I took last week off - I'm sure you were all bereft! - because we were moving and there's TONS to say about that. Also Jack turned four - FOUR! - on Tuesday and there's tons to say about that too. But today, which marks no special occasion or transition in our family, has been a NIGHTMARE so of course I'm going to talk about THAT. So now you know. Nothing sweet or deep or thoughtful or insightful, just a big fat self-indulgent vent. I shall title it: MUST THE CHILDREN BE FIGHTING EVERY BLESSED SECOND?
I mean, SERIOUSLY. They're now in bed and are, quite possibly, STILL fighting, but I wouldn't know as I've hid myself in the farthest corner of the house, the better to feel sorry for myself in peace. I've just had ten whole minutes where I wasn't telling someone to stop or quit it or calm down or lay off or for Pete's sake stop breathing on your sister! Ten minutes where I wasn't threatening and following through on toy confiscation, sitting in corners, sending to rooms, and, yes, turning on the television in hopes of distraction. (It doesn't work. Then they just fight about who is sitting too close to who.)
I can't stand it. Sometimes I think I'd rather be up with a sobbing baby or stuck in breastfeeding jail. MAYBE. Obviously I haven't REALLY thought that through. But do you know how many emails I sent to friends today, with subject headers of: MOTHER DESERTS CHILDREN, FLEES TO MAUI? (A LOT.)
In a better, fairer, more ideal world, I would be much more understanding. I was, after all, a small person once upon a time. I VIVIDLY remember my brother breathing on me, touching me, getting in my space, leaning his head into my TV sightline, and generally just being a horrible, completely unremorseful pest. (Perhaps I wasn't exactly an angel myself.) I know exactly what Jack is doing when he "cuddles" up to Molly when they're both squished in bed with me. I know exactly what Molly's thinking when she won't move her hand. Believe me, children! I have a PhD in Fighting With One's Siblings! But you know what? I'm now the MOM. And the mom is freaking TIRED. So I'm only halfway ashamed of the number of times, "JUST IGNORE HIM!" left my mouth today. And I don't care at ALL who did what first. Fair? Of course not. TOO BAD!
I should acknowledge the fact that I may have set myself up for today. It was raining - not my fault - but I didn't plan very well. We stayed home most of the day. I didn't even try to get Jack to nap (not that he EVER naps EVER) so I know he's extra tired. And I know the house is still new and the space is still strange the toys are in unfamiliar places and the routine is not quite settled. But I'm not kidding, the Fighting Level was beyond ridiculous today.
I've been thinking about Third Baby, and how I'm a little nervous about the three-year age difference between TB and Molly. Jack and Molly are 16 months apart, which pretty much means I never have to play with them. They've always entertained each other and half the time I'm completely ignored. WHICH IS FINE. But the older kids are going to be in school when TB is Jack and Molly's age, and I'm going to be expected to, you know, DO STUFF with TB. (My entreaties to have Fourth Baby ASAP have been entirely blown off by the husband, by the way. SIGH.)
But today I'm thinking: YAY three-year age difference! When Jack and Molly are in school, TB will just be hanging out with me! And I don't breathe on or touch or lean or otherwise bug people! Sure I'll have to figure out how to play with a three-year-old but this seems like a scandalous trade for NO FIGHTING. At least during the school day. AND I'LL TAKE IT.
I'm off to make myself a as-stiff-as-pregnancy-will-allow-which-is-unfortunately-not-at-all drink. Your turn to vent on the fighting!