This week, a mom confesses to out-tantrumming her children.
My 6 year old Eugenia throws fits. Massive, house/neighborhood-busting fits. My neighbors are so used to it that they ask the next day (or the same night, if I’m sitting on the steps with a beer) what happened this time.
This last time my cop husband had been working for three days and I finally snapped.
It started with the fact that my eldest is away for a week, so the younger two decided that they
will notcannot sleep alone. So I haul their mattresses into the playroom, set up their comfy things, their nightlight, their “audio” and tuck them in. Three hours later they are still going. The joy of being together in the beginning had turned into the furious yells of two overtired children. So, for the millionth time, I stomp into their room.
Eugenia whines: “Edson shook me and woke me up!” (Right after I heard a war whoop and a ground pound from her.) So I ask, “Why did you wake her up?” Edson just shook his head. She said, “Well he was whispering to me and I can’t sleep.” So I nicely asked her why she felt like she had to lie to me.
And it began.
Eugenia cried and flung her arms around and when I took her hand to guide her back to mattress she threw herself down yelling, “Ow, ow, ow, you hurt me!!” To which Edson yells, “She did not, you’re faking again!” In response my little demon rushed at him and pushed him down. He cried, saying he just wanted to go to sleep, so I gave in and put him in my bed.
And what is Eugenia doing during this? Lying in the hallway, yelling at the top of her lungs that no one loves her and no one wants to be with her. I turn around, pick her up and plop her on her bed – which somehow provokes more screams of, “Oh owie! My head! You hurt my head!” Then the legs start flailing and somehow she gets over to me and kicks me. And I saw red. I started shaking. I finally screamed-as loud as her: “Goddammit, just SHUT the F**K UP!”
I had never sworn at anyone in my house. Definitely not loud enough for the strangers at the top of the street to talk about tomorrow.
I walked away (like I have done so many times. Mommies need time outs.) Eugenia followed me but I just couldn’t hear her anymore. I was aghast at the thought that even though she flips out regularly, I had never lost it. She will be scarred. She will honestly think I don’t love her.
The next day I kept thinking the Department of Children’s Services would pull up. My girl is not a delicate thing. She is covered in bruises from the dog, the brothers, the tantrums, etc. But who would believe the screaming mom when Eugenia’s big brown eyes are piercing your heart??