It’s all about the little things, they say.
This morning, I agree. The little things. They’re going to drive me around the bend, it seems.
Little tiny Legos that barely manage not to get sucked up by the vacuum (and you know that would be the end of the world someday when the X-Wing fighter was missing that exact, tiny, teeny, little orange switch thingybob.
Little tiny bit of milk left in the gallon when I poured my coffee… sniff… yes, sour. “What’d you use?” I asked Josh. “Um… the last of the whip cream,” he admits, not sorry, and no blame. I would totally have done the same thing.
Little pile of fridge magnets on the floor where they fell of the fridge, like, two weeks ago. I actually took a picture of them to go with the post but the floor and wall that showed up in the photo looked so much dirtier than they do in real life (really!!) that I couldn’t bear to post it after all.
Little things. Sometimes a little thing will inspire a wash of the crazy rages — crazy house, never gonna be clean again, am I the only one who gives a @#%@, blah, blah, blah— over these littlest of things.
Yesterday Alden had a full blown ginormous tantrummy snit that all started when I gave him a cup of tea. Which wasn’t sweetened with honey. I figured, eh, that kind of tea (Evening in Missoula) has a bit of stevia in it anyway, so it’s probably fine. It wasn’t.
I was doing dishes and making dinner and when Alden stomped to the doorway and announced indignantly, “The. Tea. Isn’t. Sweet!” I barely stopped, a flash of annoyance washing me, and I said, “Really?”
He stormed off.
Slammed the door.
I continued doing dishes. Continued stirring and banging pans. Door slammed again.
“There’s a much better way to get what you want,” I called.
Slam. Then, stomp stomp, and a smash. And a crash. He was pulling bins of toys off the shelf.
That little @$^#, I thought, he’s in there destroying his room rather than freaking ask for honey in his freaking tea???!!! The flash of annoyance I’d felt before turned red and ragey and I stormed to his door and yanked it open and said in my most I mean it oh my god do I mean it voice, “You. Are. Making. This MUCH harder for you because this roomisgoingtoneedtogetcleanedupandthe next time I see you itbetterbe toapologizedo youhearme???”
“Oh!!!! Kay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” he hollers and he’s crying and completely tense and I leave the room and go back to the kitchen and wonder what the hell has just happened here. How did we get from “cup of tea” to “world war three” in, like, 5 minutes?
And…. if I didn’t know how we got there, it’s a guarantee the five-year-old sobbing in the other room was a bit confused too.
Breathe. Breathe, breathe…. I pulled myself together, took the pans off the heat, and went back into the fray. I found him in the bathroom, sobbing and mad, mad, mad. I sat and sighed, and gathered him into a firm hug.
“That got kinda big and scary, didn’t it.” He nodded, little tiny nod.
“Do you even remember what started it?” He pulled back, legitimately startled. Tiny shake. “The tea,” I reminded him.
We just sat, calmed each other down. Then I said, “It seems like kind of a little thing, to turn into such a big thing…. What can we do?”
And he asked me to re-warm his tea and put honey in it, please, and we went to the kitchen and as it turned out, he put his OWN honey in, because, actually, that’s something he can do, all by himself, and I turned the stove back on and finished making dinner and it took us no more than 10 minutes, later, to clean up the mess that had seemed fairly giant before.