Mornings. Need I really say more? I don't know of anyone with kids who has a smooth, peaceful morning.
Ours is always filled with griping and complaining.
"My finger hurts."
"I can't find anything I like for breakfast."
And then there's the jockeying for position on the couch, or the tug-of-war over the favorite blanket.
"She's touching me."
"I was sitting there."
Inevitably, someone spills something, and then it feels like everything goes to hell.
I have been trying to be more pleasant. More accommodating. More slow-to-anger. I have been trying to make mornings better around here. (I have been trying to embrace the morning chaos.) But sometimes I don't have any control over what happens. Like this morning.
As I scooped applesauce into a container for Abby's lunch, Ella let out a blood-curdling scream. I am not even kidding. This is NOT for dramatic effect. It scared the snot out of all of us.
Then she burst into tears. This is not unusual with Ella, but the screaming is.
Turns out that, as she sipped from her water bottle for school, she sipped a bug. Not just any ol' bug... an earwig. Ewwww.... If there's one bug I can't handle, it's a earwig.
And then sat crying... and crying... and crying...
I was already feeling a bit on edge from all the standard morning complaining, but then Abby went to the counter, picked up the applesauce I was getting ready for her and said, "Is this all the applesauce I get for lunch?"
REALLY?! Her compassion is just overwhelming. I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped open.
So I am standing there, hugging Ella with my heart breaking for her and the way her day has begun, and then feeling like an utter failure as a mother because my other daughter can't seem to muster any compassion for her sister... or maybe even finish scooping up her own applesauce. She's nearly 11 for &#@! sake (I am trying to stop swearing... sometimes it works, sometimes my daughter nearly swallows an earwig and all I feel like doing IS swearing)!
The worst part... it was time for Ella to leave for the bus. So I watched her drag her feet down the driveway, looking over her shoulder at me, with tears in her eyes.
I don't have a happy ending for this one. I'm still crushed and on the verge of tears myself.