the bad witch vs. the beautiful queen

Today was long and hard. I chalk it up to being a Monday. "Fall back" used to be a desired day on my calendar, but I dread it these days. This morning V crawled onto my bulging belly at 4:45am. No matter how much I ran my fingers through her curls or how soft I drew figure eights on the soft skin on her face, she would not fall asleep. She was wide awake, and I wanted to be dead asleep.

When I asked her to take a nap later in the day, she refused. She insisted on reading books and playing games. I pleaded with her to remain in her bed so I could shut my eyes for a few minutes, but after about thirty minutes of thump, thump, thumping, I had had it. I marched upstairs to her room and sharply told her how frustrated I was with her. I think my presence originally scared her because she assumed I was sleeping, and I know my tone got to her. She is one sensitive soul. Her cheeks immediately turned red and her brown eyes filled to the brim with tears. I told her that she was being too loud, and I made sure to tell her over and over again that she had woken me up early, and that she wasn't being fair. The tears started to roll down those cheeks I love so much, and I found myself scooping up this child that not five minutes before I wanted to sell on the corner, and I hugged her as tight as my body would allow.

I asked her why she couldn't be quiet just for a little while, and she said, "Mama, I just wanted to be a princess and twirl like Minnie. Do you think I'm a princess?" To which I responded, "Yes baby, you are. And who am I?" She looked down and said, "You're the bad witch today." Ouch. I asked, "Am I always the bad witch?" To which she replied, "Oh no mama, you are the beautiful queen a lot." I squeezed her again, wiped away the final tears and kissed those rosy cheeks. "Okay princess, well...I'm tired, but can I be the queen again today?" She took my hand and led me to her dresser and grabbed a crown that she forced on my big head, and we played queen and princess for the next thirty minutes.

I had just left her alone with books, feeling relieved that I didn't totally scar my child and hoping to still get a few minutes of sleep only to hear Elle singing lullabies as I exited V's room. My head really felt like it would explode. Aside from waking up early, I had been up earlier in the night, tossing and turning in an attempt to avoid severe side cramping. I leaned my head on the wall and closed my eyes. I didn't do anything but stand there. I didn't utter a prayer because I was too ashamed of my previous behavior to ask for any help. I didn't curse because there was nothing to curse. And I didn't cry because crying would've made the headache worse. I walked the few steps to Elle's room and found her singing her favorite, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to the animals in her crib. She squealed when she saw me and jumped up in her bed. I lifted her out of the crib and walked to the couch with her where we just read books until I had to get Mya from the bus stop.

I'm about to go to bed, but I can't stop thinking about today. Days like today are hard. They test the last shreds of patience one might still have. I usually make about a million mistakes on days like today. But days like today always remind me how good and kind and forgiving kids are, especially with their parents.

I love my girls. I love how they teach me. I don't always love how I react to things, but I am grateful that my girls still think I am a queen just minutes after thinking I'm the bad witch. Now, let's just hope my little princesses sleep until at least six tomorrow so the bad witch doesn't come out again...

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley