I decided that since yesterday got off to such a rough start that I ought to have my Wilma Day today. So when Alexander woke me up bright and early at 5:30 I didn’t shriek, holler, yell or scream. Instead I brought him into bed with me, pulled the still warm, heavy down duvet over both of us and tried to go back to sleep. I didn’t have much luck and unfortunately Alexander didn’t either. I trudged downstairs and got his chocolate milk (he can not start the day without it!) and I my coffee. Back up we went and lounged in bed listening to 24 Zoo Lane on Noggin… what on earth would we have done without 24 hour television!
Luckily there was no school today (parent/teacher conferences) and therefore no rushing aroud. That’s enough in itself to cause a Wilma Day! I grabbed my laptop while Alexander went poking around the room. He was being rather good. Except for removing and replacing (over and over again) the plastic outlet covers. I didn’t yell as I normally would have. Instead, I asked him to stop (over and over again) which yielded no results whatsoever, so I let him continue with my left eye on him. My right eye was looking over my email and perhaps should have been on Alexander along with my left eye because somehow I missed the fact that he had opened the box of wipes and completely emptied all of the contents on the floor. I did not yell as I normally would have. I watched and actually thought it was rather cute that he was sitting there on the floor, talking to himself, covered in hundreds of baby wipes. Without yelling I told him over and over again to put the wipes back in the box and he didn’t listen. So I went on to check my emails… a notice from the library informing me that I have 2 overdue books. I had a note from my realtor letting me know he’d be picking me up at Noon on Friday to show me a few more homes, and assorted (too many to count) from my friends across the world carrying on an endless discussion about, seemingly nothing! I look up from the computer to see Alexander cleaning the televsion screen with the same diaper wipes. He then proceeeds to clean the floor (it’s carpeted!) and the window and the mirror on the back of the door. Admittedly I would, in ordinary circumstances, be annoyed that he had wasted an entire box, but since I was having a Wilma Day I remained calm. Instead of focusing on the waste, I focused on the fact he was actually entertaining himself and not crawling-climbing-jumping all over me! He was playing quietly on the floor and I could actually drink my morning coffee… more importantly I could enjoy my morning coffee. When Alexander was all done it took no more than 3 seconds to toss the dirty rags away.
I did not blow my stack when Alexander spilled his Apple Cinamon Cheerios all over the floor. Luckily they were not in milk! I did not lose my cool when Rebecca started to give me her lip. Nor when there were dirty napkins left on the floor after breakfast — a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I did not yell at the kids for leaving their dirty dishes in the sink — It’s easy to quickly rinse them off and put them in the dishwasher. Nor did I yell at them for leaving toothpaste gunk in the sink. Instead I just wiped it down without uttering a word. It felt pretty good not to be yelling all the time! Not long after that Alexander came out of the bathroom wearing nothing but his pajama top. I asked him where his pants were and he pointed to them on the floor of the kitchen. He took them off to use the bathroom — to pee in the potty! It couldn’t have happened on a better day. So happy was I that I broke open the bag of Dum Dums we got at the grocery store the other day. The look on his face was that of pure delight. This was turning out to be a fantastic day. I did not rush him in his decision to pick out the perfect pop. I let him linger over the watermelon and the strawberry, eventually opting for the something-else-berry. He carefully took the wrapper off, tossed it on to the floor and delighted in his sugary treat! Truly the simple things in life bring such pleasure.
Eventually it was time to get out to get the boys hair cuts. Of course we can never get out of the door on time and certainly My Wilma Day was proving to be no exception. I was thisclose to getting angry but I didn’t. I followed behind as Alexander skipped to the car. I did get a little angry as he resisted getting strapped into his car seat. He pulls the same stunt every day and it is exhausting. At the hair salon the kids were all well behaved so I decided that we would be having ice cream as a special treat. It was warm and sunny and you can not have a Wilma Day without ice cream. I mean, what kind of a celebration would that be? We made a quick stop off at The Rugged Bear to see if we could find a dress for Becca. I was not thrilled that the boys were running up and down the aisles playing hide and seek. Nor that Alexander decided to try every pair of Crocs on display before proclaiming that he had to have the purple ones! I put every single shoe back where it belonged. And did not raise my voice. Not once! (I did gently shake Christopher by the shoulders to tell him to act like he was 7 and not 4. I had to.)
We decided that we would have ice cream for lunch. How fun! How exotic! How rebellious! Alexander had his pink bubble gum ice cream, Rebecca her doubletripplebrowniefudge, Christopher likes the soft serve, chocolate vanilla mix, dipped in to the hard chocolate shell and drizzled with toasted coconut. I indulged in a sumptuous gelatto! And I really enjoyed watching them eat their frozen treats… though could not resist my need to tell them to wipe their faces with their napkins quite a bit!
After lunch we headed in to the car and Alexander fell asleep. I transfered him inside and Rebecca and I watched last night’s episode of Supernanny that we saved on the DVR. I had some time to check my emails again and chat with a few friends. I scheduled some necessary appointments and then headed off to school to meet with the teachers. My kids both got stellar reports. I was thrilled and elated… and not terribly surprised. I was amazed to find out that Christopher is reading at nearly a 3rd grade level, not too shabby for a 1st grader who did not know his alphabet until he was almost 5! It could only happen on My Wilma Day! I left the building with a little more spring in my step!
I did not get angry when I walked into the house to find a mess. All in all I did really well until about 6 o’clock and then I started to unravel a little at the seams. Alexander decided to rub Rebecca’s microphone along the wall causing lovely metal scrapings all over the wall. I raised my voice. I had to. But still, I remained calmer than usual. I grabbed the Magic Eraser from under the sink and started to carefully work on the marks. They did come off. The kids were getting whiny and the boys kept running around the house and through the kitchen. I told them repeatedly not to do so as they were running by the stove and I had the burners on and hot things cooking. My requests fell on deaf ears. Eventually I sent Christopher up to his room. A little while later the soup was made and I sat down to try some. It was still too hot to offer the kids. Rebecca and Alexander had been playing school. It was adorable. It is a favorite game of theirs to play and a favorite of mine to watch. She always plays the teacher and he always the student. The class had finished their snack and was about to go down for their naps. Rebecca asked Alexander to turn the lights off so he did. I could not eat my soup in the dark so I asked him to turn it on. (The family room and the kitchen table area share the same lights.) He wouldn’t. She wouldn’t. Every time I got the light on Alexander turned it off. I yelled, but not loudly, and instead picked him up and carried him to his room. He sees this happen many times to his sister and his brother but never to him. He was startled and shocked. Don even came on to the scene. I left a screaming Alexander and went down to reprimand Rebecca and eventually ate my soup in silence. Real silence. Alexander was with his father and the other two were in their rooms. Eventually I let everyone out and order was restored. I need to remind myself not to sweat the small stuff. That good things really do come in small packages. All in all it was a pretty terrific day and I will thank, once again, Wilma.