Help me, Internet.
Alyce is in meltdown mode, though I'm not sure what triggered it today. Wait, of course I do! Matt and I had an entire fun Sunday planned (the Children's Museum in Philadelphia). There were a lot of meltdown problems in December, but January was delightfully free of melodrama (not including a certain tiny non-sleeper), so today threw me for a loop. I was Unprepared Parent today (not the first, or the last, time), in shock that Alyce wouldn't get dressed so that we could go. After a few attempts to bring Alyce back down to Earth it has become clear that we're not going anywhere. Alyce is calming down (read: crying) in her room, while I calm down (read: mope over not going to the museum) in the living room.
So Alyce has calmed down and agreed to put on clothes, and I've asked her to spend the next hour playing quietly on her own. I'm still feeling a bit on edge (it's been a long morning on my own while Matt's working) and I need some space. Naturally Alyce has been standing one half inch away from me for twenty minutes, as she always does after she senses that I'm upset with her, as though she's trying to crawl back into the womb.*
We're still occupying the same physical space and I need a break. So I take Shira and head to our room, and Alyce is one tiny step behind me the whole time. She can sense that I'm frustrated and I can see in her little face that she just wants me. So I ask her to find some books and we all lay on our bed and it is lovely, except for having to read Dora's Flowers for Mami Unicorn for 5,867th time. Things go well until I ask her to stop kicking her sister, and then we're back to our separate time outs.
Matt's home and I've escaped to the girls' room to nurse Shira before her nap, when she starts fighting me. I need that fight like I need another cat, so I put her in bed and I hide under my own covers. Alyce finds me in two minutes.
Matt and Alyce are playing on the floor while I'm knitting on the couch. A lovely break! No wait, Alyce is trying to tie the yarn around her neck and I just know she's going to give me trouble when I ask her to stop strangling herself. Done and done. Another cry.
Clearly I'm asking for trouble today, so why not push it just a tiny bit further? Alyce? Let's go to the mall!
The mall on a Sunday is rough, but we're a team, me and Alyce. I've strapped her into the stroller (there will be no chasing through the mall today) and she's relatively happy to shop. Our mission today is to find pants that fit Shira's, ahem, rolls. To be fair, her cloth diaper makes pants difficult to fit. That, and she loves milk. We decided on some stretch pants and leggings, and an ice-cream t-shirt for Alyce.
Getting out of the house is a good thing. Alyce thrives when we're on the go. Sure, she asks for the odd ice-cream cone, but otherwise she's giving me no real trouble. What she does give me are thirty questions every five minutes. After the day we'd had, I just can't take it anymore.
Alyce: I'm hungry.
Me: So we should home and have some dinner!
Alyce: Why should we go home?
Me: Because we're hungry.
Alyce: Why am I hungry?
Me: Because you haven't eaten in a little while and you told me you were.
Alyce: Why did I tell you?
Me: Because unicorns made you. (That's my most reliable answer.)
The sane part of my brain loves Alyce and her questions. I love to see those big eyes take in the world and then watch as her brow furrows (just like her papa) while she tries to figure it all out. But that part of my brain requires a steady stream of patience, and did you guess? I am all out.
I'm pushing Alyce in her stroller, searching for our car. It takes us twenty minutes and Alyce is filled with helpful and hilarious suggestions, trying to help. We're both laughing when we find The Kia.
Somehow we ended today, lost, and making each other laugh.
*At one point today I asked Alyce if she remembered what it was like when she was growing in my uterus. She said it was soft.