I just binge-watched two seasons of “Odd Mom Out.” I loved many things about it, every episode made me laugh, and every episode had something that was very relatable. In the first episode of Season Two, Andy, who was on a sabbatical from work was taking care of the kids for the whole day. He had many activities planned for the day, and at one point stops to visit his brother for the kids to see their uncle in his new building. Andy’s brother convinces him to drop the kids at the building daycare and go for a massage with him. He does and when the daycare tries to reach him that his kids are misbehaving and he needs to pick up them up, his phone is off, so they end up calling their mom (Jill) to get them.

Later at night, Andy apologizes to Jill in bed and their conversation went like this:

Jill: “Honestly, I was secretly relieved that you needed a break from the kids too”

Andy: “Are you kidding? At one point in the day I realized – I hated all of them!”

Jill: “Welcome to Motherhood, honey.”

THIS. I needed that. I watched this episode last night after I had quite the afternoon with the kids.

{Disclaimer: I am very aware that there are many many people yearning to have the chance to be annoyed by their kids. Trust me, I know having children is not easy (except for the lucky few) and I am in no way, shape or form implying that I am ungrateful for the two miracles G-d gave me in beautiful sons.

Disclaimer 2: On any scale of real problems, this does not come close to making it. I am fully aware that there are unfortunately many real world issues and kids crying is not a problem}

With that being said, I can now complain. For starters, my husband is out of town for the week. He is extremely helpful in the morning and he drops the kids off at school, so I know the mornings are obviously going to be logistically different this week. He went to the airport right after drop off yesterday so he was home in the morning, and it is very normal for him not to be home before the kids go to sleep. Regardless of this logical point, and the fact that I handle the afternoon and night routine without him many nights a week, I couldn’t help this irrational ‘on-edge’ feeling I had since he left. Perhaps it’s because he is coming back from one trip only to go again until after the weekend. The weekend coming up with weather predictions of snow and many hours of unstructured play with the kids, without my better half isn’t something I am *exactly* looking forward to. Whatever the reason, I admit, I wasn’t 100% calm. I decided instead of sulking about it, I would bring my younger son with me to pick up his brother from school and we would do something fun. I called my best friend and asked her, “Any ideas for an activity I can take them both to that’s indoors?” She suggested bowling, and with that I got both boys in the car and we went to bowl.

Started off great and the kids were having a blast bowling. I was patting myself on the back, “this week will fly, we’ll do fun activities and have a great time.” I noticed when we walked in that my older son spotted the candy machines, the ones where you put in a quarter and a handful of candy comes out. He didn’t say anything which I appreciated because I dislike when every activity we do is all about the food. After he was done bowling he said really nicely, “Can I please get something from the machine?” I thought about it and decided sure – he was ecstatic and everyone cooperated when I insisted on washing our hands before and we went over to the machines. He chose M and Ms and his little brother chose a candy. We are all happy and enjoying and then his M and Ms are finished and his brother (eating way slower) still has his handful of candy.

This is where the day took a turn. “I want a candy from J.” “Ask him if you can have one.” He asks him and his brother says no and runs away (because he obviously knows he’s about to get attacked). So now I have a crying boy and I am so frustrated. I took them out to a fun activity, I said yes to the candy, WHY IS THERE CRYING. I wish I could say I kept it totally cool. I didn’t. The plus side was we were the only ones at the bowling alley. I said something along the lines of, you got your candy and he got his, you didn’t share yours with him and he has the right not to share his with you. This was met with more crying and then an attempt to take a candy from his brother forcefully. So then I was upset and said that we were going home and if he doesn’t want to get his coat on and come we will leave him there. I wish I said it in a nice way, but I didn’t. I was stressed and upset that he wasn’t just grateful and instead was acting greedy.

When we got home, I was putting my coat away and I hear him ask his brother for a candy again, and his brother gives him one. Voila! The crying stopped, a happy smiley boy, “look mom! he gave me one!” It amazes me how kids flip a switch from happy to extreme distress back to happy. I should almost be impressed.

