We had a really rough day, the other day. Everybody was super grumpy/whiny/out of sorts, and nobody had a single shred of patience to be found.
Yesterday started off really badly again, albeit not as irritatingly early. I woke up too soon, the baby woke up earlier than I wanted her to, etc. I was allowed (most of) a cup of tea before the crying began, which was so very much better than the day before, but for a couple of hours there, that was the only improvement I could find.
It wasn't my Little Miss's fault. She spent most of yesterday morning playing nicely in her room. Most likely simply trying to avoid us. I don't blame her. Baby Girl was a super grump. Right up until I started rubbing her back. (Which was a couple of minutes after she placed it within my reach.) Suddenly, there was peace. Suddenly, there was calm. Suddenly, I looked down and saw my sweet, precious baby peacefully snuggled up against me with a look of perfect contentment. It was the exact sort of look that I suspect can be found on my face in the (now rare, since he's always away working) moments that I can snuggle up and let my husband rub my back.
That's when it hit me. That is most likely the entire source of strife that we experienced the day before. (And quite a lot of the other times.) Baby Girl is far, far too much like me.
Little Miss has some things in common with me. For instance, she would really rather just be left completely alone for an hour or so after she wakes up. Also, she has a temper. Also, she has a fair bit of stubborn in her. (Although, while some of it may have come from me, I still maintain that quite a lot of the stubborn came from her daddy. He is so very stubborn as to be unable to admit that he is stubborn.) But, in addition to all of that, my sweet Little Miss is, as my mother first pointed out to me, quite the little drama queen. (This might be my ultimate downfall. I have very little use for or patience with drama. Already the incessant tantrums threaten to put me over the edge several times a day, and she isn't even in kindergarten yet. I can only imagine- with a great deal of trepidation- the hell that awaits me during the teenage years.)
But my precious Baby Girl...
I have a lot of faults. I would be the very first to admit that. I'm stubborn, impatient, short-tempered, and have next to zero tolerance for willful stupidity. (Which, unfortunately, seems to be rampant in the world today.) I tend to feel the urge to curse far, far too often. (I've been working hard on this since the kids came along. Mostly, I do okay when they're around. The rest of the time, I resort to curses that are only obscene in whatever science fiction universe they came from. Real people would probably just stare in confusion if my kid repeated them. I'm kind of okay with that, since it's really probably the best I can hope to achieve at this point. You can probably blame my daddy for that. I doubt he would argue the point. Much.) The list goes on and on and on. I know all of this, and I try to fight it. I try to rise above it. Mostly, I fail. But I try. I have always considered science fiction stories about clones to be a horrific idea, and I have never, not once, seriously entertained the idea that cloning myself would truly be beneficial. Because if I had to live with me, I would probably be plotting murder within seconds. (This is one of the reasons that my sweet husband is so very special and impressive. He presumably knew all of this, and he married me anyway...)
And I suddenly realized yesterday, while snuggling with Baby Girl, that she has quite a lot of these traits, too. Poor thing. Not only has she got an even bigger dose of stubborn than her sister did, she has the super short temper, the frustration that comes with having no patience to speak of while simultaneously being forced to wait on everyone else, the look that says all too clearly "good grief, I can't believe my survival depends on you people! Get it together already!" All of it. Also, unlike her sister and father, she has trouble sleeping soundly and therefore wakes up much more easily (like me) than she probably wants to. And to top it all off, she isn't really much of a morning person either.
So, now, one of my worst (so far. I'm trying not to borrow trouble from too far in the future) fears has come true. Not only do I have to live with myself, I get to live with myself and a drama queen- through the teenage years. (This seems like an appropriate time to raise my eyes towards the heavens and pray for the patience, wisdom, and strength to survive it all with my sanity- what's left of it, anyway- still intact...)
We had a much better afternoon yesterday. I don't know why, exactly. It could be that this little epiphany has caused me to put even more effort into things. Or, possibly, it's because my wonderful father-in-law came over to play with the girls for a while. (They were, as always, super rough on him.) Maybe Baby Girl overheard me begging my husband for a short vacation to anywhere, in order to preserve what little of my sanity remains. (That conversation lasted for a while, night before last. And yesterday morning during the repeat performance of grumps...) She could've decided to show me a little mercy. Or, possibly, everyone just spontaneously recovered from the severe case of the grumps that we've all suffered from for the last few days.
Maybe it's some combination of all of these reasons. I may never know. But, I'm very grateful. This morning has been a bit better. Right up until a few minutes ago, when I attempted to make myself a cup of tea. That's when the fighting and whining started up again. What in the world do these girls have against tea??
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a couple of kids to separate, some hair pulling to put a stop to, and maybe- just maybe- a cup of tea to drink before it gets completely cold...