I have some sort of mean virus where my chest feels prickly when breathing and my throat feels needley when swallowing or talking and the whole rest of my head feels achy and squished and too full. I wanted to lay on the couch and watch back-to-back episodes of Mad Men all day. Alas, those days are non-existent in parentworld.
Isaac has the same mean virus, and his coping mechanism is to spread the meanness to all who encounter him, by means of hitting and not listening and making messes that he is too tired to clean up and waking up at 5:15am.
Eden is not sick but had an accidental up-chuck this morning which necessitated a stay away from small children day. No gym, no playgroup, no preschool…no typical Monday routine.
This, as you may know, is a recipe for disaster.
In my morning fog of not enough coffee and too much time letting the interwebs warm my face, my children spread small things all over the house. When I said to Isaac that I didn’t understand why they liked to play this way, he said, “Becud dat wat little babies and kids and boys do.” When I asked why little babies and kids and boys do not like to put back all the small pieces where they belong, he replied, “Becud dey too tired.”
One of my favorite lines from Sleepless in Seattle is when Tom Hanks’ character has the Annoying Laugh Lady over for dinner with his son after he’s gotten back in the saddle again. His son does not like her and is alternately rude to her face, cloyingly sweet, and making faces at her behind her back. Tom Hanks’ character says, “You’ll have to excuse him. He’s 8.” Annoying Laugh Lady says, “He’s good at it.”
Isaac is 2 ½. He’s very, very good at it.
We regrouped and ran some errands which necessitated long drives. This is sometimes my Plan B strategy, because I can listen to music that I like and the kids are contained enough that they can’t fight very well and at the very least, can’t make messes.
Except that we listened to a Finding Nemo book on cd that barely makes sense...a 20 minute long version of a 2 hour movie, where they spliced together some of the key scenes, left some key scenes out, and changed the storyline in bizarre ways to cover the gaps, all with a horrible narrator throughout. We listened to it 3 times.
And except that in a moment of sheer genius, I made banana smoothies to take with us so they would be occupied and full. I forgot that Isaac loves to pour drinks out of a straw, paint with them, and basically do everything but drink them. We made an unscheduled stop so I could rescue his carseat from the onslaught.
And except that while they weren’t fighting, they were entirely slap happy and shrieking, laughing, kicking seats, and generally having a grand old time at the expense of my head and ears and focus on driving. I don’t know how many times I yelled in my screechy voice, “TOO LOUD!!!” Because sometimes I literally have to yell to be heard. I’m sure that my yelling at their yelling was very confusing to them, so they just kept yelling.
So back home to sunshine and mud outside, and then mud inside. And endless talk of poop and pee, because that is just what’s hilarious these days. And a brief visit with Daddy before he went back to work this evening (did I mention Mondays are his long days? The hits just keep on coming…).
In a stellar parenting moment I bribed them to clean up at least two rooms of the house tonight. I offered a “reward” for 7 minutes of full on cleaning. Then I decided the reward would be marshmallows, because that seemed logical before bedtime. Everyone cleaned, they ate marshmallows, and we had a relatively peaceful bedtime, due to my ongoing self-talk (“don’t say anything, don’t say anything, don’t say anything…if you don’t have anything helpful to say, just keep your mouth shut”). I did tell Isaac that my patience was all used up and because there was none left he had to lay down and go to sleep quickly. He didn’t seem to understand what I was saying.
And now two beautiful, healthy, lovable kids lay asleep in their beds. And I’m leaving the kitchen full of dirty dishes and am going to lay on the couch and watch something and drink hot tea.