I will skip over dinner, which they didn’t want to eat and they had yogurt and fruit instead – I’ve seen worse dinners. On to the bath, where they were just wild and crazy. Now I have them both in clean pjs, and I’m ready to breathe again — home stretch, almost bed time. We’ll have nice story time, and the bowling incident will just be one of the many times one of them cried when they didn’t get what they want.

I was wrong. My older son asks if he could eat something again, I said sure go pick something and bring it up. He comes up with Tam Tams and says he wants to put cream-cheese on them. Normally, I’d be happy with this turn of events that he wants to eat something, but I knew if we went back down to the kitchen, my plan of a neat-packed-bedtime routine was all off. We’d start a second round of dinner and the whole night is dragged out. Anyone else have that? We have to stay upstairs, once we venture back down we are all thrown off.

Obviously there was crying when I suggested just eating them plain. In this scenario, I did handle myself in a way I’m happy to share. I explained, “We are not going back downstairs for a second dinner. I already sat with you and offered everything during dinner time, and that window has closed. I’m happy for you to eat the Tam Tams up here but not with cream cheese because that would be too messy.” I said it once, and only once and then I went to start picking out books. I heard a slew of, “it won’t be messy” “I’m hungry” “I want cream-cheese” but I just didn’t respond and sure enough he started eating the plain Tam Tams.

Then, little brother wants Tam Tams. Role reversal from the candy. So he gives him Tam Tams. No, little brother wants to hold the bag of Tam Tams. At this point I wasn’t in the room, but I heard a lot of crying and I assume they were both holding on to the bag of Tam Tams and pulling. Not going to lie, I wanted to go under my covers and let them put themselves to sleep. I’m texting my best friends, “my kids are being CRAZY.” Texting my husband while he’s in meetings, “Crazy kids. Fighting in other room.”

Little brother turns hysterical. He’s not a big tantrum-er. I’d say maybe once a month. Much less than I was used to. But when he does, he goes full out. So he’s rolling on the floor, pointing at the Tam Tams and saying “bag” over and over. I point out to big brother two things: 1) Maybe you could think about when you wanted his candy, and he gave you one even though you didn’t share yours with him? 2) You have a bag of Tam Tam’s inside the box, why don’t you take out Tam Tam’s put them in the box, and then he can have the bag – both of you have something and everyone can be happy.

I thought they were two very fair points, but he didn’t want to hand it over. At this point the tantrum is really full blown, and I know my husband checked the cameras, so I picked up the NEST camera and I spoke yelled into it, “I am leaving this house” and I was going to add “and going on the bachelor party weekend instead of you” but I kept that thought in my head 🙂 (He saved the clip from the camera, sent it to me and wrote KEEPER)

Eventually, big brother came in, asked the little brother to stop crying and followed my option 2 advice – put Tam Tams in the box and gave him the Tam Tam bag. Ahhh… no more crying. At this point we were all exhausted so instead of books we crawled into my bed, ate Tam Tams and watched Curious George. I snapped a few selfies of us smiling and cuddling to send out to my friends so that they didn’t feel the need to send SOS.

P.s. yes there were crumbs all over the bed that I needed to dust bust away, but sometimes the peace and quiet trumps all.

I put the older brother in bed first, and then I go to the nursery and can’t find my younger son. I hear him laughing behind the rocking chair – hiding from me! How did he get so big to do that. I put him in and then I put my countdown on to enjoy the 12 hours of peace ahead of me.

Then I watched that episode of Odd Mom Out and it was so relatable!! First I was annoyed at big brother then little brother and then I was annoyed at the whole house!

I went to bed knowing that Tomorrow is a new day. They were perfect children this morning, slept through the night, ate breakfast nicely and we got out the door with smiles on our faces and then I missed them when I got back into my car and they weren’t there. But not enough to pull them out for a skip day 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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