Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Just call me banshee

Over the past few days there has been much yelling here at Chez J-E. And I keep forgetting that windows are open, so the whole neighborhood now knows that C doesn't listen and that A throws a temper tantrum like nobody's business and that I can't keep my cool when faced with two children who dump cup after cup of water on my newly cleaned kitchen floor.

The kids are overtired, I'm stressed out about selling the house, and M has just been grumpy. Today, I swear no one listened to a word I said all. day. long. At nap time today (although there were no naps involved) C asked "Are you sorry for yelling so much?" To which I honestly replied "No, not really. I'm sorry I had to yell but since you refused to pay attention to me in my normal voice, I had to yell. A lot. So no, I'm not really sorry." To which he replied "Well, I'm not sorry that I didn't listen." Point taken.

I really never thought I would be a mommy who yelled a lot, but that seems to be who I have become. I'm not sure whether the problem is my inflexibility and unrealistic expectations, or our failure to raise well-behaved children, or a combo of both. But lately I can't seem to get anyone to listen to me unless I'm screaming. And even then, it's touch and go.

Right now A is lying in the upstairs hall because we battled for an hour and a half over her going to bed. I finally gave up and walked downstairs. It was that or break many breakable items against a wall. And while the sound of china hitting a wall might have been satisfying, I would have been stuck cleaning it up before my real estate agents start arriving on my doorstep tomorrow morning.

I really feel like I am failing miserably as a mother right now. I have minimal control at best over my children. And I'm unsure how to get control back. Time outs no longer work, and taking away toys and privileges doesn't seem to be doing much either. I would like to think this is a phase, or the age, or something, but have a sinking feeling it is all about me and my lack of parenting skills. Don't mind the pity party here, between this and the skinny jeans I think I should just crawl into a cave and hibernate for the next 20 years or so.