Yesterday Mommy put herself in timeout. This is not the first time and I'm willing to bet it will not be the last time I spend 3 minutes in timeout. Shortly before removing myself from the situation, I heard this shrill yelling, almost threatening, voice in my daughters room. There was a little 3 year old girl on the floor rolling around with her underwear. She was experiencing dressing amnesia. It is a sickness often seen in young children once dressing themselves has stopped being a novelty and turned into a routine expectation. It is particularly acute when parents are distracted by younger siblings or running late for an appointment.
After observing the 3 year old in her natural habitat. I continued looking for the source of the awful noise. There was no one else is the room. No one that is except me. I realized, as I shrilly threatened "Put your clothes on NOW or you WILL sit in timeout for THREE minutes", that I had yet again lost it. I was sounding ridiculous. I was giving into the frustration of parenting a toddler. She was winning this battle because I was standing there yelling. And worst of all? The grin on her face showed me that she knew it. I left the room to go sit in my room for a timeout.
Moments like that make me wonder if I made the wrong choice in my life. I don't always love being a parent. There are many sides to me and more than a couple of them see this whole parenting gig as not worth the effort. So many people talk about being in the moment and treasuring your kids. I constantly hear moms talk about how blessed they are and what a joy it is to stay home with their kids all the time. They don't want the time to end. They home school to keep the good times rolling. I wonder what I'm doing wrong.
There are also moms on the other side of the fence. And THANKFULLY some of them share their frustration. I need that more than the air I breath at times. Hearing that it isn't all rainbows and sunshine. During my 3 minute timeout I pray for strength to keep my temper and a little detachment to not take her rebellion quite so personally. As I cool off, I notice that my little 3 year old has recovered from her bout of amnesia and is now fully dressed. It's magical. She wonders where Mommy went. I determine my timeout is over.
I scoop her up and tell her I'm sorry for yelling. I also slip in a notice of how well she dressed herself. She tells she forgives me and she loves me. I hope she knows I love her too.