5:15 a.m.: Riley's up. He wakes me up. He wakes Maddie up. I try to sleep a bit more, but he and Maddie proceed to argue about anything and everything until I give up, give in, get up, and lecture them both about being respectful of people who are sleeping.
6:15 a.m.: I take a shower.
6:30 a.m.: I lecture M&R more.
7 a.m.: Breakfast. More lecturing. I can't stand to listen to myself even as the words come out of my mouth, yet I seem unable to stop myself. The kids excuse themselves and I actually fall asleep with my head on the table.
8:15 a.m.: Riley does something so minor that I can't even recall what it was, but it's enough to cause me to have a Total Parenting Meltdown that includes yelling. I close myself in my room for a bit.
8:30 a.m.: We do some chores, get ready to go to church. I apologize for my behavior and we agree to restart our day. I warn the kids that I'm exhausted and having a hard time today. I think they've already noticed that.
9 a.m.: We head for church. Riley runs around in the sanctuary, nearly knocking over a few elderly members of the congregation. Then it turns out the kids have chosen seats that had been reserved by someone else, so we had to shuffle around a bit to make things work. Not a big deal except on a day when everything felt like a Big Deal to me.
9:30 a.m.: Church turns out to be just what I needed. The sermon is awesome, about Ralph Waldo Emerson and our place in the world and what we learn from loss and about being true to ourselves. I feel more in control of a decision to be positive about things, more open to yes instead of no, etc. etc. etc.
11:15 a.m.: We head out for a few glorious hours of fun. We see Phantom Meanace in 3D, we eat frozen yogurt, we play at a park. This part of the day is truly great.
5 p.m.: I decide to stop for sushi on the way home. Uh-oh: restaurant's closed. We go to Mexican across the street instead where Riley knocks over a display of soda cans at the register ("Riley, please don't touch those. Riley, please keep your hands off the soda cans. Riley, I've asked you twice now to please not touch those cans." [as I study the menu: CRASH! Sigh.]), Maddie spills a huge glass of water and nearly topples our entire table, and both children complain bitterly about the food. I feel myself getting progressively more annoyed.
5:45 p.m.: We get in the car. I've lectured them the whole way from the restaurant to the car about good restaurant behavior (again, cringing the whole time but yet NOT STOPPING.) Once we're in the car, I yell again for good measure.
5:50 p.m.: I have closed myself in my room to blog and calm down.
I suppose if you average the goodness of yesterday with the mix of good and not-so-good from today, we're still ahead, but the bad of today has just been so very bad that I'm having a hard time not letting it drag me down.
Deep breath. Time to go hug and apologize. Time to read some Harry Potter 4. Time to think back on church this morning and the good things I heard there. I don't like to think the lecturing and the yelling are my true self. Time to go be true.