Class starts in about 6 hours, just when my parent’s plane is supposed to land in Syracuse. I need to be cleaning the kitchen and writing a grocery list. So naturally I’ve decided to blog. The last couple of days have been supremely unpleasant. While I pride myself on being self aware when it comes to the mental illness I’ve been blindsided by the staggering anxiety surrounding this silly class. Two days ago I was getting myself a coffee treat at a shop two blocks from my house with the boys. As the woman was making the glorious, frozen, whipped cream covered, completely unnecessary and ridiculously expensive concoction I started thinking I might come to the shop to do my homework at some point this semester. Instantly my bowels liquified.
I hustled those kids out of there fast and high tailed it home. Didn’t even pause the 5 seconds so T could pick up his fishing pole (broken stick he found on the walk over) that he left outside the coffee shop. What a huge mistake. We got across the street before he realized we didn’t grab it and he howled the rest of the way home, throwing himself on the ground twice. Which took a hell of a lot more time than stopping for the stick would have in the first place. I was covered in a cold sweat by the time we got back and then he refused to enter the house. It took almost half an hour to calm him down once we were inside.
A small victory is I’ve managed to get through the week so far without taking a chill pill. But I’m violently reminded why I hate rocking the boat. Any change, even good change, is so fucking overwhelming for me. The anxiety starts to convince me that I’m not stronge enough to take a stupid class. I think about other people who can try new things without completely falling apart and I’m eaten up with jealousy and self loathing. Then I think about how much easier it would be if I wasn’t taking this class. How this week would be full of blissful sameness and safety if I didn’t put myself out there. But that safety wouldn’t really be blissful. It would be suffocating. Both choices actually have negative and positive repercussions. Choosing to live life has more of both, I made the right choice.
Yesterday I went back to the coffee shop for another drink I can’t afford. T didn’t want to do, I had to force him. It had been a rough day for him and me. He hit his brother for no reason multiple times, he wouldn’t listen to me, I was done with him. He was freaking out while I was on the phone with my sister-in-law and I didn’t have the emotional fortitude to redirect or engage him or do any other positive parenting and I didn’t even give a shit that I was being a bad mom for an audience. I’d been trying all morning and I was done. After the call I told him we were getting Mommy a coffee drink. He whined and said he wasn’t going. I told him he could either come or we’d stay at home and he would have a nap in his room. He put his shoes on.
On the way down the driveway he asked if I remembered him crying the day before because we didn’t get the fishing pole. I told him I did remember and that I was very sorry for not stopping. Unprompted he told me he was sorry, too. We had a great walk to the shop, and damned if that broken stick wasn’t still on the sidewalk in front of the shop. I let him take it inside after he promised to be careful and he fished for stuff while we waited for my drink to be made. He handed me imaginary napkins, fish, Baby C, birds and I pretended to put all the things away in my pockets. It was awesome. On the walk home he told me that he had so much fun at the coffee shop. It was time for his siesta when we got home. I put Sesame Street on for him while I put C down for his nap. A few minutes later I came down and hung out on the sofa with T. I ended up drifting off for a nap of my own. I’m not an attractive sleeper, I snore, I drool, I thrash around. My shirt rode up during my snooze exposing my stomach. When I woke up T reached over and touched my flabby and stretch mark covered skin. “Mommy, your belly is bootiful.” Toddlers are hard, and my belly is anything but beautiful, but god damnit, sometimes the unconditional way that they love is more healing than anything I can possibly imagine.