Each day in my house begins the same. I wake up first and lay in bed enjoying the few minutes of serenity and give myself a little pep talk. I say to myself, “I will not yell today.” Then I sit up and stretch. Upon stretching, I catch a whiff of myself and am appalled that I am just now noticing the stench radiating from me and decide I need to take a shower. And then my three-year-old son wakes up in his fairly new loft bed (that I designed & built) and yells from his room.
“Mom, I need you to get me out of bed,” because apparently in the morning he is incapable of climbing down his ladder. So I trudge to his room to lift him out of bed. I promptly get his normal routine started. He demands chocolate milk at which point I remind him to use his manners and he turns and says, “please get me chocolate milk.”
“That’s better,” I say and get his milk. Then he turns on the TV and I turn on the BluRay and access Netflix where he picks out an inappropriate show, argues with me when I say no but quiets down when the show I picked for him starts to play. Hypnotic. I inform him I’m heading to the bathroom to take a shower.
Once in the bathroom, I begin to dig out my shower products from the depths of the locked closet when I hear a knock on the door. “Knock, knock. It’s me. Wyatt,” as if it’s possibly the other three-year-old that lives up the street.
I open the door. “Yes, dear.” Still no yelling. My son informs me he has to go peepee. I say okay as he enters the bathroom only seconds after me.
“Don’t look Mom” (because watching him pee is the highlight of my day, at least in his mind).
“I won’t look. Just go pee.”
“Mom, can you please leave?”
“I don’t want you to hear me pee.” I sigh and walk out, closing the door behind me. A few minutes pass and it’s eerily quiet. I knock on the door. “Who is it?” I roll my eyes.
“It’s Mom, can I come in?”
“What are you doing?”
“Umm, just washing my hands.”
“Why can’t I come in?”
“Just a MINUTE MOM!” I wait another minute. I begin to ease open the door. And there in all his glory is my son with his clean pajamas in a sink full of water. Still not yelling.
“Hold on Mom. I have to dry my pajamas,” at which point he pulls his sopping wet pajamas out of the sink before I can stop him and throws them on the vent. Still not yelling.
“Wyatt, that is not how we wash our clothes,” as I scoop them back up and place them back in the sink and grab the hand towel and give it to him. “Now clean up the water.”
Wyatt darts out of the bathroom and bends over and yells, “Nah-nah. Look at my butt!” My patience is already wearing thin and we have only been awake for twenty minutes. Still not yelling. I proceed to squeeze the excess water out of the pajamas and hang them over the shower rod. Then I mop up the water. I grab the rest of the shower necessities and close the door. Water is on and I am almost ready. “Knock, knock. Its me. Wyatt.” Again, I roll my eyes.
I hang my head in defeat. “Give me five minutes.” I put my shower needs back, grab my razor and the leave-in conditioner. I do a quick shave so my armpits aren’t stinky, spray in the conditioner, brush my hair and spray myself with strawberry body spray. Then I dress. Another day, no shower. Eventually I will remember what taking an uninterrupted shower is like, maybe.
I open the door to my still naked son. “You smell nice, Mom.” I smile. Sometimes, his timing can be perfect. Still haven’t yelled.
“What do you want for breakfast?”
“We tried that yesterday. You didn’t eat them. What else?”
“You mean you want French toast?”
“Yes, not yep. Yes.”
“Okay.” I walk away. He continues to watch his show. Breakfast awaits. Dinosaur cutouts are a mom’s best friend. Dinosaur-shaped French toast…what’s not to love?
“I want bacon.”
“On it.” I turn and grab the bacon. Fire up the griddle. Bacon is sizzling. French toast is cooking. Good. I grab plates and serve up breakfast. Into the living room I go, with brontosaurus French toast and bacon on a rocketship plate. Good job, mom.
“Mom, I want Apatosaurus toast.”
“We don’t have an Apatosaurus-shaped cutter.”
“No.” He crosses his arms.
“Eat your breakfast.”
“I’m going to eat my breakfast and I expect at least five bites of your breakfast gone.” I walk away quickly. Temper is flaring. Warning! I whisper, “No yelling.” I sit and eat. I rinse my plate and go back to living room. French toast is untouched. Bacon is missing. “Did you eat your bacon?”
“Wyatt,” I say with a warning tone. He looks at me. It turns into a staring contest. He wins. I pick up the plate and throw his food in the trash. Still not yelling. I walk to my room and forget to close the gate to the kitchen. A few seconds later I hear water running. “WYATT!” Okay, I yelled. I lasted almost an hour. So today, I am a bad parent…again. Well, I’ll fix it later. “Wyatt, get out of the water!”
I make it to the kitchen and he has soap in his hair. Well at least one of us will get a bath. I take him to the bathroom. “Yay, bathtime!” Joy. Bath toys out. Bath water drawn. Still naked child. Ready for bath! Go to my room for a second to boot up computer. Quiet splashing.
Head back to check on three-year-old pirate in the tub. Find him scooping water out of the tub. Temper flaring, losing control. “We’re taking on water! Oh, no! We’re sinking!” Regaining control. How can you get upset at that cuteness? He wins…again.
“You’re cleaning up this mess, young man!”
“Yep.” He wins again.
“Okay.” I walk away. I’ll try not yelling tomorrow.