Laugh

The worst time in my day is between 3pm and 5:30pm (when Steve FINALLY gets home and I am no longer outnumbered by two relentless tyrants). 

It's when the kids are getting tired. They are whiny. They cry. They demand. They yell. They whine. They throw shit. They don't listen. They can't behave. They whine.

The WHIIIIIIINING....

Their behavior coincides with the time of day when my patience is worn down to almost nothing. I'm tired. I'm frazzled. I'm frustrated. I'm worn the fuck out physically and mentally.  I am hanging by a psychological thread, twisting in the wind, ready to snap at the drop of a hat - or sippy cup full of milk as it may be.  It's the time of day when I would do just about anything for a tiny bit of peace and quiet. 

The clock ticks so slowly. The chaos is intense.

Yesterday I was so worn down that I foolishly dared to sit on the couch for a few moments and tried to hear what Stevie Nicks was saying to Oprah. I just really wanted to tune out my living room and tune in to something adult in which I happened to be interested. 

It was foolish of me to even try. In retrospect I should have set the PVR to record it and watch it at a more relaxed, less hectic time.

Instead, Lincoln kept fussing. Whining.  Crying. I tried to feed him and he wouldn't eat. I tried to hold him and he pushed away.  The only thing I could do was to put him in the jumperoo - which is noisy and obnoxious and makes it hard to concentrate on anything. He still fussed and cried loudly (on top of the sounds of the jumperoo) but at least he was contained.

Ruby had already taken my Blackberry and when I tried to get it from her she smashed it on the hardwood floor.  She did the same with my camera and the house phone.  When everything of value was secured out of her reach, she got bored and decided she was hungry - even though she wasn't.

"I'm hungry"  ...No you're not.

"I'm hungry"  ...What would you like?
 
"I'm HUNGRY"   ...Shhhhh...

"I'M HUNGRY!!!"  ...WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE, RUBY???

"Mommy, I'M HUNGRY" ...Ruby, could you go play with your farmhouse!!!?

"I'M HUNGRYYYYY!!!"

At that I got over-the-top irritated, stood up and took her by the hand to the pantry.  With an angry, raised voice I said, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!  WHAT DO YOU WANT THEN, RUBY?  WHAT?! SHOW ME! TELL ME! WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU WANT?!!??"

Her solemn little face look up at me and she said one word, quietly.

"laugh"

I stopped in my tracks. "What did you say?"

"Mama, laugh."

My face fell. I said, "You want me to laugh?"

"yes"

I scooped her up in my arms and hugged her and cried a little bit. I felt ashamed for allowing myself get so frustrated. 

I have less than two months to go before my maternity leave is up, I return to work and someone else will be spending all this time with my kids and I know it will break my heart and I will miss them tremendously.

I need to make the best of whatever time I have with them right now.  Enjoy every minute as much as I can.  Maybe we need to have a dance party during that time.  Maybe we need to go for a walk (weather pending). Maybe we need to read books.  Anything to pass the time more enjoyably. Do things to make us whine and cry less.  Smile more.

And... as Ruby requests, laugh.