"Anna, are you eating something off the floor?!"
This query came from Mary, not me. Anna declined to answer and by the time I looked over, whatever it was was gone. Mary then shoved a book in the couch cushions and loudly exclaimed "the book is sinking!" and I had to save it, so I'll never know if my middle child is eating bugs, or lost popcorn, or what.
It should be said this exchange came after a rousing game of princess and puppy, which was made especially lovely by my husband's brilliant and sensitive portrayal as the ingenue from Aladdin. To wit:
Mary: "Hey Jasmine!"
Tim: *Stops drinking a can of soda* "What up." (My husband uses hip hop speak only while playing princesses. Call it a quirk.) He then picked up his jacket and a handful of multicolored pony beads fell all over the floor.
"Snow White!" Mary called to me. I didn't answer. "Snow White!!!"
"I'm Snow White after she ate the apple," I mumbled, shutting my eyes and resting my head on the back of the couch.
"You have an apple?" Anna asked, always on the lookout for an extra snack.
Surrealism, we have it in droves.
It's been a random kind of day on all fronts. Yesterday it was 50 degrees and lovely, today it was snowing, which turned to sleet, which turned to rain, with the appropriate accompanying temperatures. I can only conclude Mother Nature is going through menopause. The kids and baby have the sniffles, to boot, but that didn't stop them from wanting to play in the snow (melted by the time we could get outside) and having to go to the doctor for Lily's well baby checkup (unpopular all around).
Somehow we managed to get out of the house while only running a little late, but then hit a road block when the kids became distracted by the slushy mess on the lawn that they were still optimistically calling "snow." I told them to get in the car. Anna ignored me. Mary stared at the car like she'd never seen one before. Then she tried to get in on the same side where I was buckling Lily. The stress got the better of me and I snapped at her. I instantly regretted it. I regretted it even more when I looked up and saw a woman walking her dog give me a glance. Yeah. She probably thinks I'm Mommie Dearest.
I hate that there are days I seem to have absolutely no patience. Too little sleep, too many commitments, poor weather, too many colds...it all combines to make a perfect storm where they whine at me, I snap at them, they push back, I put them on time out, they freak out...and around and around we go. I try to breathe, remind myself they're only little once, tell myself that they're probably not actually trying to make me nuts (because then who would feed them between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.?).
I remind myself everyone has bad days. Parents snap. Kids push buttons. They know I still love them. I try to count the good things. Yes, we had to go to the doctor's today, and yes, the doctor was having his own Charlie Foxtrot morning and running an hour behind, and yes, my kids did argue and roll on the floor (ew!) and fight over books...but Lily is healthy and growing like a champ and looks great. The worst she's had all winter is the sniffles. She's well on her way to growing into a crazy-making toddler. And at the end of the day, we can play and read books and laugh together. That's what's important.
That and being able to pull off a good Princess Jasmine.