Sunday, January 02, 2005

Cranky Mommy

There is something about being a parent that brings out the best and the worst in me.

I had intended to spend this week after Christmas, before Caroline returned to school, doing fun and special things with her. I had great ideas: ice skating, visiting the Charles Schultz museum, going to see Polar Express, playing games, doing some sewing together, quiet reading time together...

Instead, Roger and I had terrible colds, so neither of us has been in the best of moods. We discovered that the stable where Caroline takes riding lessons was running a half-day pony camp, which Caroline was desperate to do, so Monday through Friday she was gone from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. She was also eager to see her friends, so almost every day this week she was at a buddy's house or a friend was playing at our home with her. That worked out well for both Roger and me, as he was eager to get to his work, and I just wanted to dose myself with cold medicine and stay home and try not to cough.

Today, the Sunday before school resumed, I figured we had one last day to relax and get some quiet time together. But where did that nice mom I *intend* to be go? With my holiday rose-colored glasses off, the house seemed like a total mess to me, I realized that dirty laundry was bursting out of the laundry room, and I wasn't happy about being the only one involved in doing any tidying up. To top it off, Beth left her purse (containing vital items such as wallet, credit cards, reading glasses, cell phones, office keys) HERE when she and Tim returned to Sacramento, so we agreed that we'd meet halfway in Sonoma so I could pass it to her. This morning found me grumbling as I emptied the dishwasher, cleaned up Roger's weekly Sunday pancake breakfast mess, and picked up toys in the family room. I threatened to put everything I found on the floor into a garbage bag and give them away to some child who would appreciate them and treat them better. I pulled Roger's clothes out of the dryer, flung them at him to fold them himself, and stuffed more laundry in for a cycle. I grizzled at Caroline to stop dawdling so I could get her to her designated playdate in time to get on the road to Sonoma. On the way to her friend Sarah's house, after Caroline asked me why I was upset, I ranted about how I didn't like being the only one in the house cleaning up when three people made the mess.

So today was not a good parenting day. Poor Caroline will probably be happy to return to school tomorrow. Sigh. I guess one of the lessons of parenting is that it goes on and on, day after day, and there's always a chance to do better.

Thank god.

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