The other day I was discussing how to tell time with Princess #1. We got on the subject of bedtimes and she started educating me on when everyone in the house went to bed. 6:30 is when Princess #3 goes to bed, 7:30 is when Princess #1 and #2 go to bed, etc. Then she asked if I went to bed at 8:30, I told her no, I go to bed a little bit later. 9:30?, she guessed. Nope, even later than that. 10:30? Yes, or sometimes even later. To which she responded, "so THAT'S why you're so cranky in the morning!"
Princess #3 has recently decided that SCREAMING is a good and valid form of communication. Since she used to calmly speak in complete sentences, I'm obviously not a fan of her newfound avenue of expression. To discourage her from allowing high-pitched shrieks to permanently replace words, we've started putting her in time out each time she screams inappropriately. At this point, time out occurs in a little pink plastic chair adorned with black marker (don't ask) that faces a blank corner in Princess #3's room.
Yesterday, Princess #3 had already been to her pink plastic purgatory 2 or 3 times when I caught her once again screaming - this time at Princess #2 who apparently made the unfortunate mistake of crossing her. I immediately reprimanded Princess #3 and told her she needed to go calm down in time out.
Expecting more screams and additional drama, I was taken aback when Princess #3 immediately stopped screaming. She cheerfully sang "OK!" and skipped off to her bedroom, arranged her tiny self on the little pink chair and stared dutifully at the corner. Now what am I supposed to do with this girl!? I *thought* time outs were supposed to be miserable and not fun. It's kinda hard to punish a kid when they actually *like* the punishment. I'm pretty much in for it, aren't I?
I inadvertently stole something today. I've never stolen anything in my life. Well, except for the time when I was about 7. I walked out of a store with a candy bar after my mom had told me that I couldn't have it. I thought I'd just take it myself. Having to return the pilfered candy bar to the store owner after my mom discovered it was all the mortification I needed to ensure I never tried that again.
Today, after doing the school drop-off, I drug Princess #4 (sleeping in her carseat) and Princess #3 (feverish and slightly pukey - yes, I'm a bad mom) to the store to pick up items for their Easter baskets. It was going to be my only opportunity to get out before Easter, so it had to be done, slightly pukey child or not. In my defense, there had been no puke for 15 hours, so she was really only a wee bit green.
ANYWAY, between Princess #4 in her carrier and Princess #3 who needed to ride, there wasn't much room for anything else in the cart. I was stuffing candy bags along side Princess #4 and having Princess #3 hold the shoe boxes containing Easter sandals. In my haste to get in and get out, I threw 3 chocolate bunnies underneath the cart. When we were finally done collecting items we headed to the checkout and I began to unearth the items from various nooks and crannies of the cart. And of course, since I have been suffering from pregnancy and newborn induced brain cell loss since, oh, 2001, the fact that I had 3 chocolate bunnies underneath my cart completely escaped my memory.
It wasn't until we exited the store (I guess chocolate bunnies don't have alarms LOL), crossed the entire parking lot, unloaded the bags and completely buckled both Princess #3 and #4 into their carseats, that I discovered my little chocolate stowaways. Now, what's a frazzled mom to do? Did I REALLY have to unbuckle everyone, risk puke in public (as Princess #3 was going downhill fast) and haul everyone back into the store? I should have, yes. But did I? No. It's impossible to explain what an ordeal it is to get multiple kids in and out of carseats, across a parking lot, and ask them to wait for an inexplicable amount of time unless you've been there. Add a sick toddler to the equation and you're just asking for trouble. I decided to risk judgement and go home instead. Next time I'm there I'll have the clerk scan 3 chocolate bunnies but then tell them to put the bunnies back on the shelf. That'll make up for it, right?
ETA: OK, I took the bunnies back today and paid for them at customer service. I couldn't deal with the thought of giving my princess' stolen candy on Easter. At least my conscious can rest in peace now! LOL
I don't really like the mom I became today. I think I've fallen into the trap of micro-management. I used to work for this boss who was a HUGE micro-manager. She would freak out over the tiniest things and would shoot emails at us all day reminding us to not do this or that. It was like the more out of control she felt, the more she tried to manage her employees. And of course, the more we felt managed, the more we tried not to be. Well, this was my house today.
I think bringing Princess #4 home has certainly pushed me in the direction of micro-management somewhat. I mean, when it's 4 on 1, and 1 is the one that's supposed to be in control, there's bound to be a little bit of obsessive controlling. I think (hope?) that's completely normal. I also believe I'm pre-wired to be this way. I have the lovely affliction of "mom's foresight", which allows me to imagine every possible thing that might happen to one of my offspring as a result of something they are doing at any given moment. And because I really don't want to have to clean up a huge mess, or bandage skinned knees or numerous other things I'd prefer to avoid, I tend to find myself spending a good chunk of the day saying things like "don't run in circles, sit still, watch where you're going, stop bugging your sister, listen to me, be quiet, slow down, etc. etc. etc. Funny thing is, it seems the more I say those things and the louder I get, the less the Princesses seem to take notice. Much like myself when I used to delete my boss' micro-management emails without even reading them.
So, I'm struggling to walk the fine line between maintaining order in my home and keeping my Princesses safe, and yet not micro-manage them to the point where it's no fun being a kid at our house because you can't ever run, get dirty or make a mess. My challenge to myself in the next few days is to lighten up a bit, to remember what it felt like to be micro-managed, and to let my kids just be kids. I can always clean up the messes later.
So, Princess #3 is obsessed with having booboo's kissed these days. It's totally not a problem, except that most of her owies tend to be of the invisible sort, and tend to appear numerous times a day. It's not uncommon at all for me to spend 5 minutes or so trying to locate said booboo and kiss it in just the right spot. So it can be a time consuming endeavor. Funny how they keep moving around too. I wonder is she's just using me for kisses... LOL