I don't think I've ever had an unredeemable day with the twins. I've had some pretty bad ones - they are two and a half, after all - but there always ends up being a bright spot. Usually it's toothbrush time after lunch. No matter how chaotic and difficult lunch has been, when I sit them, one at a time, on the bathroom counter, and hold their toothbrushes, each (though more so Patrick) will lean his/her head into me and watch us in the mirror. It's a calm moment of precious baby and me time that refocuses me and puts the preceding four hours into perspective.
I thought today was going to be close to unredeemable, though. Lilly woke up on the wrong side of the crib, again, and was bursting into angry tears at the slightest provocation. She's still polite - she paused a fit to thank me for blessing her sneeze - but I knew from the moment I got her out of the crib that today could easily be war. After breakfast, she stopped playing with a toy; Patrick started to play with it a few minutes later, and Lilly had a meltdown of "my car, my car!"
I did my usual explanation of "you stopped, he can have a turn, etc," but she was just genuinely upset. Her nose was stuffy, too, which I'm sure didn't help. I scooped her up and carried her upstairs to the nursery, where we sat in the rocker and read two books. I started singing to her, and kept that up for almost half an hour as she drifted in and out of sleep. Her big blankie was wrapped around her; her little silky one was on my chest, with her soft strawberry blond hair resting on it, her fingers in her mouth. It was a moment of peace - more than a moment. Patrick played downstairs by himself quietly, thank goodness. When he finally came up, Lilly began to perk up, and soon they were playing together mostly nicely. Life went back to normal.
I needed that rocking chair time as much as she did. I'd already written off today as a "grumpy monkey" day. I was just counting down to naptime. Instead, I had a warm, soft little body curled into mine, breathing regularly, both of us grateful for a pause in our crazy two-toddlers days to simply rest and love each other. I couldn't stop kissing her head; I whispered "I hope you love your Lina as much as I love my Lilly." She'll throw more fits - she did before today was over. But grace shone through instead of temper: grace for the two-year-old trying to figure out the world, and grace for the twenty-two year old trying to do the same.