Just Three and Four

Yesterday was another challenging day.  We had a friend of Maggie’s and her mom over, which was lovely, but by afternoon my kids were tired and sour. And they did not want to take naps.

So I did a craft with them (paper wind socks) and then let them go to town with scissors, pipe cleaners, scrap book paper, and glue sticks.  I wish I’d discovered sooner that scissors, paper, and glue can keep kids busy for HOURS.  (The kitchen has now been taken over by preschool collages, and I love it.)

By evening, the kids were not listening and doing TONS of back-talking. None of our parenting skills, or lack thereof, were working.  Bret and I began to get Maggie and Walt into the truck to go get ice cream (more for the struggling parents than the kids — they definitely didn’t deserve a treat at that point).  However, both kids were defiant with their dad during the process of trying to leave.

There was a lot of crying when Bret told them to go back in the house.  “We were going to get ice cream, but now we’re not.”  (This was the first they’d learned that we had been on the way to get their favorite dessert.)  Then there was talk of choices and what happens, or doesn’t, when we make bad ones.

Bedtime was a difficult process too.  “I don’t WANT to wear those jammies!” And, “No!  I can brush my teeth myeslf!”  At one point, I wrestled  a child many (MANY) pounds lighter than myself to put on a pajama top. And he was winning!  Then it was 50 questions and lots of protests before the last kid fell asleep at 9:30 or so.

Bret went to get ice cream.  (Drug of choice at times like these.)  We were at our wits’ ends.

Later, we heard crying from the bathroom.  Maggie had peed in bed while trying to get out to make it to the bathroom.  At 1 a.m., she was up again to go potty, crying and saying, “My vagina hurts.”  I hugged and comforted her and gave her Motrin.

While kneeling down to embrace Maggie on the bathroom floor, I reminded myself that these kids are just three and four, and I remembered that they really need me.  Mostly, they just need my love and patience.

I laid awake for quite a while worrying about Maggie and the possibility of a bladder infection before falling back to sleep.  Now I am anxiously waiting for the kids to wake up, praying that Maggie will feel better and begging God to help me be a better parent today.

They are just three and four.  And not for long.  They need me, and I need them.  We’ll see what the day brings.

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