I might lose my mind. I have been stranded in a torrent of temper tantrums from one kid and unintelligible demands from the other one. Harrison has been sick so everything is wrong, all the time. Ella has discovered that words get her what she wants, but she doesn’t know enough words to actually ask for anything. Therefore, she just yells, “Maaaammmeeee” at the top of her lungs and points to things. This leaves me feeling like I can do nothing right because I have two children screaming at two different octaves all.day.long.
I think the hardest part with Ella is that she can’t exactly HAVE everything she wants. It must be so frustrating to think you’re doing all the right things to ask for what you want, only to be told, “No”.
No, you may not have that glass full of water on the table.
No, you may not have a third bottle of milk.
No, you may not have Mommy’s necklace, right off of her neck.
No, you may not take your brother’s blanket.
No, you may not jump on the bed.
Harrison’s temper tantrums have escalated to new heights. As I heard the last one take off, I feared that either: A) Aliens had come to abduct him and take him to their mother ship, or B) He had become possessed and it was time to call the neighborhood exorcist. I honestly didn’t know how much more I could take.
And then I found out. It was nap time. It was waaay past nap time. He wanted me to lay down with him, but that wasn’t good enough. He wanted me to remake his bed. But then he unmade it. He wanted me to get him more water. But it wasn’t cold enough. And all the while, he was whining this obnoxious, intolerable whine that I have been listening to for SOO long now. And I snapped.
Right in his face, there in his little Lightning McQueen bed, I screamed in a voice I don’t recognize, “STOP IT. STOP THE WHINING. CUT IT OUT.” I could taste his breath. I could feel his skin. I was that close and I was that loud.
He didn’t stop. The whining continued. I tried to leave, but he kept going on and on. I was afraid he’d wake his sister, so I lay back down and told him he had one more chance before I left the room again.
I watched him then. I was overwhelmed with guilt at yelling at him. I watched him suck water from his sippy cup. I watched his extra long eyelashes slow their blinks. They reminded me of a duck’s beak, opening and closing, slower and slower, eventually satiated from their hunger. I looked at his doughy wrists, and his dimpled hands rubbing his security blanket. Tucked into my body was his knobby little shoulder, a little too scrawny after a week’s worth of sickness.
“I’m sorry for yelling at you, baby,” I whispered to him.
“That’s ok Mommy. But when did you yell at me? You didn’t yell at me.”
Had he forgotten? It had been but minutes before that I was at my wit’s end, screaming at him to stop screaming. Or did he just not remember? Or, did he just…not care?
As I watched his ice blue irises slip behind his inky eyelashes into a deep sleep, I saw it. I saw the attachment. I saw the love. I saw the infinite connection that my baby and I had to one another. I may get angry. He may cause me to lose my mind. But my boy taught me a lesson in his dismissive nature when I just couldn’t handle his irrationality any more. He barely recognized my falter. I was still there. I was still snuggling. I hadn’t left his side. And, apparently, that’s all he needed. For now.