I get it. I do. I have been trying to curb the amount of yelling that goes on in my house because I recognize that sometimes it is more about me than about what my kids may or may not have actually done.
But to paraphrase the great Ron Burgundy, things sometimes escalate quickly, and boy can they get out of hand fast.
Tuesday night my husband's flight was delayed getting home. Instead of arriving home at around the same time I would from work, he didn't make it in the door until about 11:30.
But the nighttime routine had to go on.
QT isn't much of a talker. I say things like "use your words" to him a lot. He likes to point at things and direct me to his intended target. After getting yet another update that the hubby would be delayed, QT heard me tell my husband on the phone that I had to give tubs. His little ears perked up, his pointer finger extended and I followed his directions to bring him to the bathroom. It is much easier to bathe him separately from his sisters who slide their bodies around the tub and think it is funny when he splashes the shit out of whomever is bathing him. Also, since I bathe him in $29 eczema relief bath and body shampoo, I want to make sure that his sisters aren't in there using it to clean the tiles above the tub or wash their Barbie's hair.
The problem with only having one kid in the tub is that the other two are out there unsupervised. Well, partially unsupervised. The Little Lady was curled up on the couch with the iPad watching the Electric Company and the Lady was in my room trying on my heels and whatever lingerie she could find that is still stuffed in my bottom drawer, a sad reminder of what once was.
So, QT is in the tub, splashing, smiling at his reflection in the fixtures, throwing a wet football at me and generally enjoying his evening soak. The Little Lady is watching the Electric Company at a volume so loud in the other room that she might as well be standing next to me, and the Lady walks in the bathroom wearing some costume jewelry, a white, silky nightgown, and a pair of heels. In her hand is a gold claddagh ring and on her finger is a toe ring that I think I wore in 2002. We talk about the rings, she does some modeling poses and leaves the room. All is under control.
In the middle of rinsing off QT, I hear the Lady say that my ring holder fell. Now this is a Waterford ring stand, which has both my wedding ring and engagement ring on it. I tell her to put it back. She then informs me that the second drawer to my jewelry box is not closing. I can only assume that this is because she has tried to jam everything back in at once. I tell her to clean up and get ready for her bath.
I take QT out of the tub and attempt to lube this kid up with Aquaphor to offset the eczema. That is when I look over and see the Little Lady playing with a small ceramic heart that has come from my jewelery box. I start to get a little heated. Again, I tell them to start cleaning up because they both need a bath. Both Ladies go into my room and put on more heels. I attempt to wrangle on QT's pajamas over his cream covered body. It is a process that couldn't possibly take more time.
I finally put a pj'd QT on the floor and address the situation in my bedroom. My Waterford ring holder was teetering on top of an old college t-shirt and the edge of my dresser. I put it back in its rightful place when I realize that my engagement ring was no longer on it.
This is where things turn from heated to freak out. I start yelling. I am not proud of it, but WTF? it is my engagement ring. WHERE IS IT?
The Lady can't remember where the ring might have fallen, the Little Lady is still trying to put on three-inch boots, I am losing my mind.
In that moment, I should have stopped to take a breath. I should have realized that the ring had to be somewhere in the house, and that I would find it in either the top drawer or under the bed. I should have realized that the three kids standing before me, one in a negligee, one in undies and three-inch boots, and one so covered with skin ointment that his clothes were clinging to his body, were much better proof of the "love and fidelity" my husband and I committed to on that gorgeous June day than that ring.
Instead, I blew up. The kids scurried about and I lashed out at them over something that wasn't that big of a deal. Clearly, I had given the Lady permission to play with my stuff, ultimately the blame was on me.
The situation had escalated.
That is when I saw QT crawling on the floor out of my room. When I went to scoop him up, I realized that he was wearing my engagement ring on one of his fingers, while his hand was clasped around a dime and a wooden domino. I had to pry that ring off his finger and he wasn't happy about it. I returned everything to its sort of proper place and ordered the girls to the tub.
As I put QT in the living room to play with his trucks, I noticed the glint of gold peeking out from between the couch cushions. That gold claddagh ring the Lady had earlier had somehow made its way out to the couch. No one knew how this had happened.
GET IN THE TUB!
The Ladies doth protested. Both of the girls have had a few minor scrapes lately. They are very concerned about not putting these "injuries" in water. I am pretty sure a 4-day-old scab is going to be fine in the bath, but they insist that I do not get water on the afflicted area. This actually works out OK for me. Instead of filling the tub and having them play in it for entirely too long, the Ladies will stand in the tub and I will basically shower them off with a Mickey Mouse cup and a washcloth, careful the whole time not to get anything near or around whatever minor injury they used 14 Disney Fairy band-aids to help heal.
The process is fairly quick. Not quick enough though. When I finally got the Little Lady out of the tub and went back into the living room to check on QT, this is what I found.
That is QT clapping. Those are dirty dishes. When I found him he was holding a steak knife. He was certainly proud.
I will admit to letting out a bit of a roar before I removed anything dangerous and took a photo, but I tried to reign it in and remember that they are just kids. They don't care about schedules or getting the lunches packed in time. They just want to play and imagine and have fun and they want to do those things with a mother who isn't crazy. Since they are stuck with me, there might still be a few moments where I lose my mind, but I am making an effort to make sure those times are reserved for moments that warrant it, like when not yelling might mean a trip to the emergency room because someone thinks the changing table is a diving board and their bed is an Olympic pool.