Thursday, June 16, 2011

You work up to it

I think if someone had handed me a two-year old and said, "Here you go, be a mother," I'd most likely have lost my shit at the park last night.

However. You work up to it. It's just as every other mother friend has said.

I remember when Jordan was a few months old, and Maude came to visit with Benjamin, who was about two and a half. He was looking through a magazine, and at every single page - and I mean Every. Single. Page. - he said, "What's that?"

And she replied. Every time. "That's a woman. That's a watch. That's another woman in a blue dress."

You get the picture.

I was all, "How does your head not just melt?"

And she said, "You work up to it."

It's exactly true.

Which is why, last night, when my child was screaming and flailing and fighting - NO GO HOME! NOOOOOOOOO! NO LEAVE PARK! NO DINNER! NOOOOOOOO AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH - I was able to keep my cool.

When he fought and fought, while screaming at top volume, I still managed to strap him into his stroller. He's big and he's strong, and this required some serious effort on my part.

When he took off one shoe and threw it, and then another - PROTEST! I'M SO ANGRY I'M JUST GOING TO...THROW MY SHOES! MY SHOOOOOOOES! WANT MY SHOOOOOESSS - I calmly picked them up, and put them back on his feet.

When he flailed so hard his stroller - the big, BOB jogging stroller - was bouncing up and down, I was able to walk normally, pretending nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Even though the angry contents of the stroller was still screaming.

Nick called just then, and it was good timing, because you can never describe the drama trauma as well later. He heard it loud and clear.

Call me petty; I want credit.

Jordan managed to keep it up full force about half the way home. At which point he agreed that he might like to eat a pretzel.

You work up to it.


  1. Terrific story and great premiss! You are a terrific mother! Mine would have just left me:)

  2. I've always wondered - this makes sense, though. How else would teenage girls with attitudes and rolling eyes survive?

  3. Exactly.

    ( i do tend to loose my patience, though, so i'm proud of you for not!)

  4. We've all been "that mom" at the park, in Target, or where ever. Good for you for keeping your cool.

    Having a child is like living with Sybil. You just never know. Totally insane rage one minute, Happy pretzel eating child the next.

  5. This is what I call a great birth control story, and I give you loads of credit! :)
    Saw you at the park last night as my 4 legged boys were pulling me up the street. Loved the shirt you were wearing.

  6. That's exactly it. That's what I'm afraid of. The head-melting.

    You totally deserve credit. You have an intact head! This is not petty stuff...

  7. Epicurean - Oh, thank you! Don't think I don't occasionally want to just walk the other direction all, "Who IS that screaming child?"

    Susan H - Yes, you are right. I hadn't thought about that, but it must be the combo of the parents loving them and being so numb by that point that they can handle behavior that might make you want to smother the person with a pillow.

    Coleen - I am not typically long on patience, actually. Thank you!

    cla517 - I lose it regularly, but this was a particularly terrible display for Jordan, and somehow it didn't even stress me out.

    Yes - you never, ever know who you're going to get.

    Stacey - This kind of thing is total birth control. I remember seeing this kind of behavior and vowing never, ever to have children.

    And thanks. :)

    Hillary - Well, yeah.

    vvk - :)

    Jessica - The head-melting happens, for sure. But it's kind of insane how much you become inured to this stuff. Things that before irritated me no end about other people's children are just normal to me now.

  8. Which is why, when my friend was looking to adopt and said she'd ideally like a child who was over 1 year old I veryvery strongly advised that she get one as young as possible! And another friend, who adopted two kids both just under two - well for a long time she just wanted to send them right back! But all is good now! x

  9. Jessica and I will be cowering in the corner together. I seriously don't know how you do it, but I definitely am in awe of you.

  10. Oh, up there - did I mention it was BOTH AT THE SAME TIME! Can you imagine!

  11. I just dove headfirst into the deep end of motherhood by becoming the custodial step mother of a 2 year old girl. As in; one day I was a single 25 year old cat lady- the next I was a full time mom. It's overwhelming at times but you get used to it.

  12. Thank you so much for posting this particular blog, Lisa. It really, really helped me to explain to LBM's Dad that he has to take a certain amount of patience when dealing with a very mouthy twenty month old.

    He works a whole lot, so when he is home, LBM just wants his Dada. Not Mum, Not Emee (Grandma), just Dada.

    He gets frustrated by this need his son has for him so I read this to him and just left it at that when he was super irritated at me because I had to fold laundry rather than take said squalling toddler from his arms.

    Sometimes you really just have to work up to it. But it also means you have to put in the time to actually be a parent too. Glad Big J has you and Nick. :)

  13. the amount of patience needed... it's mind blowing i tell you.

  14. So true! It takes time and practice. Lots and lots of practice.


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