Posted in Authors, Blog, Featured, Just for you, Life as a mom, Shawna

No rollover points in mommyland

Picture an average morning with your toddler: She wakes you up at 6 a.m. but you’re all grins and excitement anyway, she spills her morning milk on the ground in a move you sweetly call an accident but which definitely seems suspiciously deliberate, constructively parent through another “accident” five minutes later, keep your cool during a tantrum over having to wash hands after breakfast, then the milk is down again, play, play, play, draw a picture for grandma, constructively parent through another tantrum about the hand-washing after paint-time, get all packed up and somehow get the toddler out the door and into the car without injury to herself or her baby sister and while still making everything really, really fun and really, really exciting, then off to the park where you, sweet mama that you are, have arranged a dream playdate for her with not one but TWO of her favorite other toddlers at her favorite park in the world AND you’ve packed sandtoys AND a yummy lunch (I think you can see where I’m headed here), and then somehow the blow-up happens.

Something trivial is involved, like a fight over a shovel or a swing that’s too hot, or a sandwich that’s cut in a new and awful way and toddler totally loses her cool. She is so so so mad at you, mama!

Of course, you handle it like a champ, not giving in but remaining loving and patient despite being in the midst of nursing your newborn in the middle of a playground while holding a flailing two-year-old and desperately trying to get everyone into the shade. But you can’t help thinking: when do I start accruing points with this kid?

I know, there are all kinds of big ways the points are building up. My child is developing into a loving, empathetic little being who is mostly sweet to me and her dad and sister. She tells me all the time that she loves me, gives me lots of hugs and often says cute things like “That was so fun, mama!” after we leave an activity I’ve planned for her. I’m a lucky mama that I do get to see these signs that she remembers the last good thing I did some of the time.

There are also even bigger things going on behind the scenes of Q’s development, I know, that will make me glad of my efforts 10, 15, 20 years down the road, glad that I parented the way I did. I know. And I know this is the most important thing. I will thank my past self someday when I get to cash those chips in.

But still, sometimes in the midst of one of these moments, I want to just yell: Has this entire day been for nothing??!! All the fun stuff we did and all of our magical moments and my endless stream of impossible patience and serenity were seriously just wiped out by a lousy $1 shovel that you wanted to hold for a second just because your friend was holding it that exact second?? Seriously??!! WAAAAAAAHHHH!

Instead, I remain serene (ish)and accrue my own points and trade them in for chocolate at the end of the day.

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  1. I sooo feel your pain. And you said it so well. Enjoy your chocolate — you deserve it!

  2. J Minnitti says:

    Oh boy… Is this what’s coming? I am SO not as serene or exciting as you are – yikes! Maybe i need to start meditating or doing more yoga to prepare – or maybe just go back to work! Great article! You are so amazing!!!

  3. Haha. Great article Shawna. Although, yes this is what’s coming…you will slowly ease into this mommyhood land. It doesn’t start out like this when you bring your new born home, although that has its own set of challenges .

    I love the way you talked about points. I have had those exact thoughts! 🙂

  4. I must admit, though, that I did exaggerate Q’s typical tantrum a bit for literary emphasis. . .

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