Last week, my parents left a message:  ”What’s Wrong?  Are you okay?  We haven’t heard from you, and there are no new blogs…”

Tot happened.  Well, her and life.

She turned into a fire breathing dragon, or some close relative.  And I over committed to all sorts of things which left me exhausted.  I’m also doing a 12 week program to try to be more creative, and it’s using up what little free time I have.  Though it does give me 2 hours of Tot-free time per week to take myself on an “artist’s date”.  This is what this last week consisted of….

SATURDAY:  artist date with myself followed by 7, yes SEVEN!!! hours of yard work

SUNDAY:  Tot’s garden themed birthday party extravaganza at home with a caterpillar made of cupcakes and a sunflower cake and mini-cupcakes.

MONDAY:  Anti-ballet meltdown & Sash making assembly line in my basement

TUESDAY:  Tot’s physical & swimming

WEDNESDAY:   Kickboxing class & swimming

THURSDAY:  Book club followed by play date which was fabulous, ’cause Tot was occupied!!

The last 3 days have been filled with buying and planting and cleaning and I am exhausted.  The neighbors made it possible, especially today as Tot played next door for 5 hours and then fell asleep in the car at the unheard of hour of 7:30!   This was heaven-sent as I have definitely been struggling with the Tot lately.  We still have a lot of fun together, but I’m getting frustrated a lot more often, and there’s a lot more crying and screaming.  Sometimes it’s her.  She’s been fighting me on EVERYTHING.  You would think she was a teenager!

This weekend a friend visited and told us about her employers who do not experience any joy with their children, only frustration.  They don’t play with them, or laugh or apparently cherish them at all.  It seems tragic.  What’s the point of having kids, if you’re not going to have fun with them?  The rest is hard work.   Seems too hard, unless you see their beauty, hear their laughter, and feel their love.  Despite my frustration, I have all that.  My need to vent may give the wrong impression. I think the expression, Distance makes the heart grow fonder is about your kids.   Easier to love them if you don’t have them 24/7.

Thursday morning, a half hour before 7 women were coming to my house, Tot had a colossal meltdown.  Mr.Tot and I have been trying to teach her that crying won’t get her what she wants, but the process is a painful one.   I try to have patience and be consistent, but I can’t help but think I must be giving her the wrong signals.  This particular morning after 15 -20 minutes of crying, I told her I loved her and she came and flung herself in my arms.  As I hugged her, I told her if she wanted a hug, all she had to do was ask, without any crying and screaming.  After a few minutes when she seemed okay, I hurried down to vacuum before everybody got there.  For the next 10 minutes, she came to me every 30 seconds or so to ask for a hug.  I would turn off the vacuum, set it down as I kneeled to give her a hug.  If I stopped too soon, she would cling to me.   I managed to get the vacuuming done, but it sure took a lot longer than normal.

Soon, we will be heading to Nana and Papa’s house, and they can entertain her!    Where she’s sure to be an angel.  And they’ll think I’m nuts.  Either that or she’s a monster of my own making…   At least I made her cute.  That’s how she sucks you in.

Even now, in her sleep – she’s calling Mama!  MaMA!

Sorry, no one here by that name….

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