You know those days, those long, painful days, that start at 4:00 a.m. with a crying baby and end at 8:00 p.m. (Thank. God.) with a crying baby? Those days when you have to remind yourself that you love your children beyond measure and they’re not being rotten on purpose. That something must be wrong – teething? getting sick? frustrated with the current economic situation? – and it’s probably nothing personal. We had one of those days today.
To be fair, she did go back to sleep for a couple of hours after she greeted me before the sunrise. But, seriously? Today sucked hard. I’ll spare you every minute detail and just illuminate our trip to the grocery store. Or, as I now call it, The Place In Which I Will Never Again Step Foot Alone With Avery. Or at least today’s demon-baby version of Avery.
The trip took an hour and a half. An hour and a half of complete and utter torture. She screamed the entire time. I went to the painstaking trouble of getting one of those embarrassingly enormous rocket ship carts that are impossible to steer and weigh exactly that of a Volkswagen. I thought she’d like that. She did not like that. When she was not sitting in the seat, crying loudly, she was trying to stand, crying loudly, or trying to turn around, crying loudly, or trying to hurl herself over the side, crying loudly. So I took her out, crying loudly. Try pushing the ridiculous cart one handed. I’m not going to lie. I knocked over more than my fair share of displays. I passed the same guy four times, each time Avery was in a different position, crying loudly. The first time, he had a jovial look of sympathy. By the fourth time, I could tell he was hoping to catch a javelin with his crotch so he can avoid this whole situation in the future.
The only reason either of us made it out of there alive was because I opened a can of toddler snacks and let her eat half of it. Not that she stopped screeching altogether, but at least her cry-hole was plugged up at small, baby-cheesy-sized intervals.
When we got home, I immediately put her to bed and she slept for two and a half hours. When she woke up she was ok for an hour, then demon-baby returned and once again my ears were bleeding and I adorned the look and posture of a broken woman. By bedtime, I was completely defeated. She won.
Until I won and she fell asleep.
I slouched over to the computer, this post composed in my head, reading entirely different than how it came out, intending to checking my email (of which, there was none), Crackbooking it for a bit. Then I read an update from an old friend of mine from my softball days. She has two of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen – an angelic, curly-mopped little 3 year old girl, and a handsome devil of a 2 year old boy. This morning she gave birth to another son, Leyland, who is 16 weeks early and weighs a mere 1 lb 8 oz. I left her a message, giving her my congratulations, prayers, strength, and love.
After a day like today, especially on a day like today, as awful as this may sound, I needed to hear this news. I needed a reminder about how lucky I am. How much love I have for my children. How they are the two most important and precious things in my life. How, even if Avery is miserable or if Eirinn is defiant, they are still the most amazing and wonderful creatures in the world.
Avery was crying in bed after I gave her a bottle and laid her down. Not unusual. But today I went back to her room and picked her up and cuddled for a while. I rocked her in my arms and kissed her little cheeks while she calmed down and grew weary. Even on days that are so stressful in the most insignificant and fleeting of ways, I am incredibly lucky and have nothing, really, to complain about.