imperfect parenting.

There are nights when everything just goes wrong.  Nights when I just want to pull my hair out (example:  this Tuesday).  Theo didn’t get a good nap that day.  Dexter has been a little fussy, I think he’s working on teeth.  He won’t let me sit him down to fix dinner, fold the laundry, or do the dishes without crying.  He’s tired but he won’t take a nap.  Theo throws food on the floor and smears mashed potatoes all over the table.  And in his hair.  And inside his ears.  It isn’t wasn’t even bath night (but it is now).

He sees the wagon in the garage and when he realizes we won’t be going for a walk around the neighborhood (or as we refer to it at home – putting him in that red thing and doing that one thing around the you-know-what), he collapses into a pile of wet noodles on the floor (or ground. or garage floor).  And proceeds to scream and flop around like a fish out of water until he eventually hits his head on the leg of a table or a big plastic toy he left in the middle of the hallway.  He has that reaction to 4 or 5 other life-changing catastrophes that don’t go his way.  You know, like having to get out of the bathtub after splashing 90% of the water out (on me).  And then he arches his back and twists and turns when we put him on the changing table for jammies, making it nearly impossible to accomplish anything at all. 

AND THEN he decides to throw his cup.  Causing the lid to pop off.  Causing oh, I don’t know, 7 ounces of milk to splatter all over the door, walls, (cloth) laundry hamper, and into every crook, nanny, groove, and crevice of his changing table drawer fronts.  And I think MAN, am I glad we got the one with all that beautiful detail.  And naturally, he does this at bedtime.  And naturally, it takes about 20 minutes to clean it all up.  Of course he finds it amusing to see me on my hands and knees sopping up the mess with towels and subsequently wiping down the floor with baby wipes.  Of course I’m mad.  Or maybe just tired.  Or just completely over the whole stupid night.  And of course he screams bloody murder when I turn off the light and shut the door behind me without looking at him or kissing him goodnight. 

And of course…

Before I take two steps down the hall, I feel guilty and get that knot in my chest.  So I turn right back around.  I open the door and pick him up.  I hug him tight to my chest and close my tear-filled eyes as he rests his tear-stained cheek on my shoulder.  He stops crying and I whisper I love you, baby.  I’m so sorry. I think he is too. 

I dry both of our faces and kiss his forehead.  I tuck him in and rub his back.  I tell him everything is going to be okay, promise that I’m not mad at him, and say tomorrow will be a better day.  The kind of day when everything goes just right.  And it does.

happy 5 months old today, sweet boy!
Every day I think I could not love them more.  But every day I do.