On good mornings, I roll over and listen to Joel babble to himself on the monitor. As he sings his "Da Da" song to himself, I pray. I ask God to set my heart up right--to make me a patient, wise, loving mother. To be creative with my actions and slow to anger. To be purposeful in my parenting, in the moment with my children. I pray for our safety and health, and thank God for the opportunities He will provide for me this day.
Then, I get up and brush my teeth, put in my contacts, and go upstairs to
On bad mornings, though, the first thing I do is think, "Are you kidding me?" This morning, for example, involved Owen banging into my room, yelping, "Hea-lup! Hea-lup! MOMMY!! MOMMY! Fix It! Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiix Itttttttttt!"
"What's going on, Buddy?" I mumbled into my pillow.
Owen turned on the light, like he was playing Bad Cop to my perp. Advanced Interrogation Tactics? Owen's all over 'em. "Mommy. Get up! The sun is out! Get up! Fix Ittttttttt."
Sighing deeply, I asked, "What, Owen. What? What! What do you need?"
"The school book is lost. I can't find it anywhere. Fiiiiiix Ittttttttttttttt!" Imagine a concert of preschool violinists. Now imagine that instead of bows, the children are playing their violins with feral cats. Now throw hysterical weeping into the mix. That's close to the tone and timbre of his voice.
Stalling was the only way to combat such evil. I mumbled, "I think I saw it by the coffee table. Go look for it."
I heard him stomp away, and mumbled the real prayer that I say most mornings, "Help me, help me, help me."
As I said my Cliff Notes prayer, I listened to Owen's monologue. "That's not the book. That's not the book either. I'm hungry. I'm going to make some peanut butter toast and then go wake up Joely." I sighed to myself, and rested in bed for a few minutes more.
That is, until I heard Owen say, "I'll just plug in the toaster oven and get out this knife."
With that, I was out of bed. I was prepared to do many things today, but taking Owen to the hospital to "fix" his electric shock was not one of them.
So, another day began, turbo-charged by minor hysteria and possible bloodletting. The coffee may have yet done its job, but a strong shot of adrenaline proved to be almost as robust.