Sunday, January 28, 2007

It WASN'T a Kodak moment

We've had a great weekend with lots of Kodak moments. Eric and Lizzy flew down to Phoenix for a part business/part pleasure father-daughter trip. Will (17) successfully took out ALL the seats and dashboard of his '71 Nova (I sure hope he knows what he's doing!) And as I write, my three youngest are out selling lemonade. They think it's summer because there is SUN but they keep running in for more blankets and coats. I've been their best customer. And I even spent yesterday scrapbooking all those Kodak moments from two years ago (will I ever get caught up???)
Well, earlier this week I experienced a moment that was NOT a Kodak moment. In fact, I think it was one of the most embarrassing, bad mother moments of my life. I hate those moments. Oh, how I wish I could just hit rewind and redo the entire event!
I have provided daycare in my home off and on since I've had kids. I decided to start doing a little again to give Patrick some playmates and to help bring in some income for our adoption. I had made all the arrangements to watch two children but hadn't yet met their father. (Start the eerie music that tells you something bad is going to happen now.)
The mother drops off the two kids just to play for an hour to get used to staying here. It's late and my kids are so excited they are getting really overstimulated. Overstimulated and overtired. Not a good combination. But still, everything has gone smoothly and they all have a great time. So, the mom comes back with the dad. (More eerie music--chaos ensues!)
In the next five minutes pretty much anything that COULD go wrong, went wrong! I had Kim pounding on the piano and then falling off, Patrick accidently hit Paul with a doll while swinging around in circles. Then Paul pushed Patrick down when he tried to apologize with a hug. All this while I tried to show the parents what WONDERFUL parenting skills I had and that I was COMPLETELY capable of caring for their kids.
I think the father would have liked to come in and actually meet me but I quickly told Lizzy to grab the kids coats and practically pushed them out the door, just as my youngest threw a football into the livingroom knocking over a lamp. (No, we do not allow our kids to play football in the livingroom.) But hold on folks, it gets better!
I was so mad and so embarrassed that I grabbed the one closest to me to take into the family room. He SCREAMED with a blood-curdling scream, "Owwwwww!!! You're hurting me!!!!!" By the sound of his scream you would think I had cut off his arm!! I'm sure the potential daycare family heard it as they were heading to their car. Now I felt even MORE embarrassed!! Once the family was out of earshot (at least I THINK they were...) I sat my three on the couch and I YELLED at them about THEIR behavior (yes, a little irony there). I'm not a screamer and I rarely yell, so when I do my kids get very upset. Now I had three HOWLING, BAWLING children! I sent them to bed just as my dh came in from a late dinner meeting. "How was your night honey?"
Then came the mother guilt. I hate mother guilt. I was even up in the middle of the night that night with mother guilt wondering how everything went so wrong so fast and how I could have changed things.
But you know, mother guilt is good too. I am reminded that it gives me a chance to apologize, which I did, and it gives me a chance to make things better the next time. When I'm mad, I am reminded not to grab hold of my child because it will most likely be too tight. When I'm mad, it is better for me to calm down a little before talking to my kids.
I haven't heard a word from my prospective daycare family. They are supposed to show-up here tomorrow morning, but I wouldn't blame them a bit if they decide I must be a raving lunatic with the world's wildest children. No, it WASN'T a Kodak moment.

1 comment:

tncornett said...

OMG, I can totally see all of it. I have had moments like this of course. Let us all know if the people returned to have you watch their children! I'm sure they'll realize that was the exception rather than the norm for sure once they get to know you.