I Heart Faces: All About Babies

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tonight has been one of those nights, where I couldn't possibly find another tear in all of my frustrations, to release. My oldest pushed me beyond all of my boundaries, my youngest witnessed it all, and the one growing inside my belly was forced to listen in on the chaos, and prepare itself for the insanity that it will be born into.

The guilt that I feel, when my youngest has to watch me discipline my oldest, breaks my heart in half. The look on his face, when I take away his playmate and send her to her room without dinner, is enough to kill me- no matter how many times I return to him with my soft spoken baby voice. I just can't get over the hurt that I can see hes feeling.

I sobbed on the bathroom floor tonight, while giving my little boy a bath. I took my glasses off, set them on the closed lid of the toilet set, and cried uncontrollably. But while crying, I continued trying to read him his soap sud covered Winnie The Pooh bath time book. I tried to act like nothing was wrong, while pointing out "ball", and "boat". And I think the fact that I tried, must have made at least some amount of difference.

My hair and shirt (both shirts actually, since I wore white today- and my bra) were soaked, from the shower that I had to give the naughty one, after she took it upon herself to pee all over the floor in the living room, for no reason other than "she wanted to". I had to drag her up the stairs, after making her at least try to clean up her own mess (she had literally been splashing around in it- why God, why is she acting out like this?). So at 7 months pregnant, I had to grab her by her punching arm, and pull all 45 fighting pounds of her up to the second floor, and get her under control, and cleaned up.

Dinner remained on the counter collecting flies, and the puddle of pee remained on the floor, creeping closer and closer to a favorite blanket.

Her baby brother tried to get into the shower with her, crying the entire time. I'm not sure if he was upset that he wasn't getting a bath and she was (even though she wasn't), or if he was upset because she was upset, and he was trying to save her. Such a little hero, he is, and its the sweetest thing.

In between my shouting "Charlie, go play in your room while Mommy cleans Seesaw!", the little guy's love for his sister (or, his love for the bath tub) did manage to bring a smile to my soul. I'd say it brought a smile to my face, but the constant yelling at both of the babies, either "stand still so I can shampoo your hair", or "go play so I can shampoo her hair!", while getting pounded in the face with warm water droplets, were preventing anything other than anger and complete and total desperation from coming across.

And you have to know that there were other things that had lead up to the destruction of our day. The oldest running away from me (into the yard, into the neighbors yard, into the street) and laughing about it, knowing there was no way I could possibly catch her. The "NO!"'s, the bullying mean girl behavior, the stealing of the toys, the purposely hurting her brother (she pushed him up against the wall with a big plastic coupe car- seriously child, why?), and the constant disobeying. In the end, it all just added up, and exploded.

After she was clean, I simply wrapped her in her towel, told her to step out of the tub, and sent her to her room. She knows how to put on underwear all by herself, she knows how to get under her blankets, and she knows how to close her eyes and go to sleep. There was nothing more for me to say or do for her. Her teeth could go unbrushed for a night. Her hair could stay tangled.

When her Daddy came home for dinner on his lunch break (I'm sure his recent switch to swing shift has to play a part in all of this somehow) a few minutes later, he went into her room, without saying even one word to her, and got her dressed and tucked in. He then finished giving the baby a bath, so I could walk away from all of it, and finish putting his sad excuse for a dinner together (peanut butter and jelly biscuits, really? some wife I am). I skipped dinner, myself, not having any bit of room for even the slightest amount of hunger amongst all of my rage- and I got down on hands and knees and scrubbed up the pee puddle, which by this time had spread out into a lake. And then I picked up all of the toys. And then I did all of the dishes. And then I swept all of the downstairs. While I was doing all of that, Christopher had put the baby to bed (I had kissed him all over his little chubby little Charlie face, the way I do every night, so he knew that Mommy was ok, and that I still loved him oh so very much), and then he had gone back to work.

God sure has blessed me with an amazing husband. I love that he came home, and in the short time that he was here, he did exactly what I needed him to do, without me saying anything (other than crying, because I did a lot of that), so that I could regain my strength and find my peace. I love that he ate a meal that was less than perfect, and acted as if he enjoyed it. I love that he told me to ignore the chores (even though he knows I never could), and demanded that I sit down and relax for the rest of the night (pffft, for the weak).

I don't normally post about days like these. Or, if I do, they're mentioned very briefly, and only with humor. But sometimes I feel like maybe documenting it the way it really is, the same way that I document things with photographs, might be just the release that I need. After the story has left my fingertips, I can take a step back- and I'm able to see where I was right, and where I went wrong.

That being said. This weeks photo challenge over at I Heart Faces, is "All About Babies". I probably wouldn't have even sat down and rambled through my Mama Drama, had it not been for this photo challenge.

