Monday, November 10, 2008

Today I'm weary

I haven't felt this way in awhile. Not sure if it's the gray November day, or the fact that Hannah has been pretty tough lately, or because it's Monday. Whatever the reason, today has been a hard day.

It started when we got up. Lately, mornings have been a real trial. The girls are whiny, crabby with each other and needy. Makes it hard to get them organized to start the day. For awhile, Isabelle was giving me a run for my money but now Hannah has taken over the reigns. Hannah expresses it in different ways: where Isabelle is defiant and disobedient, Hannah is super emotional. She got absolutely hysterical at breakfast when she spilled some cereal. The way she reacted, I thought for a minute that she got badly hurt somehow. She was that hysterical.

We muddled through the morning and managed to get out the door for story time which we haven't gone to in awhile. I was so excited to get out of the house and connect with some other moms about the challenges we've been going through related to the "terrible threes." I also thought the girls would enjoy the change of scenery, the stories and the craft project we always do at the end of story time.

Ah well...

We get to the library and the elevator is not working properly. I have to run upstairs to ask the librarian to help us while the girls wait and whine for me on the middle floor (story time is in the basement of the library). It takes the two of us 5 minutes or so to get it working, all the while kids and parents are streaming in behind us, kids begging to "go for a ride," parents trying to shoo them downstairs, me just wanting to make a quiet entrance and not a major event out of it.

Already, instead of feeling relaxed I'm tense and annoyed. Wishing we could just go someplace and have it be easy. Then there are the other moms. I recognize a lot of them and they're all friendly and it's nice to see them. But I'm too preoccupied trying to get Isabelle's boots off and encourage Hannah to walk so that the people behind her can get inside, so there isn't any chance for the mutual mommy-venting that I was looking forward to. And the moms are too preoccupied with their own social time to realize that they're blocking Hannah's way so I have to keep saying "excuse me, excuse me" while I'm hunched over Hannah trying to get her to walk.

Story time itself goes okay. The girls are pretty quiet, as they usually are when we have a somewhat new experience (we haven't been there in awhile). I'm aware that Hannah is drooling a bit and her mouth is sort of hanging open and between that and the fact that she's not saying much, it crosses my mind that people probably think she is cognitively as well as physically disabled. I just wish they could hear her at home, talking up a storm.

After story time and the craft project, I have to get the girls bundled back up and out the door. It's a task I dread. I usually carry Hannah so she's easier to extract but Isabelle takes advantage of the fact that my hands are full to linger and dawdle since she knows it won't be easy for me to just pick her up. I get Hannah to her walker and again there are parents and kids everywhere, blocking Hannah's way. I start to get frustrated that no one makes any effort to clear a path for her. With all of the people in such a small space, it's hard enough to get Hannah to walk. When she does get her feet moving, she crashes into the knees and feet of the oblivious. Too bad, I think.

The girls get on their coats and hats and we make our way back to the elevator. I struggle to open the door since Hannah has walked right up to it and it opens toward you (what a lame design) No one offers any kind of help. We get into the elevator and I glance back to see a crowd of kids watching us with a wistful look, some asking their parents again if they can take a ride. I don't say goodbye to anyone and don't look back again.

By the time we get home, I'm totally exhausted and we've only been gone for a little over an hour. I'm cranky, my back hurts, and I feel sad. Life has gotten easier to handle in so many ways, but some times I still get weary from it all: from the physical effort it takes to get the girls out the door and ensure Hannah can get what she needs, and from the emotional effort it takes to ignore the stares and try to act like everything is totally normal and fine in my life.

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