Today I had the complete opposite convictions about my children.
This morning during breakfast, Little Ninja and Meat Ball were so interactive with each other that I got misty-eyed. While Meat Ball was sitting in his highchair, Ninja would crawl underneath the table, crawl back up, jump up and down yelling "PEEKABOO! BOO! BOO!" This, in turn, caused Meat Ball to fall into peals of laughter and squeals, which would cause Ninja to laugh her little almost-three-year-old head off. The process repeated itself many times. The hilarious part of the game was that at no time was Little Ninja ever out of Meat Ball's sight. It was a laborious process of climbing under the table and back up the seating bench for Ninja. Meat Ball would stare at her intently the whole time, but every time she finally made it back up and out, yelling "PEEKABOO!" Meat Ball would act so surprised and lose himself in a fit of guffaws.
This afternoon, I was a bad parent and pushed the children to their limit. I wanted to hang out and cook with some friends. No naps for either one. Little Ninja fell asleep on the way home and I carried her upstairs. She woke up to complete darkness (even though it was only 6:30pm. Durn winter!) and had a complete freak-out meltdown. Meat Ball was also tired and cranky, but he is just so much more chill than his big sister. I tried to calm Ninja down, who was screaming, thrashing, crying, and wanted to hug me. However poor Meat Ball, who was so scared at all this commotion, wanted a snuggle with me as well. That set Ninja completely off the deep end. She is a VERY strong two year old. "NOOOOOOOOO! Meat Ball TOUCHED ME! Meat Ball FAR AWAY NOW!!" I then had two screaming terrified children vying for my attention and my embrace. It just broke my heart to push Meat Ball away as he tried to crawl on me while I was holding Ninja. But poor Ninja (who really is a sweet thing) was just too discombobulated, sleep, hungry and worked up, really needed me to help calm her down. I had to get Meat Ball away, lest one of Ninja's wildly failing limbs hurt him. I wasn't able to comfort either one of them adequately. For about an hour, I wished I had only one child. And why was a I dumb enough to thing two little ones at once was such a good idea?
Now that the two are safely tucked in their beds asleep, I can breathe and rationally know that this little episode was nothing. Many single parents go through this daily. I am lucky that even though my husband works many nights and I have to do a lot of this on my own, I HAVE a partner. And I know that I am fortunate also in that when things really get hairy, the hospital he works as an emergency room doctor is less than a mile away. My plan is to throw the kiddos in the double stroller for a calming walk, show up to the ER and just leave the little monsters with him so I can get a drink. On second thought, maybe a sling would be more convenient so he can at least wear one kiddo, lest pushing the stroller slows him down. I am nothing if not considerate.