So. I have a confession to make. We all know how much I love embarrassing myself all over the interwebz, but this one’s bad. I don’t really know how to start, actually. I guess I should just get it out there:
I threw a full sippy-cup at my son last night.
Okay, now that everyone who wants to flame me has done so, let me explain more fully: I did not intend to throw the sippy at Connor, or even within his field of vision. I was angry at him, yes, but I also knew that he was just being a two-year-old and needed to be talked down. What happened was this: I asked him if he wanted a sippy, he said yes. I made the sippy, he said no. I put the sippy in the fridge, he started crying about “I WANT THAT, Mommy! I need that sippy!” I got the sippy out, he cried some more about “I don’t WANT A SIPPY!” This went on for at least five minutes, maybe even six.
Look, that’s a lot longer than it sounds, okay?
Anyway, this whole incident followed an entire day of back-and-forth whining. I want lunch, NOOOO I DON’T WANT LUNCH, wait where is my lunch? I want to watch All Dogs, no I want to watch Cars, hey stop it I need to watch Einsteins! I could not do anything, all day, that would satisfy this kid, and honestly, can we talk about whining for a minute? I hate whining. HATE IT. It drives me apeshit. I tried to deal with this in a pleasant manner, but by the end of the day I just could not do it anymore.
So. After the Great Sippy Whine of 2008, I snatched the sippy from the floor and stalked into my bedroom. I
closed the door whirled about angrily, and heaved the sippy in frustration… right toward my wide-eyed toddler, who was standing in place of the door I really thought I had shut tightly. It did not come anywhere near hitting him, but only because I hadn’t been trying to hit the door. (Ironically, I’d been aiming for the floor in front of the door so that Connor wouldn’t hear the thud. Um, too little and also too late.) He was splattered with a few drops of milk, and I. Felt. Horrible.
I still feel horrible, actually. I scooped him up for a hug and apologized right away, making sure to emphasize that Mommy was not trying to hit him, and that actually Mommy shouldn’t have thrown the sippy in the first place. I promised him that I would never do anything to hurt him, that I had thought the door was shut, that although Mommy may on occasion lose her temper she would never try to hurt him. And I didn’t know what else to do.
After he was tucked into bed, I talked to Michael about it. I realized that we have probably just been presenting him with too many options, overloading his tiny decision-making capabilities with too much responsibility. We decided — through calm, rational, adult discussion — that we would stop asking Connor to choose so many things every day. We recognized that it is our job as parents to say, “Here is what you’re having for lunch, and now it is nap time, and you may choose your dessert but not your entire daily schedule,” and we committed to being more firm. This is all a wonderful solution to the indecision and the whining and the mini-meltdowns every time we present him with a choice, but it doesn’t address the fact that when my kid was misbehaving because of something I had done, I lost my shit. And it doesn’t address the overweaning guilt for having done so.
Which is where you come in! Please tell me, guys — have you done this? Have you done something like it? It seems that the internet is full of toddler parents who are just so perfect and intuitive and serene, but I have it on good authority that the majority of you are quite a lot like me. I would like to contend for the title of Worst Mother Ever, because I think it’s the only way I will be able to put this into perspective. Tell me your shameful stories; help a mommy out, okay?