It has come to my attention that many of you who read this blog think I’m some sort of “great” mom. I realized I write a lot of stuff that makes me look like I’m super in-touch with my kid, and that I do and say all the right things all the time. You know that’s not true, right?
I mean, everything I write here is true. But I don’t tend to sit down and write right after I’ve made a huge mistake, or had a horrible day, or lost my patience.
I thought it was only fair to let you know that today I lost my patience. It was a good day, but I have a sore throat and I haven’t been getting enough sleep and I haven’t had a second to exercise since last week. So I’m bitchy and tired and a little bit sick. This morning we had a three-hour play date at the house of a friend from school. They had a blast and I loved talking to the mom, but after three hours of repeating myself, answering questions, putting costumes on G and taking them back off, walking up and down the stairs, and in and out the back door… I was tired.
Then we came home and I had about 10 minutes before my friend dropped off her two girls so she and her husband could get something done. These girls are delightful. They are well-mannered and lovely and awesome. But after four hours of the three of these kids, who after dinner stripped their clothes off and did some tribal chanting for 20 minutes… I was BEYOND tired. I had played cash-register and legos, taken them for a walk, made them dinner, got them numerous drinks and snacks, and played stomp rockets with them.
After they left, I was done for the day. Done. G had done absolutely nothing wrong, but I was finished with the day. I couldn’t talk anymore or listen anymore, or repeat myself or clean up one more thing. I yelled a little and so did he. We talked about how we both get frustrated with each other when we’re tired (okay, that was the in-touch part), but when the clock struck 7:23 and I wanted him to brush his teeth and get in bed… There was no discussion.
I told him he had done nothing wrong but I couldn’t say one more word and was done. He didn’t question it. It was like he totally got it and was just as done as I was.
Then he asked me if I was getting up with him in the morning or if Daddy was. I told him I would and he gave me a big smile. Then I told him I was banning all fun in the morning and if he had any fun, he’d get a time out. This made him giggle. Then I told him no giggling and I tickled him until he almost passed out. Then I told him there was seriously no more talking and turned out the light. Then he told me he loved me and I told him I loved him and that we were really, really done talking now.
He was asleep in 30 seconds. I should go to sleep, too. And yes, I realize the above paragraph makes it sound again like I know what I’m doing. But I wanted you to know that a lot of those great moments come AFTER moments of failures, or simple mistakes, or total impatience, or or or…
None of us are perfect. We all fuck up daily. But maybe it’s in the small, quiet moments of redemption when we are at our best. That last-ditch effort at being perky or kind or loving.
It is G-Man who brings those moments out of me. He is the one who knows what he is doing. He gives me the chance to be great at something. Actually, he gives me many chances every day. With him, I have a reason to tickle someone at my most exhausted. Without him, I’m just exhausted.