I spent most of yesterday evening doing my best impression of a bag of ‘Whaaaaaah!’ I was cranky. Like really cranky. Like giving into hormones shouting, “Salt! Sugar! Salt! Sugar!” kind of cranky.
It was one of those afternoons. The girls needed space from each other. I needed space from myself. But wherever we went, we all seemed to be there.
Brooke’s gym class usually has seven to nine kids. Yesterday there were two. It was adorable. It was just her and this little boy that she knows from preschool. Without all the other kids, I could watch her. Really watch her. But it was one of those days.
One of those days when the sweet, enthusiastic teenage instructor tried to help her follow along. She tried to put her hands in the right spot, to show her where her body needed to be. Brooke shrieked like she was being burned.”DON’T TOUCH ME!” she yelled.
Some days I see a little girl who is using words. Some days I see my baby figuring out how to communicate what she needs. Yesterday, all I could see was a little girl screaming, “Don’t touch me!” Oy.
It was one of those days when words fail more than they come. When perseveration rules the day and nerves are quickly frayed. When patience becomes a distant memory.
Yes, it was just one of those days. One of those dinners. One of those evenings as we got ready for bed.
Katie asked if we could go on a magical adventure before bed. I didn’t have it in me. I promised tonight, we’d head off to Fairy Land. Instead, we measured things. Everything. My nose, it turns out, is 5 centimeters long. Katie’s right leg, from knee to toe is 26 centimeters long. While she measured, she played the clown, determined to exorcise my inner Eeyore. She turned it into a game. She jumped on her bed, making silly faces and pretending to fall with a dramatic flourish.
She told me about the porta-potty on the school playground that someone seems to have abandoned. I guess just hearing ‘porta-potty’ was supposed to make me laugh. But Eeyore stood strong.
She stood on her bed and scratched her head. She looked around the room. Hands on hips. Eyes narrowed. Mouth screwed up to one side. Thinking mode.
A smirk took over her face. Inspiration had struck.
“Mama, which one do you want first? The doctor one or the waitress one?”
I went with doctor. It fit my mood.
“The doctor says, ‘I’m sorry to tell you that you have twenty-four hours to live.’ The patient says, ‘Wow, this couldn’t be any worse.’ The doctor says, ‘Oh, yes it can. I forgot to tell you this yesterday!’”
She’s told me that joke at least twice a day since she found it in a book last week. I laugh every time. I can’t help it. It’s funny. Maybe it’s the delivery. Maybe it’s that she’s eight.
She saw the corner of my mouth forcing its way into a smile. She went in for the kill.
“The customer says, ‘I’d like a coffee with no cream, please.’ The waitress says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, but we’re out of cream. Would you like a coffee without milk?’”
Even Eeyore had to laugh.