Can I take a Mulligan?

Today was not a day that is going to win me any nominations for mother of the year.

By the middle of the day I was feeling grumpy. A combination of a mildly ill baby (not that sick but sick enough to be clingy) and  one boy who was pushing all my buttons and knowing it.  I tried to put Ruth down for a nap and was unsuccessful. Seeing that the boys were hungry and it was past time for lunch, I weighed my options, took my own advice and decided we’d go to the park for a picnic and to play. Half an hour later we settled down to Happy Meals at the playground on a gorgeous day. I decided to not worry too much about school for the rest of the day and let the boys have some time to run around and play. Two hours later we were still there, the boys having found a pack of kids to run with and have a good time,  Ruth loving being outside and me enjoying some time to read while I watched her in the sandbox.

And that would make a lovely ending.

Unfortunately, I stopped listening to the smarter side of myself and decided that it would be good to get some more “school” in. The boys new friends had just left so it seemed like a good time to break away. I called them over and started a short nature lesson that I thought would be fun and interesting. They weren’t very into it and showed it with their behavior. And just like that my grumpy attitude returned.

I packed us all up, somewhat huffily, and drove home. Once home I gave them an unnecessarily harsh lecture about respectful behavior.  A lecture that kind of missed the point because of my own lack of grace. As is so often the case, I knew I was in the wrong but that just made me feel worse.

A bit later I did apologize to them for my words. I told them that their behavior was still wrong. But then so was mine. John and I were working on finishing up a bit of History from earlier in the day. He started complaining of a stomach-ache. I suspected that it was stress, as he really internalizes guilt when he thinks he’s done something wrong. I suggested to him that it could be that and he agreed. He wanted to lie down but I made him come over and sit at the table and finish up the work we’d started, thinking that he was trying to use the bad day to get out of work. He finished up and then went into the other room.

About 10 minutes later he vomited all over the bathroom.

And David who happened to be in the line of fire.

Fortunately, after vomiting he felt completely better and was pretty cheerful the rest of the night. He wanted to eat a lot a dinner, more than I would let him. I still don’t know if it was the Not-so-Happy Meal or the beginning of a stomach bug (hopefully not) or if it was just stress. Regardless, I felt like a pretty lousy mother.

The good news is that “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.*

*Bonus points if you know where the quote is from.

3 thoughts on “Can I take a Mulligan?

  1. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who continues to lecture even though I know I’m in the wrong…I’ve had many a day like that…

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