Today has been a day for the books. Today has been the kind of day where I raise my face to the heavens and cry, “Why!?!?!?” Today has been the kind of day where I realize that the fact hair remains follicly attached to my head must bedue to divine intervention. Today has been the kind of day where I honestly question my effectiveness as a parent.
It hasn’t always been like this.
When we brought Avery home from the hospital, after 23 hours of grueling labor (pre-epidural, that is),I mentally prepared myself for the most difficult job in the universe. And within seven days I was laughing in the face of that job that has brought much stronger women to their knees. This parenting stuff was easy. The tiny little bundle of baby slept. And ate. And pooped. And smiled. And then slept again. Despite a few little hiccups along the way, this process has basically been repeated for the past seven years.
Fooled by the relative ease at whichJer and Iparentedour first child we jumped atthe idea to add toour lovely little family. Avery was (and has continued to be)so effortless we thought, why not? It’s obvious that our our combined gene pool results in a happy, sleepy, pleasant little human. Let’s do it.
Not wanting to rehash his entire babyhood (lots of sleeping, pooping and intermittent smiling) I can definitely say we thought we were in the clear, yet again. Smooth sailing for months and months. Years, really. And then, quite suddenly, the waters started getting a little rocky. It became evidently clear that Jack was not his sister. Jack was a horse of an entirely different color. One of those wild mustang-types that buck at the prospect of being tamed. We determined that Jack was going to take a little bit ofwork so Jer and I rolled up our sleeves and set out to do our best.
And man were we right
I was woken up this morning by the enticing and familiar smell of mint wafting across my nose. Sensing someone standing two inches from my face, I tentatively opened one eye. Staring right back at me was my three year-old son, smacking his gum. And, due to the fact that Jack does not have an endless supply of chewing gum at his disposal, I could only assume that he had jacked it from my purse. While I was asleep. At seven o’clock in the morning. Real nice.
And sothe day went on.
After a slightly tumultuous morning consisting of chasing Jack away from various deathly situations and reprimanding him after numerous “butt” and “stinky” comments, I was ready to collapse by lunchtime. Grabbing the remote for a little Gilmore Girls-induced R&R I punched the button to access the TV menu.
I punched the button again.
Having previously learned a little trick of shifting the remote batteries in their case to revive a little juice (from my 7 year-old daughter, no less) I opened the battery compartment and quickly learned my problem.
The batteries were missing. Mmm hmm. With sudden clarity, I whisked around the house checking various battery-powered devices only to discover that they were all missing their batteries. A firm nod from Jack confirmed my suspicions that, in fact, he was responsible for their relocation. At some point during our action-packed morning Jack had managed to remove all of the batteries from their various homes and moved them to his bedroom. *sigh.*
Seeing no end in sight for my exasperating day I retreated into my bedroom for some calming breaths. After I talked myself down from the ledge I turned around to find this:
Surely, we have shifted into some alternate universe where naughty is the accepted behavior and t-shirts are worn as underpants.
And little boys routinely wear size 12 Vans.
Willing myself to embrace the attitude of “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” I decided to move past my day’s frustrations andsit down with my little man to watch a movie. Settling comfortably into our alternate universe, I snuggled close to my baby boy, grabbedup the remote and pressed ‘Play’.
Ah. No batteries. And reality came crashing back.