Today was one of "those" days...where something, seemingly small, happens in the morning...but it sets off a cascade of events that snowballs and in the end, essentially ruins the day. Or at least leaves me feeling utterly exhausted. It all started this morning with Henry throwing a toy down in frustration. Then, instead of acknowledging it and apologizing, he argued with me about it..."I lightly TOSSED it, not THREW it, Mommy." Sticking with the conversation until he admitted what he had done meant I was now running late...then he woke up the baby...then while I was nursing, he decided the eggs I made him weren't enough and he would make more. Then his brothers decided they would make themselves eggs too...so when I emerge from my room with Ezra, ready to leave for church, there is an enormous mess in the kitchen and the boys are each stirring their own bowls of eggs - a full dozen in total. I am proud to say I did not yell or freak out. I did tell them I was very upset and that we would talk about it - but first I cooked all the eggs and made sure they ate them all. I sure as hell wasn't going to waste those eggs.
By the time the eggs were cooked and consumed and I'd cleaned the kitchen, church was almost over. I was resolute that we would go as planned, so even though Ezra was tired again by this point I packed them into the car and drove to church. I had them apologize to Dan that we missed the service, and I had Henry apologize to the priest that he didn't make it, as he was supposed to be crucifer. They asked if they could have some food at coffee hour - "No," I said solemnly, "the food is for people who ATTEND the service." All of this seemed to make a bit of an impression...I think.
In the interest of natural consequences I then announced, "Since you guys used up all the eggs, now we need to go to the grocery store to get more." This turned out to be a punishment for me more than anything else...I have never seen whole foods so crowded. Not even the day before Thanksgiving. It was so hard to navigate all three boys through the store, and poor Ezra was really tired by this point and understandably fussy.
The rest of the afternoon and evening were just your garden variety not listening, not following directions, asking for things multiple times after I've said no, etc.
Don't get me wrong, I am so very thankful for each and every day I have with these boys, and I hope that my actions and reactions to today's events taught them something important....but oh my goodness, I am spent. Now I am supposed to be addressing the Epiphany cards (read: Late Christmas Cards), to be sent with the birth announcements I got the week Ezra was born but never mailed out, but I can't find the birth announcements anywhere. And I am NOT sending the cards without the announcements. So instead of scouring the house for the birth announcements and staying up late getting them ready for the mail so they will arrive someday close to January 6, I am giving up. I am going to drink tea and eat a cookie and go to bed. Maybe this is what people mean when they say "Don't be so hard on yourself" or "Have grace with yourself." Maybe I will find them tomorrow.