Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Take this job and ...

I wanted to quit my job today. And truth be told, if I worked for anyone other than my current employers, I'd have slapped a letter of resignation on the boss' desk, packed my things and hit the door. No two-week notice, no exit interview. Adios baby, I'm out of here.

The problem is, there's not a boss around that would have been able to read my letter of resignation. None of them would know how to go about posting an ad seeking my replacement. And I don't think any of them would actually want to fess up to the job description.

I had had it. There's only so much a person can take, and I had taken it and then some. Three-year-old sass. Twenty-two-month-old screeching. And six-month-old grouchiness and hysterics, TIMES TWO.

We managed to make it through the morning with only a couple of time-outs, several threats and baby naps cut in half due to their apparent need to make me crazy. Despite the rocky start, we made it to lunch relatively unscathed and even threw in an alphabet game and plenty of tummy time to boot.

As I finished getting Alena and Alivia's lunch fixed, Trace went from bellyaching (compliments of his teething, this has been a constant for the past three or four weeks ... I've lost track as I've wished for temporary deafness on more than one occasion) to all out screaming. Just as I get him in his high chair next to Alysse so that I can feed them lunch, she chimes in.

Okay, for anyone who can tolerate one baby just all out screaming, give two a try. Nothing I tried would calm either one. Holding, peas, bottles, toys, singing, squash. Nothing worked. Screaming, screaming, screaming. Let's try the vacuum. Maybe the noise of them vacuum will quiet them enough that I can regain some control of the situation.

Sure enough, plug in the vacuum and go to work on the living room and they got quiet. Sure enough, turn the vacuum off and the screaming started again. Immediately. Holding, peas, bottles, toys, singing, squash. Just not cutting it.

Then Alivia started her yelling, as Alena's demands she needs this, that or the other "right now."

"Please don't yell at the table," I asked Alivia in a tone I'm still not sure how I managed to muster. "If you yell again, I'm going to turn your videos off."

And she did it.

And I turned the videos off.

And then she did it again.


A high chair tray was slammed on the kitchen table as I took her out of her seat for a visit to the naughty step (the place she has to sit when she's done something bad). A door was slammed just because it was there. And out of sheer desperation (and knowing both were so tired there was nothing I was going to be able to do with them), I took Trace and Alysse to their beds, wished them luck and shut the doors.

It was an ugly scene. Yes, in the realm of what's done to children on a daily basis that's truly abusive, my little fit was nothing. But for me and my ability to handle the day-to-day crap in a pretty go-with-the-flow fashion, it was ugly. Today they pushed too far.

Soon enough the babies were quiet. It actually took them less time to fall asleep than it took me to clean up the macaroni and cheese that flew off the high chair tray I had slammed down. Alivia spent her few minutes on the step and was quickly back to dragging out toy after toy. And Alena, being older, and bearing witness to the whole mess didn't demand another thing "right now" for at least 20 minutes.

After the blow-up, we read nursery rhymes and looked at Alena's stack of pictures. I told them I was sorry I had gotten so upset and that I love them very much. Too much, maybe. Once Trace and Alysse got up with hungry bellies, they ate, drank and were perfect angels. Damn it, I was going to quit my job today, but I already want it back.

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