But what does this mom do when she craves some serenity? I hide in the bathroom with the lights off.
It's the perfect place for some solitude, and the total darkness helps me block out the screeching coming from the other side of the door. Sometimes, sometimes, I can even ignore the banging on the door once the wee ones realize where I am.
Gabi: Mom? MOM! I know you're in there! Are you going potty? Because I have to pee and I'm too scared to go to the other bathroom and Mason is eating food off the floor and I can't get the TV to turn to the cartoon channel and ARE YOU POOPING? Because I don't care if you are, just open the door! MOM!
All good things must come to an end, so at this point I usually open the door and hope I have decompressed enough to be able to genuinely smile my way through the rest of the day.
I have discovered some other ways to get some quiet, if not alone, time. I can read half a magazine and catch up on what Charlie Sheen said on his latest tour stop if I do one or more of the following:
- Bust out the new Playdoh, don't say a word when kids move Playdoh to carpet
- Let kids empty kitchen cabinets
- Let kids play with kitchen stuff PLUS water
- Hand over purse for inspection
- Let kids paint clown faces with makeup found in purse
- Open up the back of the pick-up truck and throw up a few lawn chairs (bonus if you give the kids some yarn to wind through the hook holes)
- Dump out all bins of stuffed animals and dolls and then pay the kids to put them back
- Send naked kids outside to make mud pies using a hose and a sacrificial flower pot
- Give kids a book that's too damaged for repair, a Sharpie and a pair of scissors. Do NOT tell them they are allowed to write or cut up the book, as this ensures they will sit and do just that.
- Longer time outs (much much much longer time outs)
There's not much I haven't let the kids get away with in moments of desperation. The key is that they never know it was desperation that made me buckle. This way I'm The Cool Mom instead of The Pushover Mom.
And for those times when I'm not able to make it to the bathroom or handle massive destruction, there's nothing like an appletini cleverly disguised in a Sea World mug.