I woke up at my normal early time. I hopped in the shower after grabbing Eli out of his crib and set him in the living room while Marshall made his lunch and ate his breakfast. I always try to enjoy the 7 or maybe 10 minutes I get to myself before my day with the boys begins. I am always impressed when I don't get walked in on while I am in the shower.
I don't really remember eating breakfast this morning, but I am sure I did. Ezra's crumbs from his breakfast trailed from the kitchen to the dining room and even out to the living room. Eli sat happily in his chair while he ate and also waited for me to pull him out and get him ready for the day.
As soon as Ezra was finished, I put them both in the tub for baths. I washed Eli up quickly and dressed him while Ezra played make believe whatevers in the tub. Then I dressed Ezra. The boys played on the floor for a little while as I worked around them straightening up our house from the mess of the weekend.
I nursed Eli and laid him down for his morning nap and got Ezra settled with a show and I did a haircut for a friend from church. My morning went as they normally do--- until I told Ezra my plans for the day.
I needed to go to the bank, grocery shopping and stop at the dollar store and make a quick stop at a clothes drop off box. None of which sounded appealing to my almost 3 year old. I asked Ezra if we could get ready to go. I told him that we needed warm clothes because it was cold out. He laid on the floor and yelled that he didn't want to go. I forced him into his winter jacket and he screamed at me that he needed gloves. I found his stupid gloves, forced them on his sweaty hands and tried jimmying his short little fingers into the appropriate places.. this never works you know. He yelled at me the entire time. I have no patience at this point. My car is running, Eli is dressed and perfect and the scarf the I had wrapped around my neck is suddenly feeling tighter and tighter. I ripped both gloves off his hands and threw them into the house while I threw Ezra on my hip and shoved him in his car seat. I moved more aggressive than I spoke. He was crying and forcing himself out of his car seat and I had to count to 3 before speaking to him. As calmly as I could pull from my soul, I reminded him where we were going and why. I am pretty sure he spit in my face- or might as well had because that is how I felt as I pulled the door shut and walked around to hop in on my side and drive off.
Ezra yelled and cried the entire trip to the bank- until I found a children's primary cd stashed in one of my cubbies. He quieted down until we drove away from the bank and Ezra demanded that he get a sticker. The teller forgot to give one to me. I hated her for forgetting this usually sweet gesture today.
Next stop. Groceries. I asked Ezra if he wanted to ride the car cart again. "NO!!" I DON'T"
Okay. I parked and asked him again, this time what color car cart he would like, "Blue!" we were getting somewhere. I went to pull him from his seat and he screamed and thrashed like a lunatic. My immediate reaction was to throw my hand over his mouth to shush him. As I did that, he screamed louder and I sensed a woman in her car nearby judging me-- but wait.. it gets better. He fought me as I unbuckled him. Once I succeeded in unbuckling him he wouldn't hop out. I grabbed his left arm and pulled it over as I normally do, but instead of hopping off and out of his seat, he let the right side of his body bash against the side of the car seat over and over-- I am sure the judgy mom nearby had child protection services on speed dial at this point. I was kind of laughing to myself about how bad this probably looked. Once I finally got him out, we walked over to the other side of the van to get little Eli out. All while Ezra is yelling, "I AM FREEZING" .. I ran as quickly as I could into the store without causing more of scene. As we ran into the grocery store, we were greeted with a dirty little red car cart and a dirty little blue car cart. "Yay" I said to myself sarcastically. Ezra looked both over- had to wipe both clean of the grossness left behind from the previous driver(s) He hopped in both a couple times and freaked about them being wet (from his wet wipe) and I had to use my scarf to dry them out before he finally chose the red cart and drove away. He was happy for maybe 3 minutes, he yelled at everyone that walked by us. He flung his body outside of his car window too many times to count and I knew that there was an accident waiting to happen, until.... CRASH.
