I’d be lying if I didn’t say this one is a little hard to write this morning, since yesterday goes down in the annals of bad days with toddler. I never thought I’d have a kid who would say things to me like, “You’re the worst Mumma I never wanted!” (the grammar and syntax are astoundingly difficult to figure out, when you get down to it). But there you have it. From the moment I picked him up from preschool to the moment I left for meditation, he acted like a drunk, abusive husband, berating me for my inadequacy (then begging my forgiveness) while I tried in vain to get him to stop bursting into tears in utter despair and, clearly, exhaustion.
Gretchen Rubin talks a lot about enjoying her kids. Like me, she knows that there is always one voice in your head reminding you, “they’re little for such a short time.” On the other hand, she knows that as the mother of a toddler, you experience a roller-coaster of emotions almost as up-and-down as theirs, which is to say, in one day you might feel joy, confusion, despair, boredom, happiness, nostalgia, longing, and sadness. They’re little for such a short time, you think. Then: Thank God.
“What’s the most difficult thing about parenting for you?” I asked an old friend, who had tried for over two years to get his wife pregnant before they went through a very intense and drawn-out adoption. “Probably the mind-numbing boredom,” he said without missing a beat.
Rubin says, the days are long, but the years are short.
(Modest Mouse said it slightly differently: “The years go fast but the days go so slow.”)
Maybe because I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever have another toddler, lately I’m bringing more loving-kindness to the days with Lex. (Okay, okay, I’m lying. My behavior turned distinctly un-Zen around 6:30 p.m. yesterday.) I’m trying to enjoy getting down on the floor and playing more. I’m trying to bring compassion to his very un-Zen moments. I’m trying to remember that an hour after I was the worst Mumma he never wanted, he kissed me and said, “I love you, Mom. You’re the best mom I ever wanted.” And that the night before, we’d had one of those ornate, chatty, sweet bedtime tuck-ins that was absolutely magical.
Resolved to to enjoy my kid.