What is it about small children that makes them take your last nerve (upon which they already are), pull it out straight, and jump up and down on it? Abby was wiggly tonight, Lizzy was bouncy (and injuring herself as usual - a minor head-bump on a padded couch arm) and I was ready to duct-tape them both to the wall... it's been that kind of week. (And I kid... the duct-tape-to-a-wall is purely fantasy - I would never act on it).
Abby and I were playing our usual Big Fish Game tonight, and she was scratching. She has dry skin and does this fairly often, but this time she was using her lotion on one part of her body, scratching another part, and just kept scratching rather than - say - applying lotion to the new itchy part. It was driving me batty.
Lizzy chose tonight to develop a sudden fear of the What-Ifs. She had worked herself up into actual fear. You've met the What-Ifs. They're ubiquitous (I sound like Dr. Seuss - "The Ubiquitous What-If's of Kalamazoo" or some such) and they impinge upon otherwise normal households, usually at bedtime (or - as tonight - an hour and a half past bedtime. But I digress.). What if there are monsters in my room? There aren't; I chased them all out years ago. I'm too mean for monsters to stick around here. But what if you're asleep and they sneak past you? Uh... here! This is the foam sword that Abby used to slay bad dreams when she was four! You're only three and a half and I'm trusting you to slay them yourself! But but but... but what if... Lizzy, I'm right here, now relax and close your eyes and stop freaking out.
Once she relaxed it took her exactly 78 seconds to fall asleep. I know; I counted. And once I wrote it out here, I was not frustrated, angry, or even annoyed anymore. Because really, how long can one remain irritated at eight-and-three-year-olds for being eight and three? Especially once they have ceased jumping on that nerve and have settled down to something like this?