Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

First Activity Day Girls Night

Last time we were supposed to have an Activity Days Girls Activity, I was shopping for refreshments, and talking to my sister on the cell phone. "How about Clementines? Beautiful little oranges?" "No way! For your first time???? They will hate you. You have to buy them donuts." Well, the last activity got canceled because of snow. Chris & I made an emergency provision in our weight watchers diet for a few donuts so they "wouldn't go to waste." Well, this time, I bought them donuts again, but I'm ashamed to say, the second time round, I still didn't have the will power to not have 1 or 2. Or how many ever I might have had. It's all a blur.

You know, we had a pretty good day today. It ended so badly, though, that I'm analyzing the day to death to try to understand why Eli & Mia might be such traumatized kids, as to act out their frustrations or something. (I'll explain... hold on... keep reading...) I am potty training Mia, and peer pressure was getting to me. Last night in our parenting class, I was almost being taunted: "Yeah, well our daughter was 27 months when she was potty trained." Blah, blah, blah. Poor Mia. I was like, "You will wear underwear and you WILL be potty trained today." I lasted until about 1:00pm. 3 accidents, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I put her back in diapers. But that isn't so abnormal & I think I even handled it better than usual.

Chris had the car today and I tried to make the best of the situation by catching up on some tidying of the house, and spending a little time with the kids. We even played with Play Doh (Play Don't, as my friend, Andrea so befittingly calls it.) Both were successful (except one thing I hate about cleaning days is that I don't like the person I become after I do a really good job cleaning things. I yell at my kids for spilling any little crumb, and the kids spend more time cleaning up their toys than they do playing with them. It all seems so hopeless.) BUT me yelling shouldn't shock my kids, either.

This evening was just a disaster. Chris was not able to get home on time, so Eli, Mia and I had to ride in the back of someone's mini-van to get to the church for Activity Day Girls. (Bless those people who somehow had car seats & were able to give us a ride at the last minute!) Again, that shouldn't have ruined the evening, either. I thought Eli & Mia would have a blast with all the girls and go with the flow, playing games with us, etc. Uh... no. The minute they set foot in the church they started running like hunted animals. I had to round them up, give them lectures about not running around the church and staying with me. This was my first activity, and the girls were just staring at us like, "does she even know we're here?" Eli & Mia were disobedient the entire time, crowning the evening with huge tantrums, causing me to undermine my own threats of "if you're not good, you will not get a treat." They sat on the ground eating their donuts as fast as they could, then screamed for "more, more!!!!" When I said "no" to multiple donuts, Mia started this tantrum I can't even describe. Actually, you could ask anyone there at the church building, and they could give you an idea, because I was dragging her through the halls during part of it.

Next, Eli decided to throw a colossal, enormous, gigantic tantrum. And the only reason I can come up with is sibling rivalry. He didn't want Mia to show him up. Seriously! It was like he was looking for a reason. He asked me a few questions, then when I said "no" to one of them, Mt. St. Helen erupted. He screamed and screamed and screamed and cried from church all the way home (Chris picked us up). Then when we got home, he screamed until his throat was hoarse and scratchy, then he screamed some more.

The only reason I'm not bawling is because there has just been altogether too much screaming and crying in this house for one night. How do we expect parents to just pick up and move after things like this? I seriously feel scarred.


Jen W said...

Natalie-reading this entry gave me flashbacks to a certain afternoon in Utah when I was the cubscout leader. My girls were 8 and 6 at the time and I admit I was less than thrilled with getting stuck with "The Cubbies". For one thing, we met one monday afternoons so I had to bring my kids every time and the older boys would often beat the tar out of my girls. But I will always remember(with regret) one particular incident that happened just after 9/11. I loaded up the project- stuff to make big American flags to hang in the window and my kids into the van to go pick up a few of the boys I gave a ride to. My 6 year old went into melt down. She started screaming and kicking the seat of the boy I was giving a ride too. I yelled at her, she yelled back. I threatened and sreamed and finally pulled over, got out of the car and tried to kill her. OK, maybe not that, but there was a bit of anger we were both feeling. We happened to be in front of one of the other BS leaders homes and I just gave her the project stuff and the cubscouts I had screamed in front of and told her I couldn't do it that day. Then I went home and bawled my eyes out.
Isn't service wonderful!
Merry Christmas!

Rob and Jewls said...

They are unexplainable and unreasonable at these ages. Just give up on making sense of it and suffice it to say they needed to scream...don't we all sometimes? I know the feeling and I know it is one of the most frustrating things in life as a parent...the tantrums. You are a good mommy, so don't beat yourself up about it. Your kids are good kids too! probably tired or getting sick like half of the kids in our ward :) See you Sunday! -Julie

The monkey bunch said...

Hey, Natalie,

Ok, I laughed. I admit it. Aren't kids so much fun! They were probably tired or sick or something like that. I must admit, to give me sanity, I throw mine in straight in bed and lock the doors when they act like that. It is better then anyone killing anyone, which may very well happen at that stage! When Emma had colic really bad, I would put her securely in her carseat on the floor and then go take a bath. It helped! They'll be OK!
Just a suggestion, though, I would try and stick out the potty training. I think it confuses them and then it takes longer in the end if you keep giving up. I could be wrong, but that's what I've found with mine. It is a miserable couple of days, but they will get it. Have you tried potty training in a day- the book. You can find it at the library. Believe me, not having to potty train is one of the reasons I am so excited about being done with having kids!

Annie said...

I was going to share some horrible story about my kids to make you feel better, but I think Jen's story was too perfect. I do think potty training has been the worst part of motherhood so far. My next two are staying in diapers until they're 10. Here's to hoping you don't have another rotten day like that until AFTER Christmas :)

Natalie C. said...

Jen W- LOVE that story!! And I'm glad it said "a certain afternoon" instead of "every week." It was only my first night & it gives me a little hope!

Rob and Jewls, yeah. I didn't need to analyze all the screaming. I was just getting inside the heads of those watching me & I was sure they were thinking, "man, those kids must have some serious issues." And they don't really.

All, reading comments after a post like this just gives me a breath of relief. It makes me feel not quite so alone. :) Thank you so much for commenting!!!

Angie said...

I love you. You ARE a good mom! Sounds like a CRAZY day.

fourslys said...

At least you're done with munch and mingles. There are trade offs!

Leslie said...

1) Clementines – everybody loves them, even little girls. Go with your first impression; don't let someone talk you into donuts. Yeck! (I took ants on a log –celery sticks w/peanutbutter and raisins – and M&M's to my first YW activity. The celery got slicked down faster than the candy.)

2) Potty training – My good friend, mother of seven swears that you shouldn't start potty training until age three or three and a half, boys later than girls. Her most recent potty-training boy was trained in a week, but she waited until he wanted to start training. Besides, it's fine to take a vacation from potty training if it isn't going well.

3) Tantrums – Yeah, well, I guess we've all been there. At least at home, you can put them in their room until they calm down, but in public … not so much. Maybe by kid number four or five, you stop worrying so much about what everyone is thinking.