Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Another kind of long day

I always feel terrible when I don't enjoy a day at home with the kids.

I remember when H was a baby, and I was a 4th year on clinical rotations, and I would go literally days at a time without seeing him at all (or just gazing at him, asleep in his crib, before I went to bed myself when I got home at midnight), and ALL I WANTED TO DO was stay home and spend all day, every day with him. Even when I graduated and started a real job with more-normal hours, I still wished I had more time with him. So now that I get to spend the entire day alone with both kids 2-4 days a week, I always feel like I should be enjoying every minute.

Maybe enjoying every single minute isn't realistic; of course everyone is going to have the occasional trying moment, but I look at how BIG and OLD H seems compared to himself a year ago, and how unbelievably QUICKLY they're both growing up, and I want to savor this time because it will end so soon.

But yesterday was such. a. long. day. By the time M got home from work around 7:30, I was so done - I was giving the kids baths, and H had a tantrum because he didn't want to share the tub with E, so she was in the tub by herself and H and I were sitting next to it, and I was pretty much just staring at the wall waiting for bath time to be over so I could go to bed. Instead of enjoying my adorable, fat little baby who was splashing in the tub! Instead of concocting outlandish imaginary scenarios involving cars (or Cars, I guess - they usually feature McQueen or Mater, among other characters) with my adorable, imaginative little man! I was literally staring at the wall, answering H with monosyllables, and waiting for bedtime.

H just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and never really recovered. E and I both have mild colds, so he may be coming down with one and not feeling quite right. Or he may have just been having a random 3 year old day. But he had a meltdown at breakfast because we weren't getting his food fast enough, a tantrum because I asked him to put on his shoes so we could go outside, he pooped in his underwear and then announced it with a big smile, he insisted on pushing E's stroller when we went to the grocery store and kept running it into things, when I tried to play cars with him during E's nap he was bossy and kept telling me "No! Not that! Here! Do this instead!" and grabbing whichever car I was playing with (which he'd just given me a minute earlier), at dinner I made chicken barley chili (he loves chili) and he had a crying, screaming meltdown because he didn't want corn in it, despite the fact that I had removed a serving of chili for him before adding the corn to the  pot because I KNOW he doesn't want corn in his chili, and he'd been happily eating it for several minutes before he noticed that there was corn in MY bowl. And at least a dozen other episodes throughout the day that totally sapped my energy and patience, so that by the end of the day I just wanted to go to bed. And E was very clingy, probably because of her cold, and didn't want to be put down most of the day, but ALSO didn't want to go in the Ergo, so it was very hard to do anything since she needs both hands to be held safely (she likes to arch and lurch and dive, so I have to hold her with both arms).

We had fun moments, too. We went outside and played catch; we went to the pool and I carried E around while towing him around in his PuddleJumper, and he even would let go of my hand and let me walk a few feet away and then kick to me! I was so proud of him! We played a board game, he and E crawled around on the floor together making each other laugh, we read some stories.

When we were walking home from the pool, it was a beautiful evening and we were all finally in a good mood at the same time, and I was already sad about how hard the day had been, and I was thinking that in 20 years, I will give anything I have, trade anything in the world, for just one more day of this time with the kids at these ages. They'll be grown up and gone away, and I'll talk to them on the phone a couple times a week, and I will wish I could trade something - anything - for one more day with them as little ones. Even a hard day!

But, when I was in the middle of yesterday, it just seemed soooooo loooooooong. And I hate when that happens!

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