I’m feeling impatient and cranky today–like all I can do is gripe at people and criticize. And very touchy–as in, I worked hard on this dinner and you’d better sit down and eat it right now, and for heaven sakes don’t TALK to me while you’re doing it! Nobody is moving fast enough or being nice enough for me.
Rory’s horrible wound is a little better. Sam still looks like he’s been in the wars, but I don’t think he’s noticing it at all except when he looks in the mirror. We had to re-bandage Rory yesterday–I wasn’t thinking and let her get in the shower, and the “non stick” pad stuck when wet, so it was pretty painful for her, especially since I think she’d forgotten all about it until then. It had to be dried, and neosporined again, and re-bandaged. Tonight she peeled the bandage off, but then the wound touched something, which hurt–obviously! I had to snuggle her in for a fresh bandage, and she just kept saying anxiously Don’t hurt me! Don’t hurt me! Fortunately a new dry bandage didn’t have to hurt at all, but it made me think about people who bring kids home who need surgery right away…
(Side note–my husband is eating dinner right now, and I just nearly turned around and yelled “don’t SMACK!” at him. That’s how touchy I am just now…much better time for me not to interact with ANYBODY. Fortunately the one thing Rory can do agreeably with the other kids nearly every time–the Wii–is on, because Sam just learned how to make the little characters that go with it, and he’s making each kid and all of their friends. We’re very basic Wii users here. The simplest things thrill us.)
So I’m irritable. But a few minutes of breathing–and, I have realized, a night off the computer–will do wonders. Being on the computer means reading my email, and reading my email reminds me of work and all the things I did not accomplish today, or this week, or in my life so far–and that’s not terribly relaxing. So I’ve started trying to leave it alone on nights when I feel tense!
Rory does have a habit of hanging out and being–to me–irritating (word of the day!) while I cook dinner, but I’ve made a conscious effort to just give her a little attention and a little taste of what I’m doing, or let her stir something, and since that’s become a habit it isn’t quite so hard to mask my irritation. (our kitchen floor space is literally 3′ by 9′, and it’s hard NOT to be irritated by someone who’s both laying on said floor and wailing “I so hungry” but also insisting that the dog lay next to her as well.)
I don’t know. Maybe I don’t have the patience to bond right with her. I’m not, and never have been, a person who can be around small kids 24/7. I don’t think that means I don’t love them, or shouldn’t parent them–I think it means I have a healthy sense of how I can keep my patience and be the best parent I personally can be, and that unquestionably involves at least a couple of hours of alone time most days (I can’t actually be with other adults 24/7, either). Some days I don’t come home from trying to work and shuttling kids and grocery shopping and yadda yadda with a whole boatload of patience, either, and this was one of them. I’ve got a minimun of three years of some bonding and snuggling and reading and one on one time with all the rest of them. Maybe I’ve used it all up. Some of the things I’ve liked to do with them–even when they were littler than Rory–I have a hard time doing with her, like cooking. She disobeys even direct instructions sometimes–don’t touch the knife, and she touches the knife, etc–and I don’t mean some sort of hard-ass crazy instructions, I mean that it’s impossible to cook with someone who picks things up off the counter and dumps them into the bowl, and while she doesn’t do it every time, she does it often enough that I can’t even turn my back for a second, and I have to keep my hand on hers all the time, and that’s not fun for either of us. She’s hard to read to–she turns the pages insistently, or gets up, or talks–and I’m pretty good at reading to kids, I’ve actually written a book on it, and again, it’s not like I’m insisting on some sort of utopian behavior.
I don’t know. Most times I think, ok, maybe this will be a little slower than bonding with someone with more time and patience, but we’ll get there, and it’s getting better all the time. And then sometimes I think no, I’m just going to suck at this, and then it sucks to be all of us.