Now, let me clarify. I love my children. I love them very much. I would step in front of an M1 tank for them if necessary. I gave up a career to stay home and take care of them and teach them, and I've never regretted it.
But there are times - and not even infrequently - when I don't like my children. Like now.
And yes, of course I feel guilty as sin about it.
I have a tendency towards insomnia. Lately, it's been hitting me full force and despite Tylenol PM, aggressive reading, heavy morning exercise and yoga, and exhausting myself with housework every day (I have even been scrubbing my BASEBOARDS!) I have not been able to fall asleep before 2 am in quite some time.
My insomnia has coincided with a wonderful week of gray, rainy, and drizzly weather here. Wonderful - I LOVE this weather, I have ever since we lived in Texas and I contracted anti-SADS (the disease where a person doesn't get enough sunlight and thus has a Vitamin D deficiency). I got so much sunlight in Texas that my body seems to have produced enough Vitamin D for an entire Nordic nation to survive on for one generation. My body loves these gray days and the respite it gets from the overly efficient vitamin factory inside me.
But my kids... oh, that's another story. It's been an entire week of keeping them in the house. No outside play, no chance to run it off, no chance to get out and screech their inner aggression to the heavens while attacking the twisty slide at the park.
They are driving me batty.
So far, we've had three broken cups, one overturned table, two smashed toes, one full out fist-fight (in which I waited to intervene, thinking they'd teach each other a lesson until actual blood started flowing and the time for negotiation and diplomacy was past), six grunt punctuated wrestling matches, one sock-caused skid down the tiled hall, and a backwards tumble off the dining room chair.
We've listened to my son's favorite Elvis CD fourteen times in a row now, and while I love The King - I've had enough Jailhouse Rock for the week.
I've found myself looking with longing at the electric shock collars people use to make their dogs behave. Not that I would ever put one on my child. Really - I really wouldn't.
One thing I'd like someone to explain to me is WHY my children put themselves exactly where they know they will cause the most trouble. For instance, not three minutes ago I had to chase my son away from the dining room table where daughter #3 is doing her schoolwork. This is the eighth time today that the two have been on the verge of violating the terms of their peace treaty, because each of them seems to take glee in lobbing verbal mortars at the slightest provocation. My son is the usual instigator - knowing that his sister is trying to figure out the mysteries of double digit multiplication, he will take his cars to the table and start playing Monster Truck Derby, complete with sound effects and violent smashing. Daughter #3 will then escalate the situation by screeching at my son to BE QUIET. Son will escalate further by throwing a matchbox car in her general direction.
And so on and so on.
I've ended two days this week by turning into my mother. You know, remember when you were growing up and miscalculated how far you had actually pushed the situation? Mother would hold herself completely rigid, teeth would be locked together, eyes wide open, hands clenched into unmoving claws and say behind the clenched teeth, "I AM GOING TO GO INSANE IN APPROXIMATELY 14 SECONDS. ALL CHILDREN SHOULD EVACUATE QUIETLY AND IN AN ORDERLY FASHION TO THEIR ROOMS."
Today, I've decided to take matters into my own hands. We will be taking a trip out in the gray-but-not-drizzling weather to buy sheets at Tar-zhey. Then I will take them to get a cookie at Wegmans. Next, we will come home and make homemade nachos with jiffy pop stove popcorn and hot chocolate for dessert. Finally, we'll watch Labyrinth tonight instead of the news.
And I'm willing to bet that after we do all that and, most importantly, RELAX for a little while - my kids and I will be getting along just peachy once again.
Until the next set of rainy days, that is.