SK and the Mighty Quinn: It’d be a Good Name for a Band

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.

First: I was making these “healthy” cookie things for SK’s preschool class snack–because I couldn’t just go out and get the jumbo pack of Goldfish, noooo, I had to be that mom. It wasn’t until I was in the middle of measuring out the ingredients that I realized two cups of sugar spread out among 15 3-year-olds, even if the snack does include oranges and cheese, does not constitute healthy, which is what the teachers had requested. By that point I was pretty much saying something that rhymed with “To schmell with it” and put the danged things in the oven anyway. As the non-healthy healthy cookies were baking, I was trying to throw a dinner together, and ran to put around the vacuum at the same time (not multi-tasking so much as operating out of desperation, because when you own a cat and a husky, well…).  Saoirse, after 2 and a half solid days of tantrum-throwing, cheerfully volunteered to help me.

“I’m going to vacuum, too, Mom! May I help you?”

Well, golly, sure, I said, wondering how the little person was going to push around the Dyson, when next thing I know SK appears from the playroom downstairs with her little toy vacuum–the one with the googly eyes and the scary sing-song voice–and starts rolling it around the floor, earnestly, cheerfully.

That was the first moment. Because I just wanted to hug her right there.

Secondly, Quinn is thisclose to walking. She pushes toys around on her feet, will stand on her own, but that’s it. A little while after the vacuuming incident–my cookies were probably burning in the oven at this point–I was “helping” her walk around the room. She was giddy, giggling, smiling, looking up at me with that baby pride that melts a mama’s heart. And then she saw Saoirse. And she broke one hand away from mine, held it up to her sister, and before I know it, Saoirse was walking her little sister around the room. By herself. Just the girls, just SK being sweet and kind and sisterly.

It was like the windows had all opened and fresh air was filling up our house.  It was like somebody had popped the cork from a bottle of champagne and the world was all bubbles and cheering. It was as if our team had just won a championship (we root for Notre Dame, so, well, yeah. I can dream) and there was confetti and fly-overs and an announcer telling everyone to not rush the field.

So forget what I wrote about in the beginning of this post. Just focus on the happy stuff, yes? Because just once in a while it all clicks, and for a moment the flotsam floats away and you see nothing but clear, calm waters and an island with a swim-up bar ahead. Sometimes, a moment reminds you that even when the sky is filled with clouds and rain, there’s blue right above it.

And as for the cookies? Well, let’s just say they turned out really well, but I really wouldn’t recommend them as good mid-morning snack for little ones. I heard the teachers were peeling the kids off the ceilings by 11 o’clock.


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