Monday, June 16, 2008

Channeling my inner 5 year old (and not in a good way)

The kiddo decided that today was the day she was going to spill her beverage not once, but twice. First, it was a large cup of lemonade that went all over the living room carpet. This wound up requiring me to lug the cumbersome and heavy steam cleaner up the basement stairs and spend a good chunk of my afternoon cleaning the carpet, which included moving furniture and area rugs, vacuuming, spot cleaning and steam cleaning, then taking apart the steam cleaner to empty out the various chambers of their various liquids, reassembling it and lugging it back down to the basement. Needless to say, this was not on my list of things to do this afternoon and didn't leave me feeling like sunshine and roses.

So, when the kiddo, who'd promised tearfully that she'd be so much more careful and not spill her drink again as I knelt on the carpet sopping up the lemonade with paper towels, went ahead and spilled a mostly full cup of milk with Ovaltine in it at dinner, I lost it. I whipped around at the sound of the cup hitting the floor (thankfully this spill hit the linoleum and not anything carpeted or upholstered) and instantly, I was five again. Five in a really bad mood. I actually stamped my foot on the floor as I snapped "AGAIN? You spilled your drink AGAIN?!?" The kiddo's tears had started pretty much at the same time that her cup was arcing toward the floor, and she was obviously quite remorseful and extremely apologetic. Did I, the 36 year old who is known to be a klutz myself, calmly accept her apology, clean up the mess and move on? Nope, the foot stamping was just the beginning of my five year old-esque hissy fit. Opting for the dramatic route instead of the raising my voice and yelling route, I ordered the kiddo to stay in her chair (she was about to step down right into the Ovaltine lake beneath her) and with much sighing and rolling of eyes, I proceeded to mop it up. Oh, and I did some muttering under my breath, too, just for good measure. Things like "I canNOT beLIEVE that you spilled TWICE in one DAY. How MANY times do I have to REMIND you to be more CAREFUL? Do you need a baby sippy cup again? Aren't you a BIG girl?" All while she sat there, miserable and crying, forced to watch my entire tantrum.

Now, let's just run down the list of my oh-so-spectacular behaviors:
- foot stamping
- dramatic sighing/eye rolling
- muttering to myself
- ignoring the person who was speaking to me

Yep, all things that the kiddo does when SHE is upset with ME. Perfectly understandable, given that she is five. (And apparently didn't just develop all these techniques out of thin air - I hang my head in shame.) For me, however? Yeah, not too proud of the way I acted. I thought I'd left that obnoxious kid who honed her dramatics on her little sisters behind decades ago. Guess not.

For what it is worth, I did calm down shortly thereafter and had a talk with the kiddo, in which I apologized for my behavior. She said that she is going to try really hard tomorrow not to spill anything. On my part, I'm going to try to behave like the adult in the situation, since theoretically, that's what I am. We'll see how we do.

I hate days like this. Bad Mommy. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Hugs, Our kids still get sippy cups or water bottles when having a drink of something in the living room.

We are letting the older 2 practice with regular cups or glasses at the dinner table.

and I have had my share of tantrums too, sad to say!

My name is Andy. said...

And here I was feeling bad for having my own freak out over (mostly) nothing tonight!