Motherhood is so extreme. I feel like each day I experience extreme joy and happiness in celebrating the little things that are so big for the little people I love. I also feel like I experience extreme frustration, and subsequently extreme guilt, due to my lack of patience in certain situations. J has been out of town for the last 4 nights, and we have done surprisingly well. I mean, really, the kids are so much bigger that I can actually get them to sleep at a reasonable time, and I can entertain them with fun activities like drawing on the shower walls with markers (until they turned on each other), or playing hide and seek, or using letter stamps and coloring pictures (all of those things happened during the short period of 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. yesterday. I actually didn't cry while daddy was away this time nor did I feel like I couldn't make it another day. (My parents were also awesome with helping out. I am so thankful for them!)
However, with their age also has come fighting with each other - sometimes physical. I mean seriously, some of these altercations are like the WWF, there are just less spandex costumes and more rage. So, while physically things are about a zillion times more manageable, emotionally the fighting with each other and sassiness with me are really remarkable.
One of those situations that really tests my patience has been happening a lot these days. Perhaps, you can relate? It goes something like this:
Me: Please get in the car.
Preschooler: No, you go to the other side. I want to do it myself.
Me: I can't go to the other side, I have to make sure you are safe. Go ahead and climb in yourself.
Preschooler: I need to get my ____ . I think I forgot it.
Me: You'll be okay without it. Please just get in the car.
Preschooler: I NEED my ______!!
Me: Oh, look you actually left it on the floor of the car buried in crumbs and other miscellaneous plastic things. Here it is. It is very hot outside. Please climb in your seat.
Preschooler: I need to swing into my seat.
Me: Okay! Just get in. (Waiting) That's it. If you don't get in before I count to three I am putting you in myself. 1-2....
Preschooler: I'm in my seat. NO! You can't buckle me. I need to do it myself!
Me: Okay, do it yourself! Just please hurry! Mommy is sweaty because it is a 115 degrees out here and she is about to lose it. (For those of you not in AZ that temperature is literal, not an exaggeration.)
*5 more minutes pass while the "self-buckling" takes place before mommy can do the final snaps.
Preschooler (whining and apparently just realizing the temperature): It's HOT! I'm SOOOO firsty (thirsty!)
*Repeat this on the other side of the car with the other preschooler.
This heat is making me a very testy person. Nevertheless, now juxtapose that sweaty-car-seat-battle-for-independence with the sweetest moments watching T realize that he knows all but one of his letters or snuggling up with B as she explains to me the cupcakes she would like to make for all of her friends from ballet class. Or hearing them pray and thank God for their families and talk about how they know they don't have to be afraid because He is with them. Picture the midnight, "Mommy, I can't sleep. Can you please snuggle me?"And then you know why I let these little people force me to stand out in the unbearable heat in order to buckle their car seat for 15 minutes a pop. And still I wouldn't trade the job for anything.