Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Still Love You

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday.

It was probably because I was sorely lacking sleep, mostly of my own doing. It's hard to get a word in during the day, due to Evie the Motor Mouth, so Chris and I do a lot of talking at night. We lie in bed and talk and talk and talk. For several nights in a row, it was past midnight when we eventually went to sleep. And then I wake up approximately forty-seven times a night to pee. And a few more times when, I swear, this kid threatens to kick his leg right through my tummy. And Evie, who used to sleep until seven each morning, is now waking up at the crack of dawn. And did I mention I'm eight months pregnant?

I'm just giving you some perspective here, not asking for sympathy. Like I said, this is mostly my own doing. If I went to bed at a respectable hour, I would be much more rested. But Wednesday I was so tired. So cranky. And a little bit nervous about my mom's appointment with her oncologist. Do you see where this is going?

Oh, I was not the mother I intended to be! The loving and patient woman I try to be on a normal day was nowhere to be found.

I spent too much time on the phone, then yelled at Evie when she hit my leg to gain my attention. I spent too much time on the computer, then tried to rush her out the door because we were running late. I was frustrated when she only ate a few goldfish crackers for a snack at our playdate. She threw rocks, and I groaned. She walked too slowly back to the car. She would not stop talking. She wanted to stir in the seasoning packet for her noodles and I refused. I just wanted to get her to bed for a nap, and collapse myself.

Evie cried about the seasoning packet. She said "You're making me sad! My eyes are dripping!" And do you know what I did? I yelled "You are making me sad, too! I'm trying to make lunch here, and you are getting in the way! Go in the living room!" And my heart barely even registered a blip when she curled up with Shamu on the floor, whimpering.

We ate a rushed and quiet lunch, and fell into bed. Forty-five minutes later, the phone woke me up. Ah, that sleep made me myself again. Ready to really "mother" Evie. And twenty minutes later, she woke up when my mom came in the door. She jumped out of bed and ran to GaGa, yelling with joy. It made me smile, probably for the first time all day.

Later that evening, we were snuggling together after her bath. I apologized to Evie about my behavior earlier in the day. I told her it wasn't her fault. I explained that the best thing about tomorrow was a fresh start, and promised not to act like that. I was so disappointed in myself.

I swear, Evie listened. I know she's only two, but I really believe she understood. She said "I still love you when you are mad. I still love you when you are frustrated."

Oh, that healed my guilt. There are so many times when I explain to Evie that I always love her. Even when she disobeys and has to go in Time Out. Even when she cries in a store. Even when she hits the dog. I might not like her behavior, but I always love her.

And Evie knows it. Knows it enough even to repeat it back to me when I've misbehaved. I forgive myself for yesterday morning. Because I am a good mother all the other times. Those times count more than the times I stumble.


Alexandra said...

I feel like lately I have more days like that than not. I try not to lay in bed and think of the things I could have done better. Thank God for forgiveness! Where would we be with out it...

Nell said...

I could have written this. I guess I kinda wrote something similar last week. Admitting to your child you are wrong and are sorry is a powerful thing!