Yesterday morning I was home solo with our youngest, Aaron (2), for a few hours while his siblings attended Vacation Bible School. My hopes were high that he and I would have a lovely, carefree, no mommy-meltdown morning.
I set my hopes too high.
Aaron is a very bright little guy, and his favorite “game” is to test us with EVERYTHING. If there is a shelf or table to climb, he’s on it. If there is a child-proof lock on a drawer, he breaks it. If I have to use the restroom, he’s right there trying to keep that from happening (kid you not!). If we say, “NO!” he hears, “Yes! Keep scratching the wooden kitchen table with your fork. We LOVE that!” Give him all the paper in the world to draw on; he sees only his body as a canvas.
He’s cute. He’s sweet. He’s smart. But man, he’s a little… (insert poop emoji)!!
So yesterday he was extra testy with a side of cranky. Everything resulted in some sort of throw-down. Yet I was trying my best to keep him happy and entertained while also getting the house in order.
One of the tasks that had to get done was the cats’ litter box. However, before I began, I noticed Aaron had at some point “lovingly” placed handfuls of cat food into the cats’ water bowl. I stepped out of the room for less than 10 seconds to dump the water into the kitchen sink, and then…
BOOM!! I hear cat pellets go EVERYWHERE in the office!
When I say EVERYWHERE, I mean the little rocks that we use instead of the typical clay litter, were all over the floor, the bookshelves, my weight bench, under the desk, on the desk (in fact, I just threw away three more right now), and every nook and cranny possible.
By this point in the morning, I was practically pulling my hair out and shouting “Mother trucker!” more times than necessary. The little (poop emoji) had pushed my mommy limits!
However, there was not much I could do but take a risk of breaking the vacuum, gate Aaron out, and get to cleaning.
Graciously, two things happened- first, I didn’t break the vacuum. Second, I didn’t have a single urge to drink.
Only a short six months ago, that situation would have sent me straight to the kitchen to either slam a shot or pour myself a small glass of wine. My attitude would have been, “Ugh, I can’t deal with this! I’m tapped out!! Let me escape this moment, somehow, someway!” That attitude would have brought about a snowball of emotions the rest of the day, and of course, more booze.
I was almost in disbelief as I put the vacuum away and picked up Aaron to move onto our next task. Who the heck was the woman in that moment? Who put on her big girl panties and just handled the situation? Who was the woman brushing her shoulder off at typical mommy-stress? Who was dealing with the moment without a 1000 anxious thoughts flying through her head? (OK, there were like 100 anxious thoughts…).
It was ME!?! It was me. Amazing!
I know that there will be plenty more sh*t-storms ahead (hopefully sans cat litter), and this is just one in which I weathered and stayed afloat. However, it gives me a little boost of confidence to know that if I just stay present, lean into the emotions, and just hold on, the storm will pass.
This mommy will survive storms. She may scream, cry, laugh, curse, fear, and gray out her hair. But she will survive, sober!