How to Know You Need a Bath (or a Sandwich)

Today could easily be called a disappointment. It started right: I was effortlessly productive and smiling with the girls. But it all just melted away.

Do I blame the  hot Saint Louis summer sun?

Can my ideal day be destroyed just like a bomb pop?

Where did I go wrong?

If there is a string on each part of my being that keeps my spirit lifted, where is the one that needs to be re-tied?

I feel it in my heart, something I need to learn from this so I can be better at it next time.

We were at the zoo when the shrieks of a broken-hearted 5 year old (distraught over a positioned for impulse buy yo-yo), opened the flood gates for self pity and sleep deprivation to convince myself that it was over: the picture of newborn Ellen on my fridge was a long lost memory and now I had this new creature – this mean, uncontrollable little girl who didn’t understand real love and would trade me for a yo-yo.

We went home.

I made lunch.

I let the sobbing continue while I cooked – a little bacon, shrimp, pasta, Alfredo sauce, peas – and then fed my over heated under eated children.

I watched them devour food and remembered something I said over the weekend when the 2 year old fell apart over a pony ride at an outlet mall.

I said, “When they cry this hard it isn’t because of the ride. It is for food, comfort, sleep, water”. I took Lucy out of the heat and into the cool restroom, slowly wiped her down with water, changed her into a dry pamper, showed her what happy looked like in the mirror and we were fine.

I can relate to the frustration and heart break my children had over yo-yo’s and pony rides when they were hungry, hot and tired. It is the same fist-clenching teeth grind that arises in me when life does not give me what I want and I need a shower, a good night’s sleep or a cup of hot water.

So, question: can we take cues from our meltdowns as times to self care?

Parenting is teaching me to take care of the body (all of our bodies) first for optimal upper hierarchal results…

My sanity depends on it. Lesson. Learned.

Ok. Now on to look up how to spell cicada.


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