Are we allowed? Is it OK as parents to say "some days I just don't want to do this" ? Is it OK that some days you just don't like kids, your kids in particular, or the lives kids put you into?
Katrina had numerous impossible-to-please tantrums today, including a mondo one when she should have been happy and well-rested after a 3-hour nap. Julian was worse, whining and complaining and being rude and finding the silliest excuses to throw himself on the floor and cry.
Gabriel was pretty good, focused heavily on a new project (a 3-dimensional wooden puzzle of a helicopter), though he went to his room once for punching Julian. I really hate catching him in the act of punching when I know Julian deserved it -- I have to respond consistently and punish Gabriel for punching, while inside I'm meanly thinking to Julian, good, you asked for that, you brat.
Julian asked about playing ping-pong today, so as soon as Katrina went in for a nap, I pulled out the table. It is completely impossible to play with her there, she's constantly underfoot and demanding the balls and paddles. Gabriel joined, and the boys and I had a really nice time playing. I'm delighted that they're both getting a lot better -- we even got a few rallies going, where "rally" means the ball got hit back and forth twice. Real playing is a long ways off -- neither has any interest in forehand, for instance -- but they're both getting more consistent and are following my suggestions well.
They played a little together too.
It's funny, so often I berate myself for not being willing to spend time doing stuff with my children, but I think that's because it's the wrong "stuff." I can't bring myself to do craft projects together, but I can play ping-pong with them all afternoon. I think I have to stop berating myself and just accept that that's the way I am.
We're in a military airfield's flight path, and sometimes we get to see some pretty cool aircraft. This one is OK -- the really cool ones go by WAY too fast to even turn on the camera. A few weeks ago I caught a pair of fighter jets flying in formation and they were totally vertical when I first saw them, quickly straightening in a graceful arc to horizontal before landing.
At dinner, I tried to video Julian throwing one of his fussy-fits to see if it would deter him. It didn't, but I caught a sweet moment instead of Katrina feeding Gabriel. It's hard to pick out the sweetness out from behind Julian's kiniption (supposedly about the travesty of his napkin being trapped under his dinner plate), but you can sort of make out Katrina saying delightedly, "Gabriel like it, Mommy!"
Some days it's just no fun to be a parent, but even those days still have a lot of good to them.