Yesterday was one of those days that make you glad you're not a reality star. We had a scene in Publix, screaming matches at home, and a late-night chocolate binge, no bath, the list goes on. I learned a lot about what upsets me, and I learned how challenging it can be to have two kids at home with me. Here is a brief osummary of what I learned:
1. It's worth it to make sure that everyone has eaten. N has a useful device for ensuring that her nutritional needs get met (waaaaah!), but C gets so busy playing that half the time he doesn't care to eat. Which leads to a post-nap blood sugar dip that is so severe that he becomes a little monster. Or at least his tendency to be monster-like increases in 15 minute intervals. So I have to figure out how to get more protein into him. Smoothies, maybe? I could call it "special chocolate milk," and mix in protein powder, flax oil, bananas... Also, I get very testy when I am hungry, which I was. I put off eating because we were going out to dinner, but I need my snacks too, just like my two kidlets. The three of us are different from B in that respect -- B, who could live on coffee in the morning, coffee for lunch, a big dinner, and a midnight snack. It is a perpetual wonder to me that anyone could survive on so little ;D
2. It's worth it for us to get out and get our exercise. It reduces my own ire a bit, but it reduces C's toddler angst by a huge amount. Not coincidentally, yesterday we did not go out and exercise. Note to self.
3. Watch the thermostat. It's a weird time of year when it is slightly chilly in the morning but hot in midday. The a/c was off from the morning, but by the midafternoon (the time of our screaming matches) it was nearly 80 in the house, which some people can stand, but which sends me into a destructive spiral. So, let's keep it 77 and below for the sake of our sanity.
4. Don't get too much of an agenda. Part of my problem was that I was trying to finish a bunch of household chores that were driving me crazy (dishes, laundry, etc.) and so I was ignoring the kidlets for a little longer than I normally would. Which leads downward, until I am shutting C in his room more for his benefit than for mine. :p
5. Take a breath. At the end of the day, it is better to walk out of a room for 5 minutes than to scream into your toddler's face.
All in all, it was a lesson in humility. There is no way to pretend that you are a perfect parent when you miss all your benchmarks for the day, including "don't yell and curse at your toddler." Sheesh. Not a proud day for me, but I did learn a little.
So thank goodness I'm not famous, because yesterday the paparazzi would have caught me at my worst, and today you would be reading about this on the front of the Enquirer as you waited in the checkout line.
Today, I actually got a lot of housework done, which makes me feel much better. I got my teaching done this morning and I have some more editing to do after C goes to bed, but all in all it is still possible for me to get done what I need to get done.
The keys to the housework seem to be the "Little Bits" theory coupled with dogged determination -- I have to go back to the same unfinished job six times in a row, but then all of a sudden I get an opportunity and I power through a bunch of stuff all at once. So most of the laundry is done, the clutter is clear (though of course not perfect) and there is a lot more clear space in my own head, which is the most cluttered area of all. :)