Warning to non-parents:
You may never want to have kids after reading this post.
Read at your own risk.
Everything was cool and groovy an hour after the older kids got home from school. They had a backlog of homework and were in their rooms working diligently on it.
My little guy had been happy all day after preschool. We planned to go to the library to return some books and check out some just for him. He wanted a spooky one. En route to the library, my little guy seemed fine. But at some point in the ten minutes that we were in the library, he got tired and completely irrational - yes, I know three-year-olds generally aren't expected to be rational, but my little guy is reasonable - except when he's tired.
He picked two books - one spooky, one not. We checked them out and started to leave. He fell apart, saying he needed to stay and do his homework. To him, homework is a workbook page or a piece of paper he scribbles on and calls it his work. We didn't have any homework for him to do. And I needed to get home. I needed to get him to bed.
He cried and cried and cried and cried and cried and cried while wailing, I NEED TO DO MY HOMEWORK!
He's the only one of my children that gets himself so worked up with a crying fit that he vomits. I held his hand and ushered him out of there before he exploded.
Those of you who aren't parents may wonder why I didn't just let him sit down and scribble on a piece of paper. The answer is it would be doubly hard to get him out the second time. The second time I would need to carry him out kicking and screaming as if I were abducting him. There's no way it was going to get better. We needed to get out of there immediately before it escalated.
While walking to the car, I calmly repeated, "Mommy made a mistake. Mommy forgot your homework." But he was over the top exhausted, and my calm words didn't help a bit. Grandparent-looking people smiled at me in the parking lot with expressions that told me they've been there and completely understood. "He's done," I said and they nodded in understanding.
I got him home, and he calmed down eventually. He took a long nap, too long, so long that he couldn't get to sleep easily at bedtime. So he stayed up late, so late that there's no chance that today will be good.
The problem today is this: I am exhausted to the point I feel like screaming I NEED A NAP! AND I NEED TO WRITE 2000 WORDS! while crying to the point of nearly vomiting.
But I'm not going to get a nap. And I don't have time to write. Not today. Maybe tomorrow.