Sometimes, life really throws one at you.
I woke this morning to some distressing news-- not mine, so I'm not sharing-- and was left feeling the brunt of it for most of the day. Factored into this was some sad news from last week, and the pressing affairs of the day: I had a little boy who was wanting possibly more of me than I possibly had, and a house to transform from "Spring Break" to preschool.
Somehow, dammit, I managed to pull it off. But it wasn't because it was easy.
Paramount to the day was Kiddo's demeanor. Frankly, it was because he was needing a ton of emotional support and attention that my day took the turns it did. I planned to give him plenty of space and room and lots of my time this morning. We did puzzles. He ate and ate and ate, the hallmark of a growth spurt, and was by turns happy and restless and tearful, whiny, angry.
I think he hated having to go back to the status quo. He's gotten a lot of individual attention, which he feeds on. I could see that the mere fact of my doing dishes after taking my shower was too much for him. We got outside a.s.a.p. to run some errands. He didn't want to walk up the big hill on the way to the nursery, so I instead suggested that we walk to the grocery store with the smaller hill first instead, and hit the nursery on the way home to look at fountains and buy seeds. This actually worked perfectly with my plans; a fresher Kiddo does better at the grocery store, and should I have to leave the nursery due to his not minding-- (because you know, I will take you out of there)-- this wouldn't be critical stuff I wasn't buying. Prescience is a lovely thing, because this was exactly as the end of our nursery visit played out. After finding a Bowles Mauve wallflower I'd wanted for a while, Kiddo wasn't able to stay with me, and so I made good on my word and left without the seeds. We'd seen the fountains and he'd known what would happen in advance. In my opinion, this was his way of saying 'I'm done', so I paid for the wallflower and we went home to order seeds from the catalog and have a snack.
5:15. One playdate later, the new plant, well...planted, and Kiddo is in big, noisy tears. He tells me he scraped his finger on the fire hydrant when he and his buddy were piling pulled-up grass onto it, to make a nest for spiders. By the way, the whole block can hear about this horrible scrape. It must have a band-aid! He is consoled, he's gotten the hands washed in perfectly-modulated warm water, the neosporin gently applied with QTip, the bandage gently applied, and he's calmed down. Until I notice another cut on his hand to put neosporin on and then suddenly--"Owwww! Owwww! Mama! It needs a band-aid! It hurts...."
We are sooo tired. But I get out a snack; some pistachios, some carrot and hummus. And when he doesn't finish the carrot or hummus, I still put some asparagus salad on his plate, some sole too, and just tell him to eat until his tummy is full. We are past falling apart by this time, and have caught our second wind, both he and I. I have kept my cool the entire time, he's pulled it together at moments when I wasn't sure he would, and we are still chugging along.
Finally, now, half-past ten, I've cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed the school area. I've lost a game of cribbage to my dear husband, have drunk a glass of wine. What a perfectly crappy day. And yet, even in the midst of all the whining, I was still able to use my 'friendly voice'. To ignore all the window-dressing and to get to the point: getting my "want you to hold me", tired, "need all your attention now" kid to come to ground, gently but firmly, to get the stuff on the list done (only one thing wanting) and to just get through the day without falling apart. One of us made it. The other one is asleep right now. Think I'll join him.