Today has been humid.
This afternoon storm clouds rolled in and made the kitchen dark.
We'd done the homework amidst groans and sighs, and the bench had been cleared from afternoon tea. They missed out on chocolate custard after fighting over the grapes, and Amie's eyes were red from crying over nothing.
Both the heat and the bickering were getting under my skin and I reminded myself to take things one hour at a time.
I began by calmly gathering the paints and their books and they stopped, curious.
When they saw the new paintbrushes I bought and hid last week, excitement caused them to forget who had rights to which stool, and who pushed who and why.
They stopped their arguing and suddenly all thoughts surrounded what they would paint, and which colours they would use.
The battles are daily.
The ones over the figurative and literal spilled milk.
The ones over not eating dinner, or getting dressed for school, or who had what first, or whose turn it is to sit there.
The battles are never-ending and I stand, and keep standing, and when I can't stand I go to my knees.
I can't do this motherhood gig alone.
And I'm not always the mum with the paints.
Sometimes I'm the irritable, snappy one. The one who doesn't want to talk in the morning (what happened to morning-person me?!) and the one who says no more often than yes.
But Daniel found us all, chopping veggies for dinner and talking about birthday cakes, happy.
And tonight's cuddles smelled like sun-soaked laundry, and clean hair.
The hard work is forgotten and the hearts are filled, and the rain is finally here to drown the humidity.