I woke up yesterday morning to Abby and Phoebe giving me a kiss on the cheek and snuggling in bed with me. “I love you mommy” they each whispered. Sometimes, I can’t believe I am a mom. I look around and see these 3 beautiful girls and think, “I hope I don’t BLEEP them up too bad!” The truth is, through all of my juvenile humor, labelling them my little inmates, and my jovial writing, I love being a mom. It’s the best most rewarding job I’ve ever had…and I’ve been working since I was 16…and I’ve had some crazy awesome jobs!
My love for my children doesn’t preclude me from having a having a bad day…as I have expressed on this blog many times before. I have days where: I doubt my choices as both a parent and as an individual; I daydream about the future…when Greg and I are dropping Cecilia, our baby, off at College and we promptly head over to the Airstream dealer to pick up our very own silver bullet to tour the country; I want to spend the whole day doing things I want to do versus things I HAVE/NEED to do (and sometimes I do…but someone’s needs are eventually not met…so it doesn’t happen often). Then of course there are the inevitable days where 10 a.m. rolls around and all I want to do is call for a “DO OVER” and crawl back into bed until the next morning comes. Which I might add, are almost always followed by days where everything goes smoothly and everyone is happy, loving, understanding, and trying their very best.
I had the “It’s 10 a.m. and I want a do-over day” yesterday. I had really grown fond of Mount Shasta and actually had a difficult time leaving. I felt like we could have stayed there for another couple of weeks. We had been traveling so much up to that point. Mount Shasta really allowed us to sit back and find our groove. We did school everyday, I knew my way around the town and how to get to Redding 45 miles down the road, and I could do laundry whenever I needed to, without leaving the campsite. I knew it was coming, but I just wasn’t ready. If I had recognized that fact early on, I could have done a little “self talking” and suggested I pull up my big girl panties and put on a happy face for the sake of everyone else.
But, I wasn’t a big girl yesterday. My big girl panties were left behind on campsite #17 at the KOA in Mount Shasta.
We have been working for almost a year now (and unsuccessfully I might add) on potty training Cecilia. In 6 months, she had made it a total of 2 days without an accident. So we took a break when we moved onto the RV to make room for the adjustment period she would surely go through.
I know the number one rule in Potty training (which i suck at by the way) above anything else is to BE CONSISTENT. The second rule is HAVE PATIENCE. So I had to try to keep that in mind when my beautiful freshly bathed baby girl made a mess in the bathroom yesterday evening after a long day on the road.
I heard her say, “Uh oh, mommy…poo poo” and I immediately ran to the bathroom. It was a mess. I assessed the situation and came to the realization she was trying to be independent. She obviously went #2 and was trying to take off her pants and clean it up on her own, the way we had done thousands of times before. In her efforts, she lost her balance and accidentally backed up against the wall which left a bit of a mess on the wall. Then she tried to step out of her diaper and pajama pants and proceeded to get it all over her pajama pants and hitting the insides of her legs all the way down. Did I already mention she was freshly bathed? That’s the moment when the whole “BE CONSISTENT and HAVE PATIENCE” eluded me. Instead of praising her for her efforts, I told her I was “disappointed” in her. She said, “sorry Mommy”. When we finished cleaning up and getting ready for bed, she crawled back into bed and pulled the comforter up on her own…which is so unlike her.
We have a nap time and nighttime routine which involves snuggling, practicing sight words, a small cup of water, reading, scratching her back and (fingers crossed) ends with her falling asleep. If I miss a step, she is there to remind me. She won’t let me get away with anything. She never goes to bed on her own. But she did last night. I leaned down to kiss her and she said, “I’m sorry mommy.” It broke my heart. I just thought to myself, “Way to go Angie!” A big bright red neon sign reading “FAILURE! FAILURE! FAILURE!” kept flashing in my mind.
When I told Greg what had happened, he promptly said, “do you remember when Abby used to take off her diaper filled with poop and swing it all around her bedroom…getting it all over everything?” We both laughed. It happened on multiple occasions. Greg and I would be near tears, wondering what we were doing wrong, cleaning up smashed poop on Abby’s hands, fingernails, hair, bed sheets, pajamas, crib, and anything else within a diaper flings’ shot. When Phoebe did the same thing, because we had experienced it with Abby, we were very different. We just went in to the bedroom, cleaned it up, wiped her off and that was that. No tears, no weekly heady debates about our parenting skills (or lack there of). Despite potty training with Cecilia, she never really went through that stage. At least not that I can remember.
He helped me laugh about the situation. He helped me gain perspective. She works so hard and is so determined to do everything on her own. Like most of us, she doesn’t like admitting she needs help. She takes great pride in accomplishing a difficult task on her own.
Today is a new day. I hopped in bed with her before she awoke (for the first time in 5 years) gave her little kisses, rubbed her back, held her tight and made a promise to myself that we will have a great day. We will do our best with potty training. If she gets it, great! If not, there’s always the next day.
And just like that, I mentally retrieved my big girl panties from campsite #17 at the KOA in Mount Shasta.
For all of our struggles as parents, for all of those days where I want to proclaim a “do over” day and even those days where I question everything I do as a parent, I really do love being a mom.