Today was amazing, an adventure, a trial all wrapped up and presented with an innocent smile, and grand intentions.
Before I get into that, though, I must talk about the miracle of this morning. I have mentioned before Faye's turtle-istic tendencies when it comes to getting ready in the morning. It doesn't matter how early she gets up, she will make us nearly late every single morning. But not this morning! Last night I had her get her clothes for the next day ready. We laid them out, including socks and shoes. I then told her that whoever got ready for school first would get to ride in the front back seat next to Beth, instead of the back back seat. For some reason that is the coveted seat, and there has been much fighting over it.
Jeffrey left for work around 5:30/. I couldn't sleep any longer, so I got up and began to clean up my room. And then my favorite part of the morning happened.
"Mommy. I awake now. Mommy!"
Beth lays her head down next to the crack beneath her door and calls for me. She doesn't ever raise her voice. It isn't yelling, it is very conversational. Sometimes her voice gets very sing-songy, and it is adorable. I open her door slowly so as not to hit her in the head, she jumps up, says "lost my binki." It is usually on the floor next to her bed. Sometimes it is still in her bed. We pick it up, she puts her arms up, I lift her, and her arms encircle my neck as she lays her head on my shoulder and whispers "Mommy bed." And then we go cuddle in my bed with her hair tickling my nose.
I love it! I am so glad it happens every morning, and I worry about this ritual not happening when the baby is born. I will really miss it if we can't do it anymore! The toddler/preschool age is my absolute favorite!
Faye woke up around 6:30. She immediately began to get ready for school. She was all dressed by the time Keith woke up, and when he saw that she was beating him in the getting ready for school category, he rushed downstairs and began to get ready as well.
By 7:30, everyone was ready for the day and a delicious breakfast of oatmeal was being eaten, Keith made his lunch, the kids actually washed out their dishes and put them in the dishwasher, and we had prayer and were out of the house on time! There were no tears, no wanting to pull my hair out with negotiating or nagging of Faye to just hurry up and put her clothes on, there is not much choice when she has a uniform, for heaven's sake!
As we walked out the door this morning, it began to snow!
When Beth and I got home, we did some laundry, some cleaning, some reading. She is such a sweet helper she is!
We got Faye home from school, and while I was making lunch, Beth disappeared. Faye said she was playing in my bathroom. I asked her to go and get Beth out, and to close the door so she couldn't get in anymore.
Oh the adventurous life with small children.
They are always just trying to help when things go horribly wrong.
Faye must have figured that if she locked my bedroom door, Beth would not be able to get into my makeup any more, and the problem would be permanently solved. Except the door lock is broken. When we moved in the doorknob was messed up a bit, and it locks no problem, but if you are on the outside of the door, picking the lock is incredibly difficult. Which comes in very handy when we want to wrap presents, or have a private conversation. It doesn't work so well, however, when there is no one on the inside to unlock the door.
This happened at noon. I tried everything I could think of to get the door open. I did not succeed. And so I didn't finish cleaning my bathroom today. Instead the girls and I lit a fire, and read, and played Candy Land. With our Halloween candy, which I must telly you, makes for a game infinitely more fun!
Beth had a blast dancing with our pilgrim statues. She kept calling them Mommy and Daddy. She would hug them and carry them around. It was adorable to watch.
She and Faye were playing and running around. Beth says "I hungry. Eat you!" and then chases whoever she chooses around, and pretends to eat them. When Faye decided to let her catch her, Beth sat and stroked Faye's face in her hands meanwhile melting my heart. The sisterly love was incredible to behold!
Jeffrey eventually got home, and he couldn't get the door to open, either. He went down to detox from work, and I began to make dinner. Finally, around 6 I got very impatient. My feet were cold, and I wanted my slippers, but more than that, I just wanted access to my room! I decided we needed to climb a ladder, open the (hopefully) unlocked window, climb in, and get the door open that way. Jeffrey decided to just go buy some very long needle nose pliers. Within a minute of attempting to open the door with those babies, we had access! I was so excited and happy to finally be able to enter my room again!
And then I remembered that heaters work best when all the doors of the house are open. My bedroom was arctic! No worries, though, it soon warmed up wonderfully.
Although the majority of my plans for the day were un-accomplish-able (my cleaning supplies were in my bathroom, and my shoes and keys were in my bedroom, so I couldn't go anywhere), I had a lot of fun with the kids, and am hoping that with the success of last night, this laying out the clothes thing will catch on and help us to be on time and organized every morning!
By the end of the day, though, I was done. More than done. Had I been brownies in the oven, I would have been burned to the point of spitting out every morsel and having to wash away the taste with some other sort of food. I had done more one on one time with the girls, having them on top of my for nearly the whole day. I usually get a bit of a break to replenish during Beth's nap, but today Faye craved the attention, and so I gave it to her. I tried to retreat to my newly opened room, but the girls could not leave me alone! And I am so torn by this, because I love that they want to be with me. I love that they crave my attention, and that I can help them feel so special and needed and loved! At the same time, sometimes I need time to replenish my well of giving love. Today was one of those days. I tried so hard to be patient. Finally, after the millionth time of Faye jumping on my bed because she is a bat, and Beth squealing "Mommy! Look!" and showing me something, or doing something, I just wanted to focus, for just a minute, on my book!
And I yelled at them.
They left the room, but were back a few minutes later.
Rinse and repeat.
Five times over.
Finally, near tears from exhaustion (remember, I had been up since 5:30, and this whole carrying a baby things just makes me so very tired anyway), I picked up Beth. She wrapped those cutie pie arms of hers around my neck, laid her head on my shoulder, and sighed happily. I held her close, and told her I was sorry. I shouldn't have yelled at her. I shouldn't have lost my patience and turned into the yelling mom ogre that I was. I was just tired, and although that wasn't a good excuse at all, it was the truth. She patted my back and said "It's okay, Mommy. It's alright. I know. I love you." I was so surprised with her grown up words. My heart puddled into my feet with humility and gratitude. What a wonderful girl she is, and what a lesson on acceptance and forgiveness to teach her mother! I didn't want to put her down in her bed, but knew that I should. I gave her an extra squeeze, put her into her bed (again), pulled her blankets close and gave her a big kiss and bum pat. I then left her room reluctantly. And went straight into Faye's room. I did the same thing with her. I told her I was so sorry for being a grump, and I was going to go to bed so I could be happier tomorrow. And she did the same thing Beth did, but with more words. "I know, Mom. I love you. We all have bad days. You are the best Mommy in the world! And the prettiest. And you are my favorite person in the whole wide world!" Again, heart in puddles. I gave her a long slow squeeze, kissed her head and told her I love her as I left her room.
Seriously! Are there words to articulate, let alone comprehend the feelings from these girls? They are so good and kind and loving and forgiving. The personify unconditional love. I don't deserve them, and I am grateful every single day for them, and for the things they teach me! Keith is included in that, he just kept to himself mostly today. He likes to play legos, or draw, or read, or work on things on his own in his room. Which on days like this, is absolutely ideal and preferable after a day like today. But he is included in my gratitude, and that unconditional love. My kids are so good! What a blessing they are in my life.