Monday, April 9, 2012

And the Chaos Commences

First off, Happy Easter!  I've been wanting for the past week to blog but simply haven't found much spare time.  First I wanted to blog about Holy Week and then I wanted to blog about Easter, but it seems like sometimes the days slip by at a rapid pace and blog posts that were meant to be never materialize.  If life clams down a bit over the next few days I hope to share some pictures from Easter.

Fast on the heels of Easter Sunday was Bryan's departure for Tennessee.  By 6am this morning he was already on his way to catch a plane.  This left me with the girls' last day of their incredibly short Spring break and a dentist appointment for three of us to get our teeth cleaned.  I managed to get us all ready and out the door by 8:30 this morning so we could make it to our 10am appointment.  I'm seriously beginning to wonder if I'm not just a little crazy for insisting on seeing the dentist I've seen since I was a child.  The drive from our house to Stone Harbor takes close to an hour and fifteen minutes.  Typically our back to back appointments take less time than the travel in one direction.  When it's nice and warm out I can justify this long travel time by taking the kids to the zoo right after we're done, but today it was chilly and windy so we didn't stop.  And truthfully, after spending Wednesday through Saturday at church each day I was exhausted.  I'm convinced the Triduum is nothing short of a spiritual marathon.

So after our dentist appointment I headed home knowing that Madeline, what am I saying?  She wasn't about to do any of the work.  I needed to complete a science extra credit project so Madeline could boost her grade in social studies.  That meant a trip to the craft store to buy clay [I'm amazed that we didn't have any.] and duct tape [Ah, duct tape, how I wish I had forgotten to buy you today!].  The project was quickly completed by me once we got home.  If I never have to do another Science in a bottle experiment again it will be too soon.  Two of these pain in the rear experiments in three weeks.  Of course, I should learn to keep my mouth shut when I see a failing test grade and just let Madeline deal with the consequences.  So I guess I brought this upon myself in a way.

While Katie napped, I sat down to take a break and do some reading.  I just started reading St. Therese's Story of a Soul last night and I wanted to read more.  After reading for a bit I felt incredibly tired and decided to take a nap while Katie was still sleeping.  I must have passed out on the couch for an hour and a half or more.  Unfortunately, I realized when I woke up that I must have turned off the monitor one of the times I went to calm Katie when she had just gone down for her nap.  The poor girl was up there crying and I have no idea for how long since the girls were playing quietly [amazing, right?] in the basement while I napped.  Once I got Katie, the real fun for the day began to ensue.

Madeline fancies herself an adult despite numerous reminders from myself and Bryan that she is a child.  A ten year old child.  One, who I should add, does not always exhibit the greatest judgment.  So Madeline, in her infinite wisdom or lack thereof, took it upon herself to prove to her six year old sister that Bloody Mary is real.  How did she prove this?  Well, she didn't do it the traditional way of going into a dark bathroom, looking in the mirror and calling out the name three times.  No, that would be too easy and would prove that it was nothing more than some made up thing to scare little kids.  Instead, Madeline without permission hopped on the great google machine and pulled up a You Tube video.  In doing this, she managed to scare herself and frighten her little sister to the core.  I doubt I have to tell you how unwelcome this news was to me as two little girls sat in the family room looking pale and asking odd questions about whether or not Bloody Mary was real.  When I dispelled it as made up, I was then told about the video they watched while I was getting the baby from her nap.  By bedtime I had an incredibly guilty ten year old (more on that coming up) and a terrified six year old.  I'm praying that Ellie has fallen asleep by now.

As if the Bloody Mary incident wasn't enough to make this week difficult enough, Madeline decided to add a little blood to the mix.  Remember that duct tape I brought?  No, I didn't use it on the kids if that's what you're thinking.  Madeline, who has been pestering me for nearly a year to buy her duct tape, decided to make a wallet with it after having been specifically being told earlier in the day that she was not making anything with it.  In an effort to cultivate some patience, I sat and watched her make the "wallet" and restrained myself from making any comments about the fact that I told her she wasn't allowed to play with the duct tape, or that she was once again deliberately disobeying me, or that I didn't want duct tape on my sofa.  Bryan called just as she finished and I was telling him about the wallet she made.  It was then that I noticed that my scissors were covered in adhesive, which I suspected would happen when she initially told me of all the amazing things she was going to make with duct tape.  Someone offered to clean them off, but knowing that she would likely slice open her fingers, I expressly told her that she was not to touch them.  Bryan even heard me say it.  Anyone want to guess what happened next?

So while I was still talking with Bryan, mind you the conversation is about 45 seconds along at this point, I sat down to nurse the hungry baby and that's when the screaming and crying began.  If you guessed that my ten year old sliced open her thumb then you get to give yourself a pat on the back.  Go ahead, you deserve it.  While the cut is about 1 1/2 inches long and a bit deep, it wasn't bleeding a lot and it doesn't look like it would have needed any stitches.  It was just the excitement that we didn't need this week.

I didn't handle the situation well at all.  Between my total annoyance at her disregarding what I had just told her and the stress of another one of Bryan's business trips, I snapped.  Calm, compassionate and caring are not words that would have been used to describe me.  I believe at one point Bryan had to tell me several times over the speakerphone to stop being spiteful and just get her cut cleaned and bandaged. I feel like tonight was a test and I was found wanting.

In my best Scarlett O'Hara impression [which is pitifully bad given that I'm not a southern gal] I just have to tell myself that "Tomorrow is another day."  And so, I'll just pick myself up and try again tomorrow.

Lord, give me patience, but please, I beg you, don't give me any situations where I'll have to use it.  Or, let's just save both You and me some frustration and just give me obedient children for which I will be eternally grateful.  Does that work?

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