The Tovsky Tribe

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Frustrating, er, Frustrated Alter Ego!

I am THAT woman. That woman I peered at. That woman I despise. Yes, sometime between incubating my third born and the twins shit slinging phase (and here) I became the harried, tired woman from the grocery store who speaks negatively to her adorable kids and unsuccessfully uses rough and tough love to force them to behave. Only, I still have long hair.

I do not want to be her and I know I swore up and down I would never be, but somehow the easy-going, laid-back me morphed into someone new. Or worse, a scarier version of myself. She isn't always there, oh thank god! But THAT woman loves to poke her head into my happy world.

Today was a great day. I went with all three kids, along with my cousin, Miriam, and her three boys to the Children's Museum. Of course, in this case, museum is very much a misnomer. Children's area, or kiosk, may be more apt. But, we went to the designated area in the Shore Mall and the boys, well-behaved, had a great time playing with their "boys," as they refer to their male cousins.

We left there to head to Genuardi's. I knew I was pushing my luck. It was 3pm and though they would never admit it, they needed a nap. I had little choice. I needed Milk. Bread. Baby food. So we went and it was bad and then I became THAT woman.

So, I welcome solutions to the problems that cut my temper short and send my frustration level through the roof.
How do you stop the child who whines incessantly from, well, whining?
What do you do about the child that thinks it is OK to hit his mother in order to get what he wants despite the fact that hitting lands him punished every time?
How do you handle the rambunctious little one that darts through a parking lot to get to the race car cart?
How do you deal with it when it all happens on the same shopping trip? Oh yeah, and the baby is crying. The baby who rarely cries is sending his ear piercing shriek over the PA, or so it seems, of Genuardi's letting me and all of the shoppers know that in addition to the red-light special, he is tired!

Bribes worked once I actually gave them the lollipop, but the promise of one was about as useful as a broken thumb. Once I got to the candy aisle and gave them the lollipop, it was too late! The harried woman was now the one buying level 2 winter squash.
The threat of a punishment once we got them home sent them into such hysterics that I thought there was something on my face. Maybe there was?
The yelling does not work. All that does is make my chronically raspy voice even raspier reminding me that I have an ENT appointment to make. The yelling also reminds me of times and places that I have no interest in remembering.
Oh, and what about the ten dollar extra-large birthday card with the high school musical characters on the front and the catchy tune on the inside? That helped stop the whining but the dancing that followed with each opening of the card did nothing for expediting trip. Because remember, Turner was shrieking!

I know, ten bucks!! Right?! For one, I did not know the cost when Ryder picked it up, nor when he began to slowly crease and fold and bend the card out of excitement. I only found out the price when I looked at the receipt once I was home...well, it was cheaper than a babysitter?!

Not every moment of every day is like this. Most of the time we are all having fun, laughing instead of whining, high-fiving instead if hitting. Most of the time a promise of a bribe is enough to sustain them so long as I hold up my end of the bargain. And, often, it is just me, me as you know me, as I know me, hanging out with my adorable boys.

Then there's the moment on top of that other moment on top of two or three other moments and suddenly, as if I went into a local phone booth to change out of my Clark Kent, THAT woman appears. She's frantic, Chase is whining, Ryder's scurrying, Turner is trying to get someone's attention, and that becomes the moment that determines how the day went. The arrival of THAT woman

So, the hard moments pass and are sandwiched between the good moments and though I may have already marked the day as shitty due to the mountain of episodes, due to the happiness and laughter that likely followed I can't really remember why. Until tomorrow, or the next day, when THAT woman pays a visit.

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