Do you ever have those moments when your mind is empty of any meaningful thought? That is kind of how I feel right now. I am not sure why or even what brings it on. I think it might be PMS. It renders me a useless, irritable ball of personhood. I really don’t feel like myself – certainly not a person I would recognize. It’s not good or bad, it just is. I suppose I feel lumplike. If lumps are bloated and crabby. They might very well be.

Both Penguin and Owl missed their naps yesterday, so the evening was magical, as you can well imagine. Penguin also spent all of his dinnertime playing around and not eating, so he went to bed a hungry little boy. I am never quite sure if that is the correct response. On the one hand, I want to set some boundaries around dinner so that it does not last forever. Like, I’ll deal with an hour-long dinner song and dance spectacle. But beyond that, my patience wears incredibly thin. ON the other hand, I hate being hungry and thus hate sending someone to bed hungry. He was pleading for another chance and I told him his other chance was tonight’s dinner. If I don’t set the boundaries, they just don’t get set in the house. It makes me the “bad cop” sometimes, but there you have it. I used to really mind that I was the bad cop in the house. It bothered me immensely. Now I kind of see it as 50% of my role as a parent. The other half can be all love and hugs and kisses, but there needs to be that part of me that doesn’t play games and means business.

Sometimes I wonder if I am too rigid. I am when compared to Papa Bird, but I don’t know that I am in the grand scheme of things. I give the children opportunities to comply before I put the clamp down and insist that things go my way. I do the 1-2-3 Magic approach. I think it’s fair. Warning 1. Warning 2. Consequence (or praise if it gets done).

Building the foundation of someone’s WHOLE LIFE is an exhausting task. I mean, really. I want to raise a healthy, happy person (well, persons)  that is respectful of others’ space, feelings and property. I believe in good manners. In being polite. In sharing. In being a good, honest and decent contributor to the world. In loving and being loved. There are parenting books and manuals, but no real map on how to get your children there.  We set our examples and hope for the best.

I see early evidence that we are probably doing a good job with Penguin. I hear “please” and “thank you” and “sorry’ with a frequency that seems pretty good, age considering. I see genuine concern when someone is hurt, sick or distressed.  see reasoning and logic unfolding behind his eyes – it’s as though I can sometimes see the processing in action as he stares off and considers something. He is a joy to observe and be around in most instances and a pill in others, but it feels manageable, if not tiring. Just when I think I can take no more sass, he goes and does something that catches me so completely off guard that I laugh from a very deep and happy place.

So, yeah. I feel kind of spent at the moment. A good spent? A satisfied spent? It’s not horrible. It’s tired, but not in a resigned, miserable way. More like I could use a really great nap and a few hours to myself to recharge my batteries.