January 21, 2013
Yesterday was such a lazy day, well as lazy as a Mom of three can get. Jacob had his first birthday party to attend. A little girl from his nursery school. It was at our local YMCA and he had such a great time! Surprisingly, the fearlessness I often associate with him was not apparent. A huge giraffe bouncy castle was in the playroom and I had to convince him to go on with me. I think he wanted to, but it was something huge and new so he preferred the safety of the little cars or chasing the balloons. It is funny how you think you have something about your child figured out and then you look again, and they have changed ever so slightly.
Another late night and I forgot to set my alarm! Waking up late on a Monday morning is never ideal especially when you have to also get three little ones ready for the day. But, I got them all to school on time. Yeah! The days I have glasses on, am dressed in my Lululemon’s with a hat on to cover the crazy hair, you know it’s one of those days when I wish I could just crawl back into bed.
After dropping Jacob off, I rushed home planning to get a head start on some of the domestic stuff that I didn’t get to over the weekend. As happens when I don’t follow my own advice to get more rest, I’ve hit the wall. My energy is so low I contemplate crawling back into bed for a couple of hours. But, it’s skating night and I wanted to start a new crock-pot recipe night on Mondays. Getting home a little past the usual dinner hour means some planning ahead is needed to ensure food is nearly ready when we walk through the door. So instead of a date with my mattress, I gulp down a glass of cold freshly squeezed orange juice and begin chopping.
Today I’m trying a recipe I stumbled upon in my most recent issue of, Today’s Parent, Sweet Potato and Apple soup. Overall it’s the type of recipe I love. Easy, not too many ingredients and I can get it into the crock pot within a half hour.
Once that is done, I prep Jacob’s lunch also hoping to get him into nap time a little earlier so I have some more time this afternoon. Before I know it, I’m off to pick him back up. He’s sweaty from running in the gym but so cuddly I cannot wait to get into nap time and take my own snooze with my little guy.
Mr. L arrived home a little earlier today and it was nice to have another set of hands help set the table. I enjoy the nights we actually get to eat all together. During the week it does not happen very often. Typically the kids and I are nearly finished when Mr. L arrives home and the kids are in the midst of either finishing eating, throwing food on the ground or slinking away plates uncleared. Some nights, if everyone has behaved and all the food on their plates has been eaten, they earn dessert and sit with Mr. L while he shovels his meal down. Post dinner he tries to be helpful but I wave away his attempts to do the dishes and tell him to read stories or do anything to keep the kids busy. As a Mom of three you need to take the rare quiet times where you can focus on nothing else but the dishes and re-boot from the last few hours.
Mr. L loved the soup as did Jacob. Elizabeth has learned to clear her plate, that girl is all about the reward system, so she finished her bowl. But Audrey, as in most nights these days, refused to eat on principle. Sometimes she isn’t hungry but most of the time it is an obvious power struggle. We leave her be, expect her to eat one bite of her food and then she can be excused. Some nights are better than others. Tonight she hardly eats at all but crawls under the table laying on the floor. Picking her up and placing her back into her seat requesting she ask to be properly excused, she spies her sister grabbing handfuls of grapes from a nearby bowl. When she goes to grab one, I reminder her, “You did not eat all your food. Remember the house rule? Nothing else to eat. If you are still hungry there is lots of soup left.”
With her perfected glare she stomps away and as soon as I turn back to the sink I see her race over to the bowl popping a grape in her hand while looking at me from the corner of her eye. Flipping around I firmly say, “I said no. Give me the grape.” The little imp pops it into her mouth smirking at me. I see red, but keep my temper. (Yeah!) Calmly, I go over to her and force her mouth open, fish the grape out and tell her to go and sit on the couch. She is hysterical by this time crying with big crocodile tears, peeking up once in a while from her spot on the brown leather couch to see if anyone is watching. When she catches someone’s eye the sobs start again.
As I am dealing with Audrey, Jacob, who is removing his pants, hands them to me saying, “Too hot! Audrey crying again?” then proceeds to take the half eaten apple he somehow found from the snack bag, and throws the regurgitated pieces across the kitchen floor. Elizabeth is wandering around the house finding anything to do except go upstairs to get her pyjamas out as requested five minutes ago. Breathing very slowly, Mr. L and I look at each other and start laughing as he says,
“I’m glad I made it home in time for dinner.”
Looking up I see his dark brown eyes so similar in a lot of ways to all of our children’s eyes complete with a mischievous twinkle that I can see Jacob has inherited. The growing bubble of tension melts away.
“Good thing they’re cute.” I respond.
Handing me the sponge with the regurgitated food, we then try to herd our kids upstairs to a most welcome bedtime. Some days humour is the only recourse a parent has to survive the day.