As we’re getting ready to go, the normalcy of everything is striking. To include the urge to publicly pull a Kate and spank my kid. Surely not, you must think. What kind of parent is leaving for another five months to a combat zone loses her patience within the last twenty four hours of getting ready to go?

Me.

Initially, the girls were being fine. Just laughing and having a good time. But then the touching and the grabbing and the I wants kept going and going and going. They were like two little energizer bunnies and it stopped being funny after we sat in Dick’s Sporting Goods waiting for Daddy to pick out some fishing equipment (this takes longer than me in Saks on any day of the week, trust me on this one).

When they refused to stand still any longer, I was that crazy mom carrying one kid out of Sears under my arm and pulling the other one behind him.

They say kids acting out prior to parents deploying is normal. I’ve heard from other spouses that in the days before a deployment, the sniping and the bickering get to the point where both are relieved when the plane finally lifts off. The kids have both done something similar today and while at the moment, I would have been glad to get on a plane, that feeling only lasted about a second before the guilt started.

I told my husband that I felt bad for losing my patience with the kids. He said he understood but that it was more important for him to have fun before he left than to make them behave. Maybe he’s on to something. Maybe he’s not. But either way it goes, one of my precious fifteen days was spent arguing with my kids. I can’t get this day back but tonight at bedtime, I talked to my girls and asked that we try to make tomorrow as good as possible before we left.

So we’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck.