This is what I mean by that. In a winter characterized by so much cold and snow that the funny has leached out of me as fast as–if not faster–than all moisture in my skin. All smile in my soul. In a winter that has been a pure kick in the face every time I have to put four kids into a car, including standing in 4 degrees and wrestling with carseat+coat+toddler…in such a winter, my kids have behaved as kids do.
That is, they have absolutely no recognition of when Mommy is at her breaking point. Or they might, but simply don’t care. It astounds me when my kids continue to push it when it is clear that mommy is about to lose all she’s got all over the floor. But, the other day, I was also astounded (and comforted) when I as I lay in my bed, soaking the last few warm moments of the day (i.e., my comforter) into my shriveled soul, on such a morning, I heard my husband engage with the eldest.
She’s a pisser. And she pushes my buttons. And usually he will walk through after I’ve engaged with her and with some superiority for having not engaged, he’ll question why I’m shouting and swearing. Well, this time, he was mad at her. And I was glad it wasn’t just me, and I thought to myself AAH. Now he sees. (I also thought I’m warm and I hate this GD winter and why do I have to get out of this bed).
What I mean by the stages, though, is when you’re at the end of the ol’ rope, one of them may sense it and be good. When my twins were bitty, one was horrifyingly bad 93% of the time. The other one was Coco. But (and to this day, this is the case) when Coco has a bad day, that little Roo figures it out and comes out of herself and is good. Or better than usual. Let’s go with better than usual.
[The Bee is always a dream baby].
So in this winter of our discontent today was a day of extra horrid proportions, for any number of reasons. I thought to myself, literally, it might never ever warm up. It might never get better. I could have these cold chapped lips till forever, the baby’s hands are turning into disasters, nothing makes me smile, and that all was at like 7am. It piled on from there up to and including crying on the treadmill and crying again watching a real tear-jerker of a movie (does sarcasm come through in blogs?): The Incredibles. One of those days.
And as I lay in my bed, I thought about the stages of the behavior. And the eldest. And how at my lowest one day, when she was just small, I came in after a bad day when she was asleep and in her sleep she hugged my face. I thought of how in fact, she’s pulled out of it of late. How she asked me, the other night, if I noticed her being better around here–because she was pretending in her head, for a game, that she was a maid–and that’s why she was helpful. I thought of how she simply hugged me and said good morning and how that meant something.
And then I went and got her and put her in my bed.
That child hasn’t slept with me since she was 6 months old. When we brought her home from being born, we said no never. And then day 2, after 1 night of crying, we said well, we’ll put her in her sleep basket and she won’t know she’s with us. And then that night, in a bit (when she figured out she was in a basket and not with us), I hugged her like a teddy bear (this is just terrible parenting) and I then slept with her like that for 6 months or so. After which she was kicked to her crib.
And tonight it’s a bad night. And my husband is in London. And she’s the kid that has come through.
And I think to myself that sometimes you just need a sleeping kid who’s come out of herself to send some good energy your way.