It just doesn't exist...the whole notion of a Mom achieving "Super Mom" status.
In my opinion, we may reach that status temporarily - pulling off an awesome birthday party celebrating a child, baking the best dessert your kids have ever tasted, finding time for your kids, your pet, your husband, and yourself all in one day - but it never lasts. At times, we break.
So, while I'm on the subject of parenting stories I'll never forget, today I present another one. (yesterday's was a good one I've been told ;-) And oddly enough, my friend who said it was reading the post while waiting at her OB's office, debating whether or not to remove her IUD which would potentially lead to child #3 ;-) Bet that post shed an unflattering light on the subject of "So, how is it with three kids?!?")
Anyway, this happened last week, and for a change, does not involve my two-year-old. Instead, Lucy is the antagonist in the story...
So, I'm picking up the kids from Mom's Morning Out, hauling around Connor is his carrier. It is a feat in of itself just getting Jack and Lucy to the car, let alone getting all three buckled in to their respective carseats. Well, on this particular day, Lucy was absolutely refusing to cooperate and get in her seat. And let me be more specific...she had turned into a demon-possessed child, thrashing her body about, swatting her hands in front of her - hitting me in the face, her wispy hair matted to her face, thanks to the mess of snot, tears, and saliva that was all over her. She was absolutely out of control!
And after three calm attempts on my part to force her into her seat, I simply snapped. I very quietly addressed the spawn of Satan, saying, "You know what Lucy? You don't want to sit in your carseat, I don't care."
I walked around to the driver's side, got in, and pulled out of the parking lot. (Lately, it seems like nothing works when dealing with my young toddlers, and at this point, I decided to take a risk - a huge one I do realize - and see if it would do the trick.) I said a prayer as I pulled away from school, and hoped that the next three miles would prove to be uneventful, that we'd make it home fine.
Shocked and bewildered by my actions, Lucy starts screaming from the back, "But I'm not buckled in, I'm not buckled in!!!!" To which I replied, "Lucy, you wouldn't let mommy buckle you in."
Then, she starts screaming, "I wanna be safe; I WANNA BE SAFE!" It was at this point that I hesitated for a moment, contemplated pulling over and buckling her in. My heart was literally splitting apart, and I was questioning my ability to parent, wondering if I had become one of those insane mothers (answer: probably so). But, I decided to follow through with what I had said.
And so, she screamed the whole way home. And once in the neighborhood, I even took the turn to our house slightly too fast so as to make her fall over a little bit - on purpose... Just to make sure she got the point. Isn't that just terrible!?!
And, let me just tell you, I dealt with such guilt, such guilt...At bible study the next morning, I told my story and added myself to the prayer list, as clearly I was loosing it and needed some serious help. And it was then that most of the women chuckled. I was dumbfounded...they were chuckling???? They weren't calling the police on me for my illegal actions (it was illegal, right? I'm not sure)????
And then there was a chorus of "I've been there and done that."
Now it was my turn to be dumbfounded and bewildered..."You mean, you've all done that before - driven with a child not in their carseat?!?"
"Oh sure" was the reply. One mom even said she was in such a hurry to get home from the grocery store, she just didn't buckle her kid in.
So, I did find comfort in the fact that I am not the only mother who has acted in such a way, and praying has helped too. And how did pick up go the next day you may wonder? Did she transform into the spawn of satan again? No, she was a perfect angel! And -cross your fingers - we've not had an incident since; in fact, just today she was able to buckle her own seatbelt without my assistance. Imagine that!
So to all my awesome, not-quite-super-mom friends out there, take heart. We've got the hardest job on the planet, but the rewards are unmatched...