I wonder how the mom in my profile picture would handle a day like today. I imagine her dressed and lipsticked and smiling as she cleaned the bathroom covered in suds. I imagine her calm and collected and gently wrapping her arms around the child banging his head against the wall. She would have fresh bakes cookies and a tall glass of milk waiting when he came down from the crazy tree. She would be full of joy and most certainly would not have hung her greasy head over the fiberglass, bleach filled bathtub and sobbed, wiping snot on her sleeve as her child timidly peeked around the corner into the bathroom wondering why mama had just climbed into her crazy tree.
Nope, the crusty, snotty, unbathed woman hanging her head over the tub, would be me.
If you read my earlier post, you would know that today is the kick-off to a stress free weekend of family and fun. I have minimal cleaning to do today. I need to bathe my boy and myself before the family comes, but there’s time for all of that. I emailed my mother to confirm our plans for the weekend only to find that we had a miscommunication (probably my fault) and she had planned our first holiday gathering at their new house the same night that Leo and I had planned our first night at the symphony in years. Panic ensued, frazzled emails to my mother and frantic phone calls to Leo at work occupied the next twenty minutes. In the end, we were able to move our tickets (a total God moment) so that what started as a crash and burn lose- lose is now a win-win.
Just as I sat back to rejoice in the success of a crisis averted, I realized that Simeon was being unusually, eerily silent. I tip-toed back to his bathroom to find him standing over the toilet with my scrub brush. When he saw me inching toward the bathroom he froze, guilt written all over his face! He had done wrong and knew it. I walked in to find that he had taken the enormous bottle of baby soap and dumped it all over the tub, his step, the toilet and floor.
I raised my voice (but did not yell), made him clean up what he could, then put him timeout for three minutes. I began the real clean up. For the record, cleaning baby soap in the bathroom is not as easy as you would expect. The toilet and floor are still incredibly sticky. After he was released from timeout, I told him not to go into the bathroom while I went to find a towel to use on the floor. When I came back (seconds later) he was standing over the tub playing in the soapy water. This time I didn’t even raise my voice. I firmly told him to sit back in time out for two minutes for not obeying. This time it was a no go.
So, I set the timer for 2 minutes and held him in his seat. He screamed and kicked. When the two minutes was up, I was trying to show him the timer so he could get up, but he was out of control and banged his head on the wall. At this point I was still trying to calm him down and was telling him that time out was over. He wouldn’t hear me. I picked him up off of the timeout chair, but he wrenched his body free and began banging his head on the floor.
I pulled him up and held him close to my body until he quit fighting. Then he clung to me tightly. He wouldn’t let go. I held him, I cooed. I called Leo and told him how angry I was. I rubbed Simeon’s back. When he relaxed a little, I pulled him back to look him in the eye and explain that he was in time out for not obeying and that fighting was unneccessary. Something made him lose it. He stiffened up and began kicking me in the stomach. I put him down, then left the room. I checked on him several times and when he finally began to focus again and saw me, he reached up to be held. We had a moment to talk, then I sent him to play while I finished the bathroom. That’s when I lost what little composure I had left. I mean I lost it. I wept. I snotted. It has been almost two weeks since Simeon had thrown one of these fits with me. Suddenly I heard the softest voice : “what’s matter, mama?”
Oh, Simeon, if only I could tell you all of the things that are the matter. Your life. Your mother. Your fits. My temper. My ignorance. My ineptitude. So many things are the matter. I wiped my face and joined him for an episode of Barney.
I pray that today’s episode means that he’s gotten it all out of his system and this weekend will be fit free (for both of us). Amen. Now I’ve got to go finish getting ready. Tonight some of my favorite people in the universe are coming over and not even a Simeon bout of crazy can put a damper on that fun.