Friday, August 15, 2008

The Payback

I felt like Supermom yesterday. I'm not bragging, I promise. It only happens once in a blue moon, so I know I'm not actually Supermom. But I felt like it.
I was up at 5 so I could go jogging before Aaron left for an overnight trip. After jogging, I came in, went through my clothes so my friend could borrow the ones that don't fit me. Until they do fit me. Which hasn't happened since my children were born, but I'm sure it will happen soon. Oh wait. I quit boot camp, didn't I?
Ok, whatever, I'm still Supermom. I cleaned out the closet, then began preparing homemade biscuits for when my children woke up. One of the kids I babysit arrived around 8:30 and he was sad. Comforted him and woke Avery up to help me. Feeling great.
As Supermom, I feel that a scheduled craft will help lift every one's spirits so we make Suncatchers. The kids loved them. Score one for Supermom! Never mind the tiny beads all over the floor. I sweep it all up and send them outside to play while the Suncatchers bake in the oven.
In the meantime, the baby I keep shows up. I put her in the high chair with Cheerios and call my friend to see if her two boys want to come over to play in the water. They show up and all of my kids, plus the boy I babysit, plus the two boys are outside playing in the water. I yell out the door that I will make cookies for them to decorate after lunch. They are excited. "Way to go, Supermom!" They don't say this, but I know they were thinking it.
I realize I have no sugar cookie dough, but I have a cookbook and all the basics, so I decide to make them from scratch. Yes, from scratch. I make the cookies and refrigerate the dough as directed. I then wonder what I will make all these kids for lunch. I am not in the mood for a sandwich assembly line. Plus, I'm not sure we even have enough turkey for 6 children. I spot the hamburger I'm thawing in the sink. I had planned to make the kids and I a cheeseburger macaroni-ish casserole for dinner. I decide it makes more sense to make it for lunch. So while I clean the cookie dishes, I begin browning hamburger and cooking macaroni.
I see the clock. It's 11:00 and I've already done more in this day than I usually do in one day. Go, Supermom.
I call them inside to dry off, change clothes and wash up for lunch. They track in more grass and water than I thought possible. I sweep the kitchen floor for the second time.
Lunch is ready. They love it. Three of the kids ask for seconds. This gives me a rush, which is embarrassing.
They all eat good and I send them off to play while I bake the cookies and get the icing ready. The dough is all cold and pliable so I decide to form it in the shape of the first letter of their name. They will love this. As the cookies bake, I dye all the frosting and get all the sprinkles out. They come downstairs to see their initials and they are all excited. They can't believe it. "Way to go, Supermom." They don't say it, but I know they are thinking it.
The cookie decorating lasts a lot longer than I had anticipated and it's relatively calm and argument-free. It went very well. When they are finished, I see sprinkles, cookie crumbs and icing all over the floor. I send them off to play, bag up the leftover cookies, and begin cleaning the kitchen. I sweep the floor for the third time. It's only 1:30.
The baby wakes up (oh yeah, I fed her and put her down for a nap during all of this) and wants to be held and changed. I hold her while I gather up all the wet towels and throw them in the wash. I change Rhett, put him down for a nap and rock the baby for a bit.
The kids are all watching a movie and playing Ninja Turtle while they watch.
Once Rhett wakes up, I gather up all the kids and throw them in the car. I drop the friend's boys off at their house and the rest of us go up to the neighborhood Parcel Post to mail a package. It's closed, so I have to drive a ways to the post office. The five kids and I run in to the post office to mail a package. The trip inside takes about 4 minutes. Getting in and out of the car with five kids takes approximately 16 minutes.
We stop for drinks at Sonic and head home. The baby is asleep, so I put her in bed and tell the big kids they have to rest for a bit. That goes over like a fart in a phone booth, but I sit for a while.
Finally, it's 4:30 and the baby goes home. Then the boy. It's just my kids and me. They remind me that I promised to take them to buy more crafts for tomorrow (today). I'm exhausted, but I promised. So we go. On the way, Avery asks if we can eat dinner at a restaurant. There is one next to Hobby Lobby and I'm Supermom, so I say yes. We get to Hobby Lobby, everyone is picking out what they want and we get in the checkout lane. As I am paying, Reese walks up and says "Momma, I need new pants."
And here's where it all starts to go downhill. She has wet her pants and left a huge puddle near the checkout lanes. There are four people in line behind me and only one lane open. So everyone sees and hears what is going on. I tell the lady behind the counter and she hands me a roll of brown paper towels. These things soak up NOTHING, so I use half a roll to clean up the tee-tee. She has called the manager in the meantime, so he and all the spectators are just standing around, watching me clean my child's pee. She is standing there with wet pants, wet shoes and itchy legs, asking me for new shorts. Avery keeps saying "Mom, can we just go eat?"
We get it all cleaned up and exit the store as quickly as possible. I inform Avery that we cannot go eat since Reese has wet pants. She is immediately devastated and bursts into tears. I know she is just exhausted from all of the days' activities, so I tell her we'll go through McDonald's and get something to take home. This makes her sort of happy, but then she pushes Reese and calls her a "Doodie." We don't call names in our family (not much anyway) so I tell them we are not going to McDonald's. We are going home and eating Lunchables. Oh. My. Lord.
Don't ever tell your exhausted, whiny 5-year-old that she is eating a Lunchable, because the shit will hit the fan.
The resulting conversation went something like this. I was mortified and shocked by this whole situation, by the way. And my Supermom feeling went flying out the window, only to be replaced by the worstmotherintheworld feeling that lurks in my stomach still today.

