Saturday, January 4, 2014

Tonight I became my most favorite babysitter.

Last night, I snapped.

This was the 6th night in a row where Ezra would wander around the table and not want to eat. He would put whatever I placed on his plate on his tongue and then spit it out. He would be easily distracted by anything and refuse to eat with us and when I threw my arms up in the air and let him get his way (by not eating) he would come back and tell me he was hungry.  I was/am doing something wrong! And Marshall thinks that I was so upset about this because I felt like a bad mother, this is only partially true. I am being a good mother because I try to feed him time and time again. But I was so upset because this is just down right FRUSTRATING!

I pulled him from the table last night after he spit out his dinner onto the floor. I put him in the tub, washed him ferociously fast, madly dressed him and practically tossed him in his bed as I threw his blankets over him, all while being completely silent. He cried hard the entire time and I was so mad I didn't even care. I could literally feel the black cloud over my head as I stormed around.
 This was his first time going to bed hungry- without stories, without a song and dare I say, without even a prayer. I was steaming. Even in the heat of it all, I knew I was over reacting. I even told myself to be cool. But I was too weak.

And I felt terrible.

I crawled into his bed twice as he slept last night to whisper in his ear how much I loved him and how sorry I was that I was so mean. I kissed him all over his face hoping he would wake up to forgive me. I could barely sleep because of how awful I was to him.
When he woke up, I ran to him and told him how sorry I was for the way I acted last night, his sweet response made my knees shake. "You are happy now!" And I knew I needed to check myself. I am adding "Not completely lose all control of myself while parenting" onto my list of goals for 2014.

I pondered all day how I can make our evenings go smoother. (Especially while Marshall isn't with us, remember? He is coaching until after the kids are already in bed.)

But tonight- Something magical came to my mind.

I thought back to when I was a babysitter and how much fun I was.

So, I became the 15 year old babysitter that I once was to the young parents that trusted me with their children.

I was cool. I was smooth. I was convincing, yet caring. I was playful.

I remember babysitting and wanting the kids to like me, and the parents to like me even more. I wanted to do everything just a little better than they expected and I wanted the kids to be happy, I wanted them to want me to come back (I needed the cash!)

So tonight, I didn't want to be that mean mom who harped on Ezra to eat his veggies or to sit on his bottom. I wanted to have fun with him- I wanted him to want me to always be with him. I really wanted him to forget the terrible night we had before.

I wanted to be a babysitter that I would hire to watch my children for me.

I said yes to everything and I let EVERYTHING go.

We had frozen pizza for dinner. We had pickles. (I know, right?) We had yogurt and a banana.All on separate plates. We drank milk from a straw cut down to fit his cup. We listened to Christmas music and pretended we were dogs. We made funny faces at each other. I taught him to wink.

As I pretended to be overly excited about every little thing, I actually became excited about every little thing.

I let Ezra dump all the clean laundry on the floor while Eli and Ezra rolled around in the heaping pile, we read three stories in the living room and not in his bed as usual, we brushed Eli's teeth the same time as Ezra's. I let Ezra help clip his own finger nails, I gave Ezra a washcloth and he washed himself up. (He should probably be doing this now, anyways)

Ezra was being polite and helpful.I fell so in love with him tonight that my heart actually ached to put him to bed.

I had so much fun with Ezra tonight and it was because I wasn't being his "MOM"  Because his mom wouldn't serve pickles with pizza (Because that's just weird) and his mom wouldn't normally allow Christmas music full blast at the dinner table, and his mom would never serve all of his sides on separate plates- because his mom already has dishes from lunch and breakfast in the sink....

But because I let everything go-- Ezra was happy and so was Eli. And my job as his mother/ cool babysitter became so much easier.

Obviously, I can't let Ezra get away with everything all the time, but this was so very needed tonight after the long week of fighting that we have had.

I am so grateful that I was humbled enough to receive this tender thought this evening as I was alone with the boys for dinner and bedtime. My most dreaded time of the day was magically turned into the most special.

So, tonight I am doing what any other babysitter would do after successfully getting the children in bed on time. I am going to make myself a bowl of ice cream and get comfy on the couch to watch a chick flick and hope not to fall asleep.

Please try being the cool babysitter one night with your children and let me know how it goes! I highly recommend it, especially being cooped up in the house this weekend! It's a great time to not be "mom"

(Please disregard if you are already a super cool mom and you let your kids get away with everything, clearly- this post isn't for you. Your kids are a lot luckier than mine ;)