It’s only a 15 minute ride from our house to daycare but those 15 minutes are hard for me especially to and from daycare five days a week. Maybe those 15 minutes wouldn’t be hard for you and that makes you a better mother then me. Maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself, lashing out a bit, but those minutes tick by so slowly.I try talking to him. It doesn’t work. I try turning the radio on. It doesn’t work. I try pulling over and reaching for his OTHER toy to see if he wants that one. That doesn’t work. I try tuning him out. I try sipping my coffee and focusing on my favorite radio talk show. I can’t stand it. The anxiety is building in my stomach, my chest, my shoulders, my neck and the spot right smack in the center of my forehead.
I grip the steering wheel, my knuckles turning white, I start thinking about the evening before when he didn’t want to eat his dinner or sit in his highchair. He didn’t want his hands wiped off. He didn’t want to come out of the chair. He doesn’t want to be put down and play with his toys. He doesn’t want to be held. He’s rubbing his eyes. He’s cutting teeth. His nose is running. He wakes up once a night. We wake up with him once a night. Everyone’s tired. It’s been a long day. Now it’s morning and already it’s Good Morning Mr. Fussy Face. I think ahead to the fact that Ryan’s working all weekend and we have a family function to go to and I’m already picturing his tantrums in front of my family. Yeah, I know, they are moms too and they understand blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t make me feel better.Back in the car, on our way to daycare, in this moment, like other moments, I’m having a hard time seeing the joy in motherhood. I start comparing myself to other mothers who never seem to complain or struggle. Jealousy, frustration, guilt well up in my heart as the tears well up in my eyes. Then it happens, I yell, “SANTINO RYAN, STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!” I hear his breath catch followed by my beautiful baby boy’s crying. And here it comes, instant guilt and regret, waves and waves. I tell him, “It’s okay buddy. Mommy’s sorry for yelling but we’re almost there. You’re going to have some breakfast, see your friends and Miss Nancy and play and have a good day.”
He settles down and we both stay quiet the rest of the way. I even keep the radio off. We get to daycare. I come around to get him out of the car and he’s smiling at me, happy guy with bed head. I grab his comb from my purse and comb his wispy hair. I kiss, kiss, kiss his ravioli cheeks. I tickle his belly. I pat his bottom. He’s so amazing to me. I’ve never loved anything so much. We go inside and he runs to the little table covered in toy trucks. I say bye and step outside. I flop into my car angry with myself for losing my temper. I try to remember to stop and take a moment to thank God for His grace, for my precious child, for Fridays, for coffee and then... I ‘keep calm and call my mom’. TGIF