Monday, August 24, 2015

The Cost of a Clean Floor

I scrubbed my floor this morning. After an apple juice spill yesterday, which no amount of wiping can de-stickify, it needed it.  Once hot chocolate was splashed on top of the apple juice stickiness just moments after my "Why are you out of your seat with your hot chocolate? Please sit down," the decision was made: the floor HAD to be cleaned today. 

I put the kids downstairs in the basement.  There are a ridiculous number of toys down there, so it seems like a great place to lock the kids so I can get something done. 

After I finished scrubbing, I noticed it had been remarkably calm.  Usually, they're standing at the gate screaming either for me or at each other.  So, with trepidation, I went down the stairs.  Little Bearcub was playing nicely with toys, just like I'd hoped.  But the two girls... they were both behind a closed door in Little Bearcub's room. 

And this is just a small piece of what I found when I opened the door: 

That is, in fact, an eraser.  Glued to the wall.  Those faint circles?  Well... those purple Elmer's School Glue Sticks that say they go on purple and dry clear?  It's true. 

One bag.  I missed putting away one bag of school supplies.  Now, I have two walls, a door, and a crib coated in glue, with some "Poop Goop" diaper cream thrown in for good measure.

The girls asked, "You sad Mommy?"  I said, yes, yes I'm sad.  I'm also angry.  Figured I might as well use this as a lesson in feelings, that there's more to life than happy and sad, which is all Ladybug is aware of currently.  

I cleaned up the girls as best I could, did a quick wipe of the walls to remove the large chunks of glue, comforted a baby boy who had practiced his stair climbing skills but rolled back down them before I could catch him, and got lunch for everyone. 

It was a pretty quiet lunch from my end.  Normally, I chat with the kids about the colors and shapes and numbers of what they're eating.  Today, I just insisted on pleases and gave them their food without comment.  I sat down in the other room and did some thinking.  

I thought about how many days it is till school starts and I get a couple hours at a time down to two children.  

I thought about how frustrating it is to put in effort cleaning, only to find an even bigger mess has happened somewhere else.

I thought about how angry I was with myself for not ensuring the glue made it behind a locked door and onto a high shelf. 

I thought about how irritated I was that I'm trying to keep a clean and orderly house, but for every step forward I make we go backwards two.  

I thought about how it's not fair that some people have regular child care by family so they can be hospitable and actually maintain instead of trying to brush their teeth while eating Oreos.  

In between these thoughts, the girls had wandered in and were talking incessantly, and I explained to them that I was upset.  That just like Ladybug, I need to calm down and be alone for a little while.  So I asked them to please go into their respective nap rooms and I'd read them a book once I'd calmed down.

Little Bearcub has his one year molars coming in, and so he was screaming.  When he stopped screaming, I went in to check on him.  And this melted my heart. 

I went into Ladybug's room, and she, of course, had put on pj's and was trying to find the matching shirt.  And wrapping other shirts tightly around her arm if they didn't match.  Team Quirky here. 

 I took Little Bearcub downstairs and put him in his slightly de-stickified crib, and sat down to read Turkey a book.  At that point, I knew I needed to record this day for myself, so I tried to snap a picture of her, but before I did, she plopped down on my lap, and this is the result. 

I have so few pictures of my kids looking at me. Even fewer of me looking at them, because I'm usually behind the camera.  I don't do posed pictures, have a vendetta against selfie-sticks, so I pretty much don't exist according to the pictures.  

Whose job is it to make sure the house is as child proof as possible?  Mine.  Who is responsible for making sure the children are properly occupied during the day?  Mine.  Whose fault is it when the day goes to a glue stick?  


Yet, when I got angry, there was a long list of things I was angry about, and only one included my own responsibility for the mess. 

It doesn't matter that most parents don't have to deal with SPD.  It doesn't matter that most parents don't deal with both SPD and three children ages 1, 2, & 3.  It doesn't matter that my life isn't as cushy as I'd dreamed it would be.  

It's my life.

They're my monkeys.

This is my circus. 

And it's my job to make it work.