Parents, you know what I’m talking about. As a stay-at-home mom of a threenager, a 3rd grader, and wife of a Police Officer; even mundane and routine daily life is a roller coaster. I’m quite sure it is for all parents. The tiny ride keepers have the keys to the kingdom and the master power switch. They send us on never ending swerves and loops, as they drain our energy and our patience loses steam. The cart ticks to the top and when you think it can’t go any higher we plummet to the ground with exhilaration. Kids are damn cute for a reason; it’s God’s way of keeping them alive.
The ride is long when they have been going strong since 6am. My daily quest to wear them out leaves me the exhausted one. A morning swim. An afternoon gymnastics birthday party. A trip to the dollar store where I say yes to one item and no 12 times to a piece of junk. Meals and messes in between. The tot smiles real big and hands me a booger like it’s a flower; we all laugh, steam escapes, the swerves continue.It’s 4pm; here comes a steady stream of loops. I trip on one of the 24 plastic shoes scattered through the house, tonight’s chicken is still partially frozen, and there’s a floater in the toilet the kid never notices to flush. The loops have me cross eyed. Time to start dinner and they are fighting for the 47th time about a toy that neither of them actually cares about and I have no idea who had first. The husband isn’t home yet and I hope he is just tied up in a meeting instead of on a tumultuous incident. We sit at the table and at least one rider complains and looks at their meal with total disgust. “Sorry guys no funnel cake or cotton candy, eat your damn broccoli”. The loops are making me dizzy but there are just a few more hours until bedtime and I can make it. Endless requests all day: paint, bubbles in the bath, raiding my shoe closet. Most of which I have fulfilled but at 7 pm when she blurts “Can we have family game night?” I just can’t. Today’s ride is coming to a stop. While I truly do love playing Uno Attack with my clever cheating 8 year old and a toddler who occasionally wins. I JUST CAN’T. Time to put on the brakes. My 3rd cup of coffee wore off hours ago and this ride is starting to feel like the old fashioned wooden whiplash model. The front door unlocks, and in walks my husband in blue. Whewwww….
While these days can suck the patience from my bones, they simultaneously fill me. Reciting the quirks of our day to catch Daddy up I revisit the many moments of light, laughter, and unbridled hysteria. When the big kid wrote a paragraph and her handwriting was better than mine, I was so proud. When we played hide and seek and the little one covered her eyes and sung the ABC’s as her “counting”, I soak it up. My husband was roughhousing with the kids like a lunatic and the screaming was something that the neighbors might interpret as murder. Yep. I laughed – sometimes I yell at them, but today I laughed. The kids are now in bed, and we catch up on an episode of Game of Thrones then my eyelids become the weight of an elephant.
I close my eyes and send up a prayer of thanks. I wait my turn to buy another ticket for tomorrow’s entry and I fasten my seat belt.
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