This morning was a crazier morning than normal. I’m now 35 weeks pregnant with our third baby. All I want to do is eat, move around without struggling and sleep. It should have been an easier morning since I had a doctor’s appointment so I got to sleep in a bit later but since 3 year old Miss M joined Hubby and I in bed at some point during the night, my need for sleep was weak competition for Miss M’s need to do acrobats through the night and Hubby’s snore-a-thon. I debated moving to Miss M’s abandoned princess bed across the hall but she was so ‘flipping’ active that I worried she would fall out of bed if I wasn’t there as a guardrail to her Cirque du Soleil routine. Even without the interruptions, sleep is a challenge. I am constantly thirsty which also means that I constantly have to pee. If I’m not waking up to get more water, I’m waking up to dispose of said water as the hugest fetus ever dances on my bladder while I try to rest.
Two-year old Mr. C was the first to wake up this morning. He entered our bedroom on all fours with a toy in his mouth in ‘kitty mode.’ He’s going through this phase where he loves to pretend he is a cat. I greeted him with “Good morning Kitty!” and reached down to pet his back as I mustered up the energy to get moving. It’s even harder to get moving in the morning when it’s rainy and dreary outside. Hubby dressed Miss M before leaving for work. As he swapped out her night time pull-up diaper for her big girl underwear, he made a comment about wiping her stinky bum. I was so glad he said that. It reminded me that we needed to have a little chat. He often makes comments about the kids being “stink bombs” when they have gas or poop. I didn’t think much of it. They think it’s funny and laugh their little heads off. What’s not funny is when Miss M goes to daycare and calls her friends “stink bombs” and consequently gets in trouble for calling names. “Ugh. We’re just joking around and having fun!” Hubby replied. “Yes, well she repeats what you say at daycare and ends up on timeout for mimicking you and hurting her friends’ feelings and that’s not fair.” Three year olds are complicated little things.
After Hubby left, I set both kids up with a television show before treating myself to a hot shower. “You gonna have a shower, Mommy?” Mr. C asked. “Yes I am, buddy!” Naturally, this was their cue to stop sitting still and fully engaged in their show and start destroying the house like my 10 minutes in the washroom was licence to behave as if they were at an out-0f-control frat party.
As I rinsed my hair, the shower curtain flung open. There stood Miss M, holding a set of Disney Princess car keys that she hasn’t played with in a year demanding that I clean them for her. Serenity Now. I didn’t even see anything on them but when I told her that she insisted that they had “squirrel poop” stuck to them. The plastic keys took precedence to my soapy hair so she would stop whining “Please clean them, Mommy!” I cleaned them up and handed them to her, only to have her return, flinging the shower curtain open to tell me that she had to go poo. “Okay, then go!” I cheered. “No Mommy! You have to get out of the shower and watch me!” she demanded. “I’m right here. I will be out in a minute. Go ahead and go poo!” I replied, trying to be as encouraging and sane as one can be while trying to enthusiastically encourage someone to poop on the toilet next to you while you are in the shower. “I don’t have to go anymore.” she said and walked away. “Are you sure you don’t have to go poo?” I called from my extremely relaxing, hot shower. “Noooo! I don’t Mommy!” Fine. Whatever.
I got out of the shower and applied moisturizer to my ever-growing and oh, so, stretching belly. Mr. C saw me and lifted up his shirt saying he needed some too. I squirted some in his little hand and watched him rub it all over his belly. “It feels all better, Mommy!” he squealed. Miss M then needed the same treatment. We all have super moist bellies on this fine morning. Then I started to blow-dry my hair. Like dogs to an open window in a moving car, both toddlers ran over and demanded “Now do me, Mommy!” I have a lot of hair. Blow-drying it takes an exceptionally long time when you have to alternate between drying your own hair and fluffing up each of your kids’ hair but man, are their belly laughs worth it.
I quickly threw on a dress. Dresses make doctor’s appointments that require you to get undressed from the waist down far easier. Then I started to dress Mr. C. As I did, Miss M announced that she had to go pee. “Go! Go! Go!” I cheered enthusiastically. “Mommy, come with me!” she whimpered. “Mommy is changing C! I will listen for your pee! Go ahead! I’m listening!” This was enough of a compromise for her this morning. Phewwf. Mr. C and I clapped and cheered when we heard the tinkling sound coming from the toilet bowl. Miss M proudly walked back in with soaking wet pants…and underwear. She must not have pulled them down quite far enough.
“Good job! Now, let’s get you changed! You’re a little bit wet!” I said. “I’m not all wet. I went pee-pee on the toilet like a big girl, Mommy!” she responded matter-of-factually. I bribed her with Disney Princess underwear to get her to change out of her urine-soaked clothes. By the time I finished, Mr. C had undressed himself and was completely naked except for his sister’s flip flops that he had put on his feet. He said he had to go pee too. I scrambled to grab the potty-training seat and put it on the toilet. Mr. C won’t use the toilet without the training seat. Miss M won’t use the toilet with it. It’s awesome. Sure enough, he had a big pee on the toilet. “YAY!!!!” I cheered as he smiled proudly. We really need to give his interest in potty-training some attention. It’s a mat-leave goal of mine. This poor guy is basically potty-training himself while we try to get Miss M potty-trained for good…with #1 and #2.
