“What do you want to do then?” I reply in exasperation if exasperation means entirely fed up.
“Stay home and pout.” pouted back to me with three year old perfection.
I would laugh outright at her response if I too weren’t pouting. Fine then, I think, that is exactly what we will do. Our family’s bottom lips expands in proportion to our mood. These are some big ass botox lips here today.
I had just spent 20 minutes bundling us up to go to the park. I needn’t have bothered. A temper tantrum (or two if you count my own rant) ensues on the way there, so we loop back home whereby this conversation takes place.
Back home now. I do what every fed-up mamma does to gather herself. I put the baby down for a nap. I put the pre-schooler in front of cartoons. And put a coffee cup in front of myself while checking my email and sanity. Both are empty.
Sipping (okay gulping) my coffee, I notice a note at my computer. “Impatience” it reads “can be I’m Patience”. Add an apostrophe, make a space. Easy.
Just like that, a mini mantra. I’m Patience. I am Patience. I am Patience.
Amazing that that works. I feel some space for calm enter. Then to test me,
“I don’t like walk to park with mommy and Brennyn.”
My first reaction, “Fine. We don’t ever have to go to the park then.” does not come out. Instead, space. Just a light layer of space atop the reactive response. So instead a smile and an acknowledgment “Okay. That’s why we stayed home.” Simple. Calm. A mumble on her part. Maybe a grumble. Then she ignores me as she watches more toons.
A few minutes pass. “I want to eat!” A demand. I’m Patience. Space. “If you ask me nicely, we can go downstairs and make lunch.” Whereby her pouty lip comes out. I can wait.
Five more minutes pass. “Mommy,” a whisper, “I have something to eat please?”
“Sure baby!” I respond, “Let’s go!”
“Okay.” A smile.
Then on the way down the stairs “I love you mommy. You’re so lovely!” And I do not know whether to laugh outright (again) or smother her in kisses, so I do both. Even teething Brennyn giggles. Joy in the household because of one apostrophe and one space. Space. Sometimes that is all that is needed to transform a day.