Um, this is a rapid fire, absolutely no rough draft or editing going on type post. Am frantically getting ready for Jim's birthday party, to which I optimistically invited almost thirty people because hey! May! It'll be spring time and sunny and we can all just hang outside! Except... it has rained for thirty days straight, more or less. Our backyard is literally a giant muddy sponge almost as soon as you step off the deck, ending in a sort of soup bowl of standing water which my husband and BIL are currently trying to reroute by way of a giant EFFING DITCH in our back yard. To which I say, heck yeah, if that's what it takes. I am unspeakably sick of having a huge backyard which is virtually unusable months out of the year because of the horrible drainage issues. I'll take a giant ditch if it means the dog isn't filthy to his ankles every time he goes out to pee.
Can you tell I'm a little cranky? I'm a little cranky. The week started with the horrible news of the two deaths I mentioned, then we found out a teacher friend had been fired due to some.... personal issues, I believe, more than professional, so that sucked. I've been getting more and more anxious about the state of the yard, wanting so badly to be able to use it for the party and becoming more and more resigned to the fact that we WON'T be using it and that thirty people are going to be milling around our (smallish) house with nothing to do but eat stromboli for three hours.
Oh, and Jamie fell out of his jumperoo the other day- or more accurately, the whole dang thing fell off the door frame somehow (the only thing I can figure is that I put it on wrong- hangs head in shame) and while I was tearfully calling the hospital for a reminder on what to watch for and an assurance that he was probably ok, I heard Eli start screaming and crying because he had HIT HIS HEAD while jumping on the couch, something I've only been lecturing them about for, oh, their ENTIRE LIVES. I had to hang up on the nurse to go attend to his head injury, then call her back to check on Jamie's. A fine parenting moment!
Oof, and speaking of Eli, his recent issues have just been killing me. (This is the part where I should say, won't be printing THIS post off to save for posterity.) I've always said if one of my kids were aiming to be my favorite, he could probably manage it, with his cuddly little ways and his face basically a cross between Jim's and my dad's, and his mama's firstborn boy status and all. And also our personalities just mesh really well. BUT. This week he's lucky I didn't abandon him at the firehouse and drive off, cackling like a lunatic, into the sunset.
He is still having accidents so often that there are always a pair of his underwear or pants hanging to dry after being rinsed. ALWAYS. His room ALWAYS smells like wet pull ups no matter how often I empty the trash in their room. He is ALWAYS insisting he doesn't have to go and throwing a fit when we make him. Dudes, this is going on a YEAR that this kid has been in the process of potty training. A YEAR, minus that blissful month or two when he was completely potty trained, before Jameson was born and then all was lost. I'm about to either give up, stick him back in freaking DIAPERS until he decides to take himself to the bathroom, or take him to the doctor to see if he's having some kind of physical issue causing this extreme and lengthy regression.
I try to make no fuss about it, try not to get irritated, try to stay positive. But I know he can feel my annoyance, and it's making him defensive and grouchy and defiant, which in turn gets me even further irritated, and on and on we go until one or both of us melts down. Ex: yesterday in the DMV, when he ran in screaming circles while I tried to handle the always smooth process of dealing with bureaucratic stuff while Jamie cried relentlessly on my hip. Finally as we were leaving and I was getting Jamers settled back into his stroller, Eli darted out of TWO heavy glass doors and into the parking lot before I could catch him, ignoring my warnings and frantic waving. I couldn't even speak because I was on the verge of tears- I was so scared, and so angry, and so furious with myself for not being able to control my kid. Once I got everyone buckled in, I'm pretty sure I was just ranting. "Do you know what a car can DO to you, Eli!? Do you want to get KILLED?!" Etc. Productive!
Ugh. Then I realized I had to get the kids dinner really quick because lo! It was Addy's night for dance class, and it started in an hour! So we went to McDonalds, where at least I knew the kids would eat, and they proceeded to fuss about every little thing, and I ordered the wrong flavor of milkshake for Addy, and Jamie lost his sock in the car, and then the lady at the register was like, "Ma'am? Did you know your baby only has one sock on?" SO loudly that the whole room turned to look at the sweaty mama with the sockless baby on her hip and the feral children clawing at her leg.
Basically the night continued like that: late for dance class, hurriedly running errands for the party while Addy was in class, Eli running off and trying to steal sunglasses and toy cars in Rite Aid and finally having to be physically removed from the store, HITTING me and yelling about the car, losing all his toys for the night, crying hysterically about that, pooping his pants, me grocery shopping until ten pm....
I am living the dream here. Sigh. Sometimes I wonder if I'm even doing my kids any favors by being at home with them while they're small. Would I be nicer to them, more patient, if I saw less of them?