It's amazing how quickly you can go back and forth from being in awe of your kids to being angry with them. I was very happy with my son earlier today, and was doing my best to store away a memory forever--the memory of the first time he actually crawled into my lap while I was reading him a book. Usually he's all over the place while I'm reading, and I wasn't sure why he was climbing over my legs until he came to rest in my lap. It was so cute and cuddly, and I was so happy that he wanted to sit there while I read to him. And he did it with two separate books!
Just a short while later, I was cleaning up a poopy diaper. I managed to keep his hands out of the mess (that's an issue with us, he's ALWAYS grabbing or scratching himself) and then I was knocking the mess into the toilet--cloth diapers, we have to do that. While I was doing so, he peed on the wall.
I managed not to get mad at him, though I was annoyed at the fact that my hands were full of dirty diaper--because if they hadn't been, I would've sat him on his potty chair. At any rate, after finishing with the diaper I proceeded to mop up the pee--when he dropped his matchbox car of Lightning McQueen into the toilet.
At that point, I yelled and dumped him into his crib until I could finish cleaning up. How many times have we told him not to play with the toilet, and not to put toys in there? Of course, the first thing he actually drops goes into a bowl full of less-than-savory contents! Murphy's Law of Parenting. And, of course, I had nothing better to do this afternoon than clean poop off a matchbox car, with all of its little contours and crevices. And pee out of the bathroom rug (which just got washed two days ago.)
I had to practically hog-tie my hysterical toddler to get a fresh diaper on him, and he screamed while I put him in his sleepsack, gave him his bear, and started singing to and rocking him. I chose a longer song, hoping to get him calmed down first and ready for bed second. He stopped screaming but kept up a kind of continual whine for most of the song. Once it seemed like he might actually hear what I would say to him, I paused in my singing to tell him that I still loved him, even if I got angry; that I would always love him. He stopped whining then, and fell asleep in my arms.
I have to admit, I felt kinda bad at that point. Was he actually worried that maybe I didn't? I'm going to tell myself that it was just a reassurance that he needed to hear. Having a child has taught me a lot about the limits of my own temper, and it's shorter than I'd like. But it's also given me the "wow" moments, like the book reading. And those are the moments that make it all worthwhile.
Even the poop.