I know, I know - wait until they're teenagers. They're two and I've probably heard that one about, I don't know, seven million times. I'm pretty sure every Target checker in town has used that line on me at least once. There's one lady there who I avoid now because I know the warning is coming. (And I'm just one Target guest. I wonder how many times a day she doles that clever one-liner out?)
But I'm not worried about the future. I'm so busy I have no choice but to take things as they come. Right now what I'm worried about is my mother - who selflessly watches our girls - throwing up her arms and walking out on us at any given moment. Because the crazies keep getting crazier.
And because this morning seemed nice. It seemed pleasant. Tess woke up, sleepy but happy, and Elin followed suit shortly after. But then I said the wrong thing. Moms do this a lot, I'm learning.
"Mama, I be carrot for Halloween?" Elin asks. She is sitting in my bed paging through her Little Blue Truck book and Tess is babbling and kissing the dragon on her exersaucer. I'm standing at the mirror putting on mascara. Anna, in an odd turn of events, is the last one sleeping. Justin left for work ten mintues ago.
"A carrot?" I reply, walking into the hallway to search for my hairbrush. I never know where the girls have wandered off to with my things lately. "Yes, you can be a carrot. But you don't have to decide quite yet. It's still summer." (I like to remind everyone it's still summer - do not rush my favorite time of year!)
"WAAAAHHHH!!!! I want to be a carrot!" Elin follows me out of the room and breaks down in tears. What on earth...
"Yes, honey, you can be a carrot. Please stop crying." Aha! I find my brush under Tess's crib, placed there by Annaleise, I'm sure of it.
"Noooooo!" Elin cries.
"Elin J!" I whisper loudly, trying to sound stern but be quiet at the same time. "Please be quiet so you don't wake up Anna!" In Elin's defense, it's usually Anna waking her up, but to be honest, I don't care who's awake or who's sleeping...I just want the sleepers to carry on, undisturbed, so I can enjoy the moments that haven't yet turned into inevitable full-blown morning chaos.
Anna's bedroom door swings open and I look at her, blondish-brown hair in a mess on top of her head, puffy eyes still swollen with sleep, and arms full of the books she insists on sleeping with every night. It never fails. Every time I see these girls in the morning, no matter what the circumstances, a wave of love and gratitude washes over me. My baby. My Anna.
"Hi, baby girl!"
"Hi, mom," she says with a smile. She is a morning person, thank God. "Got my books. What wrong with Enin?"
Elin stopped her crying for Anna's entrance onto the scene, but takes this as her cue to resume the root vegetable tantrum.
"Carrot!" she screams.
I think she scares Anna, who then starts to cry and says, "Mama! Enin say carrot!" like this is a completely normal reason to be crying inconsolably.
Good Lord. "Girls, please stop. It's morning." I close my eyes and take a deep breath so that I don't yell. It's not easy. This is so ridiculous. It's about a carrot Halloween costume. I say a silent prayer for patience.
I walk back into my bedroom and scoop my only non-cryer (for the moment) out of the exersaucer and head downstairs. Two wailing toddlers trail behind me. My head aches. I haven't had any coffee yet, which might be a good thing at this point. Something to look foward to. A cure for what ails me.
I decide to use one of the techniques I've read about, having no idea what kind of rationalization skills a two-year-old could possibly have, but feeling desperate nonetheless. I look at Elin who is laying on the floor; a sobbing pile of moppy blonde curls, pink bunny pajamas, sniffles, and tears.
"EJ, you have two choices. You can stop crying and stay down here with us, or you can go back to your room and have some quiet time."
"I wanna be carrot!!!" She wails. I'll take that as option 2. I set Tess down, scoop Elin up, and carry her back upstairs. Who needs CrossFit when you're lugging around 30 lbs of kid all day? She starts screaming bloody murder as I place her on her bed. "Elin, cry it out if you have to, and come downstairs when you're done." I close the door, then close my eyes. Another small prayer for patience.
Downstairs, things are somewhat calmer. Anna is seated at the table, waiting for breakfast. She instantly asks about her twin.
"Where Enin, mom? Enin need breakfast, mom!" They are always looking out for each other.
"Elin needs a couple of minutes to herself, Anna." Mom could use some, too, I think.
About ten minutes later Elin calls for me from her room, and I go. I love my current role in life, no matter how frustrating it gets at times. The call for mom is music to my ears...especially when it's not accompanied by whining.
I open her door slowly, because we never know what emotion we'll get from our Elin. What will I find on the other side?
She is sitting up, waiting for me. "I no cry, mama. Come downstairs?"
I scoop her up again and hug her, and for the first time without Justin or I prompting her she says, "I sorry, mama." My heart melts just a little bit.
"I forgive you, baby girl."
"Carrot for Halloween," she says.
"Yes, honey, I know."
"Tessie be potato."
"Good idea!" I exclaim as I lug blondie back downstairs. I'm not sure how cute a potato costume sounds, but I am not about to set the child off with my opinion. I will walk on eggshells to keep the Elin volcano from erupting. I slide Elin into her booster seat at the table.
"Can I have fruit, please, mama?" She asks.
I go the the fridge and return with two small bowls of watermelon for the girls, happy they are being sweet again.
"Here you go!"
Elin takes one look at the watermelon, breaks down in tears, and yells, "ME WANT FRUIT!! NOT WATERMELON! WAAAHAAAA!"
So begins round two.
|Sweet Elin. (Not carrot morning, obviously.)|