Once a more experienced mother told me wisely, "Always remember, it's only a phase."
It's true regarding most things. The problem with having kids back-to-back-to-back-to-back is that one child never outgrows a Phase before another child enters it. At any given time I have at least two children in the throes of a Phase.
At the moment, two of them are in the throes of my very very least favorite Phase of all my least favorites Phases: the Let's Wake Up at 5am And See Who Wants To Play Phase.
All of my children have been heavenly, angelic sleepers. Until they turn three. Something wicked happens at age three. Their biological clock begins to nudge them every morning while the world is still black and silent and it promises them that Exciting and Wonderful Things Are Happening at 5am That Mommy Has Been Hiding From You, So Go Wake Her Up.
Mags is plumb in the midst of this Phase.
Eva Rose is still in the midst of this Phase.
Oh, words cannot express just how much I. Hate. This. Phase.
This Phase has not been helped any by moving the two girls in together. It has also not been helped by the fact that their door won't stay shut.
We happen to live on top of a swamp called Houston, and one of the fun things about that is a phenomenon called Settling. Maybe this happens all over the world, I don't know. In Houston it means that, especially during the summer months, one day a door in your home will shut, the next day, poof, it won't. Or maybe one day a door will be stuck, the next day, voila, it won't be.
The door to the girls' room suddenly won't catch in the doorjam. Which leaves our Anti-Phase Threats of "if you get up tomorrow before the sun comes up, we will lock you in your room!" rather impotent.
So I was trying to fix it, and being that I needed to move the door closer to the doorway and I am not Samson, it wasn't going very well. I screwed and I hammered and I removed and I replaced all the hardware but with each attempt, the door stubbornly slid right back open.
The entire time I worked, Shep sat on Eva Rose's bed, wiping the drool off his chin, as the sight of any tool causes him to salivate. Because the entire situation wasn't annoying enough, he chimed in, 'Let me do it, Momma! I can fix it, Momma! Let me try, Momma! I know I can, Momma! PLEASE!!"
Much to his chagrin I declined. Repeatedly.
Finally my amazing Jimmyrigging Skilz came through and yippee! Success. The door shut! Yes! I cheered.
Then I looked my son straight in the eye and said, "Don't. You. Touch. It." Just once? NO! Just once? NO! Please? NO! and then we went out to dinner.
We came home. The girls got on their nightgowns. They got into bed. I kissed them goodnight. I shut the door and...it slid open.
"SHEEEPPPPP! Did you mess with the door after I told you not to?"
Shepherd, in his new blue pirate jammies, peeked his head from his room. "Yes ma'am," he said softly.
At which point I became very very angry. And I fussed. And I yelled. And I fussed and I yelled a little more.
"I'm sorry Momma."
"I forgive you but AHHHHH! I TOLD you NOT to TOUCH it!! You have GOT to LEARN to OBEY!" Punctuated by hammer pounds and screwdriver waving.
After a few more minutes, Shepherd told me, respectfully, as he has been instructed he is allowed to do when his momma misbehaves, "Momma, remember our bible verse, A soft answer turns away wrath."
At which point I gathered him into my arms, kissed him, prayed with him, and begged his forgiveness.
At which point I said, "Oh yeah, Shep? What about our other bible verse, you remember that one? Children obey your parents. Remember that one, Shep? Huh?"
And then I snarled at him.
I fixed the door. And then I crept into his bed and I snuggled his new blue pirate jammies and I did apologize. I did hug him. I did pray with him.
And he forgave me. Because the sweet boy knows that sometimes, his momma goes through A Phase.