I’ve been pretty open with friends and family (and even the Internet) about how blue and grouchy I’ve been feeling over the past few months. I’ve been tense, anxious, stressed, irritable, quick-tempered, sensitive and other highly negative adjectives.
But I’m working on it.
Still, there are times when the grumps just take over. And bedtimes around here can be grump-inducing with a three-year-old whose mastery of delay tactics is renowned. He’s gotten better lately, to be honest, but some evenings Devin just craves attention when he should be craving sleep.
Tonight he pulled a few of his favorites…
“Mommy, my truck fell out of my bed!”
“Mommy, my music went off!”
“Mommy, what that noise?”
I was trying to finish up balancing the checkbook and updating his very own website. I also had some picking up to do around the house and was looking forward to getting ready for bed and relaxing myself since Scott’s gone all week and I need all the relaxing I can get.
So just when I think I’m safe and the quiet has lasted at least 15 minutes, I hear, “Mommy, I need a drink of water!”
I approached his door with a sour expression and the statement (which was true), “Devin, it’s a bit late in the evening to be asking for water.” I didn’t yell this, which I might have done in a more anxious moment. I simply said it with a heavy hint of annoyance in my voice.
Then I went downstairs, grabbed a cup and put some water in it.
I handed it to the boy, who gulped it down and handed it back. As he put the cup in my hand, Devin said, very sweetly, “I sorry I asked for a drink of water so late in the evening, Momma.”
He doesn’t play fair, people. Tugging at my heartstrings like that with his politeness. His sweetness. His guilelessness.
I didn’t respond right away so he repeated his statement.
I sighed and leaned down to hug him. “You don’t have to apologize, sweetheart. It’s OK to ask for water.”
I swear sometimes he’s the best reality check I could ask for. I know I’m not out of control. I know it’s normal to feel frustration when a kid is testing you. But when he responds that way, it reminds me fully that I need to keep my wits about me and try to keep the freak-outs to myself as I get through these moments. Like I said, I’m working on it.