Mothering requires a special kind of person. The kind of person who knows how to take deep breaths, step back from a situation and let the best solution grow.
I was not that person this morning.
I am tired from a long week of memorializing my father in law, I couldn't sleep last night, but I sure could this morning! I lay in bed and listened as my 4 year old watched countless episodes of something or another, until the 2 year old insisted that it was time to get up. I put my glasses on my aching head and walked across the house. A smiling face greeted me, along with the smell of something that needed to be changed. I took care of that and carried him to the kitchen, trailed by the 4 year old asking incessant questions.
Breakfast consisted of a can of mandarin oranges for each of them and a scattered handful of cereal. I didn't find anything appetizing, so I turned my attention to a few work things that needed to be done. It wasn't long before Mr. Busy Body (aka the 4 year old) was climbing into my chair behind me, asking "Mommy, can you play a game with me? Can you watch TV with me? Can I go get the mail? Can I have some candy now? What is that? What are you doing? How long will it be? Can we go to McDonald's? Why? How Come? I want to now!!!" sigh... be then the 2 year old was finished eating and ready to get out. He was a mess, so I proclaimed bath time for both of them.
I ran the water and put them in the tub in my bathroom, which is attached to my closet, and proceeded to get dressed (finally). "Why are you naked mommy? What are you doing? Why?" sigh... I stepped back into the closet and put on my bra and realized that the questions had stopped. That's not good - well, it is in theory, but in practice, you know something is wrong.
I stepped back into the bathroom to see the 4 year old holding his 2 year old brother face-down in the water. I screamed "STOP IT NOW!" and rushed to the tub, he released him and brother came up crying. I screamed again "You could drown him! He could DIE! What were you thinking?" and then I screamed it all over again. By now little brother was screaming, scared of mommy. Big brother was smiling and almost laughing, so I screamed some more.
I scooped up little brother and wrapped him in a towel, he was instantly happy.
So now, I am taking my deep breaths. I am wishing away my headache. I am calming my frazzled nerves. And the questions have begun again. "Mommy - why didn't you get me a towel? Why did you leave me in the bathroom by myself? Can I have some candy now? Can you turn on the TV for me? Can I get the mail now? Why do I have to get dressed first? Do I look nice? Do you like how my shirt matches my pants? Is it a good outfit? Can we get the mail now? Can you come with me?"
"Oops mommy - I just stepped in dog poop."
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