Normally at the first sounds of life, I get up, get some sippy cups of milk for them, get a cup of coffee and a Kashi bar for myself, head into the nursery where I'm greeted happily with squeals and silliness, change diapers, and we all hang out drinking our beverages in the living room until Mike comes back from the gym and does breakfast.
This morning the first sounds of life were Michael just plain crying. I hurried to the kitchen for sippies (skipped my coffee for the moment), grabbed him from his crib (skipped diapers for now), and went back for Sophie. Once I was settled on the couch with my coffee and Kashi bar, they were after me like adorable zombies demanding nibbles. Handfuls of Cheerios tided them over temporarily, but we were off to a rocky start, that's for sure.
Even after breakfast they were grumpy, clingy, whiney little buddies. We played with dump trucks, read BIGFATCATERPILLAR (known as The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the rest of the world), and played Kerplop on Your Pillow (they set their pillows on the floor and sit on them repeatedly--I think you have to be one to appreciate it), but they still just weren't themselves. Offenses like attempting to take the other's toy normally inspire yells of protest but today led to genuine crying and big wet tears. Moments between breakdowns were short and unsteady. Sophie had a fever several days ago, but it's good and gone now. I took Michael's temp, but it appears that I just have some unhappy toddlers on my hands today.
So I gave in, pulled up Sprout On Demand, and we watched a 15 minute episode of Thomas. Typically a little break from reality while lounging on the living room floor works wonders. And it pretty much did.
And yes, I know I sound like an idiot in these videos. I'm ok with that.
But after the morning nap, the mood was unpleasant again, and we headed outside for some fun in the sun. Ok, we're fair-skinned red-heads here, so fun in the sun means fun in the shade while fully slathered in SPF 50 UVA/UVB zinc oxide sunscreen with hats on. But that doesn't keep us from putting in some time with a good water table.
I've been putting off breaking out this toy until we have some time as a family to enjoy it, but I was eager to lighten the mood. Hopefully he-who-put-said-toy-together won't mind.
Clearly, they didn't mind the water table, but there were very few smiles today.
We came in the house and I busied Michael and Sophie with toys in the playroom and snuck out to cut up last night's dinner into toddler-sized chunks for lunch. But soon they were crying at the kitchen door baby gate, desperate for something. I assumed it was lunch they were after, but that was dropped by the handful onto the floor within minutes of hitting the high chair trays.
Today has not been the best.
In fact, I'm filing today's memory away now for some day this fall when I'm fantasizing about being a stay at home mom instead of a working high school teacher mom. I'll think of this and remember how even a perfectly typical day can get a little ugly. I'll still long to be with Michael and Sophie, but keeping things in perspective is helpful.
I'm hoping the afternoon nap lasts a loooooooooooong time and that my little buddies wake up happier campers for the next round of summer fun. I'm thinking we need to get ourselves a swinging fix.