I just ripped my husband a new one for deciding to take a shit while I was on a conference call. Generally, he can make a bowel movement whenever he damn well pleases, except at this time, it meant leaving the older kids alone and to their own devices. And lately, that means fights. Knock down drag 'em out better than two hos fighting over Flavor Flav, which isn't so great when you're trying to have a civilized conversation with a potential client. Excuse me a moment while I go sit on my children.
The tenuous sibling relationship is one of the many things that they don't tell you in those damn baby books. I realize that there's only so much you can fit into 300 pages before the book gets tossed up on a bookshelf to collect dust. And then there's just too many things that they really can't tell you because you have to experience it on your own or you'd probably never have kids.
Or at least have more of them.
Aside from buying two of everything, which really doesn't do anything but jam pack your house full of more shit, it seems that we moms inevitably become judge, jury, and referee. And it's just not anything I feel prepared for nor something that I feel at all capable of doing.
I can understand the older child's annoyance with having her building blocks knocked down, her papers torn, and her pictures colored upon. And I can understand the younger child's desire to want to play with her, be near her, and engage with her in his own extremely special way.
I just haven't been able to effectively express those sentiments in a way that doesn't involve me yelling my guts out and sending both children to the corner.
Seriously, why can't we all just get along?
So after the fights, the trips to time out, and the timer setting for a fucking Magnadoodle, I'm exhausted and frustrated. And I feel like a failure.
Yesterday, I could no longer bring myself to plop my son back on his time out stool as he laughed the whole way there and back. I had no more idle threats of lost desserts, hammers, and stories. And I just cried, a loud long blubbering sloppy ass cry.
It's one thing to have these kids. But it's a whole other one to actually raise them.
My son has taken to harrassing my computer to get my attention. With sick kids and husband, that meant no sitter, extremely tired mommy who fell asleep at 9pm, and work (crazy, busy work) in between making dinner and doing laundry loads.
Holy mother of laundry.
Not surprisingly, his kicks and scratches at my computer screen irritate me, and I pick myself up from my work, drag him to the corner, and threaten to take away his beloved hammer if he moves. And then I feel absolutely terrible and cuddle him as long as he can stand it.
It's become a daily ritual in our relationship. More like a bad habit.
This is not only the challenge of two kids under two (and three under four), but also the nature of my newborn who enjoys the sling over any expensive piece of baby gear crowding my living room. Most of all, I think it has to do with the personality of my loving, cuddly, and vibrant son (read: clingy, grabby, and crazy) who cannot occupy himself for longer than three minutes. And that was when he was pulling apart my kitchen cabinets.
Yo Gabba Gabba got me a solid two minutes and then even the bouncing one-eyed red thing got old. My husband says he likes the Wiggles but I have yet to actually observe this Christmas miracle.
He says "Look Mom, Look Mom" every other minute, displaying his amazing skill at dumping out the lego bin, knocking down Quinlan's block creations, and attempting to mop his little sister's head. The more I tell him to stop doing something, the more he does it; partly his age, partly my parental neglect.
The truth is, I really miss my kids. I do what I can to read the bedtime stories, and dote on them, even if it is to the tune of a screaming baby left abandoned on the bed for a few minutes. But even then it's hard to leave the crying one to tend to another. It's hard to put one down to pick another one up.
I know it is enough, or at least, it will have to be for now.
But I hope they know that I hold them all tightly together in my heart. Even if I can't fit them all on my lap.