Monday, October 14, 2013

Horrifying Behavior...

I am 38-years-old and 38 weeks pregnant. Today, this means that I am feeling old, unattractive, and tired :).

Now, I don't really think that I'm old, I'm hoping that some feelings of attractiveness (or at least looking/feeling my best...I'm really not vain anymore!) will return when the scale starts to go the other way and I'm able to schedule a hair appointment (can't really imagine sitting in a chair for an hour or more right now!), and...I guess that I AM just plain tired!

Today is Columbus Day. This means that my husband is working and I have all the kids home. It's kind of just like a summer day...but, I wasn't 38 weeks pregnant this summer (thank goodness...fall weather is much friendlier for preggos!).

I knew very early this morning that we had to go somewhere. I had invited a number of friends over (easier to just stay put!), but most dads are off today, so it's a good family day.

At 9 a.m., I packed the van with the kids and lots of snacks/water, and we headed to a great local farm with a fall fun fort (think stacks of hay for climbing, slides everywhere, barn animals to feed, etc.). It's a kid's paradise on a beautiful fall day.

The title of this post is, "Horrifying Behavior." You'd probably think that my kids' behavior horrified me at this fall fun fort. Well, you'd be wrong.

The horrifying behavior was my OWN!!! As a Catholic, I would like to take these behaviors straight to a Confessional to get them off my mind and soul!!! But, it's Monday afternoon, my husband's working, and there is no Confession until Saturday afternoon (unless I make a point to get the times/days from another parish or set up a personal appointment...and, with the way I'm feeling, I really don't see that happening!).

Anyway, my first horrifying behavior was on the way to the farm. The kids were pretty happy, and we were chatting about Nana and Papa's upcoming visit (my parents are going to watch the kids when I have this baby). Gianna asked what day they were coming. I said, "Friday." She said, "Ok, so many days is that?" I told her to say the rest of the days of the week and count them on her fingers...and then she would know.

Well, to my horror, she said that she did not know the days of the week in order. "WHAT!?" I asked. How is this possible? She is 7-years-old and doing very well in 1st grade (I just got her progress report). She went to 3 years of preschool (good preschools!), a year of full-day kindergarten, and now she is in 1st grade...and she doesn't know the days of the week in order!?!?

My blood pressure starting rising (easy to do these days!), and I started asking myself who failed. Surely it wasn't me...I have vivid memories of singing, "There are 7 Days in a Week," when she was 2-years-old and I was trying to keep her up in the car. Surely it wasn't many circle times with calendar/weather can one child sit through!? I can't imagine that the K and 1st grade teachers weren't at least acknowledging what day it is (for example, Spanish is Monday, gym is Thursday, etc.).

So, I pulled over the car (safely!). I asked Gianna to please recite the days of the week. She couldn't...or wouldn't. I was getting very angry. To feel better, I asked Joseph (the kindergartener). He quickly rattled them off...correctly (ok, maybe the whole family was not doomed!). I had Joseph tell them to Gianna...slowly...and asked Gianna to repeat them.

At this point, almost everyone starts to cry. They are thinking that Mommy has lost her mind (probably). And, I know that this is not a productive way to teach...any child...anything! This much pressure is only going to make kids nervous...and to mess up...which she kept doing (it was like Thursday didn't exist!).

After several attempts (with me getting more disgusted every time she got it wrong), she did it. I slowly started driving toward our destination. I made the whole car sing the days of the week song over and over. Since we've been home, Gianna has practiced the days of the week by writing them down (her initiative...not mine!).

But, I am left feeling horrified. Who does this to a child!? I can think of at least 50 ways that I could've handled this better! And, since we've gotten home, she seems to remembering quite it probably was my pressure that made her forget it in the first place!!!!!! Horrified!

The second behavior came after the farm. We had gone through every single snack (and there were many!), and the kids were asking for lunch. I passed by a Burger King and thought that chicken nuggets and french fries would keep everyone sane and happy on the 1/2 hour ride home (plus, I reasoned, I had packed mostly fruit and other healthy snacks for the morning).

I ordered the food (speaking over the drama in the backseat) and proceeded to the pay window.  I got out $7 as it had come to $6.85. As I was waiting for the food, I was lecturing the kids that they should not be trying to order ice cream over my voice when I ordered because it is very confusing for me and the poor employee trying to hear me. I was also trying to stop Justin from unbuckling his car seat and calm Lucy who thought we should be moving again already!

I was handed my food and my change. "Here you go," said the lady, "$15.85." I said thank you, shoved the money into my purse, quickly checked my order, and pulled off as there were quite a few cars behind us.

As I pulled off, it registered that she had said that my change was $15.85...and I had definitely given her a five and two ones. Crap! I looked to see if backing up was an option (no). I saw that the line was much too long to go through again, and the option of bringing five kids into the store to explain the, NO.

So, I am up $8 for the day...and feeling rotten about it (but, driving back to deliver the money isn't happening...). I think I will $8 in the church basket on Sunday...does that make it better!?

As you can see by the pictures, the kids had a blast! So, all isn't lost. I'm going to get off the computer (thanks for listening to me vent...I thought I would feel better!) and say my Act of Contrition.

Luckily, I will have thousands of more chances to practice better behavior today...

And, hopefully tomorrow I will feel more moral, younger, more attractive, and less tired (one can hope....)!

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