Two. Two is a difficult age. Well, 2 almost 3 is anyway. I don't remember right at 2 being so awful. Having 1 2-year-old is enough to make a mama go crazy. Having 2 "spirited" aka defiant and strong-willed 2-year-olds is, well, SO HARD. I've endured many years of "hard" in my life. I've had times filled with sad-hard, with lonely-hard, with grief-hard. These days are full, full of life and that spirit, but still so very difficult. It's the reason the phase "terrible twos" exists. And I don't get much encouragement from other moms who have these strong-willed children that it will improve any time soon.
It's amazing, how up and down our days are. One minute we are happily playing trucks, zooming along our makeshift pinterest-fail worthy road, when we suddenly decide we cannot live without an excavator. Only...there's not one in my direct line of sight. So, I must scream and throw things. And then fall down, the more violent the better, slamming my head on the floor. And THEN, I get to cry legitimate tears because my head is throbbing and/or bleeding. And then the crying gets worse because my tears and/or blood have dampened my shirt and now I need a new one. Mommy kindly explains that I need to use my big boy words and ask for the truck I want, but that requires so much more effort than flinging myself around the room while screaming loud enough to wake the neighbors two doors down.
And then, 3 minutes later, I get this running hug, this explosion of love so innocent and so sincere. With the words "I love you so much, Mommy." And my heart just melts, and I completely forget all about the hecticness (is that a word??) of moments prior. Nothing makes it better than a child telling you they want to play with you, or be like you, or that they love you. Those moments don't seem nearly as often as the others, but oh man, they sure do stick.
Here's the thing I've realized. I need help. I cannot raise all 3 of these kiddos so close in age and give them each what they need. I feel Warren slipping behind in his comprehension without therapy, and I know I need to get him into the routine again...but I cannot with Dean answering all the questions or Hannah crying in the other room. And Dean needs so much emotional support to make that timid heart feel comfortable and loved. And Hannah...well, she's still so little. She gets fed regularly, but otherwise seems to live in the carrier. She's content to play with a single wooden block for an hour or more, and is often left to fend for herself. Seems just so wrong. How do moms of 4, 5, or more kids juggle it all? How do we give enough of ourselves so that each kid gets what they need?? The truth is, we can't. The right answer is, God can. God uses me, despite my brokenness, my mistakes, and even my short temper. He loves my boys when I cannot handle another minute. He can give me the strength to endure days like today if I have the faith. And if I remember to ask. But, besides that, I really need help. And somehow, that makes me feel guilty. This is my job, day in and out, and I cannot do it. As a successful professional, that is hard to stomach. Asking for help feels like a failure. And yet, I've come to a realization that without it, without a break, I will not cherish these precious moments. So, the search for what our family needs, how I can balance the boys and Hannah and the demands of keeping a home, begins now.