Mr. Pants and I had a locked-horns kind of morning today. I thought things would improve when I took the kids to the pool, but it was only temporary and by the time we got back home, there was more mischief and mayhem and I very nearly lost it.
Actually, I maybe did lose it, depending on your definition, but only for a few seconds and only when I was alone on the first floor of the house (Mr. Pants and Shmoogie having retreated, giggling, to the bedroom upstairs), so by my definition I'm not sure it counts.
By the time Shmoogie was down for a nap, though, things were calmer and Mr. Pants joined me in the kitchen for a promised special activity: making Rice Krispie treats.
I was starting to feel like a good mom again.
Then, as I'm pulling out the marshmallows, Mr. Pants decides he's not interested, after all. I can make the Rice Krispie treats, he tells me, he'll just go watch a movie.
But I want to do something with YOU, child, I try to explain, without sounding needy, as I follow him out of the kitchen. Would you like to read another chapter of your book? Or something else?
I follow him into the toy room and sink into a chair, deflated. We could play, he says, with little enthusiasm, shrugging his shoulders at the room.
I take a deep breath. I hate playing. I know that's dreadful, but it's true. I take a deep breath, though, because I really want to get this day back on track, and I say, "Ok, what do you want to play?"
He does a slightly staggering circle around the room, scanning for anything interesting, grabs an enormous red teddy bear holding a lace-edge valentine and says, "Or, we could just take a little rest," as he climbs into my lap with the bear and cuddles into my chest.
"OK," I say, astounded, putting my arms around this curled up boy.
We sat there for about ten minutes, I think, mostly in silence, my big five-year-old re-cuddling himself into my lap a few times and once sitting up to ask why airplanes don't just fall apart and sink into the ocean (I explained they were built to be safe and he said they don't feel safe when you're on them), then snuggling back down again.
Then, on some signal known only to himself, he picked his head up and said, "That's enough of a rest" and we went back to the kitchen and had a grand old time making Rice Krispie treats (which are still as good as I remember them being if you make them yourself; it's been a long time since I've had a real one).