Friday, March 23, 2012

Popped my bubble

If you've got some, send it to me.

Having children has taught me so many things.  Say, for example, that I am incredibly easy to irritate.  My children irritate the crap out of me.

Today they both had school, and although I had a really busy day, all my activities were made miles easier without having to wrangle them in and out of the car or to corral them while simultaneously attempting to focus on my errand.  Nevertheless, I do look forward to pickup time, and that one sublime moment--when they first spot you and their faces light up, as they barrel toward you joyfully yelping "MOM!" and tackle you with a hug--that one moment makes the other 99,999 irritating ones worth it.  Pathetic from a statistical point of view, but true.

Spring bestowed a gorgeous day, sunny, about 75 degrees, and I had grand visions of us frolicking outside like a family from a granola bar commercial.  I had sidewalk chalk.  I had tricycles.  I even had a freakin' bubble machine, folks, that spewed automatic, prolific, perfect bubbles that wafted across the yard.  Only thing missing were the swelling strings in the background soundtrack that would accompany our beautiful, picturesque, Pottery-Barn-Kids-catalog Perfect Spring Day In The Backyard.

Sunshine!  Let's go outside...and be irritable!

Spoiler:  HAHAHAHAHAHAndNOit didn't go quite like that.


We started with the nifty bubble machine.  I mentally congratulated myself on the $12 genius decision to buy the automatic bubble maker instead of huffing myself red in the face with those weeny little wands that come in the bubble solution and drip all over you.  I envisioned happy smiles, joyful laughter, an extended chunk of leisurely entertainment as I relaxed on the steps watching with indulgent smugness.  Instead, there were repeated head-on collisions as they both raced around trying to catch the bubbles, resulting in crying and finger-pointing and dramatic falls to the ground and cries for ice and bandaids.  There were arguments over who got to turn the machine on and off.  There were meltdowns over who got to catch that bubble.  After a few minutes of this, I announced we were done with bubbles.  So we moved on to chalk.  Which consisted less of drawing and more of them throwing the chalk and me asking them to stop and them throwing the chalk and me saying to stop and them throwing the chalk until it splintered all over the driveway and me yelling to stop.  After a few minutes of this, I announced we were done with chalk.  So we moved on to tricycles.  Which consisted of arguing over who got which trike and then the Youngest spending the whole time crying if I didn't help her go and the Oldest being jealous of Youngest getting all the attention.

Before Chalkageddon began

About this time, I announced we were all done with outside and marched both children inside, plopped them in front of the tv, and debated about whether it was too early for a glass of wine.  (It wasn't.)

After a few deep breaths and a few deep drinks, I reflected on why my temper rose so much.  They are a 2 and 3 year old, did I really expect them to not run into each other when looking up and chasing things?  Sidewalk chalk is very cheap, we could destroy a box a day without denting our budget.  Learning a new skill, like riding a tricycle, can be scary and frustrating, so of course you would want your mom's help and attention.  And how hard is it really to run over to see whatever bug Oldest is exclaiming over so she won't feel ignored?  I basically was really mad at them for

I guess I was mad that it wasn't the picturesque, easy, clean, afternoon I had envisioned. That we weren't a perfect commercial family.  Instead, we are three people who love each other and push each other's buttons, who get mad at each other and forgive each other, and then go cuddle on the couch and watch tv while one of us regrets her irritability and drinks wine.

Sigh.  There's always tomorrow.  Of course, I will probably still be really irritated, but there's always tomorrow.


  1. The guy sitting next to me at Panera Bread thinks I am a complete loon for laughing out loud over my Thai Chicken salad! Boy, have I been there!! Perfectly imagined day wrecked by my kids insisting on being frickin' kids! The nerve!

    Your only mistake in the whole thing (which, if it is like my little maniacs, was derailed in about 6 minutes), was not packing up your sweet girls and your bottle of wine and moving the whole circus to my house!

    You're doing a great job, Mama! Xo

  2. I really like your voice, and if we met I think I would be, like, Omigod, a kindred spirit. I don't even know how I got on this list, but I'm really loving your posts. Thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone!