Thursday, April 17, 2008

Turning feelings of failure into success

Did you ever feel like a failure as a mother? Or, how about that your constantly a disappointment to your children? This is exactly how I was feeling while driving the kids home from daycare last night.

My husband was working late, it was a planned late night, so I should have been prepared. But I wasn't. Walking out the door to pick up the kids, I was frantically trying to figure out what I could make for dinner using only one arm (the other would be inevitably holding a baby) that would only take five minutes to cook, because that's about the amount of time I have before someone starts screaming to eat after we get home.

Still preoccupied with dinner, I strap the kids in their car seats and as soon as the last buckle snaps, Sophia starts asking for a cookie. I'm out of cookies. Sophia ate the last one two days ago. I got a substitute snack for Tuesday, but I forgot to pick something up for Wednesday. (As of 10 a.m. Thursday I still have no car snacks.) That's when the whining started and quickly turned into a plead for juice and cookies. Juice I could do and I reached back with her sippy cup and handed it to her. She took a sip and she drops it on the floor. It lands in between her car seat and the door and there is no hope of me reaching it.

This creates a crying fit. "Cookie. Pleeeese! Juice. Juice. Apple juice. Pleeeeeeeese! Cookie. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!"

The screaming and crying lasted the entire drive home. For 20 minutes I listened to my daughter beg and plead for me to give her a cookie and some juice. Neither I could provide for her. I guess I could have stopped the car, gotten out and picked up the juice, but I thought that was excessive. Besides, I wanted to get home and she can't get everything she wants all the time, right? And, honestly, at that point if I stopped the car and got out, I would have seriously considered walking away so I couldn't hear the screaming anymore. So it was best for everyone that I stayed the course and kept driving.

The car ride left me drained and feeling like a major disappointment to my daughter. When we got home, she stopped crying and I gave her a cookie and fresh juice. I got Ryan's food ready and admitted defeat. I thought for sure it would be cookies and juice for dinner and at that point it was fine by me.

I am starving, but making dinner for one just wasn't going to happen. In the refrigerator there was half of a chicken parmesan sandwich leftover from the night before, so I grabbed it and sat with Ryan to feed him. When Sophia saw the sandwich, she decided that's what she wanted for dinner.


I gave her the sandwich knowing full well she's not going to eat it. I thought she would just pick it apart and throw it on the floor where the dog would be waiting for her dinner.

This is where I was wrong. Sophia ate the entire sandwich. Bread, chicken, cheese, everything. Then she had a half of a bologna and cheese sandwich. Of course, I didn't get to eat, but she ate and that was a miracle.

No, it wasn't a very nutritious dinner, but it was better than cookies and juice, which is what I thought she was going to eat, so I considered it a successful dinner. And, to make things even better, the rest of the night went by with great ease and everyone was smiles and giggles.

See ....

Yes, Ryan is wearing a pink bib, but ignore that and look how happy he is!

She looks like she might be done eating, but it's a trick. There's still a bologna sandwich to eat. (Notice the Elmo wear! Oh, and standing on our chairs is usually not permitted.)

Not only were they happy, but they were so helpful as well. This picture just cracks me up!


Shannon said...

That is a great story. There is no such thing as Super Mom. We just do what we can and try to enjoy it. I love the picture of Sophia feeding Ryan the bottle.