Reliving the weekend my three-year-old broke me is not fun. But I was so upset when this happened, that I literally told myself, out loud, WRITE IT.
Fourth of July weekend, 2019. Four blissful days off of work with my fam. I knew it’d be hectic and exhausting, but I figured it would be that good kind of exhausted when you’ve been playing with your kids in the sun too long/been on the boat all day/drank one too many glasses of wine/cheated on your diet/had daytime naughty-time type of exhausted.
Fast forward to me crying in the shower Sunday night, nearing my first emotional breakdown (this month).
Harvey had tantrums ALL. WEEKEND. LONG. We’ve starting calling him J.Lo. He’s miserable at home unless he’s watching TV. Then, when we try to get him out of the house (which he fights like a RABID DOG) just to go somewhere and escape at-home misery, we are in fact miserable wherever we go while he whines, cries, yells, screams, acts mean to strangers who think he’s cute and keep us from having any semblance of a good time, just to go back home where this all continues.
I literally yelled at him in the parking lot of a nursery that I didn’t like him and was done with him.
Mix that behavior with the NON-emotional/mind-game side of raising a three-year-old which includes wetting the bed (7 times over the course of this holiday weekend) and shitting their pants (twice over this glorious holiday weekend) with my sudden onset constipation/horrible stomach pain for 36 hours, and you have got yourself one recipe for a mom to lose her freaking mind.
On Sunday afternoon, we’re relaxing at home and it’s about 3 and I remember that my adorably nice, cute and sweet neighbor couple friends have invited us over multiple times over the past few months, and specifically over this weekend in particular, and we have to go. We’re going to stop getting invited places if we stop going.
Harvey is fine there—minimal stranger meanness—but he does at one point shit his pants. I go home to change him, and clean him enough that we can go back to the party and I can perhaps enjoy myself. There was a lot of poop on his legs. It was brutal. So bad in fact, that I kept smelling my fingers to make sure they didn’t smell like human poop as I dig my hand into the cookie jar at the party thinking… how is this my life?
After a seemingly good evening we go home for bath/bed time. Harvey is, of course, a challenge through this again and after 20 minutes of soothing my screaming baby to sleep, I go in to kiss Harvey good night, only to have him tell me he’s wet the bed. Again.
I shower him off. Tell him he’s naughty for not telling me. He’s crying, I’m back and forth between yelling and telling him its ok/urging him to put clean new pajamas on. I’ve lost it again and again and again. I don’t even remember how it ended. Carter had to come in and take over for me. Then he’s upset with me for getting so mad at Harvey. I can’t win. I yell back at him that that is in fact NOT supportive and he’s wrong, and he loses it sometimes too blah blah blah.
Fast forward to me crying in the shower. The guilt has taken over. I hate myself. I hate how I’ve lost my patience. I hate how my husband called me on it, even though he’s right and I agree with him. I emerge, naked, still crying and truly blubbering. “I AM A TERRIBLE MOTHER. CARTERRRR, DON’T YOU THINK I’M ALREADY MAD AT MYSELF?” He gave me a hug and calmed me down. I had a glass (or three) of wine and eventually went to sleep. It’s been weeks now and while Harvey has his moments, we haven’t had a repeat of that weekend from HELL. But I definitely know it will happen again, and all I can do is try to keep my patience and remember that he’s only three, even if he’s acting like a threeNAGER.
Dear Future Self,
Take a breath. Be patient. He’s three. You’re still a good mom. You don’t smell like poop. There’s wine at home.