The other day, the kids were home all day because there was no school. Rocco was doing his math homework and Zeke was playing with a new Ninjago Lego set. I was, of course, cleaning something. As I buzzed around bending over, picking things up off the floor, folding or washing something, I kept hearing the same thing over and over.
"Mom! Look at me!"
"Mom! Look at the golden weapon Kai has!"
"Mom! I got all ten answers right!"
So I spent the first hour of our day stopping whatever I was doing and walking over to look at their "amazing" achievements.
By the next hour, I was truly glazed over. I couldn't muster up the same enthusiasm I had the previous hour, but I tried.
"Oh wow honey, that's wonderful... "
"Yes, Zeke, Kai does have a cool sword".
"Uh huh, yup, that's awesome!"
By the next hour, they were driving me up the wall. They kept it up with the "Mom! Look’s!", over and over. Finally, I lost it. I yelled, "Yes! You two are amazing! Yes you two have a ton of wonderful things you’re doing! Yes, you are the smartest human beings on the face of the planet!" Man! That felt good. I was not proud of myself as I saw them deflate, but for God's sake, enough!
Of course, they disappeared into the playroom, fearing my wrath. The silence after you lose it is both welcoming and deafening. The first few minutes are wonderful! You say to yourself, "Ahhhh, that's better. Now, what was I doing?"
But in the next ten minutes after that, you can't get the image of their slumped bodies out of your mind. You feel terrible. You start to admonish yourself. "Why can't I just hold it together long enough to distract them with something else? Why did I have to yell? It's not their fault. They just were proud of themselves and needed to share it with someone."
Ugh! Parenthood is hard.
Thankfully though, most times kids are like dogs, living in the moment and forgetting or forgiving recent blowups. I felt so bad that I went in the playroom and said, "Guys, I'm sorry, but sometimes I get too many thoughts in my head and it is hard to keep looking at everything. But you guys ARE doing great stuff and I love you both!"
Zeke said to me, “Yeah mom, I understand. I feel that same way in gym sometimes!"
I felt better, and I promised myself that it will be a long time before I lose it again. So, by dinner time, when the “Mom! Look’s!" started again, my fuse was a little longer.
So, how do you handle the stress of kids when they get to the hyped-up, annoying stage? How do you keep from losing it?