Motherhood is hard
Day 6 of my husband being out of town. Me at home with all 3 kids, alone. During the summer so no “breaks” for school. 2 1/2 or so more days to go before Daddy gets home. I’ve been trying to keep them busy – we’ve gone to the park, had a picnic, taken a trip to Target. It’s been rough!
On this particular day, we went over to our local cloth diaper/toy store, chose & paid for a few items, then headed next door to have lunch. This place is in a very old building. Near where we were sitting this visit, my 5 year old noticed a door.
My son asked where the door went, and I eyeballed the space & said it was most likely a small storage area. In hindsight (which is 20/20), I should have asked an employee. Do you see where this is going? Yep, he waited until I had my back turned and my hands full, then unhooked the lock and leapt back from the door.
It swung open, and revealed an ancient, narrow, steep staircase to the cellar. Mind you that I also had my extremely energetic two year old with us, so I had to try to put the things I was holding down, then lunge back towards the door to yank it closed before one or more of my kids tumbled down through the doorway.
After sloshing drink on the floor, I grab the doorknob to close the door and…the doorknob came right off in my hand. I was totally not expecting that, and it bounced to the floor. So I grab the doorknob, shove it back in and try to close the door. It was held closed by a very tight, bent hook & eye closure, which (naturally) I couldn’t for the life of me get closed. (Yes, I was able to laugh about this later.)
At this point I am utterly mortified and was muttering to my son that he absolutely is not to touch things that don’t belong to him, why did he do that, do they do these things solely to ruin my day? Thankfully, an employee came and rescued me, got the door locked, and tried to make me not feel like quite as much of a jerk.
Kids are kids and kids are curious. Especially this little guy. He doesn’t do things to be malicious, he is just insatiably curious. I told him later that if he was really curious, we could have asked, but that it wasn’t OK for him to open the door like that.
I’m ashamed that I allowed myself to be so embarrassed & flustered by this, and that I didn’t respond the way I should have. I’m still really not sure if I should have somehow “punished” him for this (he is great at trying to hide things, so he won’t get in trouble – likely he jumped back hoping I’d think it just opened itself, or that he could peek without me seeing.)
I’m really bothered that I feel like I’m worried as much about what others think of my parenting skills, as I am of actually properly parenting my kids. I should have just calmly told my son that I know he was curious about what was behind the door, but that it wasn’t OK for him to open it. I panicked when I realized how easily someone might fall down the steps while I tried to put things down that I was holding, and when I yanked out the doorknob, then couldn’t get the door closed I panicked some more. I hate looking like my kids are uncontrollable hoodlums and I hate looking like I can’t handle their misbehavior. If I could just never take more than 1 child at a time anywhere myself, I’d be thrilled, ha.
Motherhood is hard. I could really use a glass of wine. If only liquor stores delivered.