I know that this picture has nothing to do with the words of this post, but in a way, it has everything to do with them.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Charlie. He couldn't yet walk, he couldn't yet talk, he couldn't even sit up by himself.

This was last spring. We had just gotten our new patio set, and we had been enjoying our morning coffee outside every morning, before the haunting Texas heat rolled in. Charlie had been sitting in my lap, but kept reaching for my coffee cup, not allowing me to do anything other than move it farther away from us, out of our reaches. When it came time for me to take a sip, I propped the little baby up on the tabletop, and hurried into a slurp. Just as I was about to swap my mug for the baby- I noticed that he had caught his reflection in the table, and was perfectly content getting to know the strange new friend in the glass below him.

Those are the moments that make everything worth it.

All of the arguing, and all of the bad behavior. Every time they test me, and every time they tell me "NO!". Its all worth it.

Who cares that I had to get down on my hands and knees tonight to soak up my 4 year olds act of defiance. Who cares that I didn't make anything other than biscuits for dinner. Who cares that I had a complete and total meltdown while sitting on a childrens blue and green octopus themed bath mat.

Its pictures like this, that make it all worth it.


The Southern Mint Julep June 14, 2010 at 8:39 PM  

How absolutely adorable. You did a great job of capturing this with the reflection in the lenses. Beautiful.

astrogirl529 June 14, 2010 at 8:45 PM  

I completely understand how you are feeling. It's like they are somehow protesting to the fact its not going to be just about them any more. Mine have been testing my patience and I find myself yelling at them and slamming doors and then I go and cry in my room because I have yelled and slammed doors.

yobokitty June 14, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

oh, sweetie.
*hugs* and "i'm sorry you all had a bad day"s are all i've got.

i do have lots and lots and LOTS of *hugshugshugs* though.

p.s., you're a good mommy. it was just a bad monday, i think. *moar hugs*

Alisha June 14, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

Love the chunka monka legs! My baby has 'em too. They are delish! Nice photo!

Right As Rain Creations June 14, 2010 at 9:02 PM  

That picture says it all!

Mama-dom is HARD and some days are just so hard, you don't think you'll survive (or your kids won't!) - but keep it up, because you ARE doing a great job mothering your children.

Venting is good. Hugs and kisses from a loved one are better. Support from fellow mommies is priceless!

When you have a moment and have taken a deep breath or 100, look back over your oldest's baby pictures. This always helps me find that first love, a mother's love which never fails.

Praying for you, knowing on my worst days there are those praying for me.

Maggie June 14, 2010 at 9:02 PM  

Aw. Hugs to you. I know it is really hard. This too shall pass.

When you share something like this, you can help other moms who might be reading to know that everyone has days like this. I think sometimes when you are home with little kids, it is easy to think everyone else's life is all sunshine and light, and it is just not true.

soul_searching_mama June 14, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

Oh my gosh, I definitely have days like that myself. The other night when my son poured a glass of water on me and my laptop for fun, I just lost it. I think this happens to all moms - we put up with a lot so it is natural that at some point all that emotion bottled up in side needs to release. It is more than enough to make someone crazy, but yet we manage. You are such a brave person for sharing stories like this to the rest of us. I'm sorry your night has been a rough one. I'm glad you have a great husband to help you out though! *hugs* I'll be saying prayers that Elie starts to reign in her troublemaking a bit. Hang in there. And VERY beautiful photo! I love it! :)

Pol June 14, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

*hugs* We have all been there. You will survive this.
With one of my kids it worked to give him extra responsibilities. Give her jobs to do and have her practice helping you with things you will need when baby is born.
Know that you ARE a good mother and wife.

Colleen June 14, 2010 at 9:22 PM  

I remember having days like this. My third was especially affected by his dad's wacky schedule and when daddy was gone for a long period of time there was inevitably a total and violent meltdown. It stunned me because it was so out of character. I dealt with the behavior issues, then I had to deal with myself before I could really forgive and love my child again. The next day, I usually went out of my way to spend lots of special cuddle/one on one time with him (we both needed it)while also making sure that he knew that no matter how upset he is, that behavior is NOT acceptable. He's 13 now and while he can still try my nerves, he's come a long way.

Oh, and the guilt about the babies hearing the chaos and screaming... I had that too. I remember thinking that my oldest never had to hear me scream when he was a baby. But Julia (number 4)seems to not be scarred by the whole experience.

Hang tight... it will be okay.

And the picture? LOVE the chubby baby rolls!! Love them!

The Paper Mama June 14, 2010 at 9:37 PM  

This is just an awesome photo! I'm so sorry about your evening tonight. I've totally done the I'm crying but I'm not really for Ruari.

