I sucked at being a mom this morning.
Seriously. I was the angry, shouting, cranky mom that nobody likes and nobody likes to see. I have been feeling sick for a couple of days — something has settled in my chest making it hard to breathe and making my throat raw, and I am tired. So I woke up this morning and was just a bitchfest in blue jammies.
Nothing Stinkerbelle could do this morning was the right thing. All the normal toddler things that normal toddlers do were irritating the hell out of me. She had pulled her hair out this morning when I went in to get her out of bed. She wouldn’t stop fidgeting when I was trying to do her hair. She was throwing toys (into her toybox, no less). She was trying to climb on stuff. She was trying to climb on me.
SHE WAS ASKING TO BRUSH HER TEETH.
None of these things are major infractions by ANY stretch of the imagination. But when you are sick, and when you are tired, it is sometimes hard to see your way clear to being, you know, RATIONAL.
I was annoyed and shouty and not at all nice.
Finally, I decided that I! HAD! HAD! ENOUGH!
It was 9:30 and I had just had my second bucket of coffee, and I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I couldn’t stand ME anymore.
I turned to That Baby and asked her, “Do you want to go to the park and go on the swings?”
The light bulb that turns on in my kid when she is happy is like nothing I have ever seen. She just GLOWS. And the glow can melt even the coldest hearts. Even the coldest, bitchiest, sickest, tiredest, most-PMSing hearts can’t resist.
With that one question, I was rewarded with that glow.
I told her we’d have to brush our teeth and get dressed before we could go, and off we went to get ready. We brushed our teeth, and Stinkerbelle climbed and played on The Big Bed while I dressed. And then we had a big tickle fight on the bed before heading back downstairs.
We got dressed and got That Baby in her stroller, and off we went to Her Park.
It was FREEZING cold, with a bitter wind whipping us the entire way. I was miserable. But That Baby didn’t care. She was happy to be out.
We got to the park, and she ran around, and shouted with joy on the swings, and danced through the grass, and went down the slide over and over and over again. The sun was shining, my child was as happy as she could be, and I felt better.
The cold and the wind and the exercise had cleared out my head, and cleared out the bad mood I had woken up with. I could not stand there and watch that little bundle of happiness and not feel a little bit of it myself.
And now, as That Baby naps after playing hard, I feel bad about being so miserable this morning. But it’s okay. My kid is very forgiving. And I’ll go and get her up, and one big smile from her will clear out any remaining regrets. Nobody’s perfect.
But she comes pretty darn close.