We entered the grocery store, and immediately came upon a display of juice for 99 cents. I don’t normally buy juice, but I decided to treat the kids for lunch. I picked up a bottle of apple kiwi strawberry, put it in the cart, and started to make my way to the produce section. And then the four year old laid down on the floor and screamed. After a few minutes of calming him down, I learned he wanted “just apple” juice, not apple with stuff in it.
Later on, we got to nap time. After listening to the cacophony of sisters talking and jumping in their beds for a little while, I went upstairs to change diapers. Sister number one: check. Sister number two: check. Sister number one then told me that she peed again. Sister number one again: check.
While trying to listen to a six year old who can’t quite master the “ll” sound at the end of “hill” and “bill” get frustrated with reading, I scrambled to find another activity for the four year old that would keep him quiet. I gave him a workbook page to color. He fought with his sister over the markers, and then had a meltdown because he wanted to do the things his big brother was doing.
These are fairly everyday scenes for us. Whether they’re tired, or angry, or frustrated, my little people don’t have complete control over their emotions. Which means I’m supposed to have control of mine, so I can teach them.
I’m learning that I’m still far from a pro at most of this parenting stuff. I practice patience as best as I can, but inside (and occasionally outside) I’m rolling my eyes at the back of the six year old’s head as he reads. I’m hugging the four year old and inwardly shaking my head that he wants things he can’t have. I’m sighing at changing another diaper. I’ve perfected the deep sigh to the point that my husband sometimes mimics me, and it’s kind of funny from the other side.
And I’m guiltily looking in the mirror realizing that I too get frustrated with things I’m not good at. I too want things that I can’t have and get upset when I can’t have them. I too want someone I love to take care of me, even if it’s not the most convenient part of their day.
Even as an adult, I still have a lot to learn. So I guess the kids and I will learn together.