Today I tried something new.
No, it wasn’t heroin. Or crack. Weed I’ve tried, and I would LOVE to rediscover that someday, but I can’t while I’m breastfeeding (and responsible for the well-being of 3 children under the age of 5). All this talk about drugs, I must be trying to escape.
Anyway, I will preface this post by saying that I have a wonderful life where I get to be with my girls all day. A life where I have a loving and lovely husband who has a great job, and is able to provide for us so I can raise the little ladies. Oh, and he’s my perfect soul mate and partner and I’m madly and fully in love with him – and my children.
HOWEVER, I am with my girls ALL day, right? Without my dreamboat partner. (And, by the way, I bathe and put all three of them in bed/crib by the time he rolls in, after a hectic and often times trafficky drive back from Connecticut). So from the moment they wake up demanding blueberries and yogurt for breakfast, to the moment I tuck them in, I am at their side, in their space, them in mine, mine in theirs, so I have to constantly come up with tricks, for them and for me, that help move things along past the drama, the tears, the screaming, the whining. And sometimes I get caught up in the moment, in a bad way, and get sucked into the abyss of their emotions. As a parent, one of my many flaws is that I expect them to be much more mature and aware than they are. This isn’t good.
So today, during those times when I so desperately wanted to roll my eyes (as I often do) at their crazy stupid demands or inability to listen or perform the simplest task, I smiled. And not in a condescending way, but in an appreciative way, as if to say ‘you’re my baby and I love you’. I felt a little psychotic at first, smiling through the fact that they were annoying the shit out of me, because nothing they were saying or doing made any sense, and all I heard was whining and fighting. Through all of that, here I am smiling like a crazy lady. And I was really careful about not letting them see me smile – somehow I felt like if they saw me smiling they might think I LIKE it when they whine and don’t listen. So I smiled under my breath, when they weren’t in the room, as a way to center myself. I found smiling takes me out of my head and into the moment.
Is it just girls? Emotions can run the gamut from godammit to I love you in a matter of SECONDS. And I totally get caught up in it, like a fool, like a child, like a crappy baby. At least once a day. I hold onto the idea that it will get easier, but everyone with older kids tells me it doesn’t. So smiling through it is one of those things I need to remember. Though with my short term memory (probably due to all that pot smoking in college) I probably won’t remember this, and I’ll end up being frustrated and confused again. I’ll be sure to blog about THAT tomorrow.
A GENUINE smile by Ida.
Another genuine smile by Mae, how could I be mad at these little faces?