Now, I'm not a morning person to start with. But when you know that the conflict and arguments will start before the grounds are even in the coffee maker... well, it's hard to get excited about making it down to the coffee maker.
Potential sources of yelling and tears at 6:30am:
- Not getting the right bowl.
- Not having the right bowl clean because it was used the night before.
- Not sitting in the right chair.
- Not getting all of the heat from the space heater.
- Not being able to eat all of the sugary princess cereal.
- Being asked to eat fruit before having a second bowl of cereal.
- Older sister not knowing, 10 minutes ago, that 3 yr old would want oatmeal right now.
- Being asked to stop arguing and whining about any of the above.
- An older sister saying something annoying.
- An older sister not saying something to her.
- A family member not stopping conversation, mid-phrase, to allow her right-of-way to speak.
- Being reprimanded for any of the above.
The list is actually endless. Because 3 yr olds can find anything to be upset about. And can be upset about anything. I know it's a phase. I also know it's made more dramatic by her personality. So while it will get better, the conflict won't truly ever go away.
So of course I feel guilty.
Was that first sentence at the top of the page unpleasant to read? Imagine coming to terms with saying it yourself.
Because of COURSE the litany of forced gratitude begins:
"You should be thankful she's healthy. You should be thankful she's even ALIVE. You know that strong personality will help her be successful some day. You signed up for this - you wanted a third child. Maybe she'd be easier to deal with if you were a better mother. It's because you're not patient enough that she reacts so explosively. This unpleasantness is all your fault. Fix your attitude and you'll fix the problem."
Maybe all of this is true. Maybe some of it is unfair. But the guilt spiral begins. Throw in lack of sleep, recent family stomach bug, spousal travel, and hormones thrown out of whack by weaning the baby, and the spiral becomes a whirlpool. Threatening to suck me in.
So today everyone got an early nap. Mostly because I needed them to not hurt themselves or each other while I got a time-sensitive task completed. I'm going to lay down for a minute too. I know it's a phase. I know I'll feel better after a nap. I know the days are long but the years are short. I know I will survive, and I'll probably really enjoy this child in a few years. But none of those things make it any easier to get out of bed in the morning.