Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Dynamic Duo strikes again.

Parenting has it's ups and downs. Sometimes, the downs last for days, or even weeks before the sun peeks through the clouds again. And sometimes, the good lasts a long time too, and you wonder why you ever thought this job was so hard. Today has been a hard day for me. My charming and loveable Dynamic Duo have been hard at work, driving their mother crazy. I make light of it, but in truth, some days are hard to bear. Today feels like one of them. I almost feel nauseated, but don't worry, there is no underlying cause for that symptom. It's just exhaustion.

I had to make an important work-related phone call this morning. I will not be getting into the details in here, but it has to do with my "old job", which I am still tied to, even though I am on a leave of absence. Well, the phone call lasted longer than I expected. First, I was on hold for a long time before I got to talk to anyone. During that time, I had to repeatedly remind my boys to be quiet. Fortunately, I eventually got them kicked outside. But the call, as I said, was a long one, so before it was up they were back in the house again. They went to their room and shut the door, which is always a bad sign. But I had to talk with my employer, so I was thankful for the silence, no matter what kind of consequences it would bring.

Here's the thing. My boys really are adorable. All three of them. And I know their shenanigans are a source of entertainment for many people...namely, everybody but me. (And Mike, though he sometimes does laugh even in the moment when I want to cry.) But sometimes it is just plain exhausting trying to deal with the stunts they pull. Let me give you an example.

Remember a year ago when we redesigned their whole room and turned it into a fabulous Winnipeg Jets room? If you don't remember, let me show you. In fact, how about a series of before and after shots?

First, the bunk bed, handmade by Mike. Here it is before:
And now after:

(Notice the writing on the headboard above.)

(Even the ladder has writing, which is also engraved into the wood.)

And now another before shot, the room freshly finished, before the boys moved in:

And after:

(Take note of the changes. 1 - there are no curtains anymore. The boys destroyed the curtain rod, and ripped the little hooks out of the wall where the ties went to hold the curtains back. 2 - The bottom frame of the window is missing. And 3 - the obvious mess, something we have fought tooth and nail to prevent. FAIL.)

And another before shot:
(Okay, it's mostly just mess here. But if you zoom in on this photo, you can see the pen marks on the wall just left of the ladder. You may also notice the sheets on the single bed. They are badly stained, mainly by chocolate. Did I mention there was a no food rule in this room? There was also a no toy rule.  See how that panned out? And we were strict too.)

Here's another before shot. This was before the dresser was built, but it does show one significant thing. The closet. Notice how it was framed. 

And now:

(Can you tell in this picture that the frame is missing on that right side of the closet door? And that's nothing. Not that long ago, the entire door had been ripped off. I am not exaggerating.)

One more before shot. This is the dresser Mike built to go with the bunk beds he made. I was very proud of him, and absolutely loved this dresser. I think he did a fantastic job. Here it is when he first built it, about one year ago:

And today:

Okay, so it's covered with stickers. No big deal. I personally find it quite ugly, but whatever. Stickers can be removed, even if they are sometimes difficult. But perhaps you can also see the pen marks all over the drawers. Those are deep marks, which means even if we could get the ink out of the wood, (which we can't), the grooves are permanent. But, that was not good enough for the Dynamic Duo. Here is what my five year old did today, while I was on the phone with my employer:

Yes, those deep grooves are actually saw marks. He - or they, stole Mike's multitool and used the saw blade to saw multiple cuts into the wood. The marks go all the way across the top of the dresser. Like this:

In addition to the dresser, they also stole a power tool today, after specifically promising not to touch Mike's tools ever again, and particularly today. They took a drill and drilled it into the sand outside. Last week they ruined a power tool the same way, and Mike's paintball gun. Full of sand. 

This is why I am exhausted. And why Mike is exhausted. And why sometimes I feel like a bit of a loser as a parent. I mean, seriously, how can this kind of thing happen? And tomorrow I have to call my employer again. Twice. The only thing that ever keeps my boys out of trouble is TV, and I am NOT okay with just letting them watch TV all the time. In fact, I'm not even okay with teaching them that the TV is Mommy's only way of having any kind of control over them. So what the heck is wrong with me? Why do my boys do this kind of crap? (Excuse my language, but really, I have had it.) I just truly do not understand. I used to think this was just a "boy thing", but my sister has three boys and they don't do this kind of stuff. Which makes me think it is somehow my fault. And at the very least, my fault that no matter the consequences, they just keep doing it over and over again. And that is why I am a bit discouraged lately. I hope it's okay to share that in here. I love sharing funny stories, but I also like to share the realities of motherhood/parenting, and the fact is, it is downright hard. Maybe as they get older, this kind of behaviour will diminish a little. I hope so. As funny and cute as they are, it sometimes feels like we are taking a huge wad of cold, hard cash, pouring gasoline over it, and lighting a match. I guess all I can do tonight is hope for a better day tomorrow. Goodnight, everyone.

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