Wednesday, June 22, 2016

On the Hard Days

There sometimes come along days that are so miserable, so full of fighting and hitting and spitting on the floor, and broken dishes and ugly words and ruined meals and frustrating mishaps, that I put the kids to sleep at the end of the day and think, "I don't want to do this again tomorrow." Today was one of those days.

The morning started fine, everyone was happy, but everyone was running at 10 on the Spastic Scale. It was some stuffed animal's birthday and they wanted a cake. It was only 9:30 in the morning, so baking a cake was not exactly on my radar for the day. Then it was such-and-such other stuffed animal's birthday as well, and before I knew it, there was a whole crew of stuffies lined up at the table, eagerly awaiting their birthday cake. How do I get into these sorts of things? So there we were at ten in the morning, baking a chocolate cake. (Thankfully, the girls weren't so much into "helping" aside from stirring, so it was relatively quick and mess-free.) To be fair, it turned out to be the most amazingly delicious chocolate cake I've ever made in my life, but STILL. We sang happy birthday, we made cards for Lion and Elephant and the panda named Unicorn and the Unicorn named Heart and the other unicorn named Mellow Flellow and still yet another unicorn named.... I don't know, white-white or something. Lots of singing, and then singing again when Ingrid decided to join us from having been in the next room looking at books. It was busy. And then there was cleanup.

In any case, things were about that intense for the entire day, except that as the day progresses, the happiness tends to fade. So by noon, we were still running at the top of the Spastic Scale but spirits were on the decline. By 2:00 in the afternoon after having cake for breakfast, you can imagine how things were going. The afternoon was filled with so much crying and fighting and needing. Elka in particular was really having a rough afternoon, but she gets so violent and takes it out on everyone. She'll come up beside you and just pinch you really hard. Or scratch. She knows it's not ok. But she gets so worked up that she just comes up to someone and hurts them, then laughs, then her laughter dissolves into tearful hysteria. Put that story on repeat and you have my afternoon.

So, by evening she was a wreck. I put Ingrid to bed at the regular bedtime but when it was Elka's turn, I noticed she was filthy. She already wasn't cooperating in life, so I knew that a bath would be a struggle, but I mean, she was FILTHY. A bath was necessary. I washed her legs but she wouldn't let me rinse, she kept climbing out of the tub. Then something needed to come out of the oven and while I was getting it out, she came running in sobbing that her legs were itchy (because they were covered in un-rinsed soap) but she wouldn't get back in the tub. I tried ignoring, I tried imploring, I tried everything, meanwhile attempting to calm the situation and distract her by fixing a pot of coffee (a nice, calming, routine-type activity in our kitchen.)

Imagine what could happen when making coffee that you absolutely would NOT want to happen when you're dealing with an already hysterical four year old.

That's right. The old coffee filter ripping open en route to the trash and all the soggy, cold coffee grounds falling on top of the four year old's head is what you don't want to happen.

It was just so horrible, I couldn't stop laughing. Martin and I both, we just looked at each other and laughed while poor Elka's screaming took on a whole new level. (The poor neighbors.)

Well, at least that got her into the bathtub without a fight. And the bonus was that her hair got washed!

Now the littles are snuggled up in bed and Anja and Greta are having their bedtime story and then heading to bed as well. And then I get to collapse for a little while. And I DO have to do it all again tomorrow but I'm really, really hoping that the moods are better and the intensity is less. In any case... the day ended humorously. Whew. I'm glad today is over--cheers to tomorrow!


  1. Annie, you are an absolutely remarkable mama!

  2. I don't know you, but this is awesome. It popped up in my Facebook feed so I thought I'd take a look and I love it! Yes, life would be easier if you said no to baking the cake, but where is the whimsy in that? It's beautiful that your kids have that imagination, and it's beautiful that they know they can make such a preposterous request and that you won't immediately shoot it down. Well done, mom!

  3. This popped up in my feed as well. I agree with all of the comments and wish to add on that you are a wonderful writer as well.

  4. ahhhh I love reading your blog! so much fun alongside followng along with your Insta. Came tonight and found I had FOUR posts to catch up on! gave me some reading material before bed. ;) I have blogged since 2011 and yours always makes me want to start up again! :D fun stuff.

  5. Wow. I wish we were as sane as you are. Most of our days are like that. Our four daughters (I can feel every bit of your four-daughter pain) are all high-intensity and high-demand. And they "get it honest" as my dad would say. My DH and I are both hotheads. So it's a herculean effort to parent consciously!