The story hour at our library is 9:30 AM on Monday mornings. I'm not gonna lie -- I often lay awake Sunday nights thinking of reasons that we shouldn't go. I know, dreadful parenting all around, yada yada yada.
Josephine LOVES it beyond not only her capacity for words but mine as well. As we drive to the library she sings "Goin' to the library! Gonna read books! Gonna sing songs! Gonna see my FRIENDS!" but it's rough getting there. Even though she is out of bed by eight, the kid is not really awake until nine, at the earliest, which makes the day pretty dramatic and awful, right from the get-go, if I try to get them both out the door on time.
I know, you hate me now because I can't even get my kid ready by nine AM, and oh my god, what a lazy woman I must be, but she is a SLOW waker-upper, and if you rush the process, you risk a day of awful.
Did I ever tell you that I finally figured out one of the things contributing to our mornings that began with nine or ten full-blown meltdowns in the first five minutes she was awake was that I was talking to her too much when she first woke up? Seriously.
In the morning or after nap, I would traipse in there, all chatty and happy to see her after all those hours without her, and I suspect it sounded a bit like "GOOD MORNING MY LOVE! HOW DID YOU SLEEP? IT'S MORNING! MAMA'S HERE! I LOVE YOU! WOULD YOU LIKE A FRESH DIAPER AND A NEW OUTFIT AND FOR ME TO FIX YOUR HAIR AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND THEN YOU COULD HAVE SOME BREAKFAST? HUH? WOULD YOU? IT'S MORNING! I MISSED YOU!" because she would stagger around and not be able to focus her eyes, and then fits, fits, more fits, which would taint the whole day.
So now, I go in, quietly say "Good morning my love. Come on out to the living room whenever you're ready, and we'll start the day," and she nods, I leave, and in a few minutes, she comes out, all smiles and good attitude. She just needed some GD space, MOM.
I told Jeremy about this, and he was like, "Well, duh. There was a pretty strict rule in my house when I was growing up that no one should talk to me or look at me in the morning." Uhhh.
So anyway, this morning every school in the state (basically) was closed because of a terrible ice storm last night, but we were going to have to leave the house later to take the dog vet anyway, so I figured, eff me, let's go to freaking story hour even though everyone else will stay home. We got there just in the nick of time, but I should have known, I just should have KNOWN, based on the level of "MY DO IT!!" that was flowing from her tiny mouth, that things were about to go awry, and I should have just driven away while I had the chance.
Yes, we are at that glorious age where she must do everything herself, and in theory, and for the most part, I think it is adorable and wonderful and am very proud of her for being so big and strong and competent and wise, but then there is the other part of me -- the one that is desperately trying not to rip my own hair out of my head the fiftieth time she says, "NO MAMA, MY DO IT! STOP TOUCHING! WALK AWAY A ME!" when I forget and try to do something for her or have to do something for her because I don't care what Montessori says, I'm not going to let my 2.5-year-old do certain things. Sorry.
Anyway, the shouting. OH, THE SHOUTING. This morning she wanted to climb up into the SUV and then into her seat, which took about ten minutes in the freezing cold while her sister screamed in her carseat and I desperately tried not to say "hurry up!" over and over. Then when we got to the library, parked, got everyone out, and I went to grab her hand (as I explained earlier she would have to let me do), she shoved her hands in her pockets, shouted "MY HANDS IN MY POCKETS, MAMA! INNA POCKETS!" and when I tried to compromise by holding onto her hood, she screamed "NO TOUCHING!!" and tried to run away. Yeah, that would have worked out great -- walking with your hands in your pockets right after an ICE STORM. I know I could have let her face the consequences of her decision (fall face first into the ice and snow), but I just wasn't up for that.
As predicted, she was a bit ... wild ... at the library. Usually she has a lot of energy and whatnot, but she listens to 98% of what I say. Today she listened to about 1%, and as we were checking out books and getting ready to leave, she ran over and pushed the handicap door opener which someone (ahem GRANDMA ahem) taught her to use, and I had to dash out after her, holding the crying baby, all our coats, a bag of books, my purse, and the craft with wet glue and glitter (Seriously - every week! "I'm going to put some glue on this, two-year-olds. Don't touch the glue until it's dry!" THANKS.). I was not amused.
Then we had to rush home, pick up the dog, and rush to the vet, because apparently I excel at choosing the worst possible time to schedule things.
Of course Cleo already knew where we were headed and was panicked, and by the time we got there, Genevieve had fallen asleep, so I couldn't even strap her into the Bjorn, which was my master plan so I could have one hand to grasp Josie's little hand and the other to hold my scaredy-dog on a very short leash and navigate her through the scary world of other dogs and cats and smells. So I had the thirty-pound carseat, big kid, and huge scared dog. It was a blast.
As we were headed out, I had to take them all up to the counter to pay, and three of the cats who live in the office came over to torment Cleo. They stood right between her and Josie, and Cleo was torn -- get as far away from the cats as possible or get between them and her child who was in danger? (I don't even know. She's not afraid of our cat, but she doesn't want any other cat near her family.).
So I shoved the dog between my legs and try to hold her there while she is lunging around like a bull on a leash, and I'm also trying to keep Josie away from the cats because one of the receptionists kindly informed me "two of those cats hate kids -- watch out!" and then Genevieve started crying so I rocked her carseat with one foot while I signed the credit card slip.
And now, here it is: the story I set out to write and took a few thousand words to get around to (lucky you):
One of the vet techs offered to walk Cleo out to the car so I could hold both of the kids as we walked through the ice, and the other said, while this whole shit-show was happening "Wow! You make it look so easy!"
I looked right at her and said, "I make it look easy?" (*quizzical eyebrow raise*)
"Well, you make it look GOOD," she countered.
I looked at the scene around me, at my hastily thrown-together outfit, and imagined just how bad my bushy, frizzy bun and half-assed make-up must look.
I waved the pen in the air, like you might expect a graying British man in a laboratory to as he exclaims "By George, I think he's got it!" and said "I'll take it!"
Then we staggered out while I laughed and laughed and laughed.
Indeed; I'll take it.