I did it. Sunk to the level of a two-year-old. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? And all because I was trying to get out of the house. I’d planned to have Robbie at daycare by 8:30 and head up to school (on my last day of summer, nonetheless). I could work for a few hours and then head to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. But, since I woke up at 8:09, that wasn’t going to happen. In fact, I didn’t drop Robbie off until 9:45. Mostly because he made it impossible to get out of the house.
Robbie threw his breakfast on the floor. He wanted to be downstairs when I needed to be upstairs. He threw my clothes across the room and my pillows on the floor. He jumped on the bed. He needed to use my deodorant on his belly. And he screamed. A lot.
So, eventually, I did what any rational mother who had been alone with her child for nearly five days would do. I yelled back. We went back and forth for a few minutes, both of us getting louder and louder. And then, just like that, I won.
Robbie’s face wrinkled up and the first tears fell from his eyes. We just stared at each other. Him standing. Me crouched down to make sure he really heard what I was yelling. And then my heart sank as Robbie started to sob. I opened my arms and he came running, wrapping his arms around my neck and holding on for dear life. Just like that, it was over.
I hate those moments. I’m the one who’s made Robbie cry, but I’m also the only one who can comfort him. That makes me feel even worse. Like I should know better. After all, I’m the adult. The one who knows that screaming matches never (well, rarely) solve anything. But this morning, I didn’t. I’m just glad that Robbie doesn’t know enough – yet – to hate me longer than 15 seconds when I have my moments of terrible parenting.