This week has been even tougher for me than last. Not only am I still working on an article but I’m also still pulling shifts at the local homeless shelter in the evening, all while spending all day with my kids. As a result, I’ve been a bit cranky.
Yesterday, my nearly four-year-old told me, out of the blue, “Mama is nicer than you.” “Mama’s nicer than me?” I asked. B answered in the affirmative. There was nothing I could say, except sorry. I didn’t at the time, I just let his comment sink in, but now I want to tell my two little boys that I apologize for being such a jerk this week. By this time next week, the article will be out and the homeless gig will be over. Things will be easier, then, and hopefully I’ll be more pleasant to be around.
I like to bitch a lot about my kids, how hard it is to stay home with both boys, how exhausting it is, etc. And it’s not that it’s not true–in fact that’s probably the general rule–but it’s not a complete picture either. There are some days like yesterday. Toddler B was sweet for almost all of it, wrapping his arms around my neck in affectionate embrace or playing gently with another little kid at the Discovery Museum for an hour. Baby G rode the placid waves as well–it was if we all had swallowed a Xanax. Only once did I lose my temper–when G refused to sleep in the morning–and even then I only let loose with a quick yelp of frustration that fazed neither boy (I guess they are getting used to my outbursts).
Unfortunately, the peace–an armistice?–was but temporary. B woke up screaming in the middle of the night and when he rose this morn he picked up from there, sobbing nonsensically. What did he want? We couldn’t figure out, I just tried to steer clear but then Mama left for work and he was all mine. G was nonplussed as B fussed while I got him dressed for school. Then when we arrived in the parking lot B refused to go in. He did this on Monday, too, and I caved and took him back home with me. Today I told him that he was either going to walk or I would carry him but he was going into school. He chose the latter option (of course) so I threw him under my arm, grabbed the baby in his car seat and lugged them both in.
Once inside, B collapsed into a ball and I sat on the floor with him between my legs, rubbing his back. G sat nearby, looking up at all the unfamiliar faces. Twenty minutes later, I walked out with the baby, looking back only once, my nerves sincerely frayed, the stress taking root in my lower back. I sped out of the parking lot and yelled (through the windshield) at the stupid people on the cross walk blocking my progress.
A couple of hours later, I picked B up from school. He was sweet again, so was I. The afternoon was going great. We played with Mega Bloks while G bounced in his jumper. Everything was going great until around 2:30 when G lost it, screeching and arching his back in frustration while I tried to get him to sleep. I started to lose it again. Things here go round and round.