Today was the first day I’ve ever been solely in charge of two kids, let alone two who are mine. It wasn’t a pretty day. Sure, the first half of the day was relatively attractive – Connor and Ike decided to take it easy on me before the noon hour. But when we got home after a morning out, oh ho ho did they pull a 180 on me. Ike decided to cry uncontrollably and inconsolably for what felt like an hour but was probably more like six minutes then remained awake for a straight four hours. Connor was sated by 30 minutes of Cars 2, but once I turned it off he turned into a 3-foot, pale mini-Hulk who repeatedly told me he didn’t want to take a nap until I told him that I needed him to take one. My only outlet was sending out needy texts and waiting greedily for responses. Combine that with my gritted-tooth talking, endless counts to three, and sanity-saving episodes of Paw Patrol, Team Umizoomi, and Cars and I can proudly say that no one was locked in a closet (or locked herself in a closet) and I resisted the urge to scream from the top of my lungs. We’ll call that a win.
But regardless of how and how often I want to vent my parenting frustrations, there’s that immovable mom part of me who can’t bear to tear myself away from them even for a few hours regardless of how many clumps of hair I leave in my wake. While I grind my teeth trying to zip up Connor’s coat as he goes all jello-legged on me I also want to kiss his mooshy, smooth toddler cheek. As Ike wails I just want to nuzzle his little tree-frog body against mine and rub my cheek against his baby-bird down head. My hardened I’m-parenting-here voice holds me back from putting the hug-down on my boys when I’m trying to be the boss. That’s one of the reasons parenting is so hard, right? Withholding affection isn’t easy. It’s like seeing the most adorable puppy with the most delectable ears in a glass box and all you want to do is pet those ears. Or am I the only one who ever feels that way about canine ears?