Today... Was rough. It was a rough parenting day for me. Probably the toughest one since Collin came along. I don't know what it was, but from the moment Spencer woke crying at 8:17 this morning (about two hours earlier than normal), to about half an hour before Jake got home (so about 11:10 tonight), the whole day has been, well, rough.
Spencer woke before Collin, which is odd, and he was crying when he woke, which is very unusual. So, I walked into his room and scooped him out of bed and brought him into mine. We cuddled awake for about 45 minutes until I heard Collin talking downstairs.
We went downstairs and I gave Spencer some pop tarts for breakfast and while I nursed Collin we sat on the couch, all three of us, watching Elmo. SJ didn't stay long and started to crumble pop tart into the couch. I told him to stop, and he did, but then got up and started throwing books off the book shelf, for no real reason, as he didn't read one.
I tried to redirect him as asking (or demanding) him to stop wasn't working.
The rest of the day followed a similar pattern on his part. I went to the bathroom and left him with his afternoon snack, which was an apple that, while I was using the bathroom, he chewed into chunks and tossed them all over the main floor. He threw toys all over, and I put him to nap early. He played quite a while before sleeping.
After nap, my cousin was here and he was seemingly in a less mischievous mood, but it didn't last long. The night and evening followed a similar pattern again, at one point landing him confined to his high chair with play dough and random other items. He screamed a while and eventually played while I fed Collin.
Collin was off today, too. He woke happy as can be which is pretty typical, but then was feisty much of the day. Inconsolable crying fits, refusing to nap except while feeding until I finally was able to get him to nap without eating at about ten tonight. He wasn't mad all day, but nice big chunks.
By nine tonight, I was at wit's end, and alone. I had been stressed all day besides, with matters unrelated to the boys being out of sorts, which truly did not help matters. At ten, Collin was sleeping after being snuggled tightly in my arms and patted to sleep for about 30 minutes. I dared lay him down and Spencer was happily playing cars, so I stole a few minutes to see before Spencer came over to slap me. I told him I did not like that and proceeded to fake a cry. I gave him a suggestion to color, but he started whipping colored pencils round the room.
At this point, I gave up on sanity saving time for myself and offered to read books with him which he usually loves. He screamed the most high pitched scream ever and threw a fit, tossing books around and trying to hit me again.
I lost it. I stood up, crying myself, and ran up the stairs to my room. He followed still screaming at me. I left the downstairs a disaster, my tea on the counter getting cold, the tv playing "Dinosaur Train" and ran away from it all. He did, too. At first, I was not happy, I will admit it.
So, I picked him up, wrapped my arms tightly around him, and pulled him onto the bed next to me.
We cried together a few minutes, and at nearly the same time, ceased the tears. We fell silent. He pulled my arms tightly to his chest and the blanket over our arms. And we laid there quietly and calmly, finally in a good, peaceful place together. Cuddling together.
Love won. Loving arms won. We told each other "love you!" a few times. We stayed that way 41 minutes, until Jake finally came home from work and took Spencer to his own room so they could snuggle a bit, too.
It was such a hard day. I have an impressive headache. Countless redirections, pleading and commanding the behaviors to stop, frustrated grunts and sighs with both of my boys screaming and crying and inconsolable...
But in the end, no redirection. Or reprimand solved the day's issues.
In the end, love conquered our war.
It always should. It not always does, but it always should.
Here's to hoping tomorrow is a better day.