Today, we were at the library for story time, and afterward, as we were leaving, Norah tried to nab some books off the shelf. I told her we weren't gonna check out any books today and to put them back, so she unleashed the classic toddler tantrum move: Dramatically flinging herself to the floor and crying, "Book!Book!"
I felt like the meanest mom in the world denying my daughter the opportunity to check out a library book, but I honestly just wanted to get home -- it was near lunch time for her and Caleb was gonna need to eat soon too and that's easier done at home if it's possible -- plus, I'm trying to stick to my guns, so when I say "no" it really means "no," not "okay, let's start the negotiations."
So, there I am, diaper bag over my shoulder, carrying Caleb in the infant carrier, and with my free hand wrestling the books out of Norah's little hands and trying to keep my cool. I put the books back (sorry librarians, I just shoved them onto a random shelf!) and then, Norah being so tragically denied books, asked to be carried.
"You can walk, you're a big girl," I told her.
Her response? "Carry! Carry!"
"Fine," I said. I'm sweating a bit and my sunglasses are askew. So, I pick her up in one arm, still carrying the diaper bag over my shoulder and Caleb with my other arm (strength training be damned! you just have to be a mom to carry 20+ lbs with each arm), and this woman with two kids of her own nearby says, "It gets easier."
"I hope so," I said.
"How far apart are they?" she asked.
"20 months," she said indicating her own perfectly well-behaved children who looked to be about 4 and 2. "Trust me, it'll get easier. Don't worry."
I thanked her and then carried them both out of the library. Norah was calm by then and volunteered then to walk -- and after lunch, she blessed me with one of her longest naps ever: 2 hrs and 20 minutes! It was glorious because Caleb slept for about 90 minutes of that: You know what I can do with 90 minutes kid-free? I practically created a soluble economic recovery plan!
Anyway, that woman's words hung with me all afternoon: "It gets easier." I was glad for her taking the moment to say something kind and sympathetic, and I clung to her promise. I needed to hear that in that moment.