Friday, June 10, 2011

Fixing the freezer

This morning Turo was happily playing at the sink while I cleaned up the kitchen. His little people swimming in a sea of bubbles. The freezer door hadn’t worked quite right since I switched the direction my fridge’s doors opened last month (or has it been two months now?). With Turo distracted, I grabbed some tools and took the door off. This, of course, immediately grabbed his attention. “What are you doing?” he asked as he hurried over to my side. “You can go back to playing. I’m just trying to fix the door.” But Turo decided he needed to help too and fetched his own screwdriver.

Now, this sounds cute, right? Sweet boy, wanting to help his mama. Well, his desire to be right in the middle of my bungled attempts at fixing the door, irritated me greatly. After a few minutes of his being all up in my business, I quickly lost my patience and pretty much bit his head off. Things along the lines of “you’re in my way and annoying me. Go back to playing in the sink. Move back so this door doesn’t fall on your head” came out of mouth. He started to cry. I felt like a bitch. It was not a fine parenting moment.

So, I put down the wrench, stepped over the frozen items on the kitchen floor and scooped him up for a hug. I apologized. He wiped his nose on my shirt. The door eventually made its way back on the freezer. And I realized we needed to leave the house immediately to prevent another Mama meltdown.

Sometimes his constant need to be in the middle of everything can be exhausting. The questions. The “helping.” Some days I deftly handle these interactions. I give him a job. I answer his queries. We put on music and dance while doing chores. He gets bored and goes to play. But other days, like today, I just want to get things done. Move through my to-do list efficiently, easily. I feel my skin prickle and my tolerance wane. I get snappish. I count down the hours until cartoon time. I fantasize about how great preschool will be - for me. I give myself pep talks and take a lot of deep breaths. I work to find the happy, playful mama again, and try to forgive myself when she fails to make an appearance.

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