You have exasperated me today. Truly, you have. Many, many times other mothers have commented that they don’t think they could handle four children. I never know what to say to that comment. Today, I would say, “I don’t think I can handle them either.” Most days go so smoothly. Most days you are all such a joy to be around.
You have all had issues today. Back-talking. Nit-picking. Tantrum-throwing. Noise-making. Incessant jabbering. Belligerence. Disrespectful eye rolls. Disobedient sighing. Name-calling. Whining. Crying. Cat-fighting. Hitting. Stomping. Yelling. Did I mention crying, because it happened more than once…
I tried to be patient. That was probably my first mistake. I should have just turned to God. But instead, I made every effort to be patient instead of be made patient. See kids, I really don’t know everything….but you’re getting that idea already, aren’t you? Failing at being patient, I tried tolerating. That lasted about 20 minutes or until the mud appeared in the kitchen, I don’t know which. Then I blew a gasket. It’s a short walk from tolerance to crazy.
Then I apologized, but it was couched in a lecture.
Then I had to apologize again.
Then we ate chocolate on the swing and everything was okay for 3 minutes.
Then the nit-picking resumed and my antiperspirant began to stop. And we all just hung on for the rest of the day. I have to say, I was happy to see you all go to bed. I know that sounds mean and like I don’t love you. I do love you. Each of you. Dearly. But children, you have been exasperating. I am Alexander and this has been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.
While you drifted off to dreamland, I have prayed for each of you. I have asked God to give me wisdom. I have asked for forgiveness. I have asked for grace.
I have also asked that this sort of day never, ever happen again.
I love you all. I will try to be more like Jesus tomorrow.
Today was not a good day. I didn’t feel appreciated by our children.
Thank you for coming home with a smile, taking out the trash, weeding the garden, putting the toilet seat down, sweeping the floor, picking up toys, smiling at me in the middle of a messy, difficult dinner, bringing me caffeine, and (most especially) letting me take a nap after dinner.
I can’t promise tomorrow will be any better…but I promise I will still love you.
PS We need milk in the morning.