Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gratitude Day 13

I'm not gonna lie.  Today was a pretty frustrating day.  The kids were rotten, didn't listen well, whined, bickered, lacked gratitude; the normal things that I'm sadly accustomed to, but not to the extent I experienced today.

Chloe had her well-check up this afternoon with a new pediatrician.  Her appointment was at 3:00, but we had to be there at 2:45 to fill out paperwork.  By 3:30, with paperwork long completed, the wait was beginning to get old. And it showed by the kids' behavior.  What started as poking each other and giggling quickly transpired into the two of them circling me, while chasing one another, exhausted and out of breath, yet still managing to squeak and squeal just enough to capture the attention of those nearby.  Most who noticed the kids just smiled and gave me an expression of empathy.  But one man took it upon himself to tell Chloe and Ryan that this was a waiting room, and that they needed to stop running.  Oh, joy.  I wonder if he knew we'd been sitting for 45 MINUTES STRAIGHT!  Thankfully, it was only five minutes later that Chloe's name was called and we were FINALLY accompanied back to exam room 9, where we waited some more!  By the time Dr. Grace finally made it in to see us, I was in a pretty foul mood.  The kids would not keep their hands off of anything, including each other, and it seemed like none Chloe's responses to Dr. Grace's questions were in my favor.

Dr. Grace (while asking Chloe about her eating habits): "Do you drink a lot of milk?  Or do you eat cheese or yogurt?"
Chloe: "Um, not really."
Me (surprised and appalled by her response when she eats a TON of cheese and yogurt and drinks a couple glasses of milk a day): "Well, Chloe, to start, you have cereal every morning.."
Chloe: "Today we had pancakes."
Me: "Okay, MOST mornings, you have cereal for breakfast, then a string cheese, sliced cheese and/or yogurt for a snack, not to mention milk at dinner."
Chloe: "I don't like the yogurt you just bought at the store."

Not only was Chloe speaking inaccurately, but she was making me out to be a desperate, positive-recognition-seeking mother who wasn't giving her child enough calcium.  Dr. Grace smiled through Chloe's remarks, so hopefully she didn't think I was a complete lunatic of a mother.

When the exam was over, Dr. Grace asked if I wanted the kids to have their annual flu vaccine.  I agreed, but of course that meant I now had to register Ryan as a new patient, which took another solid 15 minutes.  By the time we finally got out of there, it was 4:52.  That's just over 2 hours for a basic well check-up and two flu vaccines!  Needless to say, all three of us were grumpy.  And hungry.  So we stopped at Noodles and Company because it was relatively close, BOTH of my kids will eat it without a fight (and I desperately needed no fights), and, well, it just sounded good.  I was already irritated with the kids due to their rambunctious behavior and disregard for my authority, which I suppose I couldn't fault too much considering the 2 hours we spent sitting for practically no reason.  Still, I was irritated.  When we pulled into the parking lot and the kids started spouting off what they wanted, I told them that they would each get the entree of their choice, but that they would NOT be getting their own drink.  Sorry, but spending $1.79 for a small soda per child just doesn't appeal to me, and I wanted to establish upfront that it wasn't going to happen tonight.  Either they would share a drink, which I was perfectly happy to provide, or they could EACH have THEIR OWN water.  Immediately Ryan announced he wanted Sprite, while Chloe demanded that they have fruit punch.  I quickly concluded that unless they could agree on one or the other, they'd both be drinking water.  Ryan wasn't happy, but got over it before we'd even walked into the restaurant.  Chloe, on the other hand... Well, let's just say she did NOT act like a seven-year-old for the next twenty minutes.  Oh yes.  We had the whole crying match, complete with stomping up and down and almost (one tone down from) screaming at me that she wanted fruit punch, NOT water.  By this point it had become an issue of principle.  What kind of mother would I be to reward this ridiculous behavior, to give in and say, "Okay, go ahead and have the fruit punch after all," just to get the kid off my back and/or escape public humiliation.  I tried explaining this to her, but it only made things worse.  Just looking at her made things worse.  She clearly just wanted to be left alone, with a cup of fruit punch.  