Avery: (through tears) I'm not eating a Lunchable. I'm never eating any of your food ever again.
Me: Good, that saves us some money.
Avery: You are so mean. You are the meanest I ever saw.
Me: You haven't even seen me be mean. I suggest your zip your mouth before you see me get mean.
Avery: I have too seen mean. You are mean. I see mean every day.

I decide at this point, it's best to ignore her. She wants to rile me up and I shouldn't feed into that. But what she says next shocks me. I cannot believe this is my sweet baby girl.

Avery: You know those kids you babysit? I'm going to tell every one's mom that you are the meanest person ever and no one will bring their kids to you anymore.
You won't get to babysit. Ever.

Still ignoring.

Avery: EVER NEVER EVER NEVER EVER NEVER. You will just be alone and mean all the time!!!!!

Still ignoring. Pit in stomach has grown to the size of a small country. I turn up the radio and dance with Rhett. He is oblivious to the anger Avery is sending my way and just bangs his head against his seat to the rhythm. Reese is sucking her fingers. I say sweet things to them so they won't think everyone in the car is nuts.

Avery: Mom. Can I say sorry?

Ignore.

Avery: MOM. I WANT TO SAY SORRY. Sorry Reese. For saying you are a Doodie.

Ignoring, very purposefully now..

Avery: ANSWER ME, MOM. WHY WON"T YOU ANSWER ME???? I SAID SORRY.

Me: Avery, I don't let anyone talk to me that way, especially my 5-year-old child. I appreciate that you are sorry, but you need to realize that words hurt people and "sorry" doesn't always make it go away so quickly. I have done nothing but sweet things for you and your friends all day and the one thing I say 'No' to sends you into a huge fit. That is ridiculous and I won't tolerate it.

Avery: I'M NOT EATING A LUNCHABLE!!!

I'll stop here, even though this went on for about an hour after we got home. Avery had to spend about 40 minutes total in her room before she adjusted her attitude and came out for hugs and apologies. I did forgive her (of course), but the pit in my stomach is still there. This is what she says to me when she's angry when she's FIVE. I think it's safe to say I am scared out of my mind.

And as for the Supermom gig? Since I see how Supermom gets paid back, I have not planned any activities, meals or fun for them today. I plan to jack around on my computer while I make them clean house. Let's see how THAT mom gets treated tonight....

1 comment:

haley said...

O.M.G. laughing so hard because I have felt like this. Ok, I only have one child, and I *certainly* don't keep anyone elses. BUT, I did take Jadyn to McDonalds last week for a mom/daughter fun day, and I can pinpoint the exact moment the day went to shit. You are a rock star Dodi. Way to go Supermom!!!