Anders had not been listening very well and we told him that he just needed to sit quietly. After a few minutes he said, "I got it. Jesus wants me to be good to my family!" Then Bram said, "Jesus wants you to be nice to me." How do you stay upset when your kids say cute stuff like that? You can't.
Bram got peanut butter up my nose.
Bram gagged on his icecream because he ate too much, and then threw-up a little into my hand. Delightful.
So a friend sent me a link to 39 Tantrums with accompanying pictures. They were hilarious. I realized that most tantrums from my kids were driving me crazy and I was getting too impatient in the moment with them. So now, every time a tantrum starts, I try to grab something to take a picture and write why they are tantruming. I have to admit it is extremely therapeutic for me and I can now step away from it and inwardly laugh at the ridiculousness of the majority of my kids tantrums.
Today, I remembered why I don't like to bargain shop. Mostly it comes down to needing more brain power than I can muster with three little ones.
So it started off fine. We made it to the mall without any hiccups. It was raining lightly, which was annoying, but not a hindrance.
We walked into the first store and they have a ton of things to keep kids busy while you shop. I was looking on the clearance racks for deals when Anders comes running up to me to tell me he has to pee. (I make him go to the bathroom before we leave to go anywhere!). I ask him to hold it while I finish looking. He goes back to being crazy with his brother, where they are running all over the store screaming.
Side note: so to bargain shop and look for deals, you have to really focus, which means you can't focus as well on your children if they happen to be with you.
I am trying to hurry and keep track of them. They refuse to listen. Anders comes up to me again and I tell him to go ask the lady at the register if they have a bathroom. He runs away and comes back clutching his crotch and with a very pained expression insists he has to pee. I run him into a mother's nursing lounge. (What a joke! A lounge for nursing but no bathroom!) Just as I pull his pants down he starts peeing all over the floor, his clothes, my hands, the stool I am sitting on, the footrest of he rocking chair. He couldn't stop it, poor guy.
I am sitting there, hands covered in pee, trying to figure out what to do and not cry. I really wanted to cry and told Anders as much.
I leave him there as I run out to find clearance clothes to buy for him to wear right then. I changed him, cleaned up the floor and everything else with a bunch of wipes, and then got out of that dang store as fast as I could. I have learned my lesson about what happens when I push Anders to wait for too long.
Bram was watching cars and playing at the closest kid station to the nursing lounge through it all,
And through it all, Astrid was a peach. She just hangs out and observes and lets me handle whatever needs to be handled without demanding more from me than I can give her. She is such a remarkable baby.
Anders' best friend, Samuel, was signed up for swim lessons. I knew Anders needed them too, and I knew I couldn't teach him with our current family dynamic, and so I signed him up.
Thirty minutes a day, five days a week for two-and-a-half weeks. Crazy, absolutely! I was optimistic though.
That was until day one. The entire morning Bram and Anders had been overly aggressive with each other to the point that Anders had to spend over an hour on his bed in time-out. As we loaded the car to leave, the boys took off down our alleyway to play with puddles at the front of our apartment building. They NEVER take off like that. I finally got them into the car, and then a few blocks away from home, Anders yells, "Mom! You need to stop at someone's house. I really need to pee right now!" I was still so upset from the morning and the kids behavior I told him he would have to hold it.
We got to the pool, and the nearest bathroom was too far away to make a trip back to the car for everything before Anders' swim lesson started. I had to load up the wagon, corral Bram and get him to hussle, while carrying Astrid and pulling the wagon. All the while Anders is jumping up and down, screaming that he has to pee.
We made it to the bathroom in time for Anders to pee himself a little bit before making it to the toilet. During the swim lesson, he had to pee two more times. Of course, mine is the one kid that doesn't actually pee in the pool. He had to wear Bram's swim trunks for the rest of the activities we had planned for that afternoon.
Day two gets better. And by better, I mean so much worse. We decided to get to the pool/park early to avoid a repeat of the morning before. We were there an hour before Anders' swim lesson started. I had just settled on a bench and the moment Astrid began nursing (the boys were playing on the playground structure), Anders comes running up to me in a panic and says, "Mom! I gotta poop!" I told him I needed him to wait until I finished nursing his sister. He whines, "Mom! It's starting!" I had no choice but to jump up, while still nursing, and get moving with all three kids and the wagon to the bathroom that was a football field away. We made it to the bathroom, in time, this time.
Anders goes into the stall by himself and before I can stop him, his shoes are off and his swim trunks are on the very gross floor. When he finished his business, I was ready to help him wipe up, to find there was no toilet paper. I am lugging Astrid in my arms and trying to keep Bram from touching anything. We find toilet paper in the stall next door and I help Anders wipe up. He jumps off the toilet to crouch down to get his swim trunks back on. I flush the toilet and it doesn't work. I flush a second time and it overflows with such power and speed, Anders gets flooded poopy toilet water all over his back. It floods into his shoes that are on the floor, and it floods all over my feet/shoes. We couldn't get away from it because the stall door opened inwards and would have pushed us even closer to the exploding water. It was awful in the most hilarious way possible.
After day two, I knew I was crazy for thinking I could do swim lessons with three kids under four. I was stressed about how the next eleven days would be. It was impossible for it to get worse after experiencing the worst the second day. And I am happy to report that we did it, and we did it with flying colors. It became the norm for us by day five and now I am a little sad we are done.
It also helped me build the confidence in my abilities as a mother to push me to take the kids to the zoo, by myself. We met up with friends there, so I wasn't completely helpless, but before swim lessons. I don't think I would have been brave enough to attempt it. So swim lessons taught me and Anders some great life lessons as well.
When I was young, my parent tell me that I used to sleep walk and use the 'bathroom' in the night. My sleeping brain would get me out of bed, I would walk someplace and then go to the bathroom (a drawer, plant pot, etc.).
Last night, Astrid was having a hard time so I sat up for a while with her on the couch until her digestion calmed and she fell asleep. I headed for bed and within a minute, I hear feet out of bed... I wait and I don't hear the bathroom door open so I think to myself that I should check to see what is going on in case it is Bram...
I see a silhouette down the hall by the bathroom door that is against a toy car the kids have (the kind they can sit in and use their feet to move around). I walk over to see Anders with his pants down peeing into the car through the side windows. Then he pulls up his pants, raises and rubs his hands (like he is washing them) and then walks back to bed... Thought I was going to laugh so loud that I would wake the family. All I could think was... Grandpa, don't worry, it came back to me! And FYI, I laughed the entire time I cleaned it up.