Saturday, 15 May 2010

When I get tired and hungry and grumpy

Today was a whirlwind of a day in which I experienced my entire range of emotions.

It actually began yesterday with James and I going over what was to be a very busy day, filled with big chores to get done, plus a few of the regular every day ones, some shopping, some appointments - one of those days that must be carefully planned in order to be executed well.

Then the phone rang at 6:45 am. Our company was suddenly a man down, and James needed to go work a move. He needed to leave immediately and wouldn't return until late.

All of a sudden everyone was up (it's hard for anyone to be quiet when you have to get out the door in five minutes to go somewhere you really don't want to go). As I whisked the boys downstairs for breakfast, I started shifting the day around in my head, trying to figure out how on earth I would get everything done on my own, with three boys in tow. I could manage my hair appointment with the boys (begrudgingly) if I got Benjamin asleep in his carseat and brought the portable DVD player for the boys. They might sit for an hour and a half. Grocery shopping could be right after the haircut, or I might squeeze it in before if I bribe the boys with a visit to the Early Years Centre after. If all three napped at the same time I could start ripping up the carpet, and hope the electrician came before they woke up. After nap I would have just enough time to do a tide and clean of the whole house in preparation for a get together tomorrow night. I'd likely have to skip the drive to the dump, unless I did it in three or four trips of just the trunk full, with another movie on to keep the boys from going crazy...

On and on my brain swam, around and around as I tried to get the details worked out before I too much of the day got away from me and I lost valuable time. I was just finishing up the breakfast dishes when, lo and behold, James called to say he'd be back in 10 minutes, that he'd worked something out and was on his way home!

Inexplicably, I was a little annoyed, since I was so proud I had worked it all out to do on my own. I should have caught the sign that I was going to be moody all day...

The boys and I ran up the street to a yard sale a friend was having, not to buy anything but so the boys could play with their boys. Only it was barely above freezing, we weren't in winter gear, and in the first five minutes their friend and bowled over both boys, leaving them in tears.

We zipped back and I ran over to my hair appointment. It was a resounding success, and I have a cute new (very short!) summer hair cut. But usually on one of the two days a year I actually get my hair cut, I like to do things all for me - shopping, go for lunch, visit with girl friends, go on a date with James - something to help me remember what it's like being a woman and not only a mother. But there was cleaning and carpets calling me.

The rest of the day was a blur. Neither Benjamin nor Colin napped, which didn't give me any time to myself. Colin, who is usually excellent at playing on his own for quiet time if he doesn't nap, couldn't go two minutes without calling me. Benjamin was plain old tired. James was ripping up the carpet in the basement, where the boys couldn't be, which meant I was looking after them until he was done. But the stupid business phone rang all day, which meant the one hour carpet job turned into 5 and a half. Which meant that I didn't get my much needed break.

I just need a little time away on Saturdays. By the time dinnertime rolled around, I didn't want to hear any more voices or see any more faces. I had had ENOUGH! I was on the brink of tears, tears of exhaustion and anger and frustration. The boys asked for a snack and I wanted to scream. Benjamin started whimpering and I wanted to scream. The business phone rang again and I wanted to scream!

I threw some spaghetti on and dumped a jar of sauce on top. Luckily there were frozen spring rolls in the freezer, or pasta and canned sauce was all they were getting for dinner. I was in no mood to supplement it with garlic toast or salad. They were all lucky they were getting fed.

After dinner I quickly escaped to do the grocery shopping. I used to hate grocery shopping more than anything else I had to do. Now I relish the time away. Every week we must eat, therefore every week I must take 45 minutes out of a Saturday and buy food. I shop at a store open 24 hours. Some weeks I like to go at 10 or 11 at night just to have a little quiet.

I was in a better mood when I got back. Which was good because Caleb and Benjamin were both screaming when I opened the door. I ran up and nursed Benjamin and rocked him, then rescued Caleb from the bath (and the mean Daddy who insists on rinsing the soap out of his hair!). I soothed and cuddled and made them laugh. Then I told James that we could spend an hour or two together and then he could go over to a friend's house. I really needed a little time to myself, most likely to write (check) and read (next).

To top the day off, it was a grey-sky-day all day, which always gets me grumpy. Here's to tomorrow, which "after another day" and hopefully a sunny day, a peaceful day, a day of rest. We are having people over for dinner, but I have planned ahead with a crock pot meal. Hopefully everyone will nap, and I will be a lot less irritable. I have heard over and over how the mother sets the atmosphere in the home, and I take that influence very seriously. But I am grateful my children don't seem to log the down days I have, the days when my patience is too short and my temper too loud. Tomorrow I will do better.

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