As a mom of three young children, I feel like I’m always on the brink of losing my cool. But just when that last straw is about to fall into place, something happens to lighten the load … most of the time.
That was not the case recently. The evening was turning into the perfect storm. It started with helping my son do his homework. I’m trying to help him understand a very simple concept that he just refused to grasp. I tried explaining it about 100 different ways and he just wasn’t having any of it! I finally pushed back from the table, squeezed my head with my hands and took several deep breaths. I was nearing the brink. But I fought it, and won, for the time being. And eventually my son got it, I think.
I headed into the kitchen to start dinner, about an hour behind schedule. Carys came in and began her usual repetitive, “What’s for dinner?” That child will ask me at least half a dozen times. I think she keeps expecting a different answer. After the 348th time, I lost it and yelled at her. I walked outside and I’m still yelling to myself! “Why does she keep asking me? She’s not going to eat it anyway!” I don’t know why I was still yelling. I guess I just had to vent. I walked back in and apologized. I knew I’d lost control.
Dinner’s finally about ready. I’m pulling some stuff out of the oven as the dogs are running through the kitchen playing and wreaking havoc. It’s always chaotic. I have to keep the pup off the older dog so she doesn’t hurt her back even more. I can barely get the oven door open because of their playing. I don’t need a meat thermometer to tell me my temperature is rising. I grab the water bottle and squirt Bindi to get off Halee. It works.
At that moment, my son comes in, begging to go down the street to play soccer. I tell him no, dinner’s ready. He proceeds to melt down in a begging, half crying, half yelling, mess.
Game over. Meat thermometer blows. I feel the water bottle in my hand and on impulse, I squirt my son. It works! He’s absolutely stunned! I’m stunned!
Then my husband walks in from work. He takes one look around and says, “no one else talk to mommy the rest of the night.” He’s a good man.
Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays.