Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beyond Tired

Someone is going to have to invent a new word for how tired I am right now.  Ho.... ly.... crap!

(This post doesn't promise to be my best writing.  If I weren't so frigging tired I would go google one of my better posts and put a link to it here, but I'm too tired to give a damn.  I can write when I want to.  Tonight, I don't want to.  You can't make me).

We hit the ground running this morning, getting out of the house and to my friend Jenny's by like 9:15, maybe 9:20 because I had to get gas.  This wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't watched the 24 finale and the Lost Jimmy Kimmel show with BJ, so we were up pretty late.  And getting the kids out of the house is kind of like herding cats, so 9:20 is an impressive arrival time for a friend's house across town.  I'm well aware that by that time of morning, some people are halfway done with their shift at work.  Those people are not me.

We got to Jenny's, then hopped in her van and headed for the Children's Museum.  We stayed there, having a blast, until 3:00 or so, when we decided that the baby, Miles, had had enough and needed to get in the car and sleep a while.

The girls and I stayed and played at Jenny's for a bit, then we went to the store because we were completely out of food.  If I hadn't bought food, it would've been a disaster (on several levels, keep reading).

The girls were amazingly good at the museum and in the car and at the store.  It was seriously one of our best days.  Yay!

Well, I get home with the groceries, and I'm getting ready to make MG's favorite, spaghetti, for dinner.  I open up the deep freezer (you know, the one that's supposedly "frost free") to put away the groceries, and the stuff in the door is completely thawed.  The only reason the stuff inside is still frozen is because it's encased in (rapidly melting) blocks of ice.


If I hadn't bought food tonight, though, the entire contents of the freezer would've been destroyed by tomorrow, so it could've been worse.  It was pretty bad as it was, but we didn't lose more than a few things - some old popsicles and old bran cereal for making muffins, a single package of beef, and a half a box of frozen egg rolls.  Compared to the 1/4 beef, two chickens, one turkey, four pizzas, and half a dozen bags of frozen vegetables that it could've been, I'll call it a win for today.

So, instead of starting dinner, I start trying to chip away at the glacier growing in my freezer.  I pulled out as much of the food as I could put in the cooler that I could find, and went at it with the windshield scraper.  I was getting frostbite on my hands (on a 90 degree day) when BJ came home and took over (with a blow torch) so I could put away the other food and make supper.

Well, in my infinite wisdom I decided that it was too late to make spaghetti, so I made the frozen pasta/veg/chicken Bertolli thing I got, instead. 

I did not consult MG.

Spaghetti is her favorite.

I had already told her that we could have spaghetti for dinner.  In fact, in the car on the way to the store I had said, "What sounds good for dinner?" and she said, "Spaghetti," and I said, "Sure, and she said, "Hooray!!!"

When she realized that we weren't having her favorite, she started to melt down, so I gave myself a time out.

Hey, at that point I needed a rest, anyway.

She came over to the stairs where I was sitting and we talked about how I didn't mean to disappoint her, and how I was sorry I hadn't talked to her about changing dinner when I had told her that we were having spaghetti, and that I had a good reason for making the other thing instead (I didn't have time to make spaghetti before bedtime, anymore, because of the freezer), and that reason wasn't that I was trying to drive her nuts, and that I was really sorry and I'd try not to disappoint her with pasta again.

Would you believe that giving myself a time out and talking about how "Mommy made a mistake" ACTUALLY WORKED???  The meltdown that was coming was epic - she was sobbing.  I could've been all, "Suck it up, it's just pasta..." and gotten into a power struggle, but I had promised her spaghetti, and she had been really good and earned a favorite, and I had asked her for her opinion on what we should have for supper, and it was unfair of me to change it on her at the last minute, regardless of my reasoning.  By seeing it from her point of view, and realizing that it was something that I would give her a time out for had the situation been reversed (if she says she's going to do one thing and does another, sometimes it's time out worthy), I could see my way through to solving the problem.  The rest of the evening was fine.

Empathy in parenting - what a concept!

It makes me wonder how many of her meltdowns happen because she doesn't feel understood.  Because this one stopped cold when she understood that I DID understand how she felt, and that I was sorry I'd disappointed her.

I'm going to try to remember this.

So Grandpa helped BJ move the furniture so we can get new carpet (!!!!) tomorrow, and then we put the girls to bed and I caught up on my blogs and here we are.

And I'm exhausted.  I can't figure out if that's why I have a sore throat, or if it's something more ominous...


Anonymous said...

Amy, you're a great mom! What a positive reminder to me to remember the empathy. Becky

RobMonroe said...

Love when parenting lessons come from the bottom up! Great job, Amy.

I use an iron to melt the ice. I should probably do that soon, come to think of it!