Usually my kids take turns being crabby and/or crying. This I can manage, most of the time.
But then there are the days when Clementine is wailing to be nursed, Judah is sobbing because Moses hit him, and Moses is bawling because he's been put on the chair. In those moments, when my entire world seems to be filled with crying children and I think my head is going to explode, I sometimes want to run upstairs and hide under the covers of my bed. But usually I just look at Grace and say, "Why don't we cry too?"
Then Grace and I pretend to cry just as loud and desolately as the other people in the room. Sometimes this just releases some stress. But sometimes it makes the Young Ones stop in surprise and stare at us. Occasionally it even ends with us all laughing together.
But once in a blue moon, all three of the Young Ones are crying and Grace is for real crying too, like when she has to do some really hard math or if I've told her we don't have co-op until next week and she thought it was this week.
Then I gather all my crying children around me and tell them how much I love them. I say, "I'll nurse the baby, and Moses and Judah can sit on the couch with me - with Mama in the middle so there's no hitting - and we'll skip math for now, and we'll all read some books together." This ends nicely, with all of us happy and loving each other.
Or else I text Richard at work and tell him I'm going crazy and he needs to come home NOW. He usually texts back something very good like,
"Go outside for a minute and take some deep breaths, eat some chocolate and TRUST IN JESUS! I love you!"
It's a good thing I have a husband who can handle it when all four of his children AND his wife are crying all at the same time.