Most of the time, my son is absolutely adorable. I mean, how can you not love the quest for independence, the tender love he has for his sister, his charming smile and big blue eyes or his profound fascination with vehicles? Heck, even the mini (and not so mini) tantrums he throws in an effort to develop (and showcase) his assertiveness are adorable in their own way.
There are some moments, though, where I’m just too tired or hungry or hormonal to put up with his antics.
You see, my son seems to think that anytime is good for playtime. Of course, that can be explained by the fact that, well, he’s a toddler. He likes it when his father or I run after him and pretend we’re not able to catch him. It’s a fun game, except when I’ve been sleeping in increments of 90 minutes, haven’t had breakfast yet and he decides to play this game when I have to get him dressed within a certain time frame as was the case last Friday. Yikes!
I tried to be a good sport and be patient as I ran after him. I tried to laugh with him as I caught him and brought him to his room. I tried to distract him with his stuffed animals as I changed his dirty diaper to avoid the mother of all tantrums. When that didn’t work out and I still had to suffer through the kicks and screams of a very vocal and unhappy toddler (which, on a side note, seems to be my cue to start potty training with him as it is a recurrent event), I tried to stay patient and calm with him.
But I could feel my own emotions starting to overwhelm me as I hung on to my last nerve for dear life.
I started to get him dressed, fighting him to get his clothes on as he alternated between going limp limp a rag doll, twisting and turning, kicking and screaming, trying to run away from me and generally doing everything in his power to make the seemingly simple task of putting a few pieced of clothes on him as hard as possible for me. And then, as though he could feel that I was on the verge of losing it, he decided to find that last nerve of mine and trample it into nothingness.
And I cracked.
I cracked. I yelled at him to stay put. Yelled at him to stop moving around. Yelled at him to listen to mommy.
And he did, through tears and his own voice screaming my name over and over again as I finished dressing him. By the end of the near 20 minutes it took me to get him changed and dressed, we pretty much both looked like this:
I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him I loved him. But I felt guilty. Soooooo guilty at yelling at him like I did. But it happened and I can’t go back in time. And I am just human, perfection doesn’t exist. All I can do is know that I love both my kids to death and hope to do better next time.
But damn, this parenting thing is hard some days.