Wednesday, April 2, 2008

the balancing act

Note: this post is in tribute to "keeping it real." Do I really want to remember the hard, crazy days in the future when all this fades from my memory? I sure do.

Sometimes I think I'm losing it. It all started up this morning with Claire wetting her bed...again. And then Lucy's diaper explosion during breakfast that went up her back. And then it was a half day at school which my sweet children directly translate to mean a five-hour party with everyone they can think of in the neighborhood...at our house. Which in most instances is great. I love all those friends with all my heart. They are so good and polite and kind...in smaller doses. But today I had a headache and the cleaning ladies had just left which made me cringe as all their hard work went to pot as the kids traipsed in and out of the house wet from the pool and spilling popcorn and juice box drips in little trails behind them. {Note: Do I know I am spoiled to have cleaning ladies that come to help out every other week? Yes, and I want to kiss them every time they show up to help rescue me from the dirt and squalor that I'm sure would be my fate without them.} And the slamming doors and all the teasing and rough housing didn't do much for my headache. And then it was a rush of carpool time, and then it was dinner time, and then sweet Elle crammed the brimming-full-of-sparkly-
clean-dishes dishwasher even more full...with really dirty ones, and then Lucy fell off the table and had a fifteen minute meltdown, and Claire decided she needed to pout and cry about everything from a stern look I gave her to the fact that she couldn't get Lucy to laugh, and Max and Elle got in a big argument about some completely random thing. So by the time I sent them all off to get on their p.js after Dave left for Young Mens and I opened the dryer with more laundry waiting to be folded I was ready for my own meltdown.

And what's weird is that today wasn't even that crazy. I mean, a lot of worse things could have happened. And a lot of good things did happen: I got to go to Max's class this morning and do Art Masterpiece which we both love. Dave even stayed home with the little girls while I was gone so I didn't have to find someone else to watch them. A friend picked Lucy, Claire & I up this morning and we had so much fun with her and her daughters at "Transportation Day" at their preschool. Elle made dinner for tonight at her cooking class last night and it was delicious after simply cooking in the crockpot all day. My friend drove the tennis carpool. It should have been a smooth day. But it wasn't.

I guess what makes me frustrated is that I realize today was tough because of me and my attitude. I'm the mother, and because of that, I have the power to make a day like today better. I could have helped the kids all figure out some kind of nice service they could do for someone else. They were asking for ideas. Why didn't I come up with some creative, fun thing for them instead of letting them wreck havoc on my clean house? I was too wrapped around trying to finish off the editing of two photoshoots while Lucy was napping, and I just can't always be "on," that's why. I could have been ready to diffuse tension when Max and Elle started to get frustrated with each other. I could have taken more time to dote on Claire so she wasn't so sensitive. I need to somehow get better at my own "balancing act." Some days I'm "on" and I feel like I can take on the world. But today wasn't one of them. I guess it's a continual battle, and someday when I'm old, maybe I'll get it.

But for now, I'm off to get mesmerized by watching my kids sleep, go take sleeping Claire to the bathroom so she won't wet the bed again, and then snuggle in and let my sweet husband's sleepy breathing lull me to sleep, and try once again not to cough all night, so that tomorrow my balancing act will come off a little better than it did today.
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