Today has been a Count to Ten kind of day.
Or perhaps more appropriately, a Count to 1000 Day. Because counting to ten has happened at least a hundred times prior to lunch even hitting the table.
Counting to three is for the kids; counting to ten is for me. It's the only way to take a crack at regaining self control, composure, and the will to continue on with the day.
The older two boys and I have been deeply engaged in a battle of CLEAN UP YO' SHIT, DUDE for almost a month now. Constant dumping out of buckets and bins, cutting and tearing of paper, the leaving of garbage all around the house. If the mess came from fun, sure, I'd be happy to pick up after them. If the day had them enjoying PotatoHeads and Play Doh so much together that they couldn't be troubled to clean up before moving on to the next activity, that would be one thing. But I am talking outright MAKING A MESS TO MAKE A MESS and refusing to clean it up to the point that we have missed out on other things.
They're making a mess because they are bored; I know, I can hear you all rolling your eyes and thinking it. Even you over there in Colorado! That may be true to some extent, but it is also 1, the result of an ADHD oldest child; 2, a three year old that only wants to do what his ADHD older brother does; and 3, it is their attempt to take attention away from the babies and cast the spotlight back onto themselves.
But whats a girl to do?! I have made every effort to NOT use that babies as a reason or excuse; meaning, I never tell the older boys that I have to stop playing superheroes or we have to leave the park or etc etc because of anything pertaining to the babies. Even if I have one whaling at the top of his lungs, I try not to say, "boys, WE ARE OUTTA HERE because the baby is hungry/poopy/otherwise up in arms about life."
I have tried to clean up with them. I have tried to make it a game. We have tried timers, timeouts, the removal of privileges and the threat of looming consequences. Last week, we missed the library, the park, and a bike ride all because it took the boys more than an hour to cleanup their crap. There are moments in which I simply want to sob and beg them to just fricken listen to my words and stop making life so difficult!
This entire day has been one of those moments.
As I sit here, the babies are upstairs in their cribs fussing. Not crying out of need or sadness, just fussing. They have a case of The Croup for a second time this month; Baby C is cutting two more upper teeth, Baby H has not taken more than half of his bottle since yesterday morning. Between the bodily fluids, the crying, the whining, the fighting and the ten billion tiny toys spread out in every corner of every room of the house, I am on the verge of a meltdown.
Much has been going on at home-- that tends to happen in grownup lives and grownup relationships, huh? The move and the Still For Sale status of the previous house adds a weight to our daily lives. Even when we try our hardest, I am certain that the Housing Beast is heavy on both mine and Chris' shoulders each day. The problem is compounded by late nights painting, restless sleep haunted by six figure real estate deficiencies, and early mornings chirping at one another over all of it.
Oh, and as the size of my backside reached new heights, at the urging of my trainer I gave up flour, sugar, processed foods and starches. In other words, I have been existing on nothing more than Diet Coke, coffee, string cheese, eggs, and chicken with nothing but salt and pepper for almost a month. Yep, my jeans are too big, my cholesterol is probably rising, but more than anything? I WANT TO CLAW SOMEONE'S EYES OUT.
Do you ever feel like this? I know we all do, but maybe it'll have to be me to volunteer my own life as an example of flawed, distressed, and almost buckling under pressure.
There isn't a down time- when I am at work, it is about taking care of someone else's life. When I am at home, it is about trying to make sure my partner is happy and my friends don't hate me for never being around. I don't get to workout anymore-- shit, I didn't do so much as a single race in 2011. I don't get to blog when or about what I want to anymore. I feel like there was such a giant part of my life spent WISHING for all of this-- the big job, the relationship, the house-- and now it's here and I'm drowning in it all.
It has been one of those days: A Count to Ten, I'm Not Sure I'm Going to Make It, kind of day.