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Weekend on the Fringe

We had a rough weekend. There was no one particularly tragic or upsetting moment that defined the whole experience; it was just a weekend consisting of situations that constantly reminded me of this book:
This time I can't fully blame it on the kids, though - as much as I wholeheartedly want to. John and I were like little bratty kids ourselves - very antsy and defensive, very "well fine, then I'm taking my toys and going home!" I have no explanation for this ridiculous amount of immaturity, other than to pull out the arsenal of adult excuses: we're tired, we're busy, we're stressed, and we're both at the end of our ropes with what is beginning to sound like a never-ending parade of yelling, stomping, and growling pre-school-aged dinosaurs in our household.

First there was the Friday Night Mexican Restaurant Debacle, where John decided that taking Bryce to the bathroom twice in a three-minute time span when there was a perfectly good burrito waiting to be eaten on his plate was more unacceptable than Nazism, and where I responded by publicly humiliating all of us when I leapt out of my chair at the first sign of John's hesitation, grabbed Bryce's hand, and dragged him to the bathroom amidst hissing noises and a few snarls at John for expecting a four-year-old to have perfect, predictable bowels.

Then there was The Saturday From Hell, where I was home with all three kids (the little ones and the teenager - run away!) , and some highlights from this day include: 1.) Hannah putting a pen through the dryer and ruining a load of her clothes, 2.) Quinn running away from me in our driveway and falling flat on his face, 3.) Bryce getting sick and pooping in his pants while I was simultaneously comforting Quinn and overseeing Hannah address the dryer problem, and - the most interesting highlight of all - 4.) having a local morning news anchor tell Quinn he "did great" in Supercuts after he spent 20 minutes melting the faces of all the other quiet, patient child patrons with his shrieks of terror while the poor guy cutting his hair kept saying, "it doesn't hurt, I'm just cutting your hair." This news anchor has a five-year-old kid who was getting his hair cut at the same time. He was a gem. This news anchor is also notorious for telling personal details on air. I purposely didn't watch this morning. If she mentioned my screaming, wacko kid and his terrorizing older brother, I'm better off not hearing it.

Finally, there was Family Bike Ride Failure 2: The Terror of Kristen's Clumsiness. The climax of the weekend's activities took place Sunday, when John bought more bike seats to try our fun fall activity again. Let's just say it ended with me falling off of John's bike after complaining about the gears on mine, getting Quinn soaked in the sprinkler from the yard next to where we fell, scarring Bryce for life because he was already afraid to ride and my fall with Quinn convinced him it was completely dangerous, a resulting six-hour silent treatment that was facilitated by John's crazy work schedule, and leave it at that, shall we?

This morning, Quinn woke up over an hour before his usual time. He was yelling like he'd been left in there while we were all out eating funnel cakes at the fair without him. I thought, "great, the No Good Very Bad week continues." But when I went into his room to check on him, I didn't have the No Good Very Bad feeling. He was laying in his dark room with all his blankets and his pacifier and his little baby breathing, looking at me thinking he'd get in trouble for being so loud, but also happy to see someone ("I caught you before you made it to the fair! Do you think there's any funnel cake left?"). He whispered something through his pacifier and reached up to me, and as I bent over his crib to pick him up, it felt like two years ago when I was still lifting an infant from that same place for a middle of the night feeding. He held his blanket and rested on my chest and I breathed in the smell of the baby shampoo from his soft, warm head, and the peace felt so foreign and so familiar at the same time. I'm pretty sure the no good very bad days are outnumbered by moments like this. But even if they're not, it stands to reason that one can't exist without the other, and I'm not giving up those hair breathing, pacifier-whispering moments in the dark no matter how many news anchors ridicule our chaotic days.