I already posted today. About the beauty of imaginative little girls at nap time. It's a good thing we had those golden few moments before the afternoon barreled through like a bull in a china shop.
Thomas brought Daniel downstairs after nap time. Daniel was awake. We know this because he was screaming at the top of his lungs to be let out of bed. His brother obliged while I serenely wrapped up my online time-killing.
The boys reached the foot of the steps before Daniel went from loud, unhappy baby to loud, mad baby. Thomas put him down and Daniel stood there and screamed the ugly mad scream for a full two minutes before I snatched him up and reminded him that 'we don't scream.'
Twenty minutes later, we were still having that conversation and I'd resorted to just plopping him in a chair and leaving him to deal with himself while I took my tender ears into another room and put together snack for him.
You see that? I was being responsible and caring for my child even though I really wanted to put duct tape over his mouth. He must have heard that phrase about misery loving company because he was determined to drag us all down with him.
However, the kid is 100% Freeman. All I had to do was wave a sippy cup and a pretzel in his general direction and he spoke his new word.
"Peas!" he declared while frantically signing 'please' to me in case I hadn't understood his verbal attempt.
It was a blissful twelve minutes of peace.
And then it was over. I can't even tell you what all happened this afternoon, but believe me when I say that there was constantly someone in tears or upset because I couldn't say yes to their request to be allowed to do something (no, you can't play in the sprinklers. no, today isn't a good day to take everyone to the playground...it's still graffiti-ed. no, we can't make cookies because we have no eggs and no milk. etc, etc, etc)
Finally, I bellowed that it was time to go outside.
"Yes, you have to wear shoes. And jackets."
They didn't ask about the jackets, but I had already gotten a pretty good feel for how their little minds were thinking today. It was simply just to keep from rolling my eyes when they inevitably asked.
Which THEY STILL ASKED!
I might have actually growled.
This left just the screaming baby and me to stare/glare at one another. Finally we reached a treaty of types. If I read to him non-stop, he would stop crying. The thing about reading with a 20-month old is that they don't really listen. They just want to flip the pages. Normally, I try to keep that to a minimum, but today... today, it was perfect.
I let the kids in before it was totally dark and they came in with slightly merrier spirits. Anna asked to use one of her screen time tickets and took off with the iPad. Thomas beetled off upstairs to listen to an audio book. Sarah Grace and Elizabeth chose books and a shared chair. Daniel rode around on my hip while I worked at getting dinner prepped.
"Mama! Look what I..."
Yeah. It was the demise of the iPad screen that I turned just in time to see.
Apparently, this was the undoing of Daniel's fragile peace. He began wailing about the time it registered in my addled brain what had just happened. And Anna was crying. And I wanted to cry. I whispered up a plea for peace and practiced breathing slowly and deeply.
Joshua made it home about the same time dinner was done and we put the kids in the dining room while we ate in the living room. This is not the way we do things, but there are exceptions to nearly every rule. Today begged to be an exception.
Joshua made a quick run for necessities (milk, chocolate) and I'm currently being very thankful that parenting is a team effort. He came home and I practically checked out tonight.
Children, I love you. Days like today are hard, but we were never promised easy days, just His arms to sustain us. And our tomorrows are filled with new mercies.