...and so it was. Saturday, not so good, lots of yelling and swearing - mostly me. I'm assured by many people that other people shout at their kids, but somehow I don't believe them. I am convinced that I must be worse, that no one is quite as bad as me, that somehow all other mothers are calm by comparison, and only ever get mildly annoyed. Completely irrational but somehow stuck in my deepest darkest psyche - a dinosaur that my logical mind can't seem to rationalise with. Which probably doesn't help me keep a calm demeanor when being wound up sky high by a 5 year old.
Just seems that some days, whatever I do, DS1 does not stop whinging, complaining, refusing to do anything he's asked (even if its something he's previously enjoyed), and - my particular pet hate - doing the exact opposite of what I've asked him to do. This continues until he has reached what I can only assume is his goal, of getting mummy to the point of spitting blood. Saturday was one such day. So, by the time we made it to that afternoon's birthday party I was beside myself with rage at him, having threatened everything except not going to the party as punishment. I needed that party. I needed 2 hours of him being occupied by other children and me having sane adults to speak to. The birthday party delivered - thank god - DS1 got to play with all his friends in the great outdoors, DS2 pottered around and ate a lot of dirt and I got to have civilised adult conversation with the other school mums - everybody happy. This meant however, having had a couple of hours to get a little perspective - which had been sadly lacking that morning after the 3 hours sleep the night before due to DS2s night time antics - I had a complete attack of guilt at my over reaction to the situation and so made a big apology to DS1 and vowed to do better the next day.
And so today was much better - managed to get reasonably rather than unreasonably angry when DS1 carried on in his usual way, and so felt much better by the end of the day (and the second party of the weekend - he has so much more of a social life than me). DS1 also made an effort to be less whingy and a bit more helpful. I am not all that confident that that will continue into the school week, but hey, cross everything for me and we might just manage it... wish me luck!
Edit: Having posted this last night, it occured to me that in the midst of all this madness I also managed to put up a fence, get the mother of all blisters from wielding the sledge hammer to do so, clear out my underwear drawer, pick blackberries, apples and cucumbers from the garden, teach DS1 to play the recorder and basic music theory and do the usual several loads of washing - perhaps I'm not such a terrible mother after all!