All Out of Love?
Most of the time I adore my kids. I watch them grow in awe and appreciate that time moves quickly and they are hilarious and innocent and curious. They still want 10 kisses each at bedtime; they still beg to hold my hand going down the stairs even though they don’t need it; they still snuggle on the couch and whisper, “I love you, Mom,” in those soft, little-people voices.
But lately, not so much.
Our mornings have turned into a circus of discontent in which we all fight over everything–the tv show they will watch while I am in the shower, the one random toy amidst a zillion others that they both have to have, sneakers or sandals, cereal or toast, this shirt or that.
No, you cannot watch another show. No, you cannot pull all of the cushions off the couch and jump on them. No, you cannot bring toys to school or play outside while I’m getting dressed or paint right now because we have to go. No, you cannot have graham crackers or milk or a granola bar in the car because you just ate breakfast and school is 5 minutes away and we are late.
No no no no no.
“Get in the car before I lose my marbles!” I yell like a psycho lady who is relieved the windows aren’t open to the neighborhood right now. (Ethan: “Are they like the marbles at Grammy and Papa’s house? I can help you find them. They’re probably outside.”)
On a recent morning, I wake to the sound of Tessa’s piercing, whiny cry. They have had their eyes open approximately 3 minutes, plenty long enough for him to taunt her with the cheapo Olympic gold medal that he got from school and she did not. I confiscate the medal (again), put them in front of a mutually acceptable tv show and jump in the shower.
Another 3 minutes and Tessa is back to outrage–this time screaming outside my shower door. Her nutty lasts until I turn off the water and step on to the bathmat, at which point she stares at my crotch (about eye level for her now) and asks, “What you have mom? A bagina?”
I lose it. Start ranting about privacy and getting along with your brother and giving me 15 minutes of peace and quiet in this world because all I ever do is cater to your needs and…well, let’s just say I blow the opportunity to have a teaching moment on the proper pronunciation of the female genitalia.
A few days later and I wake to hear the two partners in crime whispering outside my bedroom door. It goes something like this:
Tessa: “Mom’s asleep. She’s very tired. Let’s tiptoe down the stairs and go outside.”
Ethan: “Um, we’re in our pajamas, silly. And I think Mom wants to go outside with us.” (God love him.)
Tessa: “Let’s go outside anyway.” (God help her.)
Ethan: “Let’s go downstairs and take off our pajamas and jump on the couch.”
Tessa: “Good idea!”
And off they go.