I sit myself next to the kitchen window so I can see when Jack, Fiona, and Alan get home. Alan took them down to the park. They wouldn’t take their nap and when he got home I was at my wits end with a sink full of dishes and a look of despair on my face. How can a three-year-old boy, so sweet, so smart, be so difficult? My son Jack is pushing me to the limit. I have started thinking he is a bad influence on Fiona, wondering if it’s time to give them their own rooms? Alan says no, it’s too early. Today when Jack and I went to pick up Fiona, Jack clung to my leg. He wanted me to carry him back to our car. “No, I’ll hold your hand” I say. I am holding Fiona’s hand, she is wanting to go, she pulls me a little, but I tell her to wait. “Jack, are you ready to walk?” I ask. He cries, holds tighter. I start to walk a little, he gets up and says, “No”, he hits me and grabs my shirt. I feel like crying. We finally get to my car, I put Fiona in her car seat first; Jack sneaks by me into the car, he plays the same annoying game of not getting into his seat, moving from front to back so I can’t catch him. “I am not taking you anywhere until you start listening to me” I say.  He finally gets in his seat. On our way home, we stop for smoothies, I give Jack and Fiona a health food brownie to share. Jack wants more, I say no, he cries. At home I give them a nice  hot bath, dress them in clean, comfy clothes, and read a book. It’s nap time. I want to lay down myself. I try to rest, I hear Jack and Fiona playing and laughing. It’s O.K., I think to myself. After 45 minutes, I go in, Jacks in the sink letting water flow over onto the floor, Fiona is on the counter with toothpaste all over her body, and the mirror,I have to give her a shower.

The moment they leave I get online, I search for figure drawing workshops,  or groups. I received an invitation for a Figure Drawing Intensive next week at SFAI, all week long 10-4. I fantasized  about going, tried to think who could watch the kids? Then I thought, this is what I need, figure drawing, just draw for hours from a model, how amazing and good for my soul would that be? I quickly realize it’s a pipe dream, not possible now. I finish cleaning the kitchen, start the dinner and they are home. Jack and Fiona run up the stairs, laughing, they run right outside to the back yard. I feel a little bit sad that my presence at this moment is so inconsequential, but glad at the same time so I can finish preparing dinner in peace. “Mom Fiona needs you!” Jack comes running in to tell me. I thought I heard crying before. I go outside, Fiona is laying flat on her face, I pick her up and her mouth and chin are bleeding. She was climbing on the swing and fell off. I hold her until she feels better. Dinner time is difficult, Jack doesn’t want to eat, doesn’t want to put on pants, makes a mess in the bathroom, knocks over the doll house, then as I’m telling him, “Don’t sit on the window sill, stop playing with the blind” He falls out the window onto the deck. A huge lump forms on the back of his head. I go outside to pick Jack up, Fiona leans out the window and starts laughing at Jack. All Jack wants to do now is go to sleep, it’s 6:30pm.

All night I worry, is there something wrong with Jack, why is he so difficult? Why won’t he listen to me? Fiona is so easy, so sweet. I’ve started going to Yoga again and meditating. It helps, to remind myself on a continual basis of the quiet sanctuary I have access to any where ,any time. I go back to breath, knowing I’ve been through so many challenging things in life, knowing I can get through anything. I know my studio will be waiting for me, I have been drawing a lot, and drawing with Fiona which is so wonderful. She loves to draw, I feel so lucky to have a daughter that loves art. Before we picked up Jack at school today Fiona and I went to the art store and bought sketch pads and new pens.  At the park I sat and sketched while the babies played, until Jack took off all his clothes. I put his pants back on him twice, then I was over it and let him be naked until we left. Fiona sat and sketched in her new sketch pad with her new pens next to me, under the oak tree, on the little bench at Castle Park. I have to fight with Jack to get his pants on before we leave. Back home I lock them in their room, turn on the TV and take a shower. I finish writing this, which I started yesterday, now I hear them calling for me. My heart flutters a bit with anxiety. I really can’t take a night of tantrums and talking and asking me for things I don’t want them to have to eat. I just want a nice relaxing evening. What can I do to accomplish this with three year old twins? Two children that are very different. If it was just Fiona it would be a breeze, we could read books, play with stuffed animals, practice sign language, I could give her a bath and feed her dinner, then put her to bed without a hitch. Not Jack. I get anxiety just thinking about it. I really do. I love him so much, I miss the old Jack, my sweet boy. The boy who loved me reading books to him. What should I do?

2 thoughts on “MAMA….

  1. Hi Jenny,
    I so enjoy the honesty of your blog and admire how you still manage to paint with twin toddlers. You are doing a fabulous job and raising adorable children! I have two sons in their 20’s. One was easy like Fiona, the other acted exactly like Jack at three. He was in speech therapy, and his therapist recommended the book “Setting Limits” by Robert MacKenzie. I was at first offended because of course I set limits with him, but that book changed my life. We went through a very tough month as I started to put very firm boundaries in place, but after that he was a different child. Still spirited, and at times a challenge, but life with him became immensely better. Hope that’s of some help. Hang in there–you’re a great mom!


  2. Thank you so much! That just gave me chills and made me feel so good! I will order that book TODAY! I had a feeling it was a setting limits kind of thing! And im no disciplinarian! Need help on that front!!


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About Dirty Laundry Blog

Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist