I just finished getting the youngest three to bed. Annslee was the last one to go down. I still have a substantial amount to accomplish before this head can hit the pillow…so I made the enormous mistake of trying to hurry that tuck in along. It went as follows:
Annslee: “MOMMY! TUCK ME IN!!!!”
Me: “I AAAAAAMMM!!!!”
Annslee: “Nu-uhhhhhh. All you’re doing is pulling my covers up and kissing me goodnight!”
Me: “Well what else is there????!!!!”
Annslee: “A bunch of other stuff!”
Lesson learned. Never try to speed up that girl’s tuck in. You’ll pay for it in the end.
Yesterday I yelled at my kids. I yelled like a crazy person.
The baby came to us with a snotty nose and passed a cold to every kid in the house…one by one. What was a snotty nose for the 1 year old was fever and aches for everyone else. So…as that blasted virus made it’s way back to the baby again this week…my body finally gave in and got it too. I can’t tell you how sick I am of wiping snotty noses. It’s like tiny, little faucets of germs…just pouring out all over everything. And yesterday…my throat and my head and my sinuses all felt the brunt of it.
All I wanted to do was lay on the couch. I wasn’t asking to sleep or anything. I just wanted to lay down. Heaven forbid I sit a spell. (“Sit a spell.” Such a good sentence.)
So…I asked Aiden and Chase if they could keep an eye on the baby. I wasn’t asking that they change any poop-filled diapers or do any kind of blue-collar work. Just watch him play with some toys and let me lay here a minute.
You can imagine the result. I won’t bore you with any details. But it ended with me dragging myself off the couch because of an un-answered “Hey…y’all have the baby…right????”
I found that kid sitting in the middle of all the household cleaners and a dishwashing soap pod in his grubby, little hand. He had made his way over to the cabinet under the sink after emptying the dog bowls full of food and water all over the kitchen floor. The clean-up involved moving the refrigerator so that the semi-newly installed laminate flooring didn’t warp due to dog water damage.
Y’all. I hit the ceiling.
I started on a soap box about not being allowed to be sick and the problem with technology (Chase had earbuds in his ears and was looking at his phone) that lasted a good 10 minutes. All of this was happening while I was on my hands and knees…cleaning up mushy dog food.
The tirade was so bad that it crossed the line to unfair.
They had spent all day at school. They had gone through 7 classes. They are kids. And I had shamed them.
So…after everything was cleaned up and I knew the baby had not ingested dishwashing pod powder…I knew what I had to do.
I had to apologize.
And it was hard for me.
I did not want to tell them I was sorry.
I did not want to admit that I was wrong.
But I was wrong.
No matter what…I am the mother. No matter what…I am responsible for this baby’s safety. No matter what…I can’t yell and shame my children. No matter what…I have to control my tongue and my anger.
I did apologize. I asked for them to forgive me.
But it wasn’t easy.
That got me thinking. Why is it so hard to apologize? Chad is the oldest member of this house…and I think he would admit to having a hard time apologizing too. And this baby…well…I can tell you that he doesn’t like to apologize…and he’s only one! So…I’ve witnessed a wide range over the last few weeks. The 43 year old…dragging his feet…head down..mumbling an apology, and a baby…who can’t even pronounce the words yet…so he has to sign it.
And this is what I’ve come to.
Saying sorry is hard work.
This baby likes to bite. So he finds himself in time out on the regular. I have taught him how to sign “I’m sorry.” He knows biting is wrong. He knows I am displeased…and he doesn’t like it. So…the other day…after biting his sister for the third time…I told him that he wasn’t getting out of time out until he said (signed) he was sorry. I knew he knew how to do it. He knew I knew he could do it. And that kid…that BABY…let his pride get the best of him. He absolutely REFUSED to say he was sorry. He would rather sit in time out than say he was sorry.
I waited him out. It was a battle of the wills, I tell you.
He sat there for a full half-hour.
Every few minutes I would give him a chance.
It wasn’t until he knew that apologizing was his last option for getting off of that stool that he finally gave in.
is how serious pride is.
We are such prideful people.
It shouldn’t be so hard to say “I’m sorry.”