The universe seems to always know when you need a punch in the gut to let you know that you’re being an asshole. Not six hours after I pour my heart out about how frustrated my two perfectly normal children have been making me, what with all their behaving like kids and being both seen AND heard, as if that’s such a terrible thing, the universe furrowed her brows, put her hands on her hips, and said ‘oh, no you di’int.’ And then Eirinn projectile vomited the entire contents of her stomach all over the carpet. Then later into a bucket. And some more into the toilet.
Oh, Universe, you old so-and-so. I get it. THANK YOU. A polite note would have sufficed.
I’m not good at much – chocolate chip cookies, total recall of celebrity bios, relaxing – but one thing I can honestly say I’m good, nay, GREAT at is staying calm in an emergency. If someone smashes their mouth on a coffee table, or cuts their finger, or turns Exorcist with partially digested perogies and bile, I do what I have to do, level-headed, to both deal with the situation and be the comforting mother I should be. If they’re in hyper-hypo mode, running and yelling and not listening, I literally have no idea what to do, but if one of them needs their mommy to save them or comfort them, I can do that, without even thinking.
Something happens within me and my usual unsure, flustered, on-edge self is transformed into a person who knows exactly what to do. I’m saturated in sympathy and concern. I believe, or at least hope, that this is true within most parents. To be more concerned with comforting your sick child than with all the flu germs and the ever-present possibility that you may, at any moment, be soaked in any number of bodily fluids. To know exactly what to do when a child is hurt and to stay calm while doing it. It’s one of the many super powers we’re supposed to have once we’re tasked to raise children of our own.
So I’m finding this stage of their development to be more than a little challenging. So I occasionally feel the overwhelming need to complain to the Internet about how I am losing control of their behaviour. The universe chose this moment to remind me of two things – that my children are so small, so helpless, and they still need me so, so much. They need me to know what to do, or to at least pretend to know what to do, when they need me most, whether that be when their tummy’s are hurting and they can’t keep a sip of water down or when they’re 3 and 5 and are unsure how they’re supposed to behave in public. And also that I might not be good at everything, but that I can, when it is most important, be a good mother. One who can clean up a tiny, sick child, stay up with her all through the night, and hug her sweet head, telling her that it will all be alright.