Thursday, February 4, 2016

Yesterday Was A No Good, Very Bad, Day

Yesterday was a no good, very bad, day.

Not just yesterday, the last two or three days, really. I'm not even sure why. I am sure I have not been a good Dad or person these last few days. Maybe I'm not sleeping well - though I think I am. Maybe I'm not happy - though I think I am. Maybe I'm stressed out - though I have no reason to be. Heck, January was the best month for this blog by nearly any measure.

The Robes broke up shortly after this show.
Our piano player was moody.
I've been short with the kids. Little things that really should roll off my shoulders have dug claws in me, edging me toward irritation. I've snapped. I've raised my voice. I've been very, very short. To the point my daughter has had to remind me to "take a deep breath, Daddy." A short aside: I'm so, so very proud of her for that. Because it really does defuse the situation; it really takes me out of the moment and allows me to reset. But when your 4-year-old daughter invokes such a reminder three times in a single day you know you are probably angering too quickly.

As you might have guessed by this point, showing too short a trigger with the kids is one of my Daddy Regrets. And as I've said previously: most of this is my fault.

Not just for me. As's Sarah Schultz points out, being slow to anger is a big, big deal. It can turn a bad situation into a good one, and save a really nice one from turning ugly. You see, Sarah was just about to yell at her kid about sneaking a cookie. It was only being slow to anger that allowed her to realize he was actually just packing a school snack she already approved. A nice moment to be proud of her kid saved from a potentially ugly situation.

Unfortunately, all too often I've gone right to ugly. Do not pass Go, do not collect anything but regret and angsty children.

One situation in particular: I was giving the kids a bath the other day, which when I tell you it is a task, it is a task. It requires me to sit in the bathroom pretty much the entire time one of the children is in the tub. For triplets, that is pretty much 7:15 to about 8:10, right up to bedtime. So I'm spending pretty much a full hour in there until its all said and done. And I've already left a piece of my soul in the other bathroom.

During this ordeal, my son asks if he can "type." I should explain that he loves typing on the computer. I initially told him no, because I would be in the bathroom for the next hour. You have to realize: when you are in the bathroom for an hour while two 4 year olds run around the house unsupervised pretty much anything can happen, as it sometimes does to kids as brainy and footsy as them.

You can leave the house completely intact and structurally sound, and when you escape your porcelain prison find it in a condemned state. And there is nothing you can do about it, except the equally distasteful option of risking a child drowning. Given the option of seeing your home become a condemned disaster zone and a child drowning you pick the disaster zone. Every time.

But I also don't want to create unnecessary conflict. And he loves typing so, so much. So I got the computer set up and ready to go. Did I tell him not to print anything? I thought I did. Regardless, he printed something. And not just any old something - he printed 61 pages. Something like 3 of them had any actual stuff on them. His name; the names of his brother and sister. But EVERY SINGLE ONE had a page number, so its not like I could reuse them.

It frustrated me. He saw it. He hadn't known what he was doing, of course. And he was sorry. I told him it was alright, just listen to Daddy next time. We don't want to waste paper. But the damage was done.

Not to the paper. We couldn't reuse it, but its paper. No; I had taken a beautiful, nice, fun thing my son loved and turned it ugly. How deep can a parent dig a hole before they can't climb out any more?

All because I was quick to anger. At least that was my fear.

If this was a one-time event it would be one thing. But it happens all too frequently. I'm not even sure what the answer is, except more awareness and deep breaths.


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  1. Sorry to hear about your rough days! I know it doesn't help but try to remember that we all (parents or not) have them. I too lack patience sometimes and I only have one four-year-old! You are doing an amazing job and your three little blessings love you for it. I hope the next few days don't suck quite as much for you, and good job blogging in January!

  2. Thanks for the comment. After those two tough days we had a string of good ones- which is the way it goes. I just wish I could help those bad ones not be so bad.

  3. I know what you mean. Just gotta push through though. I myself had a few terrible days two weeks ago for no reason whatsoever, and I feel so guilty when that happens, but I am not one of those people who can just snap out of it, and I guess you are not either. Cute pic, btw! Did I miss it before or did you just add it?

  4. Thanks. I added it after the post went up, so it probably wasn't there when you looked the first time.

    I get over things easily enough, but yeah, its hard for me to break out of the moment.

  5. Sorry to hear about your rough days. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  6. I can only say learn to forgive yourself for not being a perfect Dad or parent. And seek help because there is loads out there and then you will feel less isolated at least. Hope that helps a bit

  7. Thanks to both of you for stopping by. You post something like this, and then your kids go on a 5 day tear where they are just absolutely wonderful, you are getting rest, and you think "what the heck was wrong"?