Some people would say that the cost of silence is free. Those people are not mothers. There is always a cost. Like when your toddler is having a full on tantrum during the 2nd hour of a 14 hour trip so you give him the remaining ½ of a chocolate bar knowing full well that it will leave the worst mess on him, the car seat, the car, etc. but your sanity and that of your husbands is well worth the mess. Or maybe you plopped junior in front of the TV because you needed to do the laundry and now, thanks to a crazy yellow sponge he frequently calls things stupid. Thus that load of laundry has now cost you a weeks’ worth of aggravation (and perhaps a side of mommy guilt because YOU plopped him in front of the TV to be babysat for 10 minutes) trying to correct what he learned. Or perhaps you just wanted to sleep for ten more minutes on Saturday morning so you let the kids make their own breakfast and the cost for those ten minutes, 2 hours of cleaning, wiping down walls, windows, etc. But let’s be honest, most of the time it is worth it! However there are those occasional exceptions when the mommy currency has dire consequences. This was one of those times.
We had had a long day and my 3-1/2 year old was, well, acting like a 3-1/2 year old. Very independent, wanting to do everything for herself, and we were having a 2 steps forward and 3 steps back kind of a day. I was counting down the minutes till quiet time. We needed a break from each other. And sometimes she actually sleeps but often she just plays quietly in her room for ½ hour or so which is fine by me. As long as we each get a few minutes to ourselves before the big kids come home so we can greet them refreshed and with a ‘back to happy’ kind of an attitude. Finally, quiet time arrived. I placed her in her bed and turned on the quiet time music; pulled the shades, and quietly left her room…I might have been doing the happy dance on the way out. I then went about my mommy business.
I did some laundry, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, and swept up the breakfast and lunch crumbs. The entire time listening with one ear for her to holler down to me asking if she could get up but it never came. So I had assumed that she had actually fallen asleep. This was my first mistake, NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING! I totally should have run upstairs and peeked in on her. But I didn’t, nope, instead I basked in the glory and grabbed my book and started reading. Now, have you ever gotten into a great book that you just can’t put down? That was the kind of book I was reading and before I knew it a ½ hour had passed. It was time to pick up the big kids from school. So I ran upstairs to wake up our sleeping beauty.
As I approached the room I heard commotion, like she was rushing to hide under the covers. And then I opened the door and my mouth dropped! It was everywhere, the walls, sheets, pillows, fitted sheets, on her, and on her sister’s priced possession, the American Girl Doll. How was I ever going to live this one down? It was everywhere but where it should be, on paper!!! There was pen everywhere and what was worse, I didn’t have a moment to spare, I had to go pick up her big sister who was going to be furious at her and worst of all, ME! See, this is when that mommy currency has huge consequences and totally backfires.
So we picked up the older kiddos and they went up to their bedrooms to change into their play clothes. Oh, the high pitched little girl screams that were coming from that room, it was agonizing, dogs were barking in the next town over. And as her eyes met each of her little sister’s inked art (not to be confused with tattoos…there were no tattoos) she yelled her sisters name. And then she saw it, the American Girl Doll and it happened, she yelled, “MOM!!!” Sure, when it was just the walls, sheets, and pillows it was her sister’s fault but the doll, somehow that was my fault. I felt horrible. I instantly tried to fix my mistake; I sent out an SOS on Facebook and received many great suggestions on how to remove the ink but unfortunately nothing worked. So we will be sending her to the American Girl Hospital…which made me a bit nervous at first because the doll doesn’t have health insurance but I am pretty sure she is covered under the affordable care act.
Moral of the story, sometimes the price we pay for our mommy time is too high and not worth it and…(in a whisper) never leave a 3 -1/2 year old alone in a room with pens. Chances are you will have to frisk those little ones, they are so sneaky…I am thinking about installing a pen detector at the entrance of their bedroom. Haha!
UPDATE: (I always love updates on shows)
As of right now, as it stands, only mommy and daddy have pen privileges. Though I have to be honest, not a day has gone by when I pick up a pen and don’t recall this horrific incidence. Perhaps my pen privileges should be revoked, at least then I could sleep better at night. Haha!
Do tell, how have you spent your mommy currency? And was it worth it? Have you ever had a child display their artwork on the wall, furniture, etc.?