four children + green dreams + recipes + story writing + running wild + (sanity) = where you'll find me
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Hope for the best (the meltdown version)
I was hoping for the best yesterday. Good to stay optimistic. Also good to set expectations LOW to MIDDLING. Yesterday, swim lessons began again, plus soccer, plus more soccer. The unpromising start to swim lessons included bringing the wrong bathing suit for Fooey (much much too large--her sister's, in fact), and CJ declaring he would NEVER duck his head under the water. ("Just tell the teacher no thank you," I advised. "But the teacher ALWAYS wants me to." "I get that. Just tell her no thank you, not today." "NOT EVER!") This led to full meltdown on the pool deck. Somehow, two kind lifeguards hauled him off me and got him into the pool. "Go! Give us five minutes!" By the time I got up to the seating area, he was fine. So fine, you'd never have guessed he'd recently been in full mutiny. We ended this fine opening swim session by losing one child's underpants. Found later in her pocket to everyone's amusement.
Remember how I'd planned to read to the little kids during AppleApple's soccer time? Turned out it was in a school gym, with loud music pumping--more of an aerobic workout than a soccer practice. The girls had a blast, including Fooey. Meanwhile, ever-jolly CJ made me cover his ears basically the entire time. We couldn't read anyway. Too loud. This is not a problem easily solved. No brilliant brainwaves came to mind as I contemplated another ten weekly sessions in this gym, staring at the little Canadian flag pinned to the wall, watching a bunch of lively girls leaping joyfully, whilst trying to remain compassionate toward a constantly-complaining three-year-old. Nope, not seeing the bright side.
At the end of that, we drove across town to pick up Albus and Kevin, who were at a different indoor field for their soccer practice (one-car family, remember?). CJ spent the opening minutes lying on the floor declaring life not worth living (to summarize), or at least not worth living given the lousy choice in snacks his mother had brought. Finally, I found a candy cane in my pocket. This proved to be "too spicy," but worked as distraction. AppleApple got some playing time with the boys' team; we all went in to watch. Fooey picked artifical grass. CJ complained about not having a ball to kick.
Basically, CJ is at a stage/age where he can effortlessly suck the fun out of just about any situation. For example, grocery store this afternoon. CJ in full tantrum seated in the cart wailing over and over the touching phrase: "Multi-coloured mini-marshmallows!" My skin must be elephant-thick by now, and thank heavens. Nothing draws the gaze of passersby like a screeching three-year-old kicking the sidewalk and declaring his lower legs--yes, the lower legs, to be specific--"too tired!" to go on. I'm not saying all gazes are critical. Some are closer to pitying, some to gratitude--thank God that's not me. Which is admittedly how I feel now when I hear a tiny infant wailing from inside a baby carrier. I know the mother's pain--how the baby is probably hungry and wants to nurse and she's pulling a toddler by the hand and they just need to get this one final errand run, please, please, please just make it baby.
This too shall pass, in other words.
This too shall pass.
I'm mother of four, writer, dreamer, planner, runner, photographer, taking time for a cup of coffee in front of this computer screen. My days are full, yet I keep asking: how can I fill them just a little bit more
-- with depth, with care, with pleasure.