Today was early release day at Brayden's school. OH GOODY!, that 11:30 time of dismissal gave me even more opportunity to bond with both my kids prior to taking off for Michele's when John came home from work. (He has to do a ministry video for Mens' Roundup to do in Salem so we're up north for the weekend).
If that above exclamation sounded semi-sarcastic, it was meant to. Perhaps because my headaches have returned with a vengeance, or sugar is again out of my system, or it's colder than I want it to be in May.... (hey, it's not raining and the sun's out - so I'm not complaining) - but the energy level and tolerance level with the kids have been at all time lows.
I told John today that as I consider Brayden's personality/behavior I realize it is the sort of thing that if he was someone else's kid - I would be very charmed by it and think he's funny and a good time.... but to have to be the mom to him can be very tiring as he's ALL-OTTER - and just can't be still for long at all without pestering or being loud. Then, of course, there is the two-kid combination that generally results in 1) arguing over anything under the sun (especially the time directly before and after school) or 2) Mikayla adopts Brayden's very silly personality so the two of them egg each other on to even more mischief. It was both of these that had me near tears today.
Let me back up a bit and say that I thought I had a really good plan for today - perhaps something extra special that I could call our "Mothers' Day Date" and be memorable in honor of the holiday. I have the "Trail-a-bike" attached to the back of my Cruiser bicycle and we rode Brayden to school today. After school, Mikayla and I picked him up and proceeded to "Potters Quarter" a place in the Oakway Center where you can paint your own pottery. I thought that, combined with a stop at Cold Stone would be a grand plan for spending the afternoon. Anal-retentive Steph (me) would prefer to paint my own Mothers' Day gift (maybe I'll post a picture of my pretty red vase with white spongepainting on top when I get it back), but that just meant the kids got to paint their own special projects that they would like - Brayden picking a skateboard and Mikayla picking a dolphin. All was going well to start, but then they started getting bored - and silly - and well, the relaxation was lost. Ice cream was good too, but both kids just seemed a little too loud. Even on the bike ride back, Mikayla was singing and yelling at Brayden and I wanted to just say, "Look kids, it's MY day, can't you just tone it down and bask in the glory of the sunshine in silence for a while!"
When we returned, they chose to plop in front of the Disney Channel while I mowed the lawns - and when I came in, Hurricane "Mikay-den" had arrived strewing their snacks, toys, papers, and shoes all over. Throw in some more arguing, some blatant disregard for requests I made of them, and honestly, by the time John arrived home, I was ignoring the mascara application in my efforts to get ready because I really thought I'd burst into tears at any moment.
No, it's not "that time of the month" - I think I just feel sad that I can't appreciate them more for just who they are, and they can't respect me in trying just a little harder. Not once were the kids ever intentional in "not being good" - part of the tears thing was knowing how remorseful they both were (and would be even more after Daddy got done talking to them). I don't want to lose any of these precious years of their development, but sometimes it's just easier to plan non-stop playdates so I don't have to deal with the afternoons that can be so trying.
Certainly, after John gave them his disappointment lecture, they both stepped up considerably. My daughter, who already knows my love language, without anyone prompting went to work with Windex Wipes shining anything glass in the house, just to try to make me happier. Brayden said "yes" with eagerness to anything I suggested. I just wish I could have made that happen on my own without John stepping in.
Sigh.......God knows my heart in that I truly believe I am so blessed with both my kiddos, but sometimes this mothering thing can be hard, you know? Today, I feel like I earned this Sunday's holiday.