I have managed, largely, to keep my goal of being softer with the kids going. This morning I found that verily, a soft answer doth turneth away the wrath even of a Lily who doesn’t like breakfast, couldn’t find the clothes she wanted and is generally grumpy (go find yourself something else for breakfast, fine, pretzels, pack it up carefully and bring it in the car).
But oh, it has been a long afternoon.
For starters, back in October I bought us an Arctic Cat Prowler, which is best described as a cross among a golf cart, an ATV and a snowmobile. I think it’s been here a total of twelve days since then. Apparently it gets lonely for all its buddies back home, and–snap–no more front passenger track! No more gear shifting! And lo, back it goes. This wasn’t too bad back when it would collapse in whatever way in the garage, but that apparently became dull. Last time it did it in our field, and it took four people and several tow chains attached together to dig and then pull it out of there.
So you might think I would have learned that the Prowler, in spite of its marketing, is really best used on, say, a golf course. A FLAT golf course. Without any snow, bumps or other barriers to movement. But we don’t live on a golf course. And there is really a lot of snow. So when it came back last time, I took it out. And it was great. It worked! It went up hills, it conquered the snow, it was actually fun and I thought, let’s take it on the trail behind the house! Which is why we bought it! Let’s go!
Long story short, it’s busted again, this time half a mile into the woods in three plus feet of snow. The front passenger tread won’t turn, and no amount of digging and juggling and driving or anything else from me had any affect at all. Except on my mood, which because grumpier and grumpier with each attempt. By the time I abandoned and headed in to meet the friend who picked up Wy and Rory, my patience was shot. This is a lousy way to begin a long afternoon…
There was of course driving, lots of it, and snacks, and the ritual dumping of the snacks on the floor of the car (why do I let them? Even on a long drive? They WILL NOT STARVE. They will fall asleep and so what? )
But that ship has sailed. I made dinner. I played chess. I served dinner. I did a bunch of other stuff. I served dinner, and it was grudgingly eaten and I was out of patience and when they were goofy at the table and chanted mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes I shouted sit down and eat! And when attempts were made to demonstrate the mashed potato dance I shouted sit down! And EAT. And when there was the beginning of some sort of massed potato wrestle I shouted… Well, you get the picture. But I let Rory get away with flattening HER mashed potatoes out all over the plate and then slowly licking them off her spoon, because I was tired of shouting, and hey, at least she was sitting down. And eating.
And then she said, as you all knew she would, “I want you feed me.”
Oh, I know what I said! I will be soft! I will give up the part of me she needs! I will feed the part of her that needs a gentle response!
But I just couldn’t. I know, if it had been an easier day she would not have been so needy. It’s when it’s hardest for us that they need us the most.
I need a break. Could somebody please feed me that?