Sometimes, EK drives me up the wall.
She shouts. She often shouts things I’ve heard myself say. I try really hard not to shout or yell or holler or whatever at my kids, but sometimes the words I use in a speaking voice that probably are the same as yelling. Sometimes, she’s whiny and tantrum-y and needy and clingy and attached to Daddy even when I’m the only one around, and it’s hard. It can be so hard. Especially when there’s another little one who is also clingy and needy and whiny, it’s really hard. It wears on me. And let’s not pretend that my pregnancy hormones aren’t making it worse, because they are. “She of little patience” has become “Monster with no patience at all”.
Today, we had a hectic morning. I was trying to get the kids and me (with our laundry) out the door so that sick Hubby could rest without screeching (the happy or the sad kind) and bumping and whatever other kid-related noise. While I was doing the normal stuff to get them ready to go, something happened. For the first time, EK hit me. I was totally baffled. I didn’t even punish her. I couldn’t figure out why or what started it. I’d been doing what I normally do in the morning – fixing breakfasts, getting everyone dressed, finding shoes and coats, convincing them to help me get them ready to go, etc. I leaned down to pick something up off the floor (I can’t remember what, now) and while I was leaning over, she swiped at me, right on the side of my head.
It didn’t hurt. She’s just a little girl, so obviously I wasn’t hurt. But my feelings were. I’ve never clocked her on the side of the head (duh) so why would she think to do that to me? She didn’t seem particularly upset in that moment, and I didn’t even say much besides, “Why did you just hit me? Should you sit in time out?” I didn’t know how to respond, really. I just went on with getting us ready and out the door, and remembered it only a few minutes ago.
It was a terrible morning, really. We were all on edge from the moment we woke up. It might have to do with the fact that I woke up on the couch, EK woke up too early, and J woke up too late. It might have to do with the fact that I rushed them immediately out the door. It might be that I wouldn’t let them go see Daddy because I didn’t want them to get sick. It might be a hundred other things. But we were all in a crappy mood, and it just compounded when we were all doing it together.
But after we had spent a morning having breakfast with friends in our favorite little bakery (Tart Sweets – their cinnamon rolls were divine), had a few minutes of play time at home, picking up lunch from Cookout and eating at while we shopped at Babies R Us (it was a weird day, okay?) the kids were in great spirits and are now down in the second hour of their naps. A DOUBLE NAP! I’ve already prepped dinner! It’s wonderful MADNESS, I tell you! Hubby is a little weak, but still peacefully sleeping as he’s been doing all day, the kids and I had a tickle fight on EK’s bed before they napped, and I thankfully got a shower. See, my day could be redeemed. But I won’t pretend that as I packed them in the car, both crying, to go to breakfast, I wasn’t crying along with them, saying, “Jesus, take the freaking wheel.”
After a freezing cold week of being semi-iced-in, cancelled preschool and church activities, and random bouts of sickness, we needed a day out on the town, visiting friends and being productive. We needed to be worn out in a good way. We needed a day away from the TV. The kids are tired of spending all their time in one room (they’re used to roaming between upstairs and downstairs), the half of their toys that aren’t packed, and the fact that we’ve resorted to watching too much TV (even if it’s movies). It’s terrible. I’ve felt cooped up and so do they. We are ready for spring, for the renovations to be done, and for life to return to its regularly scheduled programming. Right now, in our lives, the struggle is real. But thank you Jesus for the reminder that my day, the kids’ day, our lives in general, can be redeemed.