Monday, February 3, 2014

Check the Barometric Pressure! The Forecast is Excellent for a Better Mom

It is odd what you remember.  My other bestie has a memory that is incredible.  We met our first week of college and were roommates off and on for a total of four years through college and medical school.  She still pulls the, “Remember when (insert funny embarrassing anecdote)…?” My reply is always incredulous amazement for what she remembers because I have no recollection of what she is talking about.  When I do remember something from childhood or college it is typically odd and out of place and I have no idea why my brain didn’t push it out to make room for more microbiology or pharmacology as I could have used the space.  For example, I remember being tested to see if I was ‘gifted’ (PS: I was not) and they asked me what a barometer was.  I remember saying it measured the pressure in the air and was so excited because I had just asked my dad the same question a week prior so I knew the answer.  Random?  Yes.

I have recently realized that SH2 is my own personal home barometer.  SH2 is potty trained when the barometric pressure in the house is low, but when it rises she is not.  (I promise this is not another post about the potty.  That being said, my universe is somewhat small right now and focused a lot on the bathroom.)  She is the first to shout, “STOP yelling guys!!” when my husband and I have a disagreement or even when we don’t and are loud talking at each other.  Please don’t judge, we try very hard not to argue in front of our kids but we are far from perfect.  For the last few months, I have felt like her incontinence was because of me and in some way responding to her incorrectly, not nurturing or God knows what.  My husband is always ready to defend me from myself, “It is not about you!  SH2 just does what she wants.”  I tried to believe that, but mom guilt is very persuasive.

Shhhh!  Stop yelling guys!

I read and re-read Stress-FreePotty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child by Peter L. Stavinoha looking for clues but shockingly I couldn’t find anything in the index about ‘how to approach regression only when mom is around’.  She has been better over the past several weeks; I couldn’t help but correlate this to my parallel path of mommy enlightenment.  It all started to come together this weekend.  I didn’t want to watch my husband’s friends sword fight at the park and let him know this—pressure rising.   I was stressed about the new park and watching the kids by myself on a strange jungle gym being approached by homeless men—pressure building.  We bailed out on eating lunch at that park which the kids were looking forward to—too much pressure and now the barometer is broken.  She had an accident; we just went home.  I would have stewed about all the unsaid ‘I told you so’s but my own little personal barometer would not let me; she needed me to let it all go so she could stop letting it all go.  We had our picnic lunch on the grass in the backyard where we ate in the 70 degree sunshine.  No one cared that SH3 was throwing turkey and cheese in their hair or that all three kids squirted yogurt on their clothes.  My husband started steam rolling the kids who shrieked with laughter over and over again.

 It was Superbowl Sunday and my husband was busy helping at church and had early morning class too, so I tasked myself with getting all three small humans ready and to church, to class, and home without losing my s$#%.  We were only five minutes late, no one was run over in the parking lot and I heard all about the woman at the well who got water for Jesus in the car ride home.  Now for the ultimate test, the last time we were at my bestie’s house SH2 had five accidents in two hours and I was so angry at her I was in tears or maybe I was just angry and she was in tears.  This Sunday, I found her twice in the bathroom by herself after using the restroom and washing her hands.  No accidents, no yelling, no tears—barometric pressure was low.  SuperBOWL Sunday indeed. (I know I know it is a terrible pun.)
My husband asked me an out of character reflective question right before we climbed into bed, “Did you have fun tonight?”  Someone looking in would say, “Duh of course you had fun!  You were surrounded by your closest friends and family eating, drinking beergaritas, and talking while all eleven children played together somewhat harmoniously.  You would have to be crazy not to have fun!”  They would be right and you know what?  I totally did.  

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