Because I’m on the other side of last week, I can now laugh about the tragedy that was the last week of May, 2018.
It was a rather sunny Tuesday and it was Field Day. A day where the school year was almost over and the kids pretty much spent their day outside. They were expecting the fire truck to come and get them wet at the end of the day and my son was so looking forward to that. That is…until the fire truck didn’t show up due to an emergency fire. Unforeseen circumstances, no one’s fault at all, but when you are 7 and sensitive spiritually to the emotions of those around you and there’s probably 100+ kids or far more disappointed and upset that the part of their day that they were looking forward to most…wasn’t going to happen. So what do you do when you are emotionally overloaded by those around you??
You run away.
Yep. Jeremiah ran toward the safest and quietest place he knew.
Unfortunately for him, he nearly got hit by a car as teachers chased after him through the neighborhood, one of which fell. Then he refused to get on the daycare bus and as I spoke with him on the phone all I could hear was “My whole day was ruined because the firetruck never came.” The logic of a 7 year old. He was truly crushed over it and still was struggling to process his disappointment and the disappointment of every other kid’s emotions he could feel. So I went and picked him up and we went home. I was rather upset, not because he ran, but because he nearly killed himself and his choices got someone else hurt. I’d decided he was going to do chores the remainder of the night because I couldn’t think of a relevant punishment to fit the offense.
We got home and I pulled out my work computer to finish up my hour and a half left in my day. By the time the day was done, it turned into more like 3.5 hours. It was a good diversion after what happened next.
First chore: The litter box. My son has ADHD and sensory processing (but don’t worry, he’s not broken. The Lord told me He created my children this way for a purpose), and I thank God for my cat because his litter box gets emptied and refilled once a week and he never misses. Despite it being on the chore list 4 times in a week. Anyway. Chore 1 gets completed. Great, onto chore number two. Dishes. Empty and load the dishwasher. Sounds easy enough.
Right…and also wrong. He completes the chore and is trying to be helpful so he puts soap in it.
But not just any soap.
Dawn dish soap.
And not even in the cup for soap.
He opens up the Jet Dry lid and pours it in there.
By now I’m hearing noises that sound like he’s doing something he shouldn’t be and I look over in horror at what he’s doing. I jumped up and was like NOOOOOOOOOOO WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
For anyone who has done this…knows sadly that the result is a nonstop bubble machine that leaves you cleaning up water and bubbles for hours. That is, if you catch it. If you aren’t home or not in the room it will leave you about $1000 short when you pay your insurance company your deductible for water damage. So, I grabbed the turkey baster and did my best, with a beveled edge unfortunately, to suck out the soap from the dishwasher. I gave my son a rag with some soap and told him to “Dear God, get OUT of my kitchen and go wash the walls in the stairwell” and shoo’ed him off. I grabbed a straw from the pantry and did what any thrifty mother would do, who didn’t want to spend $1000 for water damage, and proceeded to suck the soap out of the hole through a straw. Desperate times call for desperate measures, no? Well yes…that is until your child comes down with the medicine syringe and suggests connecting it to the straw so I don’t have to get soap in my mouth. Too little, too late. I dilute it with actual Jet Dry and run a cycle with a handful of dishes in it and vow to pay attention. My son proceeds to wash the walls…or so I thought. I open the 5 day old bottle of red wine in the fridge and pour myself a glass. Soap tastes nasty.
I’m walking back to sit down at my computer. And I hear the sink upstairs running. *insert eye roll*
I painted the kids bedrooms only two and three days prior and discovered that the plumbing under the sink is not fitting right and is leaking. I’ve got towels under there until I can get back to adjust that, but J has the water on full blast so I’m shouting up to him “TURN OFF THE WATER! J, TURN OFF THE WATER! It’s LEAKING! I hear some frantic sounds coming from my child as the water turns off and on. I get back up and proceed to walk up the stairs. I get almost half way up and I see his head peek at me from around the corner and I reexplain that the sink is leaking and to turn it off. And he, in the most panic stricken voice I’ve ever heard from him, said, “I’M GETTING IN THE SHOWER!!” and he runs off down the hall.
With a puzzled look on my face, I walk up three more stairs as the scene before me unfolds. Recall I said I had painted that weekend? Yeah, I didn’t have time to get the paint back in the garage. The day before, Jeremiah attempted to open the small quart sized can (that was still mostly full…like 2/3 full) with a pair of fingernail clippers. I caught it and pounded it closed. Apparently not good enough because it looked like he juggled with an open can of blue paint in my hallway. on the carpet on the stairs, on the wood flooring, on the cabinet in the bathroom on the walls…in the litter box…I stood there with the soap flavor still in my mouth and screamed. I found out later that he shook the can upside down. I’ve never been the greatest at thinking on my feet quickly. I’m very good at problem solving and thinking outside of the box, but I’ve always needed time to think. I could never come up with a sufficient come back if someone was in my face, nor would I make a good medical professional, but surprisingly I moved pretty quickly. I’m good at remaining calm, but not good at taking fast action. I ran downstairs and found the first flat thing I could see to scoop paint up into; my old license plate. I run upstairs, grab a towel I don’t care about and see the trail of blue to my bedroom. He had it running down his entire body, all over his leg, his stomach and his arm. I did a fair amount of yelling, and I’ve worked very hard with the Lord to not be that mom and He’s has done a thing in me for sure. But this…this I was just so dumbfounded and pissed off that many choice words flew out of my mouth. It took me 30 minutes to clean up the paint. It mostly came out of the carpet and nobody died. He didn’t even get a spanking.
I told him to stay in his room and quickly changed my mind. His dad came over and calmly talked to Jeremiah as I’m over on the other side of the room pacing trying to keep my mouth shut. I’d done enough yelling and was trying to calm down that I realized that his dad was oddly calm…which was good cause I was not.
No more chores…good heavens, please no more chores. Staying in his room wasn’t an option because frankly he was on a roll. Nope. He was going to sit on the couch next to me for the remainder of the night and not move. Or touch anything. So I put on How to Train Your Dragon and that is where we sat for the rest of the night. Around 9pm I decided I was done working, Sophia was passed out on the couch and I realized that I had fully consumed the remainder of that bottle of wine…which was unlike me. I’m not a drinker really, unless I’m hanging out with Kim, mom #2 and we’re cooking together. Then we will share a bottle.
There are days that parenting is downright HARD. Throw in some extra-sensory spiritual stuff from both kids (that you have no idea how to teach them to harness) and some days it’s a perfect storm as was this day. But you know what, at the end of the day I apologized to Jeremiah for how much I yelled at him. I told him that I’m human and I’m okay with being wrong sometimes and that I loved him so much. I’m not proud of how I responded but I can look back on last week and laugh now. It’s just stuff. Yeah stuff costs money but really God is our provider and if we really truly trust in Him as such, then why do we let the little…and seemingly big things get under our skin? Selfishness. It’s our sin nature coming out when we take offense over someone causing us trouble, or a mess. I usually navigate big things like this fairly well, but not this day.
But we bounced back, I still love my child and he loves me.
But I can guarantee you, he won’t ever do either of those things again…
Oh and remember the dishwasher I vowed to pay attention to?
Yeah, it was okay.