Likewise, we can read between the lines of a hyper toddler's antics. The stomping feet and the crashing toys, prove that this child needs a nap, ASAP.
And it doesn't take long for a good mama to know that an angry big kid whose brain no longer seems to wield rational control of her mouth or hands, or who sits in sullen silence, refusing to talk, needs some help.
But that same awesome mama can let her own sanity be pushed a schmidgen too far. She will endure the emotional onslaught for an hour too long if she doesn't keep herself in check. And then, when Supermom turns into Hulk-mom, and her anger gets larger than life, she will regret every move she makes in the haze of I've-had-enough-this-ends-now. It may look a little like this:
We must self-regulate better. Here are 10 signs mama's about to lose it. If you've checked off even four on this list, it's probably time to put the babies in the car and drive to Sonic for happy hour, then tour your favorite neighborhoods with some mellow music lulling your kids to sleep. If you've hit seven or eight, call Grandma, your best friend, or turn on Frozen and lie down on the sofa and try to Let it Go.
10. You haven't showered in three days or more. Yes, Ma Ingalls only bathed once a week. However, we live in a highly developed nation and we no longer have to carry our bath water up from the creek. Skip one day if you like, and, if you invest in a good dry shampoo, skip a second day. But until soap manufacturers come up with a good "dry shower gel", three days without some self-care will take its toll on you.
9. You smile and eek out, "Sure, sweetie," through clenched teeth when a child asks for one.more.everloving.snack. The thing is, they don't only ask for snacks. They ask for toys. They ask you to read them 237 books. They ask to go to Disneyworld tomorrow. They as you to wipe their bottom. They ask you to wash their favorite cup (again). They ask to watch a movie. They ask to have a playdate. They ask... if they can ask you something. Let's just make a grammatic decree and uninvent the question mark, mmmkay?
8. The sight of spilled goldfish on your bed causes a volatile writhing within your soul. You have told them 17,000 times not to eat in you room. Plus, (in a feat of great productiveness and strength) you already changed the sheets this morning. Now either you have to sleep in crumbs, or get the dirty sheets washed an dried and reinstalled before bedtime. But first you will have to finish the other two loads that are already in the washer and dryer, and use every bit of willpower not to shout, "NO! FOOD! IN! MOMMY'S! BED!"
7. When planning a family dinner out, you can only remember the names of restaurants that have playgrounds. You used to know which restaurants were popular for the delicious food they offered, their beautiful view, or their gorgeous interior. Now you only know which ones have "Kids Eat Free" days, or where the waitstaff are able to get the food to the table before the baby decides a high chair is a torture device. Your soul needs a good meal and a view of the lake before Chick Fil A becomes your second dining room.
6. Sarcastic answers pop out in response to your children before you can stop them, and your one great solace is that the kids don't know what you mean by, "I don't know, really, what the fox says. Maybe, 'Leave Mommy alone?" The irony of this one is that the children who never normally remember what you say, will repeat these sarcastic comments to any and every available adult in the future.
5. You have eaten all your lunches and breakfasts this week standing at the kitchen sink or hunkered over the stove. Because crumbs. Because dishes. Because the minute you sit down, someone will spill something or need something or ask you something. So you much on your fancy PBJ or left-over mac and cheese from a distance because it's always something.