Once again, it even sounds bad before I start telling it.
We cleared out some old cans of house paint from the shed and Martin threw them away. We THOUGHT that Martin threw them away... One got missed. As I discovered today at my cost. I was having another crying episode on the sofa while the girls roamed in the garden - they were laughing and playing nicely together, pushing each other on the swings and digging in the mud. I had peeked out at them about ten minutes earlier but when Martin got home we both went out to them. And found the wall and fence had been painted blue.
I cried, out of guilt and frustration and a lot of fear for their safety (what if they had eaten it??). Martin yelled, briefly, and then calmed down and started to think of solutions. He said, "Never mind, it's a bit late to tell you off now. That was NOT GOOD for touching, and we're all cross about it, but I'm sure you thought you were helping... Let's go and get cleaned." While I cried about what a bad mother I am, and how much I miss Lael, and how I can't take care of them properly when I'm missing Lael, and all that sort of thing, Martin got Jenna to scrub the fence, bathed the baby, bathed Jenna, and cleared up most of the garden. Then he came and held me and talked soothingly until I calmed down.
OK so we have a little patch of blue paint on the back wall. It was our fault, but it's in the past now and now the garden is free of other things they could get up to mischeif with. Jenna keeps saying how sorry she is. It doesn't matter to me right now whether she was being naughty or not (how can I read her mind to really know that anyway?) all that matters is that it's done our relationship is intact (and I've stopped crying - for now).
By the way, although it sounds from the diary that I'm struggling with discipline again and feeling cross all the time with the children, it doesn't feel like that at all. I'm actually feeling pretty good about being with them, and growing up and learning stuff myself, and becoming a better more resepctful parent to them. There have just been a couple of huge stressful niggles that have left me in a state - I don't want to blame the sudden influx of fresh emotion following Lael's death but it *is* mostly that. And a little bit that when (overall) things are getting better, the little things that I will laugh about another day seem huge and tragic by comparison to the happy tranquil days.