I have a small secret… I hate doing dishes, but I love to cook.
I grew up in a house where everything went in the dishwasher, so the fight between my siblings and I was actually was over who had to put the dishes away (first world problems). My husband grew up in a hand washing household. We use a combination of those in our house. Because I love cooking and I enjoy using nice things some of the kitchen items we have purchased require a hand wash. The general rule of thumb in our house, as I imagine it is in most households across the country, is that if I cook, the hubs does the dishes (and visa-versa). Since Liam arrived, and the arrival of our part time toddler (The Bean), this does not always play out as consistently as it use to.
Sometimes we end up with a kitchen sink that looks like this:
Sometimes it is even worse….
Thanks to the awesome teamwork my husband and I have we usually get the house back to clean before the end of the night…. usually. Last night was one of those “ehh… that is not so much going to happen” nights.
The kids were fighting, and when I say fighting I mean brawling. They are at an age now where when one gets tired then it is a melt down for both of them (and if the other doesn’t melt down the first one will see to it that they do). They are more mobile, and SO quick. They are also at they age where if they want it they take it (If I want it its mine, If I see it its mine, If you have it its mine). They don’t know how to ask, they don’t know how to share, and so they just forcibly take toys from each other. Usually this is an easy situation to fix, distraction is a wonderful thing. Sometimes though it just is better to separate and divide. Thankfully we have just about two of everything so the situation is usually easily remedied. Last night however turned into a fight that managed to sap all of my energy.
Liam was sitting on the living room floor playing with a toy fire engine that sings last night and The Bean was sitting next to him playing with a puzzle when the chaos broke loose. The fire engine burst into a song about the ladder going up and down and it caught The Beans eye. All of the sudden she had a desperate need to hold the fire truck and push the glowing button that made it sing. Unfortunately Liam had a pretty good grasp on it. As she desperately tried to yank it out of his hand she saw me coming to break up the fight. Desperate to make one final attempt to get the toy for herself and show Liam how very angry she was that he didn’t just give it to her she leaned over and bit his cheek. Biting has been an issue in this house for a few weeks now. Both kids are teething badly; molars are coming in and drool is flowing like a river at our house. Every time one of them sticks an appendage anywhere near the other it gets bit. The zombie children then have mini meltdowns because it turns out that biting hurts. No one has broken the skin yet though, including last nights cheek bite. The cry that let loose from Liam’s mouth after the bite was heartbreaking… so heartbreaking that The Bean let go of his cheek and started crying herself (either that or he has cheeks of steel and it hurt to bite them). It took a while to calm both of them down, distract them with different toys and get them both in a playing mood again. It took even longer for Liam’s cheek to loose the redness. After a long and very busy day full of appointments and errand running with two toddlers that was the straw that broke Momma’s back last night. The dishes did not get done, but the toddlers lived to see another day and were reasonably happy all day long. No serious injuries occurred. They were clean and tired. I really couldn’t ask for more than that last night.
It has taken me a while (like the entire first year of Liam’s life) to learn how to let go of the little things and focus on the big picture when it comes to the kids. Yes they had a fight last night. Yes there were teeth involved. Yes my house looks like a bomb went off in it. All of those things together use to be enough to send me over the edge. But Leroy did so well at his vet appointment yesterday (the biopsy showed that his polyps in his anal glands were not cancerous! his drain is removed!), Liam stayed up through his morning nap like a trooper so that we could get some groceries, both toddlers enjoyed some backyard deck time complete with bubbles and lawnmower races, we had a home cooked delicious nacho dinner, we snuggled and read books, learned and played… all of these things more than make up for a little fight and a messy house. To top it off Momma and Da got to sit back and relax with a lovely glass of whiskey on the rocks and enjoy some time together after the kids turned in for the night.
Some times the little things in life are far more important that the big picture. Sometimes you just have to let go of the dreaded dishes, relax and enjoy… they will still be there in the morning.
They may push and shove to get there, but in the end they are best friends.