Wednesday, December 07, 2005
My patience had run out by 11:00 a.m. Not good. I don't understand...I had a night out without my children last night and had a ball. I got my hair done yesterday afternoon. I got to go shopping...that always makes me happy. I should be refreshed...rejuvinated...reborn. But I'm not. I'm a grump. It's 200 degrees below zero outside and my plans for the day consisted of staying in and making Christmas cookies with the kids. I make cookies and treats for my friends and family every Christmas. I love doing it, and it's a cheap way for me to give to everyone. We're going to have fun today and be happy and festive, by golly!! I'm a little behind, it's time we got started.
Well, I don't know what I was thinking. I love baking. But I don't love baking with my kids. I know, I know...that is a terrible thing to say. And I do bake with them often, but it is so much more work when they are involved. They enjoy it and I know it is something a good mom would do, so in the interest of keeping up my image, I include them. Baby is cranky and needs a nap, but of course, doesn't want to take one. The kitchen is not exactly in great working order, (meaning there are dirty dishes in the sink and stuff on the table that needs to be moved, remains of Baby's breakfast, lunch and dinner from the previous day on the floor) but I figure if I wait for things to be tidy, we'll never get Christmas cookies made. So I try to find hidey holes for things on the table and clear a spot on the counter top and we dig in. I try to keep Baby entertained in the living room with some toys, but she is determined to get in on the action. And though she had spurned a snack I had just offered her, she is more than happy to finish yesterday's leftovers off of the floor. As I grab her and take her back to her toys for the umpteenth time, Brother and Sister find some flour on the table and proceed to smear each other with it. Oh, boy, we're having fun now. So I go back to the kitchen and explain the rules of cooking in the kitchen with Mom. As I am lecturing them, Baby finds the beautiful Christmas cards I ordered with my lovely children's picture, which I thought I had hidden well enough, and pulls them all into the part of the floor that is covered in goo. Sister is sticking her fingers into the bowl of dough and whining because Brother is touching her, Brother is holding a raw egg in his hand insisting he knows how to crack an egg and Baby is at my leg crying for me to pick her up. Yes...this is the stuff great holiday memories are made of. Then my husband calls and gives me a list of things he wants me to do today, which includes taking all three kiddos out in the cold to run some errands. Can I run away? If I move slowly, will they notice if I leave? I am snapping. I put my hands to my face and rub my fingers over my eyebrows, trying to find my happy place. What is wrong with me? I love Christmas! Suddenly I don't even want to do the cookies. I don't care if anyone I know gets a freakin' cookie!! I am mad at my kids. I am mad at my husband. But I am mostly mad at myself, so I take myself on a little guilt trip, and we begin the descent into Crabbyville.
The entire day just keeps getting worse and worse. It's like my day is spiraling out of control and I am powerless to stop it. Sister spends most of it crying over everything, including my mood. At one point I had to sit them both down and apologize for being so grouchy. Fortunately, they were forgiving. Sister climbed in my lap and hugged me, which was healing and stinging all at once. They are crazy and bouncing off the walls, which is driving me bonkers. No one gets a good nap, which was my one hope for respite. I find myself trying to avoid them, which I know is probably the opposite of what I should be doing. I try to do some housework, but I don't have the heart for it. I'm tired of housework. I'm tired of trying and getting nowhere. I cannot muster any Christmas spirit. I cannot control my children. I cannot keep order in my home. What can I do? I pray that somehow I can end this day on a good note. Brother and Sister are like two kangaroos on speed and Baby follows them around gleefully. I decide to let them go and hope no one gets hurt. I put away some laundry. I check my email. I stay out of their road. The time is nearing for bed and I am feeling like a marathon runner spotting the finish line up ahead. I get them all in their jammies and we snuggle on the couch. We read four books...one about Christmas, and one about snow, which has been falling softly outside. "Look, Mom!" Brother exclaims when he sees it. "It looks sparkly on the porch!" They open the door and stick their fingers in it, as well as their sock covered toes. They giggle and howl with delight. The scene is beautiful inside and out, and I am thankful for grace, mercy and redemption. Tomorrow will be a new day, covered in white.