This morning started off swimmingly… I awoke with a start just after six a.m. as what I perceived to be Godzilla (turned out it was only Kid D) was stomping down my hallway, yelling at top volume about nothing in particular, turning on every light along his route and opening and closing every door “just because.” Of course he woke his little brother, who was up too late last night and desperately needed to sleep in this morning. Kid E came into my room in a foul, foul mood… extra whiny, croup-like coughing, hug-me-but-don’t-touch-me, “I gotta pee” and just plain miserable. Kid C was upset that her hair wasn’t looking just right and wanted me to straighten it for her (she has been ten-years-old for about five minutes… no I am not using a heating appliance on her hair. What is this? Toddlers & Tiaras?). Kid A was harboring residual teenage anger at me for not trying hard enough to rearrange the schedule for her to go in late to school yesterday or be able to see her boyfriend tonight, and somehow (and I DO NOT understand how), Kid B managed to sleep through all of this and almost miss her school bus, thus requiring me to drive her to school this morning.
It was too early (well, anything before ten a.m. is technically “too early” in my book). I hadn’t even put my contacts in yet, let alone started my coffee i.v. and all of this was barreling down on me already. Let me check the calendar – wasn’t Friday the 13th just last week? And, dammit, when is Sheepdog coming home? The “Yelling Mom” part of me wanted to shout from the rooftop for all of them to just shut the front door. Sometimes you can stop the insanity by simply being so loud and insane yourself that your over-the-top meltdown trumps everything else and they all stop to watch your spiral into complete lunacy. I’ve done that before and it can be effective. Kid C was about two-years-old or so and having a nice screaming fit in the car seat behind Sheepdog, who was in the driver’s seat. We hadn’t even pulled out of the driveway yet and I had had enough, so I turned around from the passenger seat and I looked at her and I just screamed at the top of my lungs. Let’s just say that I caught everyone off guard and it’s probably a good thing that Kid C was still wearing diapers at that moment, but she stopped her fit.
So I’m lying in my bed this morning, having pulled all of the pillows over my head to pretend I am anywhere but there and chanting ever so softly, “Eff, eff, eff, eff, eff, eff me” and basically being the guest of honor at my own little pity party. I was going over the planned events for the day and dreading all that I needed to accomplish was never going to have enough time for and basically setting a really bad tone for my day. And I already knew that the kids were queering up the mojo this morning, so they wouldn’t be any help. But then I stopped. I mentally popped all of the black balloons at my pity party. I remembered something that Sheepdog is teaching me, and I began to meditate.
Meditation for Moms is not easy. True meditation calls for silence and a mental escape to your happy place. How am I ever supposed to do that when I’m usually being beaten over the head (either literally with a toy or metaphorically with constant demands or questions or requests)? I’ll let you in on a little secret. Tell them all that you have to poop, then lock yourself in the bathroom. It usually buys about two minutes of uninterrupted time, which is just enough for a quick request for peace, patience and clarity. My family thinks that I poop all the time. It is such a great plan that I don’t even care if they tell their friends.
Alone for just a few precious seconds, I quietly whisper, “Are you there God? It’s me, Crazy Lady.” And I ask for help and strength and patience and creative solutions and generosity of spirit, because all of those things are missing or almost depleted from my stockpiles. I pray for the Kids and I pray for Sheepdog, especially if they are struggling. And I also ask for thinner thighs, even though I’m not supposed to do that. And then, if I have time, I pray for the people who I don’t really like, especially the idiots. By then there has almost always been at least one knock on the bathroom door and I am pulled away from thoughts of warm sand between my toes. But by then it is okay. I take a deep breath as I flush the toilet for effect, ready to face what challenges lie ahead of me today.
Can I get an Amen? And can Sheepdog please come home soon, because this single-parenting thing is definitely for the birds.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…