Because Noah is such a sweet baby, with a really generally good disposition, I occasionally forget that being a mother to two children under 3 is supposed to be hard work. Not even supposed to be hard work, but IS hard work.
If you are reading this as someone who is not the exhausted - but proud - owner of a 1.5 to 2.5-year-old, you have probably not shouted at someone at the top of your lungs in a very long time, maybe even never! I am sure that the last time I truly used my voice to its full capacity had to do something with a company softball game, when fuelled by several cans of beer I found myself getting very excited when a British person wasn't getting the rules of softball and doing some poor base-running. Matt and I have never really been ones for shouting matches, probably because we are simply in agreement that a) we can pay the bills, but just barely, but we're glad we can do that; b) we can vaguely remember a time when we used to go out to dinner 2 or 3 times a week, but who in the world would have the energy for that now?! and c) most likely one or both of us is probably going deaf in one or both ears, so what's the point?
One of the hardest things about the current "phase" that Blake is in is that he just doesn't seem to understand that SO many things would be SO much easier if he would just listen and do as he is told. Getting dressed is basically as big a battle as those at Waterloo or Gettysburg, and today as he fought and kicked me to get on his pants/trousers, I could almost see myself turning into a caricature-like wicked witch of the west. My face got red, the walls shook at the tone of my voice, and Blake burst into tears. And then, oh, the guilt! But, I maintain, kicking is NOT NICE!
The funny thing - if there is one - is that later that evening as we told Matt about our day, the thing that Blake brought up was this: "Mommy took Blake's jelly and Blake cried and cried because he wanted his cake." Ok, so the way I saw this particular incident - a different one to my morning shout - was this: We went off to the park to meet some new friends at the playground. I played with Blake on the slide, I pushed him on the swings, and then I played football with him and his friend Molly, all of this taking up much of the afternoon. When we got home, I went into the kitchen and got out a mini cake, cut it in half, came into the living room, and offered Blake half (with the other half going to me). But oh how in the world that was totally unacceptable! I am absolutely sure he has heard of the concept of sharing, but somehow nothing I could say could persuade him that it wasn't his God-given right to have the entirety of this Bakewell tart. I ate my half in one bite so there was no looking back from that, but I just couldn't believe the waterworks. Meanwhile Noah was sitting in his bouncy chair, puking up the lovingly-prepared breastfeed I had given him a few minutes before. This was a 10-minute spell where I have to say that I was not feeling the most appreciated. Fortunately I quickly recovered and we immersed ourselves in a 2-page Thomas the Tank Engine coloring spread - I found the mundane "keeping in between the lines" to be very therapeutic, and we used all the colors in the rainbow to pass about 30 minutes of what is typically called the child's "unhappy hour".
I have, since Noah was born, made it a point not to indulge in my evening drink until Matt gets home from work. Although there have been times when I have wanted to have my evening glass of wine at 5:00 pm or thereabouts, I have felt it only appropriate to wait til he's home. Tonight I had about 3 glasses between his walking through the door and my doing bedtime with Blake; I have to say that I like Charlie and Lola all the time, but reading a story called "Snow is my Favorite and My Best" with a slight buzz is actually pretty fun.
So yes, it is hard work, and "relentless" as the friend we met at the swings described it. But being a mother does have its good times. Getting Blake dressed just isn't one of them.
Speaking of rainbows, there was a fantastic one yesterday: