Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The good, the bad, the ugly

Yesterday was one of those days that I wished I would have never gotten out of bed. It was that bad. The highlight of the day was that Grace started first grade today. She looked adorable in her plaid jumper and pink and brown backpack sans any type of character. Because she's too cool for that. Last year she proudly wore her pink Barbie book bag everyday. She got tons of ooohs and aaaws from girls in her class plus second and third graders. This year, however, she informed me that character back packs were for babies. She would not be caught dead out of style. I have to admit, though, her new book bag (a gift from Nana) is the COOLEST book bag I've ever seen. Even highschoolers don't have a bag this cool. I'm so proud! School went great. She likes her teacher. She's met some new friends. And she's actually excited about going back tomorrow. There's the good news.

Now, the bad news. It started out this morning by Grace making her way into our bed at five-thirty. As she was squirming into a comfy place in the middle, she kicked her brother (who had been in our bed since about midnight) and knocked him right out of bed. THUD! Followed by screams. Alex was awake. There was no way he was going back to sleep. Immediately after I got him calmed down I heard another cry in the distance. Sure enough, Grace kicking Alex to the floor triggered Alex's crying which in turn woke up Eva who was unusually cranky. IT'S FIVE-THIRTY! A.M.! Lovely way to start the day. Grace went off to school, and I decided to take Alex and Eva for a walk. The kids usually love to ride in the stroller and check out the scenery. Not today. Because Alex was extremely tired, he turned ornery. He repeatedly grabbed the front wheel from his stroller seat forcing the humungous double stroller to come to an abrupt stop forcing me to trip over it. Then he'd laugh maliciously. We were a mile away from home when he decided to pull his prank. By the time we reached the top of our street I was asking God out loud what I did to deserve this. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm crazy.

When we finally made it home, I unload the kids. To my horror, Alex pooped his pants while we were out. Fan-freaking-tastic. Once he was cleaned up, he received a lecture on where poop goes and does NOT go. He sat on his potty chair and tinkled out the smallest amount of pee possible. He was so proud. I refused to give him anything to eat or drink for the next hour because I didn't want to deal with another accident. About ten minutes prior to leaving to pick up Grace, I went to change Eva. Alex was content building blocks. This was the first time Alex had been left unsupervised all day. Within the thirty short seconds it took me to change Eva, Alex managed to realize the watch-dog was gone. He climbed on the counter and started eating Pringles. As I walked into the kitchen, I quickened my step to retrieve him before he noticed the knife block right next to him. Barefoot on the ceramic tile floor, I hit a puddle. I started to slide like a kid who's never ice-skated before pulling every muscle in my body to keep upright. Once I gained my composure, out of the mouth of the two year old came "Alex peed! Alex peed!" Not only did Alex pee his pants even though he hadn't had a drop of liquid since the last time he went to the bathroom, but I slid in it. BAREFOOT! Why are you punishing me, God?

Here's the ugly. After lunch, I had a front row seat to the "I REFUSE TO TAKE A NAP" show. Also known as the "TWO-HOUR SCREAM FEST". It was a blast! Finally, Alex tuckered out and slept for forty minutes. Once back awake, he was much, much more pleasant. We sat in the sunroom reading books and playing blocks. It was quiet. The first moment of tranquility all day. Then the phone rang. I contemplated not answering it. Alex made my decision for me, though. "EL-LOWW! " I grabbed the phone from his sneaky little hands. Luckily, it was just my sister. We had a normal conversation for the first few minutes until she said something to upset me. I wondered why she said it. Was it to hurt me or help me? I let it go. She kept on. And on. And on. Finally, I SNAPPED! The conversation (a.k.a. Mud-slinging, name-calling, yelling match) lasted for over two hours with me hanging up on her twice. At some point I may discuss the details of this conversation but right now it is just too hurtful. I need to gain some perspective. I've been replaying the conversation in my mind all day, but I'm still struggling to make sense out of it.

Chris was going to be home late, so the kids and I ate dinner without him. They each got a bath. Once they were cleaned and ready for bed, I packed them up in the van to go for a drive. I needed to clear my head, and I've always been able to think clearer while in motion. Also, we have been having a terrible time getting Alex to go to sleep at night. I hoped the car ride would knock him out so putting him to bed would be easier for me. About fifteen minutes into the ride, he was asleep. We headed home. As soon as I pulled the van in the driveway, his eyes popped wide open. It was like he was fake sleeping the entire time. Apparently, the time he slept was enough for his batteries to recharge. He was wired. I was exhausted. By the time Chris made it home, I was at the end of my rope. I retreated to the family room and left Chris to deal with the rest of everything. I'm still trying to recover today.