Alexander and the terrible, no good, very bad day…

It was one of those days. We all have them from time to time. Unfortunately I seem to be having them more often than not lately. Frazzled beyond belief. Overtired. Running on empty… those are a few descriptions that would adequately describe me as of late. Not to mention snappish, short tempered and sad. Very sad. I used to be full of energy and ideas. My friends used to be in awe of the fun things I would come up for the kids to do. A cooking project here, an art project there… A trip to this place or that. It was not so long ago that I filled the kids heads and eyes with the most wondrous things. For some reason it all came to a crashing halt. Alexander seems to be missing out on the most. I never know quite how preschool teachers have the stamina to run their programs day in and day out, always bursting with energy, enthusiasm and fantastic ideas. I have been doing this for 10 years now and I have run out of energy, enthusiasm and ideas. I have run out of steam. Poor Alexander. He does not get the same attention from the that the other two did. He doesn’t know what he is missing. He is missing out on a lot, I believe. I am here with him all day long as I was with the other two, but instead of someone brimming with fun things to do, all he has in Mom. Just plain boring Mom. He years for the baby sitters who grace us with their presence. He is eager to see his mommy go and doesn’t seem to elated to see my return. It’s sad and I wish I had a cure for this.

I wonder if this is why Alexander acts out more than the other two have. He is certainly a very curious little boy but so was his brother. The difference is that Christopher was never fascinated with plugs outlets and all things dangerous. And Alexander’s fascination with this stuff started long before I became just a Tired Out Old Mother. Perhaps that’s what tired me out? Alexander can get into every child proofed drawer and cabinet. Alexander can and will get into everything and Alexander can and will keep you on your toes.

Yesterday was a tough day for us all. Alexander was as trying as ever, perhaps even more so and would set me off every few minutes. My short fuses were shorting out left and right. I was taking my anger and frustrations out on him as well as the other two. We are home with no where to go for two very long weeks. We have no friends around to play with us. It is hard to amuse a 9, 7 and 2 year old whose interests are vastly different. Yesterday I forced them all to play together! And they played beautifully and I felt guilty that we were not out on some creative little field trip or unleashing our inner Picassos or Mario Battalis… everything loomed so much larger than life. What loomed largest of all was the mess that a healthy dose of creativity would have yielded. It is virtually impossible to keep a house on the market spotless and this is driving me (and I am sure the kids completely insane.) I would rather say no to the potential buyers, at least for these 2 weeks. But I have been advised not to. And my better judgement will tell me not to as well. I have to find a way to be a little less OCD about keeping the house picture perfect. I mean, there are 3 children here after all, and it can not be expected that a house stays spotless… unless I keep them locked up in the shed! I could put a rug in there… hang some curtains… Hey, maybe we are on to something!

They say kids can sense things even when they are too young to truly understand. But he was absolutely out of control yesterday. Below, a list of all his damages…

1. poured a glass of milk all over the counter
2. poured a glass of water all over the kitchen table
3. decided to play with the water machine in the fridge (one of the kids forgot to lock it)
4. stuck hand in jar of $50 face cream, leaving almost nothing left for me
5. unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper
6. unrolled almost an entire roll of paper towels — I saw this and caught him in the act!
7. got into the child-proofed cabinet under the sink and took out cleaning supplies — again I caught him mid act and was able to avoid a disaster
8. got a hold of a gallon of water and emptied it on kitchen floor… I got there a little too late to prevent that one!
9. threw a brass bull (that was D’s from Pamplona, Spain when he ran with the bulls…. Oh I see the Alexander-Daddy connection now!!!!) at Christopher’s foot which left a nasty cut and bruise…
10, went around tossing toys all over the place and as soon as they were cleaned up he tossed them out all over again…
11. got into a chocolate bar
12. dumped a bowl of dry cereal on the kitchen floor
13 and lastly decided to eat/play with his bowl of soup with his hands…

I had been up since 4:30 so without his antics it was an unbearably long and tiring day as it was. It’s a good thing that the mind allows us to forgive (and no it does not allow us to forget, because the pain of childbirth is still fresh on my mind and it has been a while) because instead of harboring ill-will or even resentment this morning I just looked at his sweet face and my heart melted all over again, much as it had on September 7, 2005.

A good thing because as soon as I got downstairs after a little voice begged, pleaded “Mommy, Wake up! Mommy Stop Sleeping!” I noticed that Someone had turned the thermostat off at some point yesterday (#14!) No wonder it was so chilly last night…