I now know why children look so innocent when they're sleeping.
It's so we forget about the hell they put us through when they're awake.
It's the same reason they say cute things that make us laugh. Like Boogie telling us today that her nose was "just a little bit slobbery" when Wren said it was stuffy. Or in the midst of her 5 straight hours crying and carrying on, just when we ALL (including the other kids) were seriously considering cutting our ears off so we wouldn't have to listen to it anymore, she suddenly said in her best drama queen voice "I just can't take it anymore!"
I can't stand over-tired, cranky kids. Especially when they're so dramatic all the time. It makes it hard to tell if there's something REALLY wrong or if they're just practicing for their Broadway debut.
Tonight, for the first time ever, Wren burned dinner. He was making gravy and he actually ended up scorching it so the whole batch tasted burnt and he had to toss it and start over from scratch. Tonight, for the first time ever, I realized that Hunter may not be my biggest challenge. Tonight, every single person in this house was tense and on edge and would have loved to pack a bag and run away even if it meant sleeping under a bridge and eating canned beans for the next 20 years. Tonight, I sat in my bedroom in tears wondering what the hell happened to my life.
It's hard to believe a 5 year old can cause so much stress. I've lived through 2 kids with colic, one of them being said 5 year old who also had acid reflux as a baby. She didn't spit up or anything. No, it sat in her esophagus and BURNED so she ended up on 2 different medications that only helped shorten the crying time by maybe an hour a day. So, you know, instead of listening to her cry for 16 hours, we only had to hear it for 15 hours.
I've been through a dog bite on the face of my 4 year old that required over 20 stitches. I've been through a 2 year old who repeatedly bashed his head into things so that he had a permanent bruise on his forehead, and a doctor who said "Oh, it's no big deal. If he knocks himself out, just make an appointment and we'll fit him for a helmet." Hello? If my 2 year old ends up unconscious I'm not going to calmly call and make a doctor's appointment. I've rushed my 10 month old to the hospital because he had a 106.5 degree fever, brought my 8 year old to the ER to get his head sewn up because he bashed it on a toy when he didn't want to do his homework, almost had to call the fire department when my 3 year old got his hand stuck under his bedroom door, had to bring my 6 year old to the emergency room when his sister tried to cut his thumb off with a pair of kitchen shears, which they glued back together, which meant I had to bring him back again when the glue didn't hold. (Sadly, most of these things happened with Hunter.) On a daily basis, for the last 16 years, I've refereed and broken up fights, administered advice, dried up tears, mopped up flooded bathrooms, swept up broken dishes, kissed and bandaged owies, brushed knots out of hair, cleaned butter off of walls, spaghetti sauce off of ceilings and gum out of carpets. I've tracked down shoes, fixed broken toys, sewn new clothes, baked cakes and cookies and brownies, made Halloween costumes, placed paintings on the refrigerator, hung paper snowflakes from the ceiling, and held wet wash cloths on temporary tattoos until my fingers looked like prunes.
Despite all of this, all it took tonight was one 5 year old to break it all down and make me feel like a helpless parent who has no idea what she's doing raising kids.
Man, that child has some power.