Hooray! Another Chance to Practice Patience and Mindfulness!

First, the wonderful and amazing part: I went to bed at 10:30 last night. The difference? Instead of telling myself I was starting an early bedtime that I’d keep all month, I told myself that I was going to bed at 10:30 just tonight. I’m pretty darned tired today, though, despite getting up at the same time this morning as I usually do. It’s like my sleep-deprived body says, “Oh! You’re going to get more sleep? Well then, let’s decrease this adrenaline so you can rest well!” The only cure is to either stop going to bed early or to keep going to bed early, either of which I think I can do.

Now, the challenging part(s):

  1. Interrupting my tooth brushing and face washing multiple times to wash my son’s hands after he reached in to grab the toilet paper floating in the toilet bowl. Luckily this was necessary only at home. In the public restrooms (we visited three in our travels today), my reflexes were faster as I yelled, “No! Don’t touch the potty!” like a maniac and dove for the baby.
  2. My daughter’s flute lesson which I spent chasing my son as he ran down the hall laughing, played all of the pianos with granola-y hands, tried to climb on the organ, and then tried to get into a box of joint compound (with a look on his face that clearly said, “Wow! This is the best box I’ve opened all day!”).
  3. Shoe shopping. With both children. I will say nothing else about this. Let us never speak of it again.
  4. A trip to Kangaroo Zoo, this indoor playground filled with inflatable slides and bouncy houses and E. coli. Most of the visit involved me standing at the bottom of a slide with my son waiting for my daughter to slide down only to have her yell, “It’s too fast!” and climb back down the other side. The biggest challenge came at the end of the visit when I told my daughter that she could not have a Slush Puppie (or as she called it, a “slush puffy,” since she only has the vaguest clue what it is and only asked for one because the little girl she was playing with got one). Negotiations quickly broke down and ended with me very calmly removing my daughter bodily from the premises while wearing my son on my front in the mei tai, carrying the diaper bag, and putting my shoes back on. My daughter then proceeded to scream and cry, “I want to go on a slide!” the entire 20-minute drive home. I must say, I remained remarkably calm the whole time. I continued to breathe rather than screaming back at my first-born or driving off the side of the road. By the time we arrived home, both children were crying and my head and neck ached like crazy, but at least we were home. I let the children play in the mud and eat green tomatoes while I sat outside watching them and drinking de-alcoholized wine.

While I do appreciate the practice in Being my Best Self in the face of adversity, in the interest of self care, I plan never to return to Kangaroo Zoo or to the shoe store.

And I’m definitely going to bed at 10:30 tonight.

4 Replies to “Hooray! Another Chance to Practice Patience and Mindfulness!”

  1. I made a similar decision about Toys R Us. No amount of money saved was worth the pain of being there with children. Similarly I have not returned to the Mountain View library since my daughter demonstrated the echo effect in the lobby by conducting a major, full-blown tantrum.

    Now that the child who inspired my TRU policy is 20 years old, it might be safe to return. But maybe not.

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  2. there are some places I just won’t take my children. if I can’t leave with my sanity intact, it’s just NOT worth it! aaak good for you for remaining calm all the way home!

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  3. Sounds like you had quite a day. I’m sorry you won’t go to the Kangaroo Zoo again. It would be fun to be there with you guys. Maybe you’ll change you mind after some early to bed nights 🙂

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    1. I swore never to go back to Hogle Zoo again after dealing with The Mother of All Tantrums there a year ago, and that only lasted a few months. My resolve is weak, and I predict we’ll be back at KZ sometime after it gets too cold to be at the outdoor parks. Going with you and your kids would be fun.

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