A few wrong turns

Yesterday, at a glance:

Get up, shower, make breakfast, feed chickens/dogs/cats/deer?, pack UPS boxes, pay bills.
Drop you off at Stephannie’s for the morning, work, pick you up.
Errands, errands, errands: 5 turned 45-minute banking means we are late for our swim date (guilt and frustration consume me) although you were decidedly agreeable about the whole mess.
I skip my lunch to save time (we are halfway to dinner anyway).
NOTE: This is wrong turn #1

Swimming fun gives way to sugar crash for both of us at which point I publicly lose my temper with hungry/tired little you as you tantrum to stay longer and demand that I provide a restaurant with exciting menu choices on the spot.
Note: This is wrong turn #2
I could have turned this into laughter at any moment by simply saying “You’re driving me banana-nuts!”, but I didn’t take a breather to think of that at the time.

If that is not enough, I deny you a snack with your cousins and tromp off to give you whatever food we have in the car as punishment for your fit throwing, and continue the lecture about niceness (while using an ironically not-so-nice tone).
Note: This is wrong turn #3.  I should have dropped it.

Drive the 50 minutes home and wallow in guilt while you flaunt your self control in the back seat.
You: I am thinking bad things about you in my brain.
Me: Well, God says we have control of our thoughts.  Maybe you’d better pray about that.
(2 minutes later)
You: Satan told me to do something but I told him no.  Hey so do you want to listen to some music?…
Good for you, I’m thinking, I have taught self-control and failed to use it.

I enjoy whatever snack you have left behind. (feeling better)

Call my mom for encouragement, confessing my many wrong turns today.  She promises that “This too shall pass,” and “If you were the kind of parent who didn’t care, this wouldn’t be so hard – just the fact that you are distressed about how today went is a sign that you are a good Mommy”, and “Samantha’s too smart for her own good.  I always envied my friends who had stupid kids because man, was their job easy.  And I regretted thinking that of course, but really.” (feeling better yet)

You fall asleep as we pull into the driveway, so I reorganize and journey out again to the laundromat.  I failed to properly lock the washer so I returned to discover it had never actually washed anything…45 more minutes wasted.  Does this day have an undo button?

I rifle through a display of reading material and find a magazine.  I then sit, tears streaming, in the car reading “WonderTimes”, story after story of mom’s just like me with kids just like you.   Later I take bed-head you across the dusty parking lot for ice cream (like I’m going to cook after THAT day!), and drive home determined to do things better tomorrow.  The words “Yay! You failed!” come to mind.

How could something so hard be so wonderful?

Even with the best preparation, you will someday be faced with difficult challenges.  May you have the courage to forge through in the future, just as you do now.

Much love,
Mom

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