Tuesday, April 19, 2011

in search of patience

I read this blog post today by a self-proclaimed mommy blogger, who wrote about the fact that throughout history, it was men who told the story of women, and that somehow, "women's work" has always been that which should only be discussed privately. This post totally resonated with me. Perhaps it's because I had one of those days.

You know the sort. You wake up late, but your child is an angel until he breaks the corner off of his chocolate pop tart which signals for him, the end of the world, and for me, the sort of morning I can so do without. When it's finally time to hit the door running, he becomes velcro. It's become a "carry me mommy" morning. I have to peel him off of my neck while he's crying that he wants me to take him to daycare - not daddy. For me, this is not an option, as my carpooling partner and her not-quite-two sidekick are probably waiting. Mommy guilt sets in. I drive off in the truck wondering if I have in fact left my computer in my car. A quick phone call to my husband confirms that I am losing my mind. My computer is not in the car but on my desk at the office. This is good. I am also losing the battery on my cell phone. This makes me feel totally disconnected from the world, and most importantly my daycare provider who I am convinced will call at any minute to tell me about an emergency situation.

I arrive at the carpool meeting site, take a breath and remember that I can't have the cigarette that I desperately want because it would be so off to smoke around a kid, as if it's not off in the first place. Our ride is less than eventful, which is par for our ride, with the exception of an occasional outburst from Greta, the toddler member of our carpool, or a large piece of farm equipment, which often delays our arrival at work in the heart of Iowa.

Work is insane. Deadlines are unreachable at this point because I have more to write today than I can imagine writing in a week. But I write and try to stay centered. Ohmmmm. The day ends as expected, with less done than I had hoped, but my ride ready to make her escape. I'm so on board.

When I get home, things are pretty okay, until dinner time, when my child decides he can't eat because he broke the toy/candy thing my mother sent him for Easter. Trying to be patient, I manage to stop the tears and propose pajamas and a few books. The books I chose are totally wrong. He doesn't like those books that have been favorites since they arrived from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. I should pick other books he says. I refuse, and tell him to pick his own books. After too much drama, we settle in and read some Wonder Pets find-the-animal-friends book that I have read, with enthusiasm mind you, hundreds of times. Grrrr. I just want a bath.

Bedtime is a struggle, with monsters around every corner and scary things in the shadows. I sit on the floor with my back facing my child, iPod in place, ignoring his pleas for attention, until I can't take it anymore. Finally, he says it's "good" with him if I just sit on the floor in his room until he falls asleep. I just wanted to give you a hug, he says. I love you, Mommy, he says. My heart melts. I hate that I have lost my patience. I want to be the happy mommy with the child who climbs into bed without a fight and peacefully drifts off to sleep. I breathe and remind myself that my story is the story of millions of women who want to be more patient and peaceful. Our story is important and should be told, publicly, as it is the real stuff of life.

He sleeps eventually, as I remind myself to breathe.

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