Okay. So I love being a mom. Even when I was in college pursuing my degree, I always knew that ultimately I wanted to get married and have kids, hoping that my husband's job would allow for me to stay at home and concentrate on raising my kids to love the Lord, be well-behaved, considerate, loving people and to know without a shadow of a doubt that they were loved. The times I love best are the moments when I just sit down with the kids and play. Building towers and knocking them down, reading Eden a story and having her "read" it back to me, helping Jasmine put the oversized plastic coins in the slot of her toy piggy bank and clapping for her when the pig's electronic "clink" announces her success. Oh the joys of being a mom...BUT...there are days when the joys of motherhood seem to be overshadowed by what I will call the "poopy" side of mommyhood.
Today has been one of those days. This morning, Eden, decided to empty every drawer of toys in her room into a BIG pile on her floor and has since refused to pick any of it up. It has been a battle of wills since ten this morning. I say she can't come out of her room until she picks up her toys...she stands in her doorway and screams for 20 min. She calms down, starts playing, comes out and gives me a hug, goes back to her room, I discover she hasn't picked up a single toy since an hour ago, I ask her to please pick up her toys, she says she doesn't want to and begins to throw another fit. She slams doors, I yell (desperation tactic, which doesn't work), I say no lunch until she has made some progress, she ends up sneaking food from the table while I am in another room, I send her back to her room, she screams, calms down starts cleaning, I get excited go in to help her, she dawdles, I get frustrated, I leave, she cries, she calms down (still no progress on her room) she plays, I check in on her to discover her playing "teaparty" and a big puddle on the floor, I get upset again, tell her once again to please pick up her room or she's going to get a spanking, she cries, I leave, she slams her door (three times in a row), I come in and give her a spanking, more crying...I am out of energy and ideas by this time...I leave again and next time I check on her she is asleep on her bed amidst the disaster that is her room. What is a mom to do during these poopy times? Eden is usually the sweetest child. Generally very obedient...but for some reason today she has decided to test out her willpower against mine...and as my mom will tell you, my stubbornness is unmatched...that is, until now. Somehow, the love a mother has for her child always softens the will, so that the child always has the advantage in these battles. I don't want to hurt my precious daughter. It feels like I've betrayed her every time her face scrunches into crying mode because I've "layed down the law." Especially when she has been happily disobeying me and the crying follows a cheery smile. But I can't let her think that disobedience, defiance, and backtalk are okay...so I must issue the discipline, enforce the mandate, and teach her that while it is okay to be mad or disappointed it is NOT okay to behave inappropriately (a hard lesson to teach when I, myself, have resorted to inappropriate behavior in my frustration.) So although at the moment my darling, disobedient child is sweetly dreaming, 3 yr old dreams, I know that the battle is not over and I am at a loss for how to navigate this. My hope is that the Eden who awakes will not be the same Eden that fell asleep and when I say to her, "honey, please pick up your toys." she will answer with a cheery, "Yes, mama!" and proceed to tidy up her room. (Aaaahh, mother's can dream, too!)
As for my other daughter, Jasmine...14 months old and spunky as can be, she made me quite aware of another "poopy" side of mommyhood this afternoon while I was setting up this blogspot. And when I say "poopy" I mean that quite literally in this case. I put her down for a nap in her crib. She was quiet and I therefore assumed she was asleep. After awhile she began to fuss--one of her half-hearted cries. I decided to check on her..assuming she just wanted up. Come in to find her standing in her crib naked with poop all over her legs, chest and (oh, my goodness) mouth! Her diaper was sitting neatly in the crib as if she had just stepped out of them. I snatched her up, ran to the bathroom and threw her in the tub. A thorough cleaning followed but not before some poopy fingers were placed in the mouth for comfort and this mommy flipped a little thinking of all the nastiness my daughter had eatin'. (eeeewww!)
I know that although at the moment I treasure the sweet moments of tenderness and play, someday when the task of mothering has taken on a new look, it will be the "poopy" side of motherhood that I will look back on and smile...remembering not the fear and doubt but instead the ridiculousness and the accomplishments.
Perhaps someday it will be the "poopy" side that brings me joy but at the moment...it mostly gives me headaches!