The Momma June 14, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

Awwww, Tia. I think God makes kids soo adrn cute so we just aren't able to strangle them! I have 2 girls and each is more headstrong than the other. My consolation is that (hopefully) when they get older they won't be door mats. I'm gonna have 2 very strong, independent gals that take crap from NO ONE!

I hope that the arrival of Bean brings some balance to the Herman house!

LeAnna June 14, 2010 at 10:29 PM  

This was so real, honest and raw, and I loved it. Not because you had a really crummy go of things, but because it's nice to know we all have meltdowns. Not because misery loves company, but because sometimes it's just nice to know you're not alone. Praise the Lord for sweetheart Hubby's.
Love the pic, those roly poly arms and thighs are delightful!

H.N. Gordon June 14, 2010 at 10:38 PM  

Awwwww Mama! We've all had days like that, (I never really blog about them either. lol!) and God bless your husband for knowing exactly what you needed. I hate swings too.

On a plus side, that picture is AMAZING! I love it, and I love the name Charlie. :0) But that picture is stunning!

Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? June 14, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

Oh my girl, what a day. So sweet of Chris to help during his short time home. Oh and the picture look at the little chunky man.

beka June 14, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

Oh goodness, Tia!
My sympathy is with you. I can hardly imagine. But I totally can see it playing out.
Wow. God truly HAS blessed you with one amazing husband!
And...yeah. everything adding up is so not cool. Happens all the time here with older kids, too.
But 'tis life, and life goes on, and hopefully day after day and week after week, the kids learn to bear with each other and we the older ones and parents learn....

What a dinner.
Don't worry--we've had 'horrible' dinners too. Edible of course, but simple and SO not dinner-like food. :D

Christina June 14, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

Sometimes venting about a situation does help. I have my meltdowns from time to time. ;) But it's about my son not sleeping well through the night still and not being near family and other things going on that sometimes build up and I have to open the valve and let out steam! Parenthood is no small task and you are still doing an awesome job!!

That picture is precious. <3

Danielle @ "We Don't Have It All Together" June 14, 2010 at 11:42 PM  

Oh my! I wish I could hug you right now. I am kinda glad I am not the only one who has days like these. And beautiful photo! Soo cute :)

Andi June 15, 2010 at 1:06 AM  

OMG...I LOVE this shot...so very, very cool!

Lisa Porter Photography June 15, 2010 at 2:43 AM  

I love it, short, sweet, and so very adorable.

Marlis June 15, 2010 at 2:49 AM  

I hate the days like that, but yes that pictur is just so worth it.

mil cositas bellas June 15, 2010 at 3:51 AM  

A big hug out to you. and i agree with what Maggie said, thank you for sharing. sometimes i feel like the worst mother in the world and feel like a complete failure. having you share your story helps me see that it is just what us moms go through and deal with. and yes in the end moments like the the one you captured of you little one make it all worth it and all that is left to do is take a deep breath.

Lauren June 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

what a terrific shot... the chubbiness, innocence, and reflection all make for a wonderful composition! Great job!

Mrs. McFadden June 15, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

This is a great portrail of what motherhood REALLY looks like. You are a wonderful mommy, don't ever let anyone make you feel otherwise.

Great photo too!

Bombdigity June 15, 2010 at 1:22 PM  

Tia, how I wish I could give you a hug ... an I-completely-totally-understand hug

I think all moms have moments when they lose it ... we are emotional creatures and power ourselves through everything with pure emotion ... sometimes it boils over; passion is passion is passion I was once told, the only thing that changes is the form it comes in

I got spanked as a kid, sent to bed without dinner, grounded from everything but scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush too many times to count ... sometimes I totally deserved it, I was the big sister and had my moments of dishing it out to my little brother ... other times I think my mom boiled over for whatever the reason, not necessarily that I'd been bad ... but I'm not traumatized by it and I learned lessons from it ...

We all learn to balance and you are doing an amazing job!!! I'm glad you cried and let it out. I'm glad you thought through the day. I know that you love your babies with all your being. I really do wish I could give you a hug!!!

considerthelillies June 15, 2010 at 1:38 PM  

sweet, sweet picture Tia! Everyone has days like that, don't worry, you are a great mom and a great person! Thank God for sure for such a caring husband! Don't be so hard on yourself, your kids know that you love them even when you have to discipline them. Glad that day is over and a new one can begin :)

Johanna June 15, 2010 at 7:53 PM  

Oh Tia- my heart goes out to you. Motherhood has to be one of the most challenging jobs in the world. Not only do you have 2 lil ones that are obviously trying for your attention but you are pregnant and you must be absolutely exhausted.
This post makes me feel like a real sore sport...I've been feeling sorry for myself because Winslow is away and I am all along with the babe...but my day has nothing on your day.
I'm thinking of you my dear. Many hugs to you!

Anonymous,  June 17, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

I absolutely love your photo entry--it is so precious and very unique!!

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