I hit the pickles. I was too busy yelling at him to get his body back into the stupid little car that we crashed into the freaking pickles. Six jars hit the floor and 2 shattered. The pickle juice smell took over and Ezra cried uncontrollably. I got down to his level to make sure he was okay and also to calm him down. wanted to die. or cry. or both. We were noisy enough for a nice lady store clerk to check on us to see if we were okay. She insisted on getting Ezra a cookie, knowing well that this usually calms kids down. I agreed. Whatever will help my kid, but seriously, where is my cookie- I am sobbing on the inside.
I could have kissed this woman for her kind cookie gesture. I never would have made it out of the grocery store without that cookie and the nice man who bagged my groceries. I am so grateful.
I had one more stop to go and this one wasn't as traumatizing, Besides Ezra grabbing at every possible thing he could reach and begging that he "needed it"- we were in and out. Thank heavens.
I unloaded the groceries while Eli ate some cheerios and puffs and while Ezra started on his lunch.
I worked as fast as I could putting everything away until.. Ezra snapped again and swiped his hand across his yogurt and it hit the floor. Another mess....
I called Marshall this time. And laughed at how much my day sucked. He laughed with me and we had a small moment of therapy. I needed it.. before the next thing happened, because there would be a next time.. it was just how the day was going.
Henry arrived right on time to play. I was able to put up our Happy Birthday banner and pull the party hats out. Ezra picked out maracas and mustaches for our little party for Henry and we also picked up ding dong cupcakes so we could sing to him. We were really looking forward to Henry's play date. I knew Ezra needed some fun today- I was expecting that this would have worn him out enough for a good nap.
The boys had so much fun today- they laughed a little and fought a little. You know, the usual shenanigans. But today we celebrated Henry turning 3! A small and sweet little celebration.
I serenaded Henry with my best Happy Birthday ditty and Ezra beat him to blowing out the candles. Henry played it cool though, like a classic 3 year old.
There was a moment of quiet from Ezra's room while both the boys were in there. I was out in the living room watching Eli play with the blocks when Ezra came walking down the hallway S.L.O.W.
His pants were wet and he told me quicker than he had walked that he had an accident- It wasn't until he turned that I realized it wasn't just a #1 kind of accident... but a #2.
Henry busted him a couple times while I was trying to clean Ezra up and Ezra kept telling him that he needed his privacy-- he then asked me to not let him in. Poor Ezra. Trying to keep cool.
I put Eli down immediately after Henry left and Ezra next. I explained to Ezra that he needs a nap to have energy to play with his daddy later. He made me believe him when he said okay and shut his eyes before I walked out.
I laid in my bed and shut my eyes when I heard him jump out of bed and turn the light on and pull his toys out. I walked in, put him back and repeated my speech. This happened for an hour. The hour that I should have spent resting while Eli slept. Ughh..
And then, Eli woke up. "Forget it!" I threw my arms into the air and cursed silently to myself.
I nursed Eli and snuggled him close and tried to enjoy his sweet and perfect little spirit. In only a few months time he will be into everything and causing mischief with his brother.
Later this afternoon, I received an email from my mother in law. In it was this quote,
“The demands on her were many and her tasks often repetitive and mundane, yet
underneath it all was a beautiful serenity, a sense of being about God’s work.”
You may have read this and thought that there was nothing beautiful or serene about my morning, but the gentle reminder in this email pinched me hard. I know I am about God's work as I am about my daily duties as a mother and as a wife.
What was beautiful or serene about my morning?
I will tell you. It was the quiet moment in the car Ezra listened to the primary song that he recognized from church. The nice woman at the store who offered the cookie to my crying and unhappy child. The sweet sweet man with special needs who bagged my groceries with a smile on his face. The therapeutic phone call to my husband where we both were able to laugh at how terrible my morning was. Having a mini birthday party for Ezra buddy as they dawned mustaches and made music with their cheap maracas or the moment I laid in my bed as one child slept peacefully and the other was alive and just being a kid in the room next to me.
I am at God's work, and when I look back at these small,beautiful and serene moments I experienced as chaos ensued around me, I realized that I am NOT alone. There were men and women that were able to reach out and help me do the work that God has set me out to do.
I am raising a small part of the future generation and I am doing the very best I can with what I have. I am not perfect and I have SO much to learn, and only through my faith and my reliance on my Savior will I ever succeed at His work.