First, I had one of those Boy-Have-I-Made-It moments last week. Owen reported to me, "Gabe's on the floor eating mush." Hmmm, we don't have any food item that we ever refer to as "mush" so I hurried to check out the situation. There was Mr. Gabe, seated under the kitchen table with a bowl of oatmeal. He hadn't been terribly interested in finishing it for breakfast and I had left it on the table while I removed him from his high chair and ran downstairs to put in a load of laundry. Apparently Gabe is growing (funny how two years old do that) and we now realize that he can reach a good ways over the edge of the table.
I would have posted a picture and saved a thousand words but there's a bug in the software and I just can't show you the proud little man covered head to toe in mush. He succeeded in coating the floor all around him in a 2 foot radius as well. Rather than fume or cry or hang my head in dismay I ran for the camera and just laughed at my little mess. I was thinking to myself what a long way I've come in my 20 plus years of mothering. I was so proud of myself for staying calm, enjoying the moment, remembering that he won't be little for long, and realizing that it cleans up and doesn't even take that long.
I did the clean up thing and carried on with my day, pretty proud of myself for the way I handled the situation.
Pride thoroughly entrenched....here cometh the fall.
An hour later I was back downstairs putting in another load of laundry when Owen (8) came down and launched into a long, drawn out, explanation of something that I was not having the patience to listen to. It went something like this: "It was my turn to clear the table but I forgot......and Bryce told me I had to anyway.......and then Lisa got more food out......and Lisa left her cup on the table......and Gabe spilled her milk...and Bryce said I have to clean it up. Do I have to?" Gabe spilled her milk? Now I was listening.
My first words should have been a clue that this wasn't going to go well. "I don't care whose job it is, if it needs to be cleaned up then clean it up!" Did I mention that I said it rather loudly?
I raced up the stairs to see Gabe in the same position he was in with the oatmeal only this time he was surrounded by a sea of milk and with one hand he was holding the plastic cup containing the last 1/2 ounce. The other hand was in the cup giving that remaining milk a good stir. For some reason, he didn't look so cute and I didn't have any desire to go grab a camera. Instead I looked around at my four able bodied responsible sons and saw two of them looking at the computer, one was following me up the stairs (you heard his story), and the fourth was sitting in the living room. All four knew what was going on, and all four claimed they thought someone else was cleaning it up. That was it, I blew my top, let them all know how lazy and irresponsible they were, made up stories about what they would just sit back and allow if I wasn't there to do EVERYTHING in the house, etc, etc, etc!!!
About then I could just hear the cock crow. No, Lord, I do not have this thing down yet.
Note: The failure was not in losing my patience during episode two, but trusting in my own abilities during eposide one.