Fatigue problems last night. My own fault, for sure. (The hangover is gone today, for which I’m sincerely grateful.) Add a late dose of coffee and a visit from our friend Pamela and her 18-month-old baby genius daughter and I’m getting some rough moments. I wish I had a name for them. They’re almost like mini-seizures. They make me wonder if it’s time to up the meds again.
They’re gone in half a minute. Duckie says, “What happened, Mommy?” I say, “I’m ok, I just needed to breathe for a minute. Everything’s OK, sweetie. I just had a hard time there for a second.” Kisses on the head. “Let’s finish brushing those teeth.” She kinda shrugs and we move a little farther on the track to bed. God, but I just hope I can help her understand that they’re not her fault, you know? That she’s not causing them. I got into that trap a lot when I was a kid, and everything eventually became both my fault and my responsibility. It sucked.
The early morning practices are kinda screwing with the routine. In the evenings I’m good up to around 8, at which point the fatigue starts to get the better of me. I get cranky. I get impatient. I start counting down to bed, rushing things. I lose the calmness, the sweetness of remaining still in my interactions.
Usually I can manage, especially if I’m able to put myself in time-out for a minute or so. If Duckie’s not cooperating, losing my temper is certainly not going to help matters. She’s like a broken copier – she senses stress, and it only makes things worse. So I walk away. Drives her nuts, but what else is there to do? Walk away, get my brain working again, and start thinking through what’s going to motivate her to cooperate – without making her feel powerless. Tricky stuff, that.
Don't think I'll be able to do a long morning practice every day. Sometimes, yes, but I'll have to keep a close eye on how the subsequent evenings go. Maybe try shorter hour-long sessions instead.Usually Brian and I work together fairly seamlessly as parents (and as a couple, for that matter.) But sometimes we both get stressed and tired and unsympathetic. We start doing what I call “cross-parenting.” One of us will ask Duckie to do something, and the other one will jump in with the same order a few seconds later. Out of impatience, I think. All it does is make her dig in her heels. It doesn’t work. And it pisses me off on top of it.
We lapsed into that pattern last night. Pamela joined in the fray, too – it’s her job, of course, to keep her girl in line, so there were three parents and two kids in a small house with a ton of laundry, cleaning, and other chores to do. Storms came through right at bedtime, scaring Duck and the dog. We played musical beds for a while, trying to sleep through thunder and lightning and large dog panting and Duckie’s random conversations with no one in particular.
Yeah, it was kind of a rough night.
Things weren’t much better this morning. Even though I was rested and feeling pretty good after practice, Brian and I ended up pissing each other off on the drive in, stupid things really, that wouldn’t normally have bothered me that much. The snarling internal monologue that followed kind of shocked me – so at least I’m noticing when it happens, which gives me a second to let it go, instead of letting it carry me away.
I asked myself, Is this worth sacrificing my serenity?
-Serenity? came the sarcastic reply. What serenity?
-That nice floaty quality I had after yoga this morning. That stuff.
-You gave that up about ten minutes ago, sugarcakes.
Oh, and some cruel bastard brought in Krispy Kremes today. I’m stubbornly resisting. If I’m gonna fall off the sugar wagon again, it’s gonna be because I’m reaching for a caramel-filled dark chocolate nugget, not a freaking doughnut.