Every year at the Academy graduation, the Thunderbirds perform a flyover display and everyone in the Springs turns out to line the highway and watch the show. Kurt's office sits right up near the Academy, providing a not-quite front row seat, and every year they have a flyover picnic for employees and families.
The last time we went Anna was little, maybe 7 months old. She was the darling of the picnic; shy, cute, cuddly and sweet. As I recall, she fell asleep about halfway through the show, cradled in my arms. This year, Silvia slept, cradled against me in her pouch carrier while Anna ran free. She slept because she spent the entire drive over screaming bloody murder. After I fed her in the car when we got there, she passed out from exhaustion.
Anna refused to eat anything of the catered BBQ that was available, instead wanting something else that they didn't have. Then she refused to eat the orange creamsicle pop offered to her, instead wanting something else that they didn't have. Then she wouldn't drink her apple juice, instead wanting... you get the idea.
What really set her off, though, was that everyone wanted to see the baby. HER baby. People kept coming over to say hello and take a peek at the sleeping infant... and she'd scream, and basically boo and hiss until they'd go away. Charming.
She sat on her daddy's shoulder's to watch the jets in the air, and for that she was happy and excited. That was pretty much the only time she was distracted from being as thoroughly TWO as possible.
The wife of Kurt's co-worker was there, with her four children all under the age of 6. We spoke briefly about the kids and babies, and I made a comment about how I was overwhelmed with just two kids and how amazed I was at her ability to parent four. And she said, "Well, you know, I used to wonder how I'd have enough love for all of them, but I do. Sometimes it's hard, I guess, but they're just blessings, you know?"
Ummm... blessings? Stunned, I nodded my head as if I, too, was constantly thankful and blessed by the presence of my children. Then my screaming toddler grabbed my hand with her chocolate-ice-cream-soaked fingers to drag me off so I'd stop letting people talk to HER baby sister.
I'm fairly certain that I can be a real bitch sometimes, and here's the proof. My immediate response, as I got pulled to look at some ants, was to think, "She's so full of it. I bet she cries herself to sleep every night." Now, THAT, my friends, is the mark of a truly ungrateful and mean-spirited person. I'm so completely overwhelmed by my days sometimes that I can't even fathom that someone else with TWICE the kids I have could possibly be less stressed out than me.
I love my kids. I do, I really, really do. And, in the grand scheme of things, they are blessings. I'd be half a person without them, I know, but I just don't think I have that level of inner peace to be able to simply shrug off the inherent frustrations they provide. That kind of calm acceptance and duty just baffles me. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but so be it. I'm just not that graceful.
The woman I talked to was definitely a "glass-half-full-life's-a-joyous-challenge-aren't-kids-cute" kind of woman. Me? I'm more of a "can't-find-a-damn-clean-sippy-cup-and-WHAT-is-that-in-your-mouth-oh-my-god-she-just-ate-trash-and-I-need-a-martini" kind of girl.
That's just how I roll.