90% of the time, my day starts with the cries of a 17-month-old who needs his poopy diaper changed. 50% of the time, his cries wake his 4-year-old brother, who, if I don’t drag myself out of bed quick enough, will get himself into a similar situation of mess.
This is followed by the Potty Battle, which we engage in multiple times a day. (I rarely win these fights.) Shortly thereafter begins the whining because someone inevitably does not wish to eat his breakfast, or it’s the wrong kind of breakfast, or someone has been given the Spiderman spoon instead of the Incredibles spoon, or (and this was a new, rather unique, one) someone (Ethan) could see someone else’s (Oliver’s) toes, and refused to eat his cereal until I had put socks on them.
The rest of the day is more whining, more refusals. There are brotherly fights to break up, arguments over toys to settle. Someone gets a boo boo and someone else can’t find his favorite toy (the same one he has not played with in months but yet for some reason suddenly finds himself in desperate need of. Tired boys get crabby and need naps, but for one reason or another don’t get them.
Someone has lost one of his Army men and demands that it be found right. now. or the world will surely end! Someone is crying because he wants to watch Curious George but someone else is blocking the tv. Dinner time comes and food is thrown, milk is spilled, and the words “Yuck!” and “Grossssss!” and “Please don’t make me eat this!” are sobbed repeatedly.
Bath time means more fighting and lots of splashing. Remind me to wipe down the bathroom later, please. The classic “It’s Bedtime Therefore I Am Super Hyper Let’s Jump On The Bed, Throw Things And Giggle Nonstop!” has set it. It’s another hour before anyone has actually fallen asleep, with multiple tuckings in and drinks of water and monster-related queries in the meantime.
And now that it is 8 o’clock, I can begin the dishes and clean up of the aftermath of all that food throwing and milk spilling. A quick sweep of the floor. Fold some laundry. Pick up the toys. Oh yes, and don’t forget that wet bathroom. Hopefully I have an hour or three to put into the medical transcription course I’m taking. Hopefully another hour to read some blogs, perhaps post on my own.
And then collapse into bed, too late again, so that I can wake up and do it again tomorrow.
I deal with this on my own the majority of the time. Jeff travels a lot for work and is gone much more than he is actually home. The stress that I feel being the only parent, the only disciplinarian, the only question-answerer, the only cleaner-upper, the only everything, makes it very, very easy to become blinded to the times when things are not so bad. There ARE times when no one is whining, no one is hitting, no one is pooping somewhere OTHER THAN THE POTTY, ohmygoodness. There ARE good times. There ARE times when we’re laughing, when we’re playing, when we’re cuddling, we’re quiet, we’re talking in depth about something. But sadly, I often feel too tired or too run-down or too frustrated to really enjoy them.
Thankfully, Oliver is starting to reach an age where he and Ethan can play together. Well, not so much “play” as “co-exist in the vicinity of each other while participating in an equal or similar activity for 5 to 10 minute durations.” But “play” is right around the corner, I’m sure of it! And so, randomly, they’ve begun having shared moments of peacefulness. It never lasts long, and they’re fighting again before I know it, but… they’re happening. And I’m making a conscious effort to stop whatever cleaning I’m doing or frustration I’m feeling, and just live in the moment with my kids.
My best view: my boys. Getting along. For all of 10 minutes. Kinda makes up for (most of) the messes and stuff, ya know?
Discussing battle strategies.
Chillin’ in the tent, watchin’ a lil George.
Studying a George book.
That’s a good view, I think.