Finding myself in the Middle East

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In a Mirror, Darkly

Some days I feel like I'm taking a deep breath upon awakening and diving underwater. I hold the breath and don't take another one until I resurface after the kids are asleep.

It's not the baby, who henceforth shall be called Turtle, or Coco-pop who make me feel that way, although they are both definitely energy draining in their own special way.

It's Princess.

Ooooooh. Where do I start? If you follow this blog, you know that she is exceptionally bright. She is also beautiful, with an endearing smile and a terrific sense of humor. But that's not the part of her that makes me long for a liquid breakfast lunch and dinner--it's the part of her that is like The Energizer Bunny on steriods. She is intense and driven and wound up, and everything is of equal importance and urgency. Now. RIGHT NOW. She is my full time job. Like Hercules had the strength of ten men, Princess has the whining capacity of 10 girls. It's noise pollution. And here I will say something that I am not, as her mother, supossed to say: She can drive me crazy.

O Internet. Can you forgive me? I love her with all my heart. I even like her, which is much harder. But sometimes at the end of the day, I find myself longing for her bedtime. And then I don't like myself all that much.

Princess and Coco-pop were playing house the other day. Coco-pop was the baby, Princess her mommy. They were playing nicely, so I was listening with half an ear, rocking Turtle to sleep.

The Coco-pop started crying.

"What's going on over there?" I asked softly, wanting the crying to stop but also not wanting to wake the baby. They did not hear me, and I soon realized that Coco-pop was play-kvetching. It was part of the game. I relaxed, and listened in.

Princess said, "Coco-pop, say 'gimme that now.'"

Coco-pop, obediently, "Gimme that now."

"We DON'T talk to our Ima like that! Go to your room!" Princess wagged her finger sternly.

Coco-pop went to her room.

I thought it was time to interject. "Hey girlies, I don't like this game. Maybe--"

I was ignored and overuled. "Coco-pop, say, 'I want to come out right now!'"

Coco-pop followed the directive.

Princess turned to me. "Holy cow," she said. "That child is drving me crazy!"

Which is funny. But really, really not.

And at that moment, I offered up a prayer to Hashem. I asked for more patience. I asked for more love. I asked for the right words to come out of my mouth to build my family. I asked for the children to keep showing before me a mirror of my actions, but that it should be one that I would feel proud to look into.

Help me to live in the moment, in the moment between coming home from gan and bedtime, because it is only a moment. I know that because I blinked and she turned five. And help me to love where I am living.


Miriam the Mommy said...

My coworker and I were discussing this on the way to work this morning, that despite only having three hours with the kids (from 4 PM pickup until 7 PM bedtime) we are DEAD after those three hours, and there is NOTHING like the sigh as you close the door on the sleeping, adorable, precious, TALKATIVE child(ren).

JerusalemStoned said...

Then my husband says, oh, they;re so cute, let's wake them up and play with them...


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