A Parenting Low - January 7, 2006

It happened yesterday and I am still dealing with the Mommy guilt. I have been listening to my friend tell me that her son has been painting lately (our boys are 3 days apart). I started feeling bad that my son hasn’t been able to do this because I spend every waking moment holding his sister, Banshee Girl. So I was feeling optismistic yesterday morning (just like every morning) and decided it would be a good time to pull out the paints.
I put the Banshee Girl down, she starts screaming, pull out a wood door hanger from my supplies, pull the paints out of the back of a dresser drawer, find a sponge brush in the back a kitchen drawer. Pull a table cloth out of the kitchen cabinet, get out a step stool so that I can remove the white bottom dining room chair to save it from paint smear.
The girl is still screaming, the boy refuses to get onto the step stool screams and throws the wood door hanger. I say, “do you want to paint?” He says,”OK!” I tell him that he needs to sit on the stool. He climbs into it while I get out cups for the paint. I put two colors in two cups and hand him the brush.
I put the brush in paint and put it to the wood hanger. “See Jesse? Paint!” He takes the brush and puts it in the paint, puts it to the wood and paints. Yeah! Cool, I walk to pick up the screaming, now snotty girl and just as I do…Jesse puts the paint soaked brush to his face and says, “Hello?” “No! It’s not a phone.” I scream.
Why I got so crazy is beyond me, it was washable paint! Could have been the screaming for 20 minute Banshee Girl, could have been the 25 minutes that it took to set up the painting area, could have been the position of the moon, the point is this, this was normal Jesse exploration. He has never painted and he was pretending. As I screamed “No!” Jesse throws the paint soaked brush minus the clearing from his cheek across the room and where does it land? On the white chair and falls to the carpet!!!! He is screaming, the girl is screaming, my throat hurts from the ititial “No” I turn and slap him with three fingers on his cheek! Gasp!!! Holy crap!
The girl hasn’t stopped screaming, the boy is now screaming as he heads to my kitchen where he proceeds to slam his hands into my refrigerator. Paint all over! I am cleaning the chair, working my way to the rug and as I walk over to clean the refrigerator he is standing there, mouth open, blood curdling scream coming from his mouth and now the arms open wide as he puts them around my neck for a hug. I am in no mood for a hug and still really pissed at this point.
The girl is still in the first act of her Opera. My head is ready to explode and that is when my son says in the most heart wrenching little voice, “Mommy.” Like the Grinch, my heart grows a whole 10 sizes bigger and I put my arms around him and we cry together. He just wanted to know I still loved him and I am cleaning!!! I carry him to the counter, arms around each other (Banshee still screaming), I tell him, I am sorry, you can’t throw things when you are mad and Mommy shouldn’t ever hit you.
I wash the paint off his hands, fingers, cheek, shirt and my hands. I carry him over to the floor where Banshee Girl is and hug the both of them. She quiets down finally and Jesse asks for Blue’s Clues. He is over it but it will take me a week to be over this if ever. I could have handled this whole thing in a better way. I could have waited for my husband to be around so that I could have given Jesse my whole attention while the husband held Banshee Girl. I could have laughed when he put the brush to his face. Now his first experience of painting will be ugly. Thank God he is too young to remember this incident in the coming years. I will be putting painting off for a few months.
BTW..the whole time I typed this, Banshee Girl was what??? That’s right screaming!!!

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