Birth order is a funny thing, isn’t it? Saoirse is such a chill little girl–smart but sensitive, happy yet thoughtful. And now–now–she has this little (well, not so little) sister tagging along wherever she goes, active and rambunctious and mischievous and affectionate, and sososoSO in love with her big sister she doesn’t want her out of her sight. It’s like the kid’s a human backpack, and Saoirse’s on the hike of a lifetime. As soon as she wakes in the morning, Quinn calls out, “Hi, Mommy! Hi, Daddy!” But when you walk into her room to get her out of her crib, the story changes: “Where’s Shir-sha? I wan’ Shir-sha.” Whatever Saoirse is playing with, Quinn wants, even if that means Saoirse can’t play with it anymore because Quinn has picked up the toy and gone running out of the room with it. In her car seat, she peeks over to her sister just to see if she can make her giggle. She hugs her. She kisses her. She smacks her in the…
I was going to write about the tantrums SK’s been throwing lately, but decided I didn’t feel like complaining.
The next thing on my mind was how my dear elder daughter keeps pitching fits when the younger one is playing with her toys–to the point of more tantrums and some wayward violence, but I didn’t want to be so negative.
And I couldn’t stop thinking about just how stinking overwhelmed I am with chores and errands and parenting and…and…realized that a) any parent who works full-time would want to bop me on the head for complaining and b) I’m boring myself.
But there I was, looking around, searching for something that wasn’t annoyingly petty or troubling to pass along your way. I had been running errands all day like a crazy woman, and our bedrooms looked like an action movie had been filmed in them–post car-chase, fireballs, and scary alien invasions, of course–because I was sorting through our summer clothes to make way for the Rubbermaid containers of winter ones we normally keep stored in our attic because our house was apparently built for monks who only needed closet space for their 3 sets of robes. I was exhausted from quelling fit after fit that SK was pitching over the smallest issues (seriously? You’re upset because Quinn’s pushing the shopping car with which you haven’t played in weeks? It’s NOT THAT BIG A DEAL, CHILD. Just go read a book or something, yes?) and yes, I was tired. So, so tired, and impatient, and, well, thinking that if all of my days were like the last few, I could start to understand why Anne Heche went wandering around in her pajamas a few years ago talking about spaceships. Sometimes it can get to you. And by “it” I mean, well, life. When some days you’re so busy trying to just keep your head above the flotsam that is all the responsibility and pitfalls and carry on.
It sounds like I’m depressed. I’m not, honest. It’s just been a rough couple of days. Honest. I’d tell you. Either that or you’d find me wandering down the turnpike, barefoot. I’m wearing shoes at the moment, though. Don’t worry.
But I was all set to write a post about something inevitably negative–which I fully realize I just actually did–when two moments happened, one right after the other.
I sat down with Quinn last night to read her a book before bedtime. It was quiet, her room was lit by just one tiny lamp, and she was all warm from her bath and comfortable in fresh pajamas and just-washed hair that, thanks to her new shampoo, smelled just enough like honey to be pleasant without reminding me that I planned on making waffles for breakfast this morning. I could actually hear my brain sigh with relief as we settled down in the glider together for a few restful moments. Yeah, right. No sooner than we closed that book did my beautiful child start grunting and twisting in a pretty impressive effort to wriggle her way from my arms, out of my lap and down my legs to the floor, where she took off way more quickly than a child who still crawls should ever be able to move. She opened her door, threw one glance at me over her shoulder with a laugh that sounded an awful lot like “Bwahaha–gotchyou again, suckah!” and went careening down the hallway–her arms and legs going thumpthumpthump on the hardwood like a car that’…