Marinate; children, stew, wood, paintings, art, books, words, wardrobes, faces, nature, workouts, experience. The sweet spring birds are singing a song outside. I questioned the use of adjectives in my sign language class last night, I talked about verbs with Jack and Fiona yesterday, too. I fought with my feelings of the word hate. I got mad at yoga meditation on-line because it was about the word love. Sometimes I don’t know if I’ll love my stew three days later until I warm it up and taste it. It just needs Spanish green olives and it would be perfect. I sit here today, at my kitchen table covered in scratches, marks, glitter, rubbed off on the sides from forearms. I let out a deep breath and let out a bit of my past week. I went on a run yesterday, behind Fiona’s school. I drove her because Fiona overslept and missed the bus. I vented my grievances of parenthood, present day, to Fiona’s teacher yesterday, then I went for my run. I didn’t use my running program that tells me when to slow down because my heart rates getting too high. I didn’t warm up at all. I thought about the ticks and the poison oak and Lyme disease and peed behind an old building. Then I started to run, I got mad at Billy when she wanted to sniff, I pulled the leash and was relived when I got to the off-leash trail. All thoughts disappeared out of my mind as my feet hit the ground. I let my heart rate and legs do whatever they felt, ran up hills, heart pounding at my threshold. I was fit enough to take out my aggression and frustration on the trail until I felt calm and proud and like I had achieved something. On the flat parts my body glided free from cumbersome equipment, I only had Billy’s leash and my car key. I was reminded who I am, and that I’m not who I am with Jack and Fiona and they are not going to rob me of my own feelings. As much as they try to beat me down; they are so unhappy now. It starts early in the morning, right when I wake up. Asking for stuff and everything I say or feed them is wrong. They cry, whine, misbehave. I’m sad and hateful. I love them so much, I don’t hate them literally but sometimes, especially since turning four years old, Jack and Fiona can be jerks. I miss the sweet, most of the time, toddlers and babies. Those years are gone, that experience is gone. No more little, sweet babies. When they are babies you don’t mind wiping their butts, and when they throw food on the floor, or even when they cry. You just try to comfort them no matter what. You love your children so much. There’s really no love that can compare. You marinate in parenthood, in motherhood. Then, they change. You still love them just as strong, but now they can make your day extremely tiring. There are still moments of a deep, positive, beautiful connection. On Tuesday I took Jack and Fiona to the zoo. Much of the day was spent miserable, and I had a headache. But at the family farm feeding the Llamas, or watching the bears get fed dinner. We were all happy together. We had to stop at a pizza restaurant on our way home because traffic was so backed up. When we first got in the restaurant I felt good and Jack and Fiona were behaving very well. It was fun, and we were simply eating dinner. Towards the end Jack started misbehaving, so we left. This past week most of our interaction has been Jack and Fiona unhappy about everything. They are only four years old and are already getting attitude.

I still have four hours left before the babysitter is off. I have time to paint. That is a relief. I’ll figure something out for tonight. I’ll just grin and bear it when I tell them no T.V. and when they complain about what I serve them for dinner, or how they don’t want to take a bath. I’m just going to sit there and offer suggestions, like reading books or playing with toys or go to bed.

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