Today did not start out great. Jack woke up early, I was tired and he was whiny. Around 8:30AM, my sweet little toddler chunked a lego at my face leaving a cut under my eye. I went into the bedroom for 2 minutes and counted to 10 several times. I thought about the rest of the day and things that had to be done and I almost cried. If this is the way it's going to go today, I thought, I'm not going to make it.
I did some yoga breathing and resolved not to condemn the day before I'd even gotten dressed. We went to the store to buy snacks for the playdate we were hosting this afternoon. Jack was amazingly well-behaved, despite his earlier antics. Things were looking up.
When we got back, we had a snack and I strapped him in the jogging stroller to go for a run. He fell asleep in the stroller for the first time since he was 4 months old. The day was definitely getting better. I was even able to transfer him to his crib without waking when we got home - score for Mom! Could I even hope the play date would go well after all this?
When Jack woke after a good 1 1/2-hour nap, we played outside in the yard until the other moms and kiddos arrived. Everyone had a great time. Jack's stranger anxiety reared up a little at first, but he quickly became at ease. He and the other toddlers played with and fought over a car they could sit in and push each other. All in all, it was a successful play date. We moms even got in a little adult conversation.
After everyone left, Jack played contentedly on the kitchen floor while I fixed dinner. I couldn't believe my luck. Granted, I had given him a pile of his favorite cheese puff snacks to entertain him, but I still give him a lot of credit considering it was the end of his day. He didn't even fight getting into his pj's too much after bath, as is his habit.
Now I sit here this evening typing, feeling relaxed instead of exhausted while Jack sleeps. (Yes, he went to sleep like a little angel - I think I'm in a movie.) I sit here and wonder why today went so well when it started so badly and had so many opportunities for disaster. Part of it is luck. The moon and the tides were in sync such that my temperamental toddler graced me with one of his better moods. Here's the other part: there is one hell of a mess to clean up downstairs. Unlike normal, I did not run around putting all the play date toys away before starting dinner. I did not rush to get all the dinner dishes done before Jack totally fell apart in his post-dinner meltdown. And I did not pick up all the things Jack dropped on the stairs on the way up to take a bath. The result: a much more relaxed momma with a back that doesn't ache quite so badly. I had to work at it, too, because I am not a natural at looking mess in the face and saying, "I'll do it later." I managed, though, and I enjoyed myself and my son a lot more. Of course, as I mentioned, I've got my work cut out for me now that Jack is in bed, but at least I can do it without worrying about what he's up to while I clean. It's certainly a fair tradeoff, and I don't mind becoming a bit of a procrastinator if it means I can sit on the floor and play with Jack instead of doing dishes.