I don't know what started it- school was fine, the boys weren't acting any naughtier than usual, but all of a sudden I found myself in the kitchen barking orders and saying things like, "I can't keep this whole place clean by myself" and huffing to put groceries away like I was in an infomercial. Poor M was with me and got quite the earful.
I hate when I catch myself right in the middle of acting like a jerk. Because all the jerk feelings are still in effect and I want to ride them out and keep being mean to everyone, but the sensible side of my brain knows I'm being an idiot and I can't even enjoy it.
I finished straightening up and decided to patch things up with M. I was still feeling grumpy, but frankly you can only allow yourself so many minutes of meanness before you start getting sick of yourself. We sat down together and folded a newspaper ship.
L saw and raced over and of course he wanted a ship, too. The jerk inside of me wasn't giving up without a fight. I let out a long exhale before telling him to go and grab a piece of newspaper. From the other room, L called out, "I can't find any newspaper, we only have old paper." And just like that the jerk was gone. Just gone. I laughed and laughed, and I was back.
I made him a ship and we took them out to sail on our neighborhood pond.
I don't have a clever ending planned. Sometimes you screw up and act like a jerk. But it doesn't last forever.