You know when your morning starts off on the wrong foot and you’re certain the entire day is shot because of it? That happened this morning.
Joshua and Emma woke up at 6 and it was immediately clear that they had alllllllllllll the energy. (How do kids do that? How do they wake up going 90 miles an hour?) Dan and I just sort of stared at each other wide-eyed like “OMG! Whose kids are these? How!? Why? Is it too early to drink?”
And then he left for work and I was left with the two wide-open children. And no coffee. And did I mention I was running on about 4.5 hours of sleep?
Basically my morning was a breeding ground for a terrible afternoon. Sometimes I can just feel those days coming. Emma and I went about our day, going to her 18 month check-up, putting her down for a nap, working, and then we went to get Joshua.
From the minute I picked him up from school I could tell he was tired. Overtired. I probably knew he was overtired even before I dropped him off this morning because of all of the bouncing off the walls he was doing.
He was due for a check-up with the orthopedist to take his cast off, so we made the drive to the office, in afternoon school traffic, running late. A recipe for my anxiety which is already not in a great place.
For days he’s been saying he doesn’t want them to take his cast off because he’s old enough to remember the pain he was in the night he broke his arm. He’s scared of it. I can’t blame him. I would be scared, too.
But they took his cast off anyway, and he doesn’t understand that his arm isn’t broken anymore. It’s sore from the fact that he hasn’t been able to use it for a month. His range of motion is wonky and everything just feels wrong for him. And, remember, he’s overtired.
We went to Target to get a “Hooray! No cast!” toy and a cake pop and came home. I started dinner, they were screaming at each other, and then he was crying. He had put weight on his arm getting onto the couch and it hurt.
I just knew that tonight required a different sort of me. All of the circumstances causing him to cry were mostly outside of any of our control and something about that brought me, I don’t know, peace? Clarity?
I hugged him and told him it was okay to cry if he was hurt or sad. It is always okay to cry. So he cried.
We kept meltdown after meltdown at bay (barely) from dinner until bath time and from bath time onward, it was pretty clear we were headed for a rough evening.
He cried because he couldn’t take his pants off. He cried because he didn’t want to get his arm wet. He cried because because because.
His poor eyes were red-rimmed from all the crying. (And the tired.)
This is the sort of thing, by the way, that often makes me want to glue a set earplugs in place permanently. The crying over every.single.thing. I’m okay with it until I’m suddenly just not okay with it anymore. There’s a slow boil that happens in my brain when it starts and it goes until my frutration just bubbles over. (I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that regard, right mamas?)
Knowing that Dan also has a limit, I tagged in for bedtime. At first Joshua cried harder and louder and I told him I was going to lay down next to him and hold him. He could cry if he needed to, but I was going to lay down and play with his hair.
He scooted over to give me some room and then scooted back over to me. Exactly like I knew he would.
He cried. He cried some more. He tried to get comfortable and hurt his arm by stretching it out too far and cried harder. I just kept holding him.
Instead of willing him to go to bed and fall asleep so I could go and do nothing at all of any importance, I slowed down and snuggled him while he cried from being tired and sore because it’s what he needed. There was nowhere else I wanted to be.
I was the kind of mom I wish I always was.