Yesterday, we had a play-date with friends, took a walk with neighbors, cleaned the house, worked out at the gym, went swimming, and went to the grocery store. Which is, admittedly, a lot. It’s probably too much for one day.
It’s definitely too much for one day.
I know this because the words “We’re just FINE!” crossed my lips. Those words are a warning sign, for me. There is no positive state that can be encompassed by “just fine”. “Okay” is another bad one.
Yesterday, when we finally got home from the grocery store, I pulled into the parking lot only to find that all the close parking spaces had been taken. I pulled around to the street behind the house to park. Then I tried to take six bags of groceries, one bag of potatoes, one gym duffel-bag, my purse, my water bottle, and Fiona across the grass next to the road to the house. In one trip.
There were dandelions.
So, half-way to the house, Fiona stopped to blow dandelion puffs.
And I got mad.
I told her to, “Come on, please.” Then I told her to “Come, right now.”
Then a neighbor, out playing catch with his sons, asked if I needed some help. I called back, “We’re just fine!”
I struggled back to Fiona, picked her up along with all the groceries, and chewed her out as I took her into the house. She got into the house, took one look at her Daddy and wrapped herself, sobbing, around his legs.
I’m so not a perfect parent. I chewed out my tired, hungry, over-stimulated two-year-old for doing something so perfectly wonderful that it should be something I encourage her to do.
“Just Fine!” is a warning beacon. It means that I’m overwhelmed. It means that I’m reacting instead of planning. It means that everything is rapidly approaching the polar opposite of fine.
There are a thousand things that I could have done differently yesterday. I could have parked illegally in front of my house while I unloaded the girl and the groceries. I could have brought the girl in to the house and made another trip. I could have used the cell phone in my pocket to ask my husband to come out and help. I could have accepted my neighbors offer of help. Any one of those things would have been enough to keep me from losing my stuff at my girl.
Next time, I’ll do one of those things. This time I screwed up. I apologized to Fiona, and she forgave me, but that won’t heal the hurt that being yelled at by Mommy will cause her. I just have to keep working on it, and planning better, and stopping to consider when I’m offered help. And maybe, just maybe, I need to go easy on myself, too.