Today was proof the universe strives for balance. The reason why there can never be “too much of a good thing.”
Because a storm of steaming crap is likely headed your way – hopefully not in the literal Poopapalooza form.
Case in Point: Yesterday (Monday)
The Tackler – age 3.5 – was an angel. I’m certain more angelic children exist who also pick up their toys, sweep up the food they drop on the floor, and wipe their own bums. But for him it was about as close to perfectly well behaved as you could imagine.
Not one single time out for being mean to his sister. Not one.
In fact, he played with her nicely. When she was upset, he made her laugh. When she was hungry, he shared his Cheerios.
It was wonderful.
I rewarded him with special movie time to watch Toy Story 2. We had pizza for dinner.
It didn’t hurt Lil Diva finally took a nap for longer than 45 minutes.
He paid extra attention at his swim lessons.
He even stopped mid-shower (following swim lessons), let me wrap him up in just a towel, as we booked to the restroom so he could avoid a Shower Poopapalooza.
We ended our day with a quick hunt to buy Toy Story 3. After a run to Target (where it was not on sale) we zoomed the eight blocks to Wal-Mart, where it was.
The promise was, if he was a good boy today, he’d get to watch TS3.
Universe Demands Balance: Today (Tuesday)
There were moments today. Moments of cuteness between The Tackler and Lil’ Diva. Seconds, even minutes, of time where they laughed uproariously at one another. Segments of time where a rousing game of Peek-A-Boo – one of Lil’ Diva’s favorites – was in full throttle and the squeals and cackles of delight brought an uncontrollable smile to my face.
Sadly, these moments encompassed perhaps twenty minutes of the (current count) ten hours I have spent alone with them today.
Perhaps about three hours involved Neutral Time – 45 minutes during which Lil’ Diva took her single way-too-short nap today. An hour where The Tackler was in his room in a vain attempt to have Nap Time (utter fail). The remainder took place during meals or when the kids played on different levels of the house.
That left me with approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes of The Terrible Testing Three and a Half Year Old – who probably spent close to an hour of it just in Time Outs today.
I spent the majority of the morning attempting to leave the house to enjoy the gorgeous day. This was complicated by:
- Feeding two children who both temporarily had bottomless pits for stomachs
- Breaking up battles of: she had it, he wanted it, he snatched it, she screamed in protest
- Placing The Tackler into Time Out after Time Out, sometimes consecutively because infraction occurred while Still in a Time Out
- A cranky Lil Diva who became more and more clingy as the before 6 AM awakening continued to create havoc – thanks to the much cursed Time Change
Finally, all was gathered, The Tackler went several minutes without a Time Out, and we were off to the park of his choice.
When asked why he wanted this particular one versus the “merry-go-round” park he simply replied, “Because baby sister really likes the bridges.”
The bursting with sweetness comment gave me hope that this would mark the end to The Great Sibling Rivalry Battle of November 9th.
The first thirty minutes went smoothly, lulling me further into that false sense of hope. I managed to capture the sweetest video of them playing peekaboo. We ate lunch.
I don’t know if it was lunch energy, or boredom from lack of other kids to run around with (they were the only kids at the park the entire time), but The Ornery Older Brother reemerged.
With a vengence.
There’s a concrete ramp at the park leading up to the playground equipment because it is close to a facility where people require the use of wheelchairs. One of The Tacklers favorite things to do is “steam” around in a giant loop utilizing this ramp – typically pretending he’s Puffer Pete from Chuggington.
Today was no different.
But this time instead of becoming Puffer Pete, he was The Ornery Older Brother who persisted in crashing into his sister as if channeling Lightning McQueen’s nemesis Chick Hicks in Cars – knocking her onto the hard concrete.
The first time he was warned to be careful, because typically he behaved at this park.
The second time I yelled, “We do NOT bump into baby sister. It is mean and you could hurt her because the concrete is very hard and she’s a lot smaller than you. She might have to go to the hospital and get stitches. When you pick on somebody smaller than you, that makes you a bully. Nobody wants to be friends with a bully. If you do it again, we have to go home.”
