A Day in the Raw

I  woke up hearing my four year old say, “I’m gong to cut your head off with a knife!”
“Go to Time Out!”  I yell before my eyes are even open.  He walks in from outside with a dinner knife in his hand!  Here I was sleeping away on the couch while my three and four year olds are running around fighting each other with real knives!  I’m horrified!
So began my afternoon.  My snooze on the couch was less of a nap and more of a knock-out from the blows I took before lunch.   I wanted another Splat the Cat book for my girl, so all four of us headed to the library.  I looked for one minute at the card catalogue and by that time two kids had disappeared and my 18 month old was screeching and twisting in his stroller.  Forget Splat the Cat, we’ll just grab whatever we find.   I chase down my other two who think playing hide and seek from mommy behind the shelves is giggling fun.  “Get back here and stay with me,” I snap, along with an extra loud “shhhhhhhh! “. They race down the isle like a crisp breeze, pulling books off the shelf and tossing them at me.  In 30 seconds my arms were full of random selections  and I was playing librarian, reshelving half of them.
I let my toddler out of the stroller and he squealed with delight, pushing his stroller as fast as he could for the door.  I redirect him two or three times.  The other two, who are out of sight, start yelling and crying over a pretend book drop in the kids area and I yell from behind the shelves “You must be quiet in the library!!!” and I realize I’m the loudest person of all  and announce we have to leave because THEY can’t be quiet.
Books get dropped, my daughter cries, I’m carrying my squirming toddler, pushing the stroller, sweating and panting.
They cry and fight over who gets to hold Brave and a page gets crinkled up in the tug-o-war. I growl and snap at them like a chained rotweiler all the way home as they jockey for books and fight.   One book has applesauce on it by the time we reach home. (it’s too hard to explain how this happened)
Next time I feel like I want to be completely exhausted, I’ll go back to the library.  Now, I remember why I order books from Amazon.
Home again, three cups of  coffee  before making lunch and just beginning to unwind when my doorbell rings. My neighbor. She lets me know the normal concofincy of my kids outside playing is bothering her and I need to make them quiet down!!!  I am speechless. Deer in the headlights. “Well,  I don’t really like the screaming and crying either,” is all I come up with.  She leaves, I’m defensive and suddenly exhausted.
After the nap and the proceeding knife fight, I actually feel better.  Hours later, the defensiveness rolls away and conviction fall like gentle rain. Okay, my kids ARE loud, I could have/should have responded more maturely.
It’s Halloween.  We slam down dinner and all five of us scurry through the house looking for costumes, masks and wigs.  We can’t find the baby’s spiderman costume anywhere. (I found it two day later under a pile of homeschool books.)  Where are the kids candy buckets?  Still in the attic, get the ladder, the kids are crying, can we go now!?  We put an extra costume size 4 on my 18 month old and roll up the legs and arms and we’re out the door.
Fun, fun until we come to the neighbor with the complaint. I humble myself, I apologize for being defensive and whisper I’ll try to keep the kids quieter. I leave with rain on my checks. This is my life on Halloween 2012, pregnant and mother of three.

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