The hours between school pick up and dinner have become the worst hours of my day. I wouldn't say they were ever the BEST hours, but I didn't have to actively prepare myself to Deal like I'm doing this week. Almost as soon as the big kids hop in the car to go home from school I feel done with them. Emma too, by that point. And I feel TERRIBLE about it! They are at school all day! I shouldn't be Ragey Angry Mom as soon as they get in the CAR, right?
I really truly do think that the Pr0zac was masking some of my Kid Frustration (or general Mom rage). The lightheadedness was helping me gauge where I was in the withdrawl process (it's almost all gone), but right when I got super lightheaded in the afternoons is right when my frustration with them ramped up. So I think that's part of it, definitely.
BUT THERE ARE OTHER PARTS, I AM ALSO SURE OF THAT.
Most of what sets me off is noise, chatter, and talking at me. I've always felt that I have a pretty high tolerance for Kid Noise, like kid music and playing together and laughing and being silly. But MY GOD it has disappeared. Jack and Molly are SO SILLY the second they get in the car after school and I just can't handle it. I bark at them to shut it and it doesn't stop until dinner. I usually make them a huge snack and we watch a show or two, that's usually a good barrier between school and home, a chance to zone out. Maybe they don't need that zone anymore, though, because it's instant chaos, whether or not they have a giant plate of fruit and crackers and Wild Kratts. They get everything out, they run wild, they start noisy games with each other, they accidentally hurt each other constantly, Emma demands to be part of the fun, and the constant constant requests for more more more. More of everything, please.
Since the weather's been getting nicer I've been forcing them into the backyard and everyone is usually happy with that. Even if they don't want to go out initially, their mom isn't out there yelling at them to be quiet or stop being crazy or whatnot. And I feel bad for not feeling like I can deal with them WHEN I HAVEN'T DEALT WITH THEM ALL DAY, but it's not like I'm forcing them into cages or anything. It's outside! Outside is good!
Anyway, the Other Part is that I have work to do. I am not yet anywhere near efficient with this bakery thing. It takes me hours to package boxes, and the rest of the time I'm organizing the schedule, updating the bookkeeping, making lists of what comes next, making lists of what we need. I feel like this stuff shouldn't take me nearly as long as it does, but for now that's just how it is and it's kind of a big deal. I spent most of my morning and a bit into EJ's nap boxing up cookies and making sure everything had the right labels and cards and packing and ribbons ETC. ETC. and then I should have sat down and had lunch or something. But I kept going... And I get tired. And I just want a few minutes to myself. Some days there's nothing going on and other days I don't sit down. Right when I DID sit down (with Parks and Recreation and an entire mini watermelon), I got a phone call from the school saying a certain kindergartner wet her pants and needed new clothes.
That's my job too.
So part of what's going on when the kids are home from school is that I want to finish what I was doing before they got home, and I can't think when they're going a mile a minute. I NEED TO THINK. It's imperative that I am thinking at 100%, right? Part of it's that I'm tired and don't want to listen to them. Part of it is Emma being up from her nap and wanting a drink! snacks! dress up! phone! Kleenex! JACK TOOK MY BAAAALLLLL.
I guess today I feel like I had a hard enough time getting my stuff done with there were no big kids and Emma was asleep. And now that they're home I just want them AWAY. GO DO SOMETHING. PLAY OUTSIDE. FIND SOMETHING TO DO THAT IS NOT TALKING TO ME.
I don't feel bad for not playing or doing stuff with them. But I do feel bad for having negative tolerance for their after school fun. I'm trying not to be so snappish. for example, been trying VERY VERY HARD not to yell at Molly for being slow. Even though this may be the thing that kills me first, she is not doing it on purpose. It is, I'm afraid, part of who she is. I am dead serious when I say I can't think of anyone who moves slower than she does. Girl can run across the playground in a flash, but the walk to the shoe closet in the morning takes weeks. And God forbid you bark at her to move faster, because that only makes her move slower. The more you shout, the slower she gets, until she's full on paralyzed and you have to go against your entire being and take that massive freak out down to a soft, gentle, "okay, let's go get those shoes over there first" whisper. OH MY GOD IT IS RAGE-MAKING.
I just put Emma in bed for shrieking at Jack. Jack is half-cleaning up (the only way he supposedly can) the giant mess of blankets and pillows he made in the living room. Molly is wandering around in a daze with two Lego people, talking to herself. I have to make dinner and then I have to do more bakery work and then I have to pass out in my bed. Wait, do I have a husband? Does he fit in there somewhere?