Or having four kids instead of three (or two, or one, for that matter). At some point over the weekend I said to myself “Self, you have got to quit this blaming it all on Rory/having four kids business.”
I had bad days before we had Rory. I had days when I felt like I would never get out of the house, that the dishes would never be done and the laundry would never be washed (Full disclosure: I have help with those things, so this is a doubly pitiful stance). When I was convinced that my life was a pit of endless dispair and I would never, ever get to go for a bike ride or advance my career again. During those times I took this out on everyone around me, and myself, hard. Just like I still do. (A buddy and author of this really good kids’ book that everyone should own refers to his evil alter ego “Black Mood”, a horrendous monster who can destroy the mood of a whole household in thirty seconds or less.)
The good news about this revelation is that it enables me to stop focusing on Rory as the cause of all stress (whether directly, or as the harbinger of the difficult four kids phenomena). The bad news is that, well, I will undoubtably still have bad days.
Not that this was one, in fact, it wasn’t at all. Here are some recent miracles: I took all four kids for pizza the other night solo, and it was relatively painless and indeed almost pleasant, what with the whole not having to cook or clean up thing. Rory did drop her whole Sprite on the floor–she was so grieved and embarrassed–but these things just happen, it’s not like she was goofing around with it, although she may have been attempting to carry it with one hand. Another cup full of 3/4 ice and 1/4 Sprite was easily obtained. And she thanked the young guy who cleaned up beautifully, which was especially nice as her earlier attempts to ask the same kid for a straw resulted in his asking me if she spoke English. (I didn’t hear her asking, since I was actually getting her a straw and she was actually pointing to the cup of pens on the counter, which she could barely see over. I think we can all agree that pens look like straws, and that four-year-olds can be tough to understand at the best of times, but this guy looked a little young to get that. So I’m not sure if she remembered the word “Straw” or not. She does forget when she’s nervous, and it’s kind of a big deal for her to talk to a stranger at all, so I was pleased with her and not bothered by him. It was fine.)
Oh, back to the miracles:
Two days worth of lunches already prepped tonight.
Rory enchanted by adorable green corduroy jumper and tights I put out for her this am. (She likes comfy clothes, so I wasn’t sure they would qualify.) “I pretty!” And she was–my favorite lime green is a perfect color on her and I predict she’ll sport it often, since she doesn’t share her big sister’s passion for all things pink…yet.
Lily equally enchanted by her one super special new school outfit, which it was too warm to wear until now: Purple and green with no pink in sight.
Wyatt very pleased by new shirt, gift of grandma several weeks ago, as yet unworn, and pants that he perceived as new in spite of their handy-down status. (Rory’s ensemble was a handy-down too, but she has a few new things coming. I think Lily wore through a few pair of leggings. Plus I couldn’t resist…Rory lets us dress her, and Lily wouldn’t accept anything I wanted her to wear, so it’s nice to have a little girl to deck out. Although many of the things Lily would not wear are waiting, nearly pristine, for Rory.)
Any more miracles? I can’t think of any. I’ve been asked–which is to say, hired–to cover more parenting issues for DoubleX, and I’m happy to be in such good company, while still struggling to balance varying work assignments. Getting there, though, definitely getting there.
I told Rob about our pizza dinner, and said I thought we’d all crossed some sort of rubicon. (I think I really said we’d gotten over the hump.) He shrugged. “The rest of us were there weeks ago.”
Hey, at least I’m there.