Yesterday was a Monday.
The day began… well, actually, the day never really actually began, per se, because it really just kind of flowed into the day before. The funny kind of math that you never fully grasp until you are in the midst of your parenting “glory days,” goes a little something like this:
1 teething one-year-old
+ 1 three-year-old asserting her independence
= 0 sleep
+ 1 teething one-year-old
+ 1 three year-old asserting her independence
+ To-do list a mile long (pressure!!!)
= 1 day for the record books
All things considered, I think that I should get some sort of award for patience; for most of the day, anyway. I was doing great until bedtime when I confiscated my three-year-old daughter’s bed.
That’s right- you read that correctly. I confiscated her bed. The whole bed; frame and all.
In my defense, she was jumping on the bed rather than actually sleeping in it. And she had spent the whole day climbing chairs, couches, my leg, and anything else that resembled any sort of climbable structure. I was at the absolute limit of what my body would physically and emotionally allow. I could not sit her down on her bed, calmly talk to her about listening ears and helping hands, or sing “no more monkeys jumping on the bed” one more time. Confiscating the bed felt… right. And, as a nice fringe benefit of my moment of possible insanity, I get to forever hold on to what the casual onlooker might have observed as I summoned up what little strength I had left to storm out of her room, angrily pushing the poor, dumb-founded kid’s bed into the hallway.
I was done. I felt like I had wasted an entire day doing nothing but reminding: reminding a three-year-old over and over…and OVER again about “The Rules.”
I guess we all have our limits; and the pressures that come along with that mile-long to-do list can easily turn into an incredible perspective-devouring monster. As I (eventually) cooled down from my bed-stealing frenzy, I thought about everything I had said and done that day.
“The couch is for sitting, not for jumping.”
“Don’t hit your brother”
“That was a great hug!”
“Thanks for using your nice words!”
“Please don’t flush the toilet three times in a row; you are going to break it.”
Days can too easily become a blur of yeses and no’s and the little lessons and sweet, unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime moments can get so lost while we are busy mourning the loss of the time that we needed to “get things done.” And, perhaps, the most important task we are all charged with is to remind each other… over and over… and OVER again in love.
“Hands are for helping; not for hurting.”
“Use your nice words, please.”
“Do not hurt yourself.”
“We take time to listen to each other.”
My three-year old reminded me on Monday that I need to recognize my limits and take a time-out when I need it. Perhaps next time she can remind me a little more gently.