he wasn’t ready. “I just got in here!” was the all too familiar whine.

Fine. Five more minutes while Mommy gets her pajamas on.

Five minutes later. X is still not ready. But I am. So hair gets washed…other than that, he was really more wet than clean.

Ok. “Pull the plug, I’ve got a hot towel for you!” You should also know that second to the bath, this boy loves, loves, loves to get out and be wrapped in a hot towel. Who doesn’t, right?!  This is often his motivation for getting out of the tub…he doesn’t want his towel to cool off. There have been times when I have forgotten the hot towel and OH, the disappointment that ensues.  Once, he even told me that he would love me more if I would just remember to get him a hot towel. Ouch.

But… not tonight. The hot towel was not doing the trick and as it was cooling off, I was heating up a bit. “I’m not ready! I just got in here! I just got in here!”

Please get out. Do you need help? It is time to get out. X, now. Out of the tub. etc. etc. I was calm. I never yelled, but at that point I was over it. The Zen Parent, still in the bedroom, offered to take care of things, but now there were lines drawn and I needed this child to get out of the tub so we could move on with our lives.

So, every Momma knows how this goes… Finally, he gives in and climbs his little butt out of the bathtub and gets wrapped up in a now semi-cool towel.  But now there is crying and sadness. As I’m getting him dry to put on his pajamas, he is giving me the most pitiful tears and stories about his bath and how it was too short and he just wanted to play a little longer.

Enter. Guilt. Seriously. The boy just wants to play in the bathtub a few more minutes. Really, what will that hurt? Why am I taking such a stand on this?

Fine. Nevermind. Get back in. Mommy changed her mind. It’s fine. Get back in and play some more. I’ll warm up your towel again.

Poor thing. He wouldn’t do it. He didn’t know what to do. I’m sure his little four-year old brain was thinking: “Who is this crazy woman who just made me leave the comfort of a warm bath and now is telling me to get back in?!  It’s a trick!!She can’t be pleased!!”

The rest of the bedtime and tuck-ins were actually quite pleasant as I had found my Momma groove and was taking things one at a time, letting them lead just a little bit more.  No, the girl child did not do the one page of spelling homework that I had asked her to do…she forgot…but she will do it right now.  Oh, and she’s still hungry, which always happens when she is two seconds from bed…”Can I have an apple, please?!”  Well, what self-respecting Momma says “No” to an apple request? Cut up apple and deliver to Y as she writes her word pyramids.

X wants to hear 14 Christmas carols, we agree on 5 that I can think of quickly. And as I was tucking him in for the night, with the last cold spot kisses and sweet dreams goodnights, just as I was to the door, he stopped me and said, “Momma, did you want me to get out of the tub or get back in?!” 30 minutes later, he was still trying to figure out that situation. He was still trying to figure out his crazy Momma and what in the hell did she want him to do?

Whatever you want, baby.

See, it’s hard. It’s hard for Mommas. It’s hard for kiddos. It’s hard for the Zen Parent/Hubbies.  We try to please each other and make everything ok and still maintain a balance in life of things that need to get done….. with….

finding some joy in the actual doing of these things.

(Except for the crazy puppy dog—honestly, he could try harder to be a little more pleasing!) 🙂


5 responses to “Please. — Just Tell Me What You Want!

  1. Jan says:

    Did you say “Hurry, hurry, Mommy s tired!!!?”

  2. […] on my professional resume’,  I made a quick Exit Stage Left to get the boy child out of the bathtub…again… and left the best friend/partner/hubby to the task of helping her with this. […]

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