Thursday, June 01, 2006

Am I Whining?

For the last week or so, I have been itching to write something, but have held back, lest it become another rant or complaint. Needing to break the negativity streak, I've been holding out for something uplifting and inspirational on which to share my thoughts.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

I did, however, gain some understanding of why it is so satisfying to rant while blogging.

My good friend Jozet is a seasoned blogger and the wind beneath my own cyber wings. I often try to read her stuff out loud to my Savageman and I usually can't get through it because I'm laughing so hard. When I'm feeling particularly grouchy, this is one place I can go for a giggle, with the knowledge that if I can still giggle, whatever it is I'm grouchy about can't be THAT bad.

Anyway, I was having one of THOSE days and I needed a humor fix, so I checked out her blog today, and found the answer to why I am so tempted to rant here. She gave an award for a great post on another blog detailing, in part, a frustrated mom's reaction when she found her kids delightedly and repeatedly flushing a Barbie in the toilet. While discussing why she enjoyed the award-winning post, she pointed out that when things are going well, one can take something like this in stride...

But, when it's been one of those days?

You know, one of THOSE days. One of those days that started with your kids cracking 12 eggs to make an omelet and moved headlong into doggy haircuts and then sister haircuts and then measuring the perimeter of the house with a roll of paper towels and it's still only 10AM.

Then, after all that, you are called in to witness the princess spinning in the toilet and it's like staring into the parenting equivalent of The Eye of Sauron. You feel your soul (and possibly your college degree) being sucked-out right through your own pupils.

And the only thing that might possibly save you, the only thing that makes it even a little bit better, gets you through to another day -…oh hell, the next parenting moment - is the knowledge that you can tell someone about it (someone beside the hearing-impaired parent).

You can blog about it.

And someone will hear you and answer. Someone out there. Another parent will read along with you, nodding her head in agreement, knowing that she too has stared into the abyss and has felt the utter aloneness of a spinning-toilet-princesses or a 12-egg omelet.

And that other parent will reach out her hand (or his hand, let's be fair) and pull you back from utter despair (and morning martini number three) with those five healing words of salvation through supreme empathy:

"Me too, sister. Me, too."

It's so true. Just as tragedies bring people together, whining about toddler tantrums and squabbling children often elicits the understanding and support we Mommies so often need from each other.

And in that respect, I have been more than blessed to be part of the best Mommy Tribe around.

Yesterday, when she had ascertained that I really was dangling from the last thread on the very end of my rope, one of the Tribe insisted on taking my children for the afternoon. She pulled up in her minivan, loaded up my Savages, and took them away.

I hardly knew what to do with myself.

Okay, after the first half-hour, I figured it out, but at first it was really weird.

And quiet.

I put the Big 80s Lunch on the radio just to make it less eerie - and because I really like the Big 80s Lunch.

I planted stuff in my garden, talked on the phone in peace, and cleaned a noticable portion of the house. I didn't have to break up fights, clean up spills, chase anyone out of the kitchen, break up fights...

Almost enough to make me want to put them in school.


After a few hours, I started to miss the little guys and I headed over to her place. I found my kids having loads of fun, not fighting, (and making a big mess of her house and yard). Numero Uno spent the whole time playing Guitar Hero on the Playstation. He really rocked, too. Despite the house, my friend seemed none the worse for the wear, and she said my kids had behaved just fine.

Within 12 seconds of arriving home (I counted) - they were fighting again. I knew it was too good to last - this was not a big surprise.

What really did surprise me was the way I felt after having an afternoon to myself. After all, my parents take them sometimes on the weekends and once they're finally in bed at night, I do get a good 2 hours of me-time. But by this point, I am usually so fried all I want to do is watch a movie with Savageman or play with my new laptop. Certainly no playing in the garden, drinking iced-coffee and dancing around the cleaning chores to the Big 80s Lunch like I did yesterday afternoon.

I felt SO GOOD. I let the Savageman and grandparents take the kiddies to baseball, and I did a 90-minute Yoga class (and kicked butt at it instead of feeling like it kicked MY butt for a change). I came home, figured out how to download music off the internet, and put some good music on my MP3 for our morning walk. I talked Savageman's ear off about all the good ideas I'm having to help the kids behave better.

He thinks I've suddenly switched over from the depressive to the manic end of the crazies, but that I'm still crazy.

He may be right, but I'm not going to mess with it - it's all good.

And I'm eternally grateful to my friend who knew exactly what I needed and gave it freely. May I only hope to be as good a friend when my own turn comes up.

So maybe I did find something inspirational and uplifting to write about after all.

I'll stop whining now.

1 comment:

Jozet said...

It's not whining.

It's just a fact. ;-)

And I'm glad you found some...uh...enlightenment? the swimming-toilet-princess, lol! I did too. It's all good before 10AM. Then, I need to start counting to ten.

Great post! I need to reciprocate more with the kiddie exchanges.