#NaBloPoMo, Day 10: Walking

Today, I’m grateful for the ability and opportunities to walk.

This morning was one of those mornings I’m not proud of, as a parent.

I woke up at the normal time. AB, as has become her custom, came into my bed right around the same time, and we had a really nice little snuggle.

When I began rousing the kids to get ready, though, they were reluctant and dawdling. They have been better this year than last at knowing that we have to use our limited time wisely in the mornings (or Mummy gets stressed out and uses a not-so-nice voice), and we were doing okay… until poor AB slipped on the stairs in a fresh puddle of cat pee. And when I say puddle, I mean a full-on bladder-fed lake, gracing a three-stair expanse, that got her pjs AND the clothes she’d picked to wear, as well as E’s socks, all wet and gross.

Our boy-cat Nico was the culprit, but it’s not his fault (he’s under the weather). It was nobody’s fault. But spending ten minutes cleaning up and disinfecting the stairs meant that when AB got her usual stubborn face on re: wardrobe choices, Mummy started using the not-so-nice voice. And after that tipping point, AB started digging in her heels about every step of getting ready, and E got all upset about Mummy’s tone of voice, and my irritation could do nothing but build up.

Those are the times I wish I could flip a switch and make myself be calm, and not react, and just find the gracious way to move things along… but I haven’t been doing as awesomely at that as I hoped I would be, especially during a week where I have not been having good sleep-luck.

Our friend and neighbour was just passing our house with her daughter as we tumbled out the door – she could tell right away that it was one of those mornings.

But once we were walking, we all calmed down. The air was brisk and bracing, and we trooped through fallen leaves and got our blood pumping, and it just felt good, in spite of everything.

It helps that we were walking to school, and not to the bus stop as we always have in the past. Being one minute late for the school bell barely even counts as late; being one minute late for the bus means you have to rearrange your morning.

And walking is just good for what ails you. It’s something humans were built to do well and often. For me, in the mornings, it lends perspective. It helps me to remember – all the things going “wrong” in the mornings are minor blips – and it’s the literal change of pace that allows me to snap out of the loop of impatience.

I apologized to my kids for being sharp with them, and we had good proper hugs and kisses as I bid them goodbye at school. I’m also very very grateful for the forgiveness of my kids.

And now, because I get another chance every day, I will try again to remember:

be-the-calm-sunset

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First World Problems – preschooler edition

My son was so sweet as a young toddler. Happy, affectionate, compliant, funny. You could just eat him up.

Then he turned two, and indeed became a two-year-old.

Now he’s three-and-a-half, and I thought the “terrible twos” baloney was supposed to end. Instead, we’ve got a throbbing case of threeyearoldism.

It’s a rare day he doesn’t melt down half-a-dozen times. Some days we get that many meltdowns before noon, and we just want to throw in the towel and send him back to the manufacturers. (Wait. We ARE the manufacturers. Sh*t.)

Of course, he’ll cry if he “stubs” his head or knee or toe or finger or whatever. That’s understandable, even if he’s rather over-wussy about it. We get it: he’s got a baby sister and needs some reassuring attention.

Also, he has to cry over spilt milk. It’s, like, the law.

Other potential reasons for using the piercing whine and/or collapsing in a weeping pile of limbs, with possible bonus screeching:

  • he doesn’t want to go to the babysitter’s
  • he doesn’t want to go swimming
  • he doesn’t want to get dressed
  • his iPad time is up
  • the Lego came apart
  • the person he drew doesn’t look right
  • I gave him a kiss
  • he can’t find Mater
  • it’s not time for lunch yet
  • it’s time for lunch
  • I messed up his hair
  • his boot isn’t on all the way
  • he can’t watch Cars twice in a row
  • he doesn’t want to wear socks
  • I helped him with the step-stool
  • I didn’t help him with the step-stool
  • he needs to pee
  • his nose is running
  • he needs a kiss
  • it’s too hard to put the lid on the marker
  • it’s too hard to pull the Hot Wheels track apart
  • it’s too hard to get his shirt off
  • he doesn’t like cheese
  • he wants more cheese
  • it’s bedtime

On some days, the simple act of waking up in the morning can be too much for his little psyche, so he’ll start whining pre-emptively right off the bat.

How did we get here? Where did we go wrong?

I mean, I understand. I’m grumpy too sometimes. I have days where I’m all, “Boo hoo, poor me, life is hard. My son is melting down for the eleventeenth time today, and I don’t have the patience to deal with him because my baby daughter is up a jillion times a night with hunger/teething pain. And she won’t take a bottle so I can’t go to the movies and I’m tired and my neck and shoulders are all full of knots from night-nursing but when will I ever have time for a massage?”

Classic first-world problems.

I know they’re relatively shallow and preferable to an infinite number of other problems I could have. I try to keep things in perspective. My son is healthy, smart, and, underneath the angst, still very sweet. My daughter is alive and well and adorable, and honestly, she grins way more than she fusses. And if I think I’ll go crazy because my hair is coming out in handfuls in the shower, I remind myself that it’s post-natal shedding, not chemo. Suck it up.

And then I think about E’s list of problems, and it gives me perspective in the other direction. At least I’m not as shallow as my preschooler.

kid in a blanket
He looks cute, right? Ha.

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