Random moments in parenting…
It is chilly and raining and the kids have been on zoom calls and screens all day. Their usual neighborhood recess is now indoor recess in our own homes, separate from friends. Because of this, the kids are restless and louder than normal.
Dinner is a circus. Ellie and Annie, in between bites of garlic sausage and Brussel sprouts, they are practicing mirroring each other’s movements, swaying precariously side to side. Carrie produces her iPad and starts playing a song from Descendants 3 and dancing next to her chair. This is amazing because one, where did that iPad even come from and two, is she really this unfamiliar with how dinner is supposed to go in our home?!
“Carrie. Carrie. Carrie!” I say.
“What?” she asks, pausing the music and looking at me with a surprisingly bewildered look on her face.
“No iPads at the table! Please finish your dinner!” I respond with visible exasperation. Like a game of whack-a-mole, my attention immediately diverts to Annie who is no longer swaying with her sister, but is instead completely flopped over in her chair, hanging upside down, chewing something.
“Annie!” I say, the frustration level growing.
“What?” she asks, peaking her head over the edge of the table. Like her sister, she seems to be surprised by the rules of dinner.
“Sit up! Oh my goodness, why is it so loud in here? You guys!”
I wish I could say the kids sense my frustration and adjust accordingly. It seems to be out of their range of comprehension. And who can blame them? The table is quiet for a moment before the crescendo of noise – most of which is complete gibberish – reaches startling levels once again. And so it goes, back and forth: please stop – ok – ::insert chaos:: – rinse – repeat.
After dinner, the kids clear the table and Annie pulls on her favorite cowgirl boots and all three girls race out the front door to find anyone to play with. And I find myself smiling, a little bit because of the newly found peace and a mostly because of these crazy girls. In the midst of the chaos, I still love all of these moments.