I am SO excited to have one of my favorite Tweeters sharing a Monster Mommy Moment with us…Leigh Ann from genie in a blog!
Leigh Ann is one of my favorite tweeps on Twitter, a wife and mom to three beautiful little girls…including twins. I think we were automatic friends because she understands my pain! She has a great sense of humor, tweets like crazy (@latorres), loves hash tags almost as much as I do, and is one of the sweetest bloggers I’ve come across.
So please help me welcome Leigh Ann so she can share her Monster Mommy Moment with us.
If you’re not sure what a Monster Mommy Moment is, you can read all about how my weekly feature came to be here.
Go grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy the story!
When Natalie first unveiled her genius Monster Mommy Moment idea, I immediately knew I needed to contribute. I had a moment stewing in my memory that had been eating away at me ever since it happened, still shaming me with its monstrousness.
Did I just make up that word? Probably. Real monster mommies can do that, you know.
My kiddo situation is the opposite of Natalie’s — my twins were my first children and were just shy of two when my (surprise!) youngest was born. Needless to say, our first year with three children was ROUGH. The twins still needed so much from me at a time when so much of me had to go to their baby sister.
Oh, who am I kidding? It’s still rough, and we’re still working on a lot of that. But it’s getting better. Most days.
When I decided to be a stay at home mom, one of the activities I envisioned taking my kids to regularly was story time at the local library. We’d all sit idyllically in the semi circle, my children in my lap, listening intently to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
But the reality? It’s like a wonderland of “LET’S RUN AROUND AND BE CRAZY SO THESE PEOPLE WILL THINK THAT OUR MOTHER HAS NEVER SHOWN US A BOOK IN OUR LIVES! YOU GO STEAL THAT KID’S SNACK WHILE I TRY TO PLAY DJ WITH STORY LADY’S CD PLAYER!”
It’s super fun.
But glutton for punishment that I am, I keep trying. We can do this. They just need to get used to the routine of sitting and listening to someone ELSE tell a story, and then they’ll be fine. We could even make this a weekly gig, and I would feel less like a prisoner in my own home. How hard could it be with two 2 year olds and an infant?
On the monster day in question, I meet a friend and her two kids, the same ages as my kids, at the local library — on time, I’ll have you know. As I fasten Zoe’s car seat into the stroller, a sweet little old man approaches, takes a peek at her, and marvels at how sweet and pretty she is. This is good! I start to think maybe I’m not crazy for leaving the house after all!
I haul my brood into the building, already sweating from the still high September temperatures.
Upon entering the story room, I park the stroller and try to coax them to stand in line for “Ooooh! Nametags!” They’re more interested in “Ooooh! Overhead projector!” and “Ooooh! Emergency exit!”
The story time starts, and I quickly realize that this time isn’t going to be much different from any of the others we’ve attended, save for the fact that I now had A THIRD CHILD to attend to. A whole slew of children, including my friend’s daughter, sit and listen quietly to the stories and partake in the fun songs (just like in my fantasies!), while my two hanyaks run wild, accosting other people’s sleeping babies and trying to yank down the wall decorations. They won’t come sit with me, and I’m playing disciplinary ping pong, going from one to the other, to the other, to the other. I’m exhausted, and we’ve been here 5 minutes.
Constant “Eat? Snack?” requests remind me of the two cups of goldfish I left on the kitchen counter, and of course my notoriously chill 6 month old decides that this is the perfect time and place to start screaming bloody murder. Claire starts rolling around on the floor, obviously near starvation, and before the story time is half over, I’m dragging my stroller and kids the hell out of there, too embarrassed to even glance in the direction of my friend.
As I strap the baby into her car seat, R & C take off for the main portion of the library, where there are a multitude of signs saying, “Kids found running through the library will be instantly drop kicked out the front door and their parents given a stern talking to.” Or something to that effect. I chase my kids down and literally wait for someone to say something to me just so that I can fly off the handle at them in my frustration.
Somehow we make it to the parking lot with three live children, who fight me tooth and nail getting into the car. They’re wailing. The baby’s wailing. They’re hungry. They don’t want to go. The screaming and crying hits my last nerve.
“Shut up! Sit in your chair and shut up! We’re going home! YOU RUINED EVERYTHING!!!!”
I wish I was kidding.
I finally get everyone into the car, climb into my seat, and burst into tears.
All four of us cried the entire way home that day — theirs tears of displeasure and misunderstanding, mine of shame and embarrassment. I prayed that no one had been standing near enough to hear how I spoke to my children in my anger.
It wasn’t their fault. Story times are just so hard when you’re outnumbered and your kids aren’t used to that atmosphere.
Once we got home, I hugged Rachel and Claire tightly, and apologized for my awful behavior. They sunk into my embrace and relished in my comfort. The mommy they knew and depended on to be their rock was back.
And I have never, ever forgotten to take snacks with me again.
Leigh Ann, I hate to say it, but I relate to this post a little too well. In fact, I told Ethan just this morning to sit down and shut up. And he cried. Thanks you for sharing your Monster Mommy Moment with us…and for reminding us all that we all lose our tempers occasionally and while it’s not very easy to admit, it’s okay that we do as long as we acknowledge it.
Now go swing by genie in a blog and say hello to Leigh Ann, and if you’re new there make sure to tell her that I sent you. I know you’ll really enjoy her blog!
Do you like s’mores? Then check out my current giveaway for your chance to win everything you need to make s’mores!