I'm not very proud of myself today. Some days this life is just hard. Really, really hard. Days like today, even reminding myself how far we've come and how lucky we are, didn't shut out the frustration, and anger. It was difficult to be kind. I am so disgusted with myself, and that's a hard thing to admit. It's the 2nd week of Andi being out of school. Her routine is gone. Last week, uncle was here, and even Poppa & Ginga for a few days... last week was fun. But here it is a new week, and it's just Andi and me, and Maddux the dog. Let's not forget Maddux who is not as innocent as he seems in today's debacle.
Today started out innocent enough. Daddy had to get up extremely early to head out of town for an overnighter at a different office. I "slept in" ... until 6:15 when the princess decided it was high-time to get up and get started on our day. Shortly after getting up, it started. Potty training. My game plan this time is to leave her bare-butt and "sit on the potty" every 20 minutes or so. Every time she sat on the potty, she was given a sticker for her homemade (a.k.a. 'lame') potty chart. If she went "pee pee" on the potty, she would be given five stickers. If she dropped a stinky, (snickering because Daddy Bean would roll his eyes!), she would be given 10 stickers! 10 whole stickers! Now, I'll have it be known that these are (insert sarcastic tone here) VERY impressive stickers. The first sticker was a $.10 sticker from box I bought when I thought I'd actually do a yard sale in Portland. The rest are a gift from once giving St. Jude's $20. a few years back. There are soccer balls, footballs, butterflies, ducks, flowers... really super tiny ones...like three of them would equate one of my fingertips. Whoop! Whoop! Fancy! Well, Andi got into it, and spent the majority of the day parading herself around the house butt-naked, and collecting a sticker every so often. She never went potty, and she never had an accident (that I've found, anyway!) She collected 12 stickers. We resorted to a diaper twice, no, three times. One when we went for a neighborhood walk to shake up our energy. One after lunch when I know she normally drops it like it's hot... (bad use of lyrics, ...but I can hear a few people I know chuckling!) And lastly, when we ran up the street to Sweet Tomatoes for a to-go salad to turn my frown upside down!
So, let me share the rest of the story... weird... we were just talking about Paul Harvey the other day! With Andi out of school, I have to find ways to keep her occupied while I sit in my office and work. If I'm not working, I'm "networking"... I'm looking for jobs, or checking in with Facebook, or working on the calendar, or trying to figure out how to make Twitter cool if you have nothing to sell, or simply trying to catch-up on balancing two checkbooks as we transition away from our Portland bank and switch to our new bank. It's usually a full-day of office time for me. I'm always online and I'm trying to get stuff done. THAT says it right there. I'm TRYING TO GET STUFF DONE! So, let me refresh your mind. Andi is home, not engaged in her Yo Gabba Gabba or iPad, or Barbie/Ken, her countless books, play-dough, toys, she's having none of that today. With school, she's used to being engaged and here I am, totally unavailable. I try to set her up at her table (next to my desk) with play-dough, but because I'm not sitting there like uncle Chris did last week, she keeps coming over, wanting up, interrupting me, or simply trying to get my attention. She won't leave me alone no matter how many different activities I tried to set her up with... and therefore, she won't let the dog alone, because that's what she does... smoothers the dog. It's really, really annoying, frustrating, and irritating.
So, I start yelling. I start time-out's. Double time out's. Taking toys away. Well after she colored the wall with a blue crayon, it was when she ripped out her hearing aid and separated the new mold from the tube, I snapped. Yelling at her, I actually spanked her bare lil' butt. Usually she laughs, but this time, she looked at me like 'Wow, I'm in trouble!' Now, for those that don't really know me, I'm not beating my child, so please... back off. I'm trying to discipline an incredibly smart, incredibly fearless (in certain regard), high pain tolerance Jekyll that just laughs at you when you try to correct behavior. Like I said, I'm not proud of myself, at all. I don't want Andi to grow up with someone yelling at her. I certainly don't want her thinking to hit is okay. She really just wants someone to play with her. Someone to engage her. Someone to teach her. I feel so heartbroken. I wish I could have given her a sibling to help her, but after what we went through and my age, I just didn't think I could handle it. I get so frustrated with her holding onto my legs while I'm in the kitchen trying to move around. I get so irritated at going into a store, or anywhere, and having to hold her up or carry her... because her walking is so sloppy and slow. She moves in a different rhythm and sometimes I don't want to take a half-hour in the store to grab four things because she wants to push the cart or hold my hand while I steer the cart with the other.
I wish I didn't have to work, but I do. I need to work more than I do so I can pay someone to take care of her, engage her, entertain her, teach her. I need to get an identity of my own that isn't just "Andi's Mom". I need to stretch myself, so I can be better for her. But yeah, there are days like today, where despite all the obstacles she has overcome, it's still hard. Andi's made me a better person, but she hasn't made me perfect. Some days, I just lack patience. Today was one of those days.
I failed to include Maddux's part in my furor. The barking. A neighbor three doors down farts, and Maddux feels the need to bark. The neighbor comes home and he can see her in her driveway across the street, and he needs to bark. Heaven forbid someone actually knocks on our door... It's totally annoying.
So, I'm putting the cap on this day and stepping away to zone out in front of the TV before I crash and try to refresh for a brand new day. At dinner, I asked Andi for forgiveness for losing my temper. She was quiet and soon-after was nodding off asleep in her high-chair. I guess this day has been a doozy for both of us.
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