Get it Together

Posted on | September 24, 2012 | 8 Comments

I’ve spent the last three days at home, sick as all get out, with a sick toddler.  And above all the “no sirs” and “PUT THAT DOWN” and “J, PLEASE” the one phrase that got said the most was the simply spat “Get. It. Together.”

To be honest, I really don’t know which one of us needed to hear it the most.

We were both tired of being in the house, tired of each other, tired of tissues, tired of coughing and above all else, just tired of not feeling up to par.  So in between feeling lousy, we took every opportunity to piss each other off… and yeah, I know he’s three… but I also felt like he did a lot of it on purpose.  And because I felt like that, I did a lot of gritting my teeth, a lot of growling, and a bit of clenching knuckles.

His name, coupled with the word “no” became an unfortunate mantra.  His face seemed poised on the precipice of crumbling at all times.  My patience was… non existent.  I had a really crappy parenting weekend.  A really crappy one.

I think I told him to “GET. IT. TOGETHER.” at least a billion times.  I would feel the growl in the pit of my stomach before it ever erupted out of my mouth, feel it building to a breaking point, a violent explosion of spat out semi-meanness directed towards my normally sweet and gentle son.

There was nothing sweet and gentle about this weekend… not for either of us.  I was so on edge, so ready to snap, that by the end of Sunday, every time J did anything out of line he immediately started saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” on repeat… a tiny offering of peace to the angry beast his mother had become.

Get it together.

It’s what I should have told myself.  It’s what I think I was trying to tell myself all weekend.  Just… get it together.  Because he’s three and I’m thirty-four.  Because in a battle of wills or a battle of strength, I will always win.  Because I’m his mother and it’s my job to just get it together.

So this morning, I pulled myself together.  I woke him up with a smile I tried hard to feel and we had biscuits with apple butter and watched Go Diego Go.  When he peed on the floor just as we were heading out the door, I bit my tongue and cleaned him up, asking him to tell me what was wrong, why he was forgetting to use the big boy potty.  When he cried for his pacifier in the car, I reminded him that he was a big boy while reminding myself he’s just a baby… his tears are temporary, his tests are finite, his three-ness will expire. It’s so hard to remember, when I’m in the thick of the madness, that this really will pass, that these moments of madness will give way to the hushing lull of silence, the bare floors of an empty home.  It’s so hard to remember to get it together, to enjoy him while I can, to embrace him while he’s here, to love him even when he seems most unlovable.

This morning, I got it together, finally. But I wish I could have remembered to do that all weekend long.


8 Responses to “Get it Together”

  1. facie
    September 24th, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    I can’t recall how far your family, your ex, and your ex’s family live from you. But couldn’t you ask for their help on occasion, particularly this past weekend? Even if someone could have helped you out for a few hours so you could have napped or just gotten out of the house, it may have helped your sanity. I know you are the primary parent, but J has a dad and grandparents and aunts and uncles, I believe. It might be good to have some of these people on standby. Perhaps for even an evening this week.

    As parents, we are all tested, much more so when someone is sick. We are human, doing the best we can. Sometimes we will fail. But as I frequently tell the students whom I sub, tomorrow is another day. And I am so grateful for that.

  2. Law Momma
    September 24th, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    My closest “family” is almost two hours away and that’s J’s grandparents on his fathers side.

  3. m stibbs
    September 24th, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

    This was beautiful. We have all been there, parenting isn’t just the fun games on Sunday afternoons and the shiny moments where you feel giddy inside. Parenting is weekends like these, where sometimes you just suffer through and you pull yourself out on the other side, dust yourself off and become a stronger unit because of it all. Life isn’t perfect ALL the time, but love wins.

  4. Law Momma
    September 24th, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    So true. I just hope that I can love him enough to erase the moments of my crazy.

  5. m stibbs
    September 24th, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    have you seen this e-card? always makes me giggle….

  6. Jessica M
    September 24th, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    I sometimes feel like this every day with K, I feel like the only words that come out of my mouth are “no, go to time out, why are you being naught, and cut that out” and at the end of the day I feel like a terrible mother and vow to be better tomorrow, sometimes it happens sometimes it doesn’t. When you are in the heat of the moment it is easy to forget to be patient and be kind and explain calmly.

  7. Law Momma
    September 24th, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    I know. *sigh* it’s so. hard. Because they understand so much and so little all at once.

  8. MorganBlr
    September 24th, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    I hope you find comfort in knowing you are not alone, I’ve been feeling like patience with my guys has been non-existent lately. As moms we are allowed to have times where we aren’t our best, but when we put so much pressure on ourselves to constantly be “perfect” it is frustrating beyond belief when we are anything but! I am right there with you though:)

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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