Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Crying over spilled milk.

Yesterday we took Liam to story time at the library. At first, Bill was planning to stay home to continue his job search but I convinced him to go with us. That probably seems a little ass-backwards but there is only so much he can do and it doesn't take 24 hours a day to do it. A change of scenery would do us all some good.

The library was a perfect little family getaway. We got to introduce Bill to the joys of story time and during the "Let's Make a Rainbow" song, Liam told us his favorite color is black. For an old goth like Bill, that was like music to his ears.

Toward the end of story time, Liam asked for his milk. I knew this could be trouble. He always drinks milk out of a certain type of straw cup but we didn't have any clean ones so I used a water cup. I knew he wouldn't drink it like that at home but thought maybe in public it would be different. Isn't it a good thing to encourage a child to be more easy-going? Besides, if he really needed it, he would drink it from a bowl if he had to. (Alright, alright - I'm a lazy mama and I didn't want to wash the cup!) I handed it to him like it was no problem, like we drink milk out of water cups every day. Yeah right. He started to whine, "No! Not that milk!" and doing the toddler stomp. I rushed him out the door and left Bill to scoop up our belongings and flee the scene.

Once we got out of the theater, Liam was totally fine. And no longer thirsty (seems my bowl theory may have been right!). We let him loose and tried our best to keep up. You would think that a kid who loves reading as much as Liam does would be in book heaven at the library. He does love the library but it has nothing to do with the books. "Books? What books? Oh, you mean these shelves aren't just here to make a running maze?" When he passed the computers he yelled out, "Two computers!" and stopped to do a little Blue's Clues song about e-mail. Then he noticed the door to the courtyard.

It was a very blustery day but it didn't seem to bother him. He grabbed his hair a couple times and said, "Oh my gosh, the wind!" but other than that was fixated on the fountain. I gave him a penny and told him he could make a wish and throw it in the water. He watched us do it and seemed really excited to do it himself. He held the penny between his wishing fingers and stood poised to throw it in. Then he got a little smirk on his face, said, "noooo," and took two steps to the left. He did this all the way around the fountain. Two steps to the left, "Nooo." Two more steps, "Nooo." It's not that he's indecisive, it's just that he puts a LOT of thought into every decision me makes. Choosing a wishing spot is a very big deal.

I finally convinced him to keep the penny in his pocket and we got him inside without a fight. He led us on some more expeditions and we checked out the puzzle table before heading home. We were all in great spirits and I felt like the point of the trip had been a complete success. I really believe that the happier and more fulfilled Bill feels, the more likely he will land a great job. If he starts getting discouraged or negative, we're in for a heap of trouble. Unfortunately, there was another tantrum on the horizon that nobody could have predicted.

When we got home and I lifted my diaper bag off the backseat, it was sitting in a pool of milk. "What the F**K is this?" Real smart considering my child is a parrot but I just kept repeating it. "You've got to be F**KING kidding me!" Bill was eying me like I was a rabid squirrel. He unbuckled Liam and carried him into the house without saying a word. (Just back away real slow and no one gets hurt...)

As much as I know there is no point in getting upset about stuff like this, I couldn't help myself. I was pissed. It took half a roll of paper towels to soak the milk out of my backseat and I'm not even sure I got it all. If it soaked way down into the seat will it just stay there forever? One of my girlfriends reminded me that, "milk is like a gift that keeps on giving." I'm dreading the possibility of a hot, stinky summer.

I dumped the entire contents of my diaper bag onto the front porch and took it in to the kitchen to assess the damage. My diaper bag is one of the loveliest and most expensive things I own. I recommend every mother own a ridiculously luxurious diaper bag. It makes you feel like a woman when you know you're actually a sleep deprived, milky-boobed lunatic who has no business lugging a child around in public. I LOVE my diaper bag. Even when I noticed the cleaning label said "Dry Clean Only" as I poured milk out of the bottle pocket, I only cursed it for a second. I spot cleaned it as well as I could and am hoping for the best. (By "spot cleaned" I mean "hosed down with the kitchen sink sprayer" - pray for me.)

Unfortunately, my bag and my car were not the only things to suffer from the evil spilled milk. The mood in the house after my tantrum was tense. If you attract more of what you're feeling, the only jobs Bill was going to find yesterday were at the sewage treatment plant. We had to turn it around (yet again). It started out like pulling teeth but eventually we were able to get back on the same page. The rest of the day felt light and positive really good. Bill played guitar, I left the house by myself, we both ate some chocolate and soon everything felt right in the world.

So often we are oblivious to how we're feeling or what we're doing. We just go through the motions day after day subconsciously hoping that things will someday improve. That something greater than us will shift and everything will open up and be good. I'm slowly starting to realize that the something that's greater than me is also in me. I have the power to shift it whenever I choose. I may have to make that shift every second of every day but eventually it will be a part of who I am. Imagine how easy life will be when I get out of my way and no longer have to fight against myself.

Um, where was I? Ah, yes, lamenting over my wet diaper bag. Can you tell I have a lot on my mind lately? One thing at a time, young lady. Today, no crying over spilled milk. Tomorrow, the sky's the limit.


Courtney said...

I adore this post!
So true...Get the heck out of the way "grumpy me"..Though, I am convinced that "happy self" bounces back with a little piece of chocolate.

CelinaQ said...

It truly does take a commitment to decide again and again to be present and joyful. Hard work, but definitely worth it. I'm right there with ya, sister!