After ordering our food, I brought the kids their waters, to which Chloe scowled and then cried out, "I. DON'T. WANT. WATER."  When after another 2-3 minutes things were only continuing to get worse, I decided it was time to leave.  So I had our food made to go and we walked out.  I don't know how I managed to stay calm all this time because I was honestly ready to beat my daughter senseless.  But as we pulled out of the parking lot and drove away, I explained that her behavior was unacceptable, and that it would have been a poor parenting decision on my end to let her have the fruit punch after the toddler act she pulled in the restaurant.  During the next 5 minutes we sat in silence.  Then, suddenly from the back seat I heard a faint and pitiful voice say, "I'm sorry, Mom."  Chloe then acknowledged her poor choices - really seeming to get it.  This brought me some comfort.  We talked a little more and I reassured her that she was loved and that there would be plenty of chances to show me that she could make much better choices.  By the time we got home, everyone was back to his/her happy self again.  We ate our dinner, did homework, practiced piano, read for 30 minutes and prepared for bed.

Wow, I was not planning to go into all of that.  I am positive I have put my readers to sleep, and for that, I apologize.  Let me get back on track now with my gratitudes of today.  They are as follows:
1) A healthy daughter, who weighs 46 pounds (25th percentile for weight) and measures 46 inches (25th percentile for height). :)

2) Pancakes.  These are the very pancakes which today took the place of the milk-filled bowls of cereal Chloe couldn't seem to remember that she eats for breakfast about 98% of the time.

Last night, Chloe asked if she could make pancakes in the morning.  So I let her.

3) Clean, crisp air and beautiful Fall weather.

4) Technology of today, which allows me to get where I need to go, be reminded of my to-do's, most of which I'd honestly forget without them, and facetime with my husband, who is in a different country.

5) Ryan's sweet little voice and the way he says, "Sure!" and "Thanks!"

And the other "cute" things he does, like this:

This is what happens when I leave the powdered sugar and this four-year-old darling unattended at the dining room table.  Have some powdered sugar with your pancakes, Ryan.

And finally, here are the best quotes of the day:

While at Walmart, I was asking Ryan if he'd given any thought to what he might get Daddy for Christmas.  When it became apparent that he might need a little coaxing for ideas, I added, "Is there anything you think daddy might like?" to which Ryan replied, "No, I think kids are the only thing that like toys.  Not grown ups." :)

Tonight, after pouring what was left of Chloe's milk into his glass of milk and Chloe overreacting (she must have been really sensing that milk-neglect she gets at home - ha!), I said to Ryan, "Please tell Chloe you're sorry," to which he replied, "
But Mommy, I'm tired of talking."

Then later, after I'd tucked the kids into bed for probably the third time, and was walking by Chloe's room, where both she and Ryan lay, the kids did what they do virtually every night: found any excuse possible to prolong the time before they dozed off to sleep.  They are relentless!  Here was one attempt documented:

Chloe: "Mommy, I know 3 synonyms!  Bye, goodbye and bye bye!"
Ryan: "Mommy, I want to tell you a question!  When I wake up, can I sleep in for a long time?"
Chloe: "Can we have ice cream for breakfast?"These 3 announcements were made in the order above, one right after the other.
Then a few minutes after that, upon Ryan deciding he now wanted to sleep in his bed and Chloe now wanted to sleep on his floor, Ryan asked me to heat up his rice bag.  We're talking 40 minutes after we have said family prayer and I have kissed them goodnight.  Very much fed up by this point, I say, "NO, Ryan!" to which he replied, "But my tiger is cold and needs a rice bag!"

Oh, my life.  It is not an easy one.  But it's a wonderful one. 

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