Thursday, September 04, 2008

Warts and all

Sitting on the coffee table, I face both my daughters, who are plopped haphazardly on the couch.

"I love you," I say, voice trembling. "I love you both so much. No one in this world is as important to me as you two are."

Earlier, we had a run of bad behavior, lying and talking back (them), along with yelling and screaming (me). It was late and I was tired and they were in the tub. While I walked down the hall to get Peanut's nightgown, they managed to throw what looked like eight gallons of water onto the bathroom floor. I stepped back into the room and slipped, ramming my shin - hard - against the vanity.

"What the . . . ?" I asked, rubbing my leg and looking around to assess the scene. Sudsy water - a lot of it - everywhere. Water dripping down the walls. Towels soaked. Bath mat saturated. Loaf's jammies sopping. Her clean bedtime pull-up plump with water and ruined.

I was gone less than 30 seconds.

"How did this happen?" I asked incredulously.

"Loaf did it," Peanut shrieked with a wise-ass grin on her face.

"No it was Peanut," said her sister, unable to hold back a giggle.

"Someone is lying," I said, feeling the anger swell inside me. They both looked at me, smirking. Their unmitigated joy over being naughty - knowingly and willingly breaking the "no water outside the tub rule" - fueled the fire.


From there, things quickly went downhill. I will spare you the messy details, but suffice it to say in the end, Loaf was wailing that I'd "hurt her feelings," and Peanut said I was mean and she wanted to send me "to charity to someone who doesn't have a mom."

And I? Was feeling like total, complete, utter crapola.

I so rarely lose my cool, but when I do, it can get ugly. And sometimes, acting like a screaming banshee might be warranted, but for this? Water on the bathroom floor? Come on, Kimberly, get a grip.


After five years, why is this stuff still so hard sometimes?

Later, after all the water had been mopped and the toys in the bedrooms picked up (by all three of us), I sat them on the couch. The calm had been restored, sheepish guilt beginning its slow march on my soul.

"I know you're sorry for throwing all that water, and I'm sorry I got so mad. I overreacted," I began. They sat watching me with their huge eyes. "You know, even when I'm angry, I still love you. I love you both so much."

We ended with hugs and kisses and promises to be better to each other in the future. I will certainly try to hold up my end of the bargain.

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Blogger Kate said...

That is so awesome!
I just love reading about how you handle situations like these.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

p.s. I thought the part about giving you to charity was kinda cute too.

What an intelligent child to even think of that one!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there. Done that.

11:20 AM  
Blogger ryssee said...

I might've done a double-flipper too if I started out tired and in a cranky mood! ;-)
Nice comeback in the end, and you didn't have to clean up yourself.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

I've been there. Much too frequently lately. I'm really hoping that when Zoe starts back to school on Monday... and we're apart for a few hours each morning... that maybe we can each be a little easier on the other.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous XUP said...

Hey - just because you're a mom doesn't mean you don't have the right to assert yourself and get mad sometimes. It's good for your kids to see you as a human being with feelings and needs and rules and stuff, too. I wouldn't have thought a bathroom full of water was funny either, but then I'm the world's worst mother these days I'm told

1:26 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

It can be so hard to keep your cool sometimes.

I laughed at your daughter wanting to give you to charity. I have to admit that's a good one...

12:39 AM  

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