There is a moment in Bill Cosby’s “Himself” where he describes the utter chaos following the dinner hour. As his narrative description grows to a feverous pitch, Cosby rises to his feet, swings his arm into the air to mimic the stance of his wife and bellows, “My wife grabs a yard stick... holds it like a samurai warrior... and announces that the beatings will now begin... by saying, ‘I HAVE HAD ... ENOUGH … OF... THIS!’”
I’ve had a lot of Cosby-esque moments these days.
Not that I beat my kids … I am a fully committed (or is it should-be-committed?), twenty-first century mom who believes in “two acceptable choices,” “time-outs” and “circumstance-appropriate consequences”.
That said, the samurai warrior has surfaced a lot lately.
In the midst of my 18-month and three-year old sons battling over blocks, screaming as they chase each other through the house, abusing my blinds and curtains and behaving like monkeys let loose from the zoo, I find my volume rising and my temper at the ready as I yell, "Would you KNOCK it OFF!"
It seems like overnight I went from calmly repeating my instructions and enforcing discipline to a state of chaos where I am constantly “chasing” the most recent culprit only to find that in my absence the other has wrecked havoc on some unsuspecting part of my home.
And getting out of the door is the worst.
I chase my 18-month-old down and begin wrestling him to the floor to put his shoes on only to have my three-year old shouting in my ear, “Mommy, Mommy, MOMMMMIEEEE! I can’t get my shoes on,” in full-on, dramatic whine.
I break to help the three-year-old loosen his Velcro, only to have the 18-month-old squeeze from my grasp and dash into the kitchen giggling, one shoe on, shoelaces dragging behind.
Then there is the chase, the dragging back, the desperate plea to the three-year-old to try his best that “Mommy will help you as soon as Nicolas has his shoes on.” The yank to the necklace, foot to the face and wrenching backache as Nicolas twists and squirms to free himself from my grasp and I desperately try to tie his shoes while his feet are flailing in all directions.
There is nothing gentle about the way I stuff him into his coat.
Then back to Lucas, who is now in tears from frustration. The half-hearted attempt to soothe and short-tempered “Use you big boy voice and just TELL me what you WANT!”
By the end, I wish to go nowhere but a dark, quiet room by myself.
Which leaves me wondering … what happens in five all-too-short months, when we will have THREE?
And what in the world was I thinking?
This parenting thing is, most certainly, the truest test of our willpower and sanity. Many days, I have had enough.
But every morning, I pick myself up and embark on another crazy, wonderful day.
Despite the insanity and chaos, I wouldn't miss this for the world.