What Really Counted Today

You know those days? The ones when your children are clinging to their worst selves for dear life, as if by showing their sweetness they might be tossed into the wild ocean and eaten by bloodthirsty sharks? Do you know those?

Yeah, I thought so.

That’s the kind of afternoon I had with the boys. The kind where Lyle doesn’t nap and so is alternately grouchy and ridiculously punchy, and Baxter springs from the dismissal line at school like a hugely overgrown puppy, nearly knocking us over with his full-body hug and getting reprimanded by the older gentleman he smashed into along the way. The kind where I step out of the car to pump gas and wish I could stay all afternoon out there in the cold, hunched over alongside my car, breathing fumes. Where I have to pick up a couple things at the grocery store (is that really, truly so much to ask?) and they are so hyper I want to slink down the aisle while they are loudly suggesting I buy them some Popsicles (“Because it weally is a warm, warm day, Mommy…”) and hide around the corner, preferably snuggled in among the really good cabernets, if you know what I mean. Oh, and the kind where I finally pull over to the side of a busy street and confiscate every last glove, mitten, hat, and anything else not tied down to the car (or the children) that might be thrown across the back seat or into the front seat because if that happens one more time I will lose my shit and start throwing things back at them. Big things.

Yes, the kind of afternoon where I suddenly grow sharp, ugly fangs, and frightening horns spring from my head, and I say crazy things at full volume and retract hot cocoa promises. And all I want is for these two crazy-making little people to find another corner of the house for, oh, 4 years or so, allowing me to read a book and cook some more good food. In silence.

But then. Then they decide they’d like to sleep together, since we’re already warm and cuddled in the queen-size bed in the playroom reading Harry Potter and The Berenstain Bears, and they look so sleepy and sweet that I let them. And so I move the monitor and take about 10 essential items from their bunk bed and toss them into the big bed among the drowsy guys, and I see the adorable grins on their faces as they cuddle up together, falling asleep before I am even out of the room.

And I can see that this will work out just fine, them sleeping together tonight and this raising of two children, and realize that most of that time when they are making me crazy they are also really enjoying each other, and although I lingered at the gas station today breathing fumes in exchange for peace and quiet, that does count for a lot.

A whole lot.


14 responses to “What Really Counted Today

  1. I hear you – for a while I felt like I was losing my patience with the kids and getting very snappy with them. I got a great book by Thich Nhat Hahn simply called “Anger”. I swear you read that man and instantly feel at peace for weeks.

    That must be an adorable sight to see them cuddled in bed together – we were just talking about N & N sleeping together this weekend – you’re brave to do it on a school night!

  2. kristenspina

    I love your boys. Even if they do drive you nuts sometimes.

  3. Hm, Cassie, I hadn’t thought of the school night angle! And Matt’s out of town on business, too! I wonder if I actually DID go insane today?! (Would we know if we did?) Actually, though, I think they’ll be fine b/c they slept together a lot on our vacation in CA over Christmas. Let’s hope…!

  4. Life As I Know It

    Oh, they always look like sweet angels when they are cuddly and sleepy.
    I’ve had many days just as you’ve described. My son just gave up his afternoon nap precisely one week after his brother switched to afternoon Kindergarten, leaving me with no hope of a silent moment all day. ACK!

  5. This mom gig is such an emotional rollercoaster, isn’t it?

    One minute I want to lock myself in a room and turn on every appliance so I can’t hear anymore arguing or complaining ….. and 30minutes later I could just eat him up.

  6. I hear you! And here I was thinking I was the only one who enjoyed the relative silence outside the car!
    Re your “fangs”… one of my children’s favourite book is called “When mum turned into a monster” by Joanna Harrison

  7. It’s like they have radar and KNOW when to stop, don’t they? Hope you got some peace last night. 🙂

  8. How cute is it that you have a BED in your playroom?! Love it.

  9. I am a big fan of the bed in the playroom, yes! It’s a really large room – more of a family room, with a fireplace and all – that’s adjacent to their bedroom and a bathroom on our lower level. When we got our bigger bed last fall, Matt had the sudden brainstorm of putting our queen size bed down there, so now when we have guests Matt and I can sleep in a real bed downstairs instead of air mattresses. And the boys have a bed to jump and play on, and we like to read our bedtime stories on it at night.

    And happily, they slept well all night in it last night! 😉

  10. OMG.

    You’ve done it. You’ve encapsulated the entire Mom experience.

    You spoke my heart.

  11. I second drama mama above. What a rollercoaster/wonderwheel indeed. Thanks for making me feel less alone in my fang moments! 🙂

  12. Emily, as some know me

    Yep. You pretty much nailed it. Just think, someday, they won’t want to sleep even in the same ROOM together. It’s so cute right now, it just kills me.

  13. you made me think of how it must have been for my mom on many days with my sister and me, enjoying each other in a way that drives a mother nuts.

  14. Amen, Sister.

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