Yesterday I was a horrible mom.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed even though it is the same side as always. I knew I was not in the best frame of mind from the get go so I decided to linger under the covers for a few extra minutes to try to get myself in order.
As I listened to the sounds of piano practicing by a child who had a concert quickly coming I was frustrated because said child STILL is not counting and is therefore slaughtering a three measure section of the song. Never mind that his teacher has scolded him fiercely for lagging behind the rest of the orchestra, never mind that I've gone over the section time and time again the past many weeks, never mind that I've begged and pleaded and everything in between that he just count the beats out loud so as to stay on tempo. No, he still stumbles through without counting and the timing is completely off.
So, I drag my lazy body out of bed (having not read my scriptures yet which never results in good things) and plop my chubby behind down on the piano bench and force him to play those measures with me at tempo over and over and over. I also force him to count the rhythm out loud which is apparently torturous because much whining and dagger glaring and even a few tears ensue. Some of the tears may have been mine. It was not my best moment as a mother.
This incident was followed by another practicing issue...not the piano, the flute this time...in which a child tried to cheat and only play one of the songs for an upcoming recital rather than both (why do they do this, I catch them almost all the time?). Oh the eye daggers when I called the child on the carpet and sent it back to complete the task. That's right, show me how mad you are by playing your flute REALLY REALLY loud...oh wait, that doesn't really work with your chirping, little instrument -- HA! score one for Mom (see, sarcastic and nasty -- it was that kind of day).
That's when I found our youngest prancing around in front of our glass front door completely naked. Hello, neighborhood! When I shrieked for her to come away from the window and close the big door and put some clothes on she instead burst into tears and wafted into her bedroom in a cloud of crying. There's nothing like a three year old in tantrum mode over nudity.
Then, as it was time to leave for school I accidentally stumbled on the fact that only one of the three elementary age children had cleaned their room (a regular morning requirement). I insisted the cleaning be done (having reminded them several times already this morning and having been assured that said work was done, I was not the happiest of campers when I found it was not). So, Ornery Mom sent kids to rooms and glared daggers of her own until the job was complete (which is a loose interpretation because their version of clean and my version of clean are not exactly the same).
One child opted to test my sticking power by sitting on the floor of the bedroom doing nothing assuming that I would relent when I realized the child would be late for school if I didn't let it leave. However, it must have missed the fact that I was an ogre yesterday because I simply sent the others off and said I hope this child finished soon so it wouldn't be too late for the day. I boldly refused to drive it to school even though a tardy was pretty well assured at that point. That resulted in scurrying around the room in a whirlwind of straightening. I guess I am only half ogre because my sunshine and rainbows side shone through and I did give in when most things were done and allowed the child to leave with the understanding the rest would be finished after school (and there will probably be some bonus scolding going on then as well). I watched in frustration as this child plodded out the door and waddled down the sidewalk at a snail's pace. I yelled for it to hurry, which it sort of faked doing until it was past the tree so I couldn't see it anymore.
I don't love mornings like this. In fact, I hate them. I don't want to be a jerk. Really, who does?
But sometimes it happens. I know I shouldn't let myself get grumpy, but sometimes I do. I know I shouldn't fall into the drama that children sometimes stir up, but sometimes I do. I know I should be controlled and patient and kind and sweet and tender and all that jazz, but some days I am just not that way.
I'm not making excuses. I need to be better. I have oooooodles of room to improve.
But I'm not always better. In fact, I screw things up pretty regularly. However, despite that, I really do adore these small people. I do get frustrated with them, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. I do give them a Scotch blessing from time to time, but I also wouldn't want life without them.
I don't love their messes, but I love them. I don't love their fighting and arguing, but I love them. I don't love the frustration that dangles off them like tendrils waiting to ensnare me if I get to close, but they don't love the frustration I bring to them either so I guess we just have to learn to get through it together.
I do love the chance I have to try to teach and train them and I do love all the amazing things I learn in the process. I'm far from perfect (understatement highlighted here), but if I am honest I have to admit I have come a long way and much of the credit for that goes to these little ones. They are slowly working miracles on the person I am growing into.
I have an awful lot to thank them for.
(But I'm still going to make them clean their rooms.)