I roll to one side and crack open a tired eyelid to see that it's not even six a.m. The sun hasn't considered coming up yet and the sound of the rain beating down on our aluminum roof is drown out by the billowing coming from our kids' room.
It's now 6:10 a.m.
We've found our kids eating snuck Easter candy...a ritual that follows most every candy-receiving holiday. Cue the hiding, then finding and sneaking again, and us eventually throwing it all away. It happens every. Single. Time.
6:20 a.m. our extreme child has dumped the entire contents of his piggy bank onto his bed and decided to have a Mardi Gras moment from the top bunk, hurling coins like they were beaded necklaces.
The pinging of the pennies and nickles take my tired frame back into their room. This time I overhear him telling our newly three year old daughter, "You can't push me off the top bunk!" "You can't jump off the top bunk!"
It's 6:26 a.m.
Daughter gets removed from potential jump-to-disaster situation.
I lose my cool.
It's been under an hour of complete chaos. The sun is still sound asleep and the rain is still thundering.
My husband and I are little with exhaustion and both out of ideas. This is usually when we shift from relying on each other to turning on each other.
Last night, they were playing well outside so we tried for the eleventieth thousand time to let them stay up past their typical 7:30 bedtime. We instantly regretted it.
It was two hours of tears, tantrums and screaming from our son. He didn't go to sleep until after 10:15, but yet greeted the morning by 5:00 a.m.
This is a typical start to our day parenting an extreme child.
Though we live tiny and our kids have a very limited number of toys, each item now litters their bedroom floor. Legos create a plastic brick field of landmines covering their floor.
Our daughter's babydolls, moments earlier used to hurl towards me in an outburst of anger, are now in a lifeless pile in the corner.
Books, both for bedtime stories and Roadschool line the wall where they've just been used to knock pictures from their places.
And, mamas, I. Am. Tired.
I'm tired of breathing.
I'm tired of fighting.
I'm tired of peace-making and punishment-giving.
I'm tired of keeping it together and losing it all.
I'm tired of using every fiber in my bones to remind myself that my extreme child is having a problem when all I feel is completely helpless, completely hopeless, and completely out of control.
Friends, this is real life for thousands and thousands of us. We couldn't make up our day-to-day. The events aren't suitable for a Lifetime after-school special.
None of us. None. Of. Us. have it together. Zero.
Be kind. You never know who has narrowly escaped a head injury this morning over something like not having the right breakfast bar or a shirt with an uncomfortable seam.
Extreme parenting is a battle everyday. Every hour. And no one feels trained or equipped to fight it.
But we must press on, putting one foot in front of the other. Hugging and apologizing and forgiving one hundred times a day if we need to because this is our child and we will drag our beaten and near lifeless bodies to each battle to fight for them. We will wipe our tears and try again because that is our only option.
So suit up, fellow mamas. Whether you're in the trenches along side me today or only came to offer hope from the other side, man your battle stations. It seems today may be a rough one.
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