You can see where this is headed.
The third time around she got bumped hard enough that she wailed in protest instead of continuing on her merry way. And I snapped.
I calmly picked up Lil Diva, grabbed the stroller, and walked to the van.
The Tackler, realizing he’d gone too far, went into Major Meltdown Mode chanting, “I don’t wanna go! I want to stay HERE! I’m not going! I don’t want to go home NOW!”
I ignored him completely. I loaded up the van as he remained about forty feet away. Screaming.
A twinge of remorse slammed into me, not from The Tackler’s theatrics, but because I knew by leaving I was punishing Lil’ Diva too.
So I took her onto a bridge over a There’s Only Water Here When It Rains area for a few more minutes.
The Tackler joined us, his screams dying down.
After a few minutes, I scooped up Diva and walked back to the car, The Tackler’s protests resuming at a decreased volume.
Still, he climbed into his car seat and pulled his straps over his arms with only a sobbing whine as protest.
He was quiet before we drove out of the parking lot.
Lil Diva fell asleep within the first five blocks.
I dreamed of getting them both to nap at the same time, or at least for Tackler to have quiet time in his room so I could recharge the Patience Meter that measured mere millimeters from shattering into millions of pieces.
So much for the power of positive thoughts today….
Lil Diva woke up from her nap 45 minutes later. Screaming as though she’d somehow lost an appendage while sleeping.
The Tackler was five minutes away from me putting him into bed for his nap.
After repeated attempts in vain to get her back to sleep – denied by the universe because those same attempts worked yesterday – I gave up.
Because she was still sobbing uncontrollably, no matter what I did.
This resulted in me having to nearly toss The Tackler down for his nap, with Toy Banishment threatened if he dared leave his room. Still, he was obviously tired. He could have fallen asleep.
But he didn’t.
He did remain in there for an hour while I partially watched a recorded TV show between bouts of screaming.
Finally, she calmed down for small ten to fifteen minute periods of time – before she remembered she was tired and her ear still hurt despite the second round of antibiotics for her ear infection.
The Tackler eventually emerged from his room and once again began the Jekyll versus Hyde roller coaster ride as he switched from Good Brother to Bad Brother and back again all within the space of 17 seconds.
At one point I was forced to collect many of his favorite toys and place them into a large garbage bag. Which is currently hidden away in Time Out.
I had to prepare dinner before 5 o’clock. Because some idiot in Washington thinks time changes are a good thing. Make Daylight Savings Time the new Standard Time and KEEP IT THERE. It’s already there longer than Standard Time anyway.
I managed not to kill either child, although at one point I did carry The Tackler around by his ankles when his I’m Not Listening mentality went too far too many times for the day I was having.
It’s much harder to ignore me when I’m the only thing keeping you from crashing head first into the floor.
And no, I didn’t let him do that. Even though the urge was strong after his behavior toward Lil Diva today.
CG got home after 6 PM. I explained if I didn’t get some time alone, I would most likely take everyone’s head off.
I retreated to our bedroom with the laptop at 6:45 and tried to block out the occasional screeches of protest and the shouts of “Don’t push your sister” that floated up the stairs.
I began this blog.
And now, at 10:40 PM I’m finally finishing it.
Lil’ Diva has already stirred twice since she crashed at 8:30 PM.
I have a nasty feeling she’ll be up before 6 AM again.
We didn’t get to watch Toy Story 3.
I know, the day doesn’t sound that bad.
It’s sort of like going from a beautiful perfect 75 degree sunny day to one that is 20 degrees, cloudy, with 40 mph winds. And sleet mixed with snow.
You feel it, hard.
Compared to say, an overcast 40 degree day to the latter day. The margin is smaller, so the difference isn’t as pronounced.
When Bad Days follow the Extreme Good Days it always hits me harder.
It makes me doubt my sanity in wanting children so badly, much less two children so close.
Even though I love them more than life, and could not imagine a less sleep deprived life without them.
Anyone else ever feel that way?