not all of it, but enough of it to leave me questioning what the hell i think i'm doing. (i did go see a movie with a friend, that part was nice.)
this morning, we ran errands. i had (and still have) a killer headache that won't stop making me want to yell at strangers and/or cry. eva was putting on a good show of being two, arching her back to be let down in the chaotic yarn store causing me to nearly lose my balance and drop her, or running off screaming "no!" to everything i say. but the truth is, she was the same as always, a mix of charming and challenging, but i was just not handling it well.
we came home and she wouldn't nap. "nap" is turning in to a 2 hr stressfest of trying to get her to sleep because she's not truly tired until 4:00 but that's too late to nap if i want her to to go to bed before midnight. she's edging closer to dropping naps, but we're not there yet, so we butt heads over it. she was poking and scratching me during our 5 minutes of nursing, and after countless attempts to redirect her, i mentally lost it and marched out of the room, saying "fine, do whatever you want, i don't care.", plus some swearing. nice! just the perfect response for making your child feel unconditionally loved.
later after calming back down, i went up to relieve larry of the napathon efforts, and after some time, she announced that she was peeing on the special book i bought all of two hours prior, one that was for her and papa to share. contrary to all my thinking on such things, i basically shamed her for it including the gem "i thought you knew how to take care of your books but i guess not." lovely. once again, just the perfect reaction to have. no surprise that she peed in the laundry basket 30 minutes later, despite the fact that she rarely has accidents these days.
when i got home from the movie, larry reported that they had the calmest evening in a long time and eva fell asleep peacefully next to him on the couch -- a good hour earlier than she generally does. then when she woke up just now and he went to soothe her, it turns out she was having a bad dream, sitting up and rocking her knees talking mysteriously about a book (hmm...telling.). he was calming her by saying "papa loves you and mama loves you" when she interjected "no no no she doesn't!"
what a proud day of parenting this has been. as i hear myself get frustrated with her, that's quickly replaced by frustration with myself for reacting that way, for not being stronger. i can of course point out that it's been a bit of a struggle lately what with all of our travelling, and my weeks at a time without arry to help parent, and how he threw his back out and is stressed at work which makes things harder, and that i'm feeling just off in general lately. but even with all that, i need to be able to stay calm in the heat of the moment. eva deserves that much.
the thing is, i can't change the situation. she's a kid, i'm a mom, that's going to be hard sometimes. all i can do is change my reaction to the situation. i can get all upset and stomp around like an idiot, or i can take a deep breath and model something useful for my daughter. i'm working on that and making real progress; today was just a giant stumble along that path.
i'm saying all this not as self-flagelation, but in an effort to provide balance and realism to this little record of my days. i wouldn't want eva to read this someday when she has her own child, for example, and think that it was all happy all the time -- who can live up to that? it's that whole thing about not measuring your insides by someone else's outsides. you can't compare yourself to what someone chooses to let others' see, and i don't want this blog to be all outsides. we are happy, at moments deliriously happy, but not all the time. like today, which (as i so articulately stated up front) sucked.
so, i'm working to be more gentle with eva in these moments of extreme frustration and to get a better handle on my emotions. but i think i also need to remember in the mean time (as my friends and i all remind each other) to be gentle with myself. tomorrow i can try again. i can apologize to my daughter and do better. that's all i really need to worry about; the rest i can just let go.