We were tight on time so I herded the kids down the stairs to get their shoes on. Miss M refused to go to the car without her Princess umbrella because it was lightly sprinkling with rain. She doesn’t even have a Princess umbrella. While she pulled everything out of the front hall closet in search of an umbrella that doesn’t exist, I packed their backpack and ran Mr. C out to the car. I buckled him in and then returned for the diva. When I opened the door, I could smell it. Dammit. Taking a deep breath, I asked Miss M “Did you have an accident?” “No.” “Did you go poo-poo in your pants?” “No…I didn’t.” Miss M said shrugging her shoulders as if this was the craziest accusation she had ever heard. When she turned around to load some more toys into her backpack, I noticed the lump in the back of her leggings. Ugh. “Are you sure you didn’t poop your pants?” “No! I didn’t Mommy! I didn’t poop my pants!” “Then why do you have a big lump in the back of your pants?” Saying this was a big mistake. She backed into the wall, squishing it up in her underwear so I couldn’t see it as she glared at me defensively. I swear she was snarling.
I know better than to corner an angry animal so I took a deep breath, went out to the car and brought Mr. C back inside so I could deal with this mess. “We have to change your pants!” I said. “I don’t want to change my pants!” she hissed. “I want to wear THESE pants today. My flower pants!” “Then you shouldn’t have pooped in them!” I said, dragging my whale-like body up the stairs for Miss M’s third outfit of the morning. “I DIDN’T POOP MY PANTS!” she screamed from the foyer. “Pee-u! Stinky poopy!” Mr. C squealed. I could picture him plugging his nose from upstairs and giggled to myself.
I came back down and knelt down on the floor and told my darling little 3 year old that we had to change her pants. “I don’t have to change my pants! I didn’t go poop! I’m a big girl! I go poo-poo on the potty!” Losing my cool a bit, I replied “You did poop in your pants. You didn’t go on the potty like a big girl. You went in your pants like a baby so now Mommy has to change you! Let’s get you cleaned up!” as I reached out my hand for her to come over and let me clean her up.
What happened next I did not expect for a second. My sweet, intelligent, beautiful 3 year old marched over to me as I sat on the floor. Standing about a foot from my face, looking me deep in my eyes, she shouted “No Mommy! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!” with a furrowed brow and glare that burned what was left of my instantly shattered heart.
My jaw was on the floor (next to the million pieces of my broken heart.) Before I could even process what to do next, I could feel the tears streaming down my cheeks. I know she is 3 years old. I know she doesn’t hate me. I’m not even sure that she knows what ‘hate’ means and I’m very unsure of where she learned such a nasty expression. But, I’m her Mommy. She’s my baby. Those words stung. As I tried not to bawl my eyes out, I stood up, grabbed her hand and told her she was going on timeout. I felt compelled to do something about this horrific event and didn’t know what else to do. As I sat her on a time-out, I debated a million thoughts in my head. Was I punishing her for expressing her feelings? Was this the same as calling names? Am I doing the right thing?
I quickly dismissed my self-doubting analysis when Mr. C wandered over to me, put his arm around me, squished his little nose into mine and in the sweetest voice ever asked, “What’s wrong Mommy? Why you cryin’? Are you okay, Mommy?” As I assured him that I was okay, he rubbed my back to comfort me. Two years old and this little guy has a heart and soul of gold. I took a deep breath and stared across the hall to where Miss M was crying hysterically. She knew she had hurt me. She was desperate for a hug and some reassurance. I was too. I walked over and sat on the floor beside her. Through my tears (that my 35-week pregnant self would not allow me to control no matter how desperately I wanted to get it together), I told her that she had hurt my feelings and that she shouldn’t say such hurtful things.
I know she is just learning to express herself. She is learning how to put her emotions into words and make sense of things. I know she didn’t mean to make me cry and I know that she doesn’t hate me. But knowing all of these things doesn’t make hearing those words coming at you from the mouth of your child hurt any less. The brain and the heart are too very different things and truthfully, I was feeling a little bit heartbroken. I told her that we all say things we don’t mean and asked her what she thought she should do when she hurts someone’s feelings. She immediately wailed “I’m sorry!” I told her that I thought we needed to have a hug and asked if she agreed. She nodded her little head, jumped into my lap and threw her arms around me. I squeezed her so tight and soaked up every second of that hug. That hug was healing. I looked up to see Mr. C staring at us thinking “Wow! What hot messes you two are today!” I brought him into the hug and we agreed to put all this behind us, clean up our poopy pants (if we have them) and aim to have a better day.
It was no surprise that my blood pressure was quite high when I finally arrived at my doctor’s appointment. It had been a whirlwind of a morning. I was emotionally drained and physically exhausted…and I hadn’t even started my work day yet. The nurse told me that I had to have an internal exam done today. Normally these types of exams would make me extremely uncomfortable and anxious. At this point, 3 pregnancies in and not much sleep over 4 years, I didn’t even flinch. I was actually feeling a bit grateful for the time given to just lie on the examination table in silence while waiting for the doctor. When you don’t get much peace or time alone, you start to really appreciate the spontaneous, unplanned moments of silence and solitude…even if they are found “undressed from the waist down”, laying on an examination table, under fluorescent lights and covered by a paper sheet.
My mind drifted off as I tried to relax and breathe in hopes of controlling my blood pressure. I kept replaying my daughter’s words and the look in her eyes over and over in my head. Each time, I would feel my eyes fill with tears and I would quickly compose myself, knowing that it would be extremely awkward if my OBGYN entered the room to me lying there crying. But, I still couldn’t believe she said that! And with such anger and certainty, too! These are the moments you don’t often hear about motherhood. The times that aren’t so precious. And certainly aren’t enjoyable.
And that’s okay.
Because the good moments certainly outweigh the not-so-good moments. And there is usually something to be learned from the not-so-good moments. This morning, I learned a lot about how much I value what my child thinks of me and the responsibility that goes with being loved and respected by her. I hope that she learned a little bit about the power of the words she speaks, and above all, the importance of accountability and forgiveness.
andbabymakes3imean4 is the adventures of a working mom to Irish twins (2 &3 years old), with another babe on the way! If you liked this post, please leave a note, share, or subscribe to my blog! Thanks for reading! xo