After a long, sleepless night, I had battled through a long, sleepless day at work and a commute that took twice as long as it should have.
When I walked in the door, all I wanted was to change clothes, grab a glass of brandy, and relax for a few minutes. By the time I got halfway to the door, I realized that was not going to happen. I could hear the cries of the little ones and knew it had probably been going on all day. I did my best to put on a happy face, but it quickly faded.
|When screaming blows out a window, you know you're in for a rough night.|
Almost nothing was eaten. We had several discipline issues. An entire cup of milk was "accidentally" spilled on me and the floor. They finally left the table, only to start fighting with each other as I tried to do some clean up. Screaming, pulling (and tearing) clothes, and more tears were all I saw and heard as I walked into the room. Fortunately, I was just in time to prevent one of them from biting the other. This hadn't been an issue for quite some time, but here it was.
I snapped. I raised my voice louder than I needed to, but I wanted to stun them as I made my way over to the open mouthed one. I grabbed them and pulled them apart. They both got disciplined for their part in the battle. The spilt milk was still on the floor, so they were given the ultimatum: sit here quietly and read, or suffer the consequences.
It was only 6:30. I didn't know how I was going to make it until 7:30 without losing my cool. As I was on my hands and knees, trying to get all the milk off the floor and sop it up from the gaps between the wood planks of the floor, Hadley patted me on the back. She and Brynne were standing there, with big smiles.
They were disobeying again, and seemed so pleased to be doing it. Walking into the kitchen, and right through the milk, was not what I told them to do. I began to stand up and begin the discipline process, when Hadley spoke up
"Papa, can we help you clean the milk?"My heart melted. Until this point, I hadn't seen the wad of Kleenex in each of their hands. I'll never know which one of them came up with the idea, but I don't care. The anger/fury/whatever you want to call it which had been building inside of me since the moment I walked through the door was gone instantly. We finished cleaning the milk and I decided we needed to make the best of the remaining 45 minutes we had together tonight.
The usual actions of reading books, doing puzzles, or playing with toys weren't appealing to me, so what did we do?