"Henry, PLEASE stop doing that. You're making me angry!"
I could see his little lip begin to quiver as I had just shouted those words at him. His blue eyes turned glassy and I knew another round of tears was coming. It had been one of those days and the continuous meltdowns had me more frustrated than I knew how to deal with.
"Mommy, don't say that! You made me sad!"
He shouted right back at me before the tears spilled down his rosy cheeks. We had been warring with each other all evening. We were both exhausted from the battle, ready to wave the white flag and start again fresh in the morning. I grabbed his hand and we walked inside to get ready for bed.
We laid in the darkness of bedtime, having told stories and read books. He rolled over to face me, put his hand on my chest and said "I'm sorry I was bad today, Mommy". I gathered him up as close as I could and kissed the top of his head. "It's okay buddy, we'll try again tomorrow."
The weekend started as any other, maybe even more promising. He had slept in until nearly 9 am and was in a great mood for most of the day. At Applebees as we sat down to eat with good friends, he even ate all his dinner and (mostly) did as he was told.
But it was the Balloon Quest that seemed to do him in. The waiting was too much for his three year old personality. He didn't understand why it wasn't always his turn, his turn, his turn to get on the rides. And when he was turned away from the carousel of motorcycles not once, but twice within two minutes because other kids had stolen the one he was promised, the end of the evening drew closer and closer.
There were meltdowns after meltdowns. The tears were like a volcano with no end of their spillage in sight. The threatening and the stern glances weren't enough to persuade him to stop. So eventually we left and headed for bed.
Life with a three year old isn't supposed to be easy, and I know that. But there are times where it feels downright impossible. Since getting pregnant with our second baby, my patience seems to be worn thin. Whether from sheer exhaustion of raising a family while building a human, or from the constant go-go-go-ness of life, I'm not sure. But I've been short with him. I've let his meltdowns get to me more than they used to. I've lost my temper more times that I'd care to count.
And this weekend motherhood felt especially hard. With Brandon gone Saturday into Sunday, I had no backup and what should've been a great weekend of mother-son time quickly turned into a weekend I'd like to forget.
Motherhood is hard and the Instagram posts that tell you otherwise don't show you the whole picture. Even the photos (like the one featured here) that I shared on Facebook didn't capture the sheer desperation of the day. I don't take photos of his meltdowns because when we're in them, we're both just trying to make it to the other side. But if I did, you'd see a toddler trying to understand his perceived injustices, and you'd see a mother at the end of her rope, desperately grabbing for a lifeline. And those two things would just about sum up motherhood. Taking one step at a time, trying to see our way to the other side.