I felt oh so clever. I was even contemplating writing in my blog about how clever I was. I was going to title this one: Creativity.
Q, as I believe I have noted, picked up a cold and brought it home to share. We’ve all been a little grumpy, very tired, and less than cooperative. Knowing this, I picked up some videos at the library on Friday and I’ve been parcelling them out to ease the long cranky afternoons and to soothe achy little heads. Except when I remove video privileges as a consequence for refusing to walk at the outlet mall, requiring me to lug an unnamed, screaming child over my shoulder while pulling the stroller all the way back to the car. (Surprisingly few people grinned at me. I was close to smirking myself. After all, he’d tried to call my bluff and I’d won.)
So today, after I’d already exhausted the video of the day, and was wondering how to amuse a cranky 3 year old who had already done glamorous things (preschool, playground, videos…), I had a brilliant idea.
We’ve had a big box hanging out in the kitchen for a few days. I’m sure I must have something I want to store in it, but I haven’t figured out what quite yet. In the mean time, Quinn has been crawling in it, dancing in it, falling over and smacking his head in it. All around having a good time. And now we have a new opportunity for fun!
“Q, I know we have told you that you may not draw on anything other than paper, but I have something special for you. Would you like to use your markers to draw on this box?”
I was so smart. Q colored happily on the box for a good 45 to 60 minutes. I gave him train stickers to decorate with, wrote his name for him, and while he was in bliss, I made a lasagna for tomorrow night’s dinner. N did her part by sleeping. It was heaven. I even had a half glass of wine.
But the good times cannot last forever.
“I want the fire engine stickers.”
I told him those were for another time. My usually reasonable Q, whom we regularly do say no to, had a little meltdown. Which turned into a big meltdown. Eventually I had to pick him up and lug him upstairs (there’s a pattern) till he was ready to come down for dinner. I ate, nursed the now crying baby, called my mother, and predicted that one or both of the children would be crying for the rest of the evening. Finally Q emerged.
After some happy discussion of N’s diaper situation, and some initial overtures towards his food, Q eventually abandons eating and wants to play, just when it is time to take the kids up for Bath, Books and Bed Time. Another meltdown. I lug him upstairs again.
The meltdowns continue, “I don’t want you to bathe N!” “I don’t want you to trim my nails, NO! NO! NO! NO!” “I don’t want to pee!” “I want to hold the shower head!” “I don’t want to pee!” “I don’t want you to hold N!”
Finally, both kids are washed (minimally) and in their jammies. One infant is fast asleep and one exhausted boy is read four books, and tucked into his Big Boy Train Bed with Blankie. Two cats are going crazy with anxiety that they will not be fed.
Some nights are not about sweet nurturing bliss, but simple survival. These nights too will be remembered as some of the good times.