I hesitated sending a response in to this hot topic, but I finally decided that I had to add my two cents. This is the e-mail I sent to my fellow triplet mothers...
In an ideal world, I would never yell at our children. I would never spank them. I would never have to worry that my uncontrollable emotional outbursts are potentially, scarring them for life. But I'm human - and it really stinks sometimes.
Recently, our toddlers favorite past time involves climbing on the kitchen table, trying to scramble on the counters ... and whenever I saw Elizabeth pulling BIG SHARP knives out of the knife block this morning, I thought I was going to die. My patience has been tried more in the past month than it has ever been tried before (I think I say that every month...?).
Today was a perfect example.
I was honestly ready to put William in a box, tape it up and stick him in the garage until Charlie came home. Don't worry - I would have given him airholes. Or, let Elizabeth do it with one of the BIG SHARP knives. Before he was in it, of course.
After the knife fiasco, I had to get out of the house, so I loaded the kids up and took them to Target. While there, I picked up this little toy that my friend Lorie, swears, helped her 2-year old daughter learn her ABC's. It's a Leap Frog magnetic letter thing-a-ma-bob that hangs on your fridge. The kids were playing with it in the cart - happy as can be. I'm doing my shopping, happy as can be. Except for when the kids threw one of the plastic (I thought non breakable) cups I had picked up for them out of the cart - it shattered all over the floor - and me, being the
responsible person that I am - kept walking - slowing down only to put back the other 7 plastic (apparently breakable) cups that will never withstand our spanish tile floor, on some random shelf in the middle of the dog food aisle.
**For the record, if I didn't have a shopping cart full of toddler triplets - I NEVER would have done that. I would have picked up the damaged cup, insisted on paying for it, and put all of the other cups back neatly where I had found them.**
We get home and William immediately starts whining "e!!" "e!!!" "e!!!" Because that happened to be the letter that was in the thing-a-ma-bob that he heard over & over & over & over (& over & over & over & over) again. So, I go to get it out of the bag and out of the plastic container that is sealed tightly enough to protect this $10.00 toy should it ever be dropped 20,000 feet to the bottom of the ocean, or launched in to deep space - and he starts to go crazy, screaming "E!!!" "E!!!!"
I'm trying desperately to open the box.
I'm trying to keep my eye on Elizabeth so she doesn't climb on the counters again.
I'm wiping Carolyn's runny nose because for the LOVE OF WINE (which I would give my right arm for a big glass of), they are sick again.
I'm organized. I'm pretty level headed. I'm in control. As far as motherhood goes, I think I've got my sh*t together pretty well. But every so often, I possess the ability to spontaneously combust. It happened about two weeks ago and I felt like a pile of dung for days. I thought it would NEVER happen again. But it did. Five minutes after returning home from Target.
The trigger? Whining. Incessant, uncontrollable whining. In my opinion, it is worse torture than fingernails on a chalk board - or having a tooth removed with a butter knife. Especially when three toddlers are doing it, simultaneously.
I turned around and started screaming at my 2-year old. Screaming I tell you, screaming. I didn't hit him on the head with the Leap Frog thing-a-ma-bob. I didn't send him in to time out, like I did last night in the corner of our small booth when we went out to dinner. I didn't put him in a box, punch airholes and tape it shut. I would have loved to have done ALL of those things - but instead I screamed at the top of my lungs.
AND IT FELT SO GOOD.
Until a few minutes later when I saw the kids looking at me with huge saucer eyes ... William shuddering ... and Carolyn whispering to him "shhh!! shhh!!"
I love my kids, more than the world. It is impossible to believe that 3 short years ago - they didn't even exist in an embryonic stage ... and 2 years ago, they were tiny helpless infants. Now, they are toddlers and they are more adorable than I ever imagined. AND, at times, more of a headache than I ever imagined.
After today, I've resigned myself to the fact that there are going to be moments in motherhood when I'm going to CRACK like an egg. I'll always strive to do the best job I can and to keep my temper in check. But ... I sure as heck am not going to traumatize myself with the fear that I am ruining my children for life - or that they'll grow up distrusting me because I yelled at them when they were driving me crazy - or I gave them a swat on their behind when they climbed on the table for the millionth time in an hour and tried to juggle knives.
Apparently, some people have unending patience with toddlers. God Bless them.
All I can do is hope that in the end, my children will know I love them - and they'll love me, too. I hope that they'll see the good things I've done FAR outweigh the bad. If not, they'll probably stick me in a home - and then I'll know why.