...because we all have our motley moments!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bi-Polar Me

I'm not really bi-polar. And I'm not making fun of those who are. I just feel like a crazy manic-depressive sometimes. Seriously. I go from high to low in a matter of seconds. The other day at MOPS a friend was talking about her daughters and how they are so dramatic - how they'll be laughing and playing happily one minute and in the depths of despair 10 seconds later. I laughed, thought about how happy I am to have boys because they're not quite so dramatic (yeah, right), then thought, "Oh, God, she just described me!" And I'm not a 4- or 6-year-old girl! In fact, I've always prided myself on NOT being a Drama Queen or a high-maintenance woman. I'm not easily offended (one of my favorite jokes is, "What do you do when the dishwasher quits? Slap her!"), I rarely cry, I don't like shopping, I would rather watch UFC than "American Idol." I'm not a "girly girl." But, as it turns out, I am extremely emotional and you would think I would've been clued into this years ago when I started taking MEDICATION to keep me at an even keel. But no, I kept on with the delusion that I am strong, tough, intelligent, and above silly womanish emotionalism. To illustrate how wrong I was, a typical conversation in my house:
"Ethan, it's time to go potty."
"Come one, let's go potty."
We go into the bathroom, Ethan stands in front of the toilet. "Ethan, pull your pants down and go pee."
"Noooo! They're not pants! They're shorts!"
"Okay. Pull your shorts down." He does, he pees, he puts the seat down. All is well. I am a good mom, I didn't lose it with him, he did what I asked.
"Ethan, pull your shorts up."
"Nooooo! It's not shorts! It's a Pull-Up!" I roll my eyes. He finally pulls them up, steps on the stool to wash his hands. Only, he doesn't wash his hands. He plays in the water, refuses to get soap. Yelling ensues. Smacks on the hiney. Threats of a time-out. 10 minutes later we leave the bathroom, he's crying, my blood pressure is somewhere around 200/180. This is what I'm thinking: I hate my life, I'm the worst mother ever, I shouldn't yell at him, Oh, God, forgive me for sometimes not liking my child, I'm a horrible mother, etc., etc., etc. 
Cut to 4 hours later. Both boys have napped. Ethan and I have "played Play-Doh" in the kitchen together for 30 minutes. We go to Walgreens to pick up aforementioned medication. We have to sit in line for a while, but that's okay because the boys are in the backseat, cracking each other up. This is what I'm thinking: You know, I am so blessed. My children are healthy, happy, cute, and fun. My husband is a good man. We have a house, 2 cars, plenty of food, a great church. I am livin' the life!
Give me 5 more minutes in line at Walgreens, though, and I'm inconsolable.
So, yeah, my cover is blown. I'm emotional. There. I said it. I may not cry or love shopping, but I can be reduced to screaming or elation by 32 pounds of preschooler. 


Donna said...

Liz, I think so many of us can relate to this! It's hard not to judge ourselves or our time spent with the kids (read: ALL DAY) based on how good we are at getting them to do what we need them to do. We can't make their choices for them, so I guess we just have to learn to finesse the situation (or leave certain battles for another day!).

I know you weren't asking for a solution, but I had to share: Our oldest had a bad habit of playing in the bathroom (45 minutes could go by and he'd STILL be in there "washing his hands"). I finally put my handy-dandy timer (similar to Rachel's latest discovery, but oversized) in the bathroom, set it for 5 minutes and told him to "race the clock!" He had to be done and out the door by the time the timer rang to be the winner. He liked that. You can add additional incentive, if needed, or consequences...if he doesn't beat the clock (and doesn't have a good reason), he has to serve a timeout - or something along those lines. The timer helps in so many situations, I don't know what I'd do without it!

Sherrie said...

Donna, I love the idea of a timer for the bathroom. We are having the same problem with finding the bathroom as a play land opportunity. I love that it puts the responsibility back on him and not always on me reminding him to be done. Not to mention eliminating the times that I forget that he is in there because the other child has created a larger issue to deal with, and there is no soap left in a newly purchased bottle.

Thanks for all the good tips!

Rachel said...

I just have to say that any trip to our Walgreens is likely to result in insanity, regardless of who you are.

What amazes me is how the most normal, simple, day-to-day things like going to the bathroom can turn into a major crisis in mere seconds. I do like the timer idea, Donna.

Liz, you're a great Mom. Just think of mood swings as keeping them on their toes!

Liz said...

Thanks, Rachel. And, Donna, Todd and I both think the timer idea is great. We may start using it soon!

hgrenier said...

Whew! After reading this, I now know there are other mothers who feel the exact same way I do!!!!