I'm still working on not being so angry, and it seems like various factors crop up all the time to make it more difficult... But I think it's always helpful to realize that it's possible to reset at any point in the day. And that's hard for me to do a lot of the time, because it's so easy for lack of sleep or a less-than-ideal morning to ruin the rest of the day.
Just pausing and being thankful for everything (even the things it sometimes doesn't make sense to be thankful for...) really helps put things in perspective for me. Lindsay at My Child, I Love You wrote a really great reflection on this (including one of my mom's all-time favorite stories) - definitely worth a read!
Anyway, this morning was a rough one. I have been having really crazy dreams lately (I'm talking Attila the Hun chasing me and trying to kill me in the old house I lived in in college, and me eventually deciding that probably I should just go to confession and then let myself be killed), and can never seem to get back to sleep after I wake up in the middle of the night. So I was up at 4 and had *finally* gone back to sleep when John Paul showed up in our bedroom (which has NEVER happened before) because he needed to pee and couldn't get his jammies unzipped. So at 5:15 I tried to go BACK to sleep, and as soon as it happened the babies were awake.
Then there was no time for coffee or adequate breakfast before I had to start getting ready for Mass. John Paul and Cecilia slept in, so I was planning on going to Mass without them (and kind of looking forward to it, not going to lie...). But of course they woke up JUST in time to come with me, freaking out because there really wasn't time to get dressed and eat breakfast, so Andrew and I very hurriedly (and angrily, yikes) got them dressed and ready to go.
Then of course there was the less-than-ideal Mass behavior, because John Paul REALLY needed me to help with the maze in the back of the MagnifiKid, and REALLY needed me to write things on the offering envelope, and REALLY had to block the way of the lady in our pew trying to get to communion because he had to finish writing something (and she was very understanding, thank goodness!), etc.
Needless to say, he was NOT going to get a treat. But then I realized he hadn't eaten breakfast, which probably had rather a lot to do with the behavior, because I know I get really angry when I'm hungry, so I really can't blame him... Plus really I was more sensitive because of hunger and fatigue as well. So he got the treat, and we headed home.
I got the babies down for their naps and instructed the big kids that they were to STAY UPSTAIRS with the craft supplies while I took a nap, and they should ONLY come downstairs if they needed something important.
But I just couldn't get mad when John Paul SO excitedly came in to show me his Ten Commandments:
And 5 minutes later, his "Red Sea:"
And 10 minutes later he came down again because he needed help drawing Moses... And noticed, "There's an empty spot in the bed!"
And proceeded to crawl in and start reading Andrew's copy of St. Augustine's Confessions.
Whispering: "Mom, I can hear music through the monitor!"
I gave up. But I couldn't be annoyed, you know? He was just being his most typical self, and while his little quirks make him so infuriating at times, they're also the most endearing things about him.
He's always been the type of kid who needs to know all the things and needs to do all the things. I remember how unhappy he was as a baby in those weeks leading up to crawling because he couldn't get to ALL THE THINGS HE NEEDED! And he's been so very frustrated lately as well, but all of a sudden he turned the corner developmentally and can draw all the things and write all the things and sit there and read every book and learn all the things. And it's such a joy to be able to watch these developments and see just how happy they make him!
Cecilia's contribution is "A cave with skeletons and tigers in it, and it's a circus!"
Clearly. She's trying so hard to keep up with John Paul, which makes her creations pretty awesome as well :)
And when things like this happen I'm reminded to hug these kids closely - I have no idea how much time on earth I'll be granted with them, and they really are oh-so-precious.
So tell me - how are you?