Breakfast had been served, milks polished off and shoes put on in anticipation of being thrown off in mid air from car seats, while watching Mickey…again. I take Baby A, the boy, and carry him out to the van, as the girls flirt with diving off the laundry steps into the garage. Funny, they always understand snack, milk and bubbles – but “stay put” seems to slip their mind when it’s time to go bye-bye and wait to be loaded.
I kiss the boy and tell him “Let’s go to the park,” thinking of my soy latte I am about to have in my hand, from the convenient drive-thru nestled closely to the large park down the street.
He throws his body, purses his lips, turns red and all 32 pounds of him pushes with force against my every effort to turn Mickey on, promise a snack or give him a fancy sticker. He is gone. He has crossed the line of cooperation and is now swimming in frustration and mad with no way to say it, but scream it.
I am trying to fold down his arms, legs, feet, hands, or at least get the core of his body flat against the car seat, when I notice the girls have escaped from the garage step – now crying, shoes off and raising arms for “Mommy,Mommy!” I start to sweat. Tears fill up my eyes and I feel stuck.
Stuck in this house, stuck with three crying babies and stuck in frustration.
They are frustrated. And I am frustrated. And like a foreigner in another country, we have no way to communicate our frustrations … other than cry. All four of us.
I get them out, giving into their managed control of trying to tell me they want to stay home. I take a deep breath, and let them wander barefoot away from the van and back into the abyss of toys and overwhelming mess that our house often is.
They go over, get the sidewalk chalk, carry it out like three ants marching in a team and sit down to begin drawing on the sidewalk. They are happy, calm and look up at me like “Won’t you join us?” And I do. I join the three bosses of me. But we are happy and it’s all they wanted – a morning home, with chalk and mama on the driveway.
I gave into their frustration and let myself be frustrated. It was the theme of the morning – we were all crying in our milk and coffee. In the end, it was just what we needed. A simple, chalk filled morning just being us. I have them to thank.
Have you ever taken the cue from your child that they just need to be home? Maybe they can’t always say it – but what have your kids been telling you lately?