Quick grocery shopping and child pushes kid size cart in circles with sound effects and running. Thankfully, the store is nearly empty.
Go to shoe store. It opens a half and hour later than the website said it would. Waiting...waiting...Child licking the window.
Get sandals picked out for the big child and then child running laps in the store. Child running away from me when I try to get near enough to tell him to stop running laps in the store. Child slamming body into door over and over and other child joins.
Walking back to car, child kicks mulch when told not too. Mulch in new sandals. Insists on sitting on curb to remove both sandals even though told not too. Barefoot in the middle of a parking lot.
In car, I turn and say "You need to listen. You need to stop running in stores. Daddy and I told you this last time. You need to stay where I can see you. I am not taking us to a park after this to play with your friend. We are going straight home."
He cries and apologies. I tell him it is okay but I'm still a tensed ball of nerves.
Lunch is relatively peaceful. Take Sage for nap and it's one of those rare days where an hour slides by and she will not sleep. So, no break for me. And of any day this week, I need that break today.
Take kids to the tennis court and help River practice on his bike. Running back and forth hunched over his bike and at first it is all fun and praise and then, after I am soaked with sweat and my foot gets run over, I snap "Why can't you keep the handlebars straight?!" and then try to back track over my bitch with, "You are doing very well. I'm so glad you are willing to try today." But I killed the mood. He doesn't want to ride anymore. He humors me after some wheedling and we head home.
Another span of peace before I am asking him to come off the porch. I need to change Sage's dirty diaper and I don't leave the kids out there alone. I tell him once. Twice. Three times. "Please, River." and he is still playing bumper cars. I am two feet from him. I yank him inside and send him to his room for not listening. For down right ignoring. Sometimes I can ask him something and he just blinks owl eyes at me and says nothing. I mean something that requires a yes or a no answer. He tells me, when I go into his room to talk to him, that he didn't hear me.
I believe him. He's spacey. He's imaginative. He's in his own head. He's well intentioned. I know. I'm like this. He's me in so many ways.
Before bed is always a hectic time. I don't know why his energy peaks when he is tired. We all know. He knows it. When I scold him and he finally stills to listen to stories, he says "I am just tired."
"I know," I assure him. "I know." This is after he's knocked his water on the floor, I caught him chewing on his big toe at the dinner table, he put his hands directly into the mixture of water from the tap and his spit out toothpaste after I brushed his teeth ("Think, River! Think before you do things!"), he began kicking the pile of dirty clothes and a dirty wet diaper instead of getting dressed, and running and jumping about after being told to stop it several times.
What happened to my quite, intense little boy. It's like he's regressed to age two suddenly. Like he's running on overdrive/ jet fuel induced energy/ high as a fucking kite.
All I know is my one year old hears me better than my four year old the last couple of days.
So here is what I am going to try:
1. Establishing both touch and eye contact before communicating
2. Asking if he understands and having his repeat what I said back to me
3. Reminding myself that his behavior isn't malicious, it is just him being young, exuberant, and naturally oblivious (just like his mother!)
Wish me luck.
This motherhood thing is so damn hard sometimes.