On days when both Phoenix and Rio are in daycare I usually take a one-hour walk while Tiago naps in his stroller. I am so thankful for these moments- whether listening to my ipod, walking with another mom or experiencing an awesome sky like this.
This picture was taken at 12 NOON. And, yes, that is the sun SETTING! We haven't seen the sun for weeks and won't see it again until February. While the sun is still above the horizon we see only it's rays because of the mountains. Mørketiden (arctic darkness) is by far not my favorite time of the year, but the light it produces is amazing and unique.
When all the kids are home and not in daycare this can be our day:
- Tiago starts wimpering which means it is naptime. Throw some hand-knit wool clothes on him, stuff him in his sheep skin sleeping bag and toss him in the stroller to sleep outside.
- Try to motivate Rio and Phoenix to put on their hand-knit wool layer and then their snowsuit, mittens, hat, boots, etc. so we can go outside before it gets dark!!!
- Get outside and again try to motivate them, this time to play together nicely.
- At about this point Tiago has to start crying so I push him in the stroller while playing referee for Rio and Phoenix.
- Get really frustrated and walk away from Rio and Phoenix. What do they do? Rio falls down a hill and I can't find him and Phoenix is sprawled out on the pavement staring into space.
- Find the courage to try this again...Tiago falls back asleep, walk with Rio and Phoenix to the "park" (2 swing sets and a sea-saw) where Tiago starts crying again and the boys start arguing.
- How does this end? I push Tiago in the stroller for about 30 minutes trying to get him back to sleep while Rio follows me crying "Mama" and Phoenix lays on his belly licking snow. AND I'M CRYING THE WHOLE TIME wondering what I'm doing wrong to make my kids behave like this???!!!
To make matters worse, DH cannot handle situations like this. No empathy. He just thinks I'm nuts to cry about something like this. And then we argue. And argue. Finally, we realize that with 3 kids and everyday life stuff we've put our relationship last and by the time we get to "us" there's no time left in the day or we're just too exhausted to put any effort into it or there's a kid in our bed and a mother-in-law in the living room.
So today when a discussion became a yelling match it actually felt good because we were COMMUNICATING! I felt like I hadn't heard DH's thoughts in ages! Conclusion, it starts at the top. If Mom and Dad are good then chances are the rest of the family are good. GEEZ! WHO WOULD THINK THAT AFTER 13 YEARS OF MARRIAGE AND THE THIRD CHILD THERE WOULD STILL BE SO MUCH TO LEARN!