Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

Home » 9to5to9

I have just enough patience

Submitted by on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 No Comment
When a friend asked recently if I'd babysit her toddler during the week, I quickly declined.

I really can't get any work done during the day when the kids are home, I said. Besides, I'm not licensed to do child care for pay.

She asked again a few days later when her daughter was alternately inconsolable and a holy terror after a day at day care. She'd cried heart-breakingly at drop off in the morning, and mom really didn't want the toddler to have to to go there anymore.

I know it's hard to handle, but they all go through that when they get old enough to miss you when you're gone, I said. I know it's hard to live through, but unless you think there's something weird going on there, it's probably just a phase.

The bigger truth, though: I'm going through a phase of having just enough patience to get by but not one ounce extra.

Sometimes I don't even have enough. The guys are going through an ugly phase of name-calling every time I vex them - and that doesn't take much some days - and it's all I can do to keep saying, "use kind words and nice voices and I'll listen to what you're saying." Sometimes at the bitter end of the day,  I'll wind up yelling "JUST STOP IT" and undo a full days' worth of reminders about "nice voices."

I definitely don't have toddler patience at the moment - not for a whole day at a time, though I can manage small bursts.

I don't want to childproof my house again.

I don't want to hide all the art supplies lest someone think chalk is a tasty snack, leading to a panicked call later when the inevitable result is a colorful diaper.

I don't want to mop the floor repeatedly to clear away spilled or spewed beverages.

I don't have to keep the floors baby clean - let the dust bunnies multiply and hang the consequences.

I don't want to stash all the breakables or smashables high overhead - not when I've finally reached the point where I can reach all my dishes without hunting the kitchen stool.

I don't want to spend every second of my life at someone's beck and call. I've only recently reached the stage of having a few of those seconds to myself.

I feel bad about all of that, because I'd love to be that wonderman who exudes an endless supply of sunshine in the face of wrecked rooms and constant clamoring.

Except I'm not right now. I have just enough patience most days and not one ounce more.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

Similar Posts:

Comments are closed.