There have been times in my life where I knew I hadn’t acted right, times when I cracked up a little.
Like the time when my mom was in the hospital for an emergency gallbladder surgery and I’d been up all night and a man tried to pick me up in the parking lot of Big Lots where I was going to buy shaving cream because my legs were super hairy and I snapped. Called him a perv. Threatened his life. Told him to never speak to women he didn’t know again. He literally ran away from me.
And then there was the time I was a waitress in high school and a local dentist chewed me out over the phone because we didn’t make to-go salads, so I told him we would, and then I put every single ingredient on the salad bar (including three different kinds of dressing) into a container and gave it to him at the drive through window. Not my finest moment.
But this weekend (which started Thursday night), was worse. Worse because I was on my own and sleep deprived. Worse because I had a sick toddler, a sweet little girl who was vomiting and pooping and not sleeping. Worse because I was sick. Worse because Mabel bit me when I fussed at her for growling at Jane. Worse because the electrical wiring in our kitchen started to perform its best rendition of Poltergeist, complete with flashing lights and appliances that turned themselves on and wouldn’t go off.
Worse because of the way I handled it.
I did some yelling. And some crying. And I’m pretty sure I may have scared Jane (I don’t really care if I scared Mabel or not, she tore the skin on my hand and left teeth shaped bruises there). Although she wasn’t scared in these pictures. She was mad at me for not letting her play with the buttons on the malfunctioning stove.
So after I threw the breakers, assuaging my fears that our house was going to burn to the ground, I sat on the ground with my little girl. I was not proud of myself. My little girl, who besides being sick, has come into her own, bursting through the door of the terrible two’s with a vengeance. Yes, she is bratty. Yes, she doesn’t like to be told no. Yes, she slammed a door so hard, on purpose, that the handle busted through the dry wall behind it.
But all that doesn’t matter.
I read a meme on Pinterest that said something to the effect, “You are responsible for your actions, no matter your mood.”
My mood, and the lack of sleep, and constant alone-ness, and the bratty toddler, and the biting dog, and the flickering lights didn’t give me a license to yell. Or act crazy. Or flip out.
So I sat down on the floor and held her, and played with her flash cards that she had been trying to show me when I was yelling. We did nothing the rest of the day and into the night but hang out. We dressed and undressed her baby doll 800 times. We watched Lady and the Tramp and barked at the screen. I didn’t yell anymore. We got take out. I shut Mabel in the guest room to make sure there would be no more biting (don’t even ask me what my future plans on that are yet). It was better. I can’t take back my little crack up. But I can reboot, start over, and try again.
I think that’s what Mondays are for.