Shakespeare called it "the witching hour." Although I do not believe in magic, just about every mother can testify that there is a certain time in the evening in which her children borrow a few pages from the Tasmanian Devil's playbook. This unruly, whiny time always seems to occur in the evening rather than earlier in the day when Mommy is tired and least capable of dealing with it in a rational manner.
This evening was no such exception. William had already been pulled off the kitchen table three times, out of two different cabinets, out of the dog's water bowl twice, and was now attempting to climb my legs and screaming his frustration at his lack of success. I knew that he was hungry, he had already downed a full cup of milk, and I was desperately trying to finish supper (ever notice how it takes an hour to cook a 15-minute dish when kids are present?). Ryan was clamboring on the other side of me trying to get my attention. The dog ran in and out between us just to complete the mayhem and make William's frustration increase another several decibals whenever the giant pink tongue appeared. All of this was happening as I stood in front of a hot stove and tried to ensure that nobody got burned. The third time in 2 seconds that Ryan had called "Mommy," I looked at him and said "Ryan, could you..." my voice trailed off as my frazzled brain couldn't even suggest what toy or activity for him to pursue. That was all right as the smart little guy finished for me with, "Go somewhere else?" I laughed, felt guilty, but was grateful for at least one set of hands to not try to keep away from the hot burner.
William was still trying to turn my legs into a ladder and was getting louder and louder. Obviously, my level of frustration increased and my patience evaporated. Erik heard the clamor and came in to rescue his youngest son and take him to the bath. Instantly the set of eyes fresh to the situation noticed that not only was William hungry, but he was also suffering from the molar that's just coming in. Erik commenting on his way out "William was in pain, and you were to busy to notice." Ouch. True, but Ouch. Brings to mind the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible (Luke 10:38-42). In that moment, trying to provide for my family, I had missed being with my family. I had missed out on the important thing. Yes, my children needed food, but I shouldn't have been so preoccupied that I didn't even notice that my son needed some Tylenol. *note to sef: by more Orajel next time you run to town...* How would the situation have changed had I taken two minutes to take care of William's gums? Today, I decide that I will be Mary instead of Martha.