Thursday, March 13, 2014

Four Plus Zero Equals Four

I had my last child when I was 36. The rude hospital staff wrote 'Advanced Maternal Age' on my paperwork. If they hadn't had all the mothers leave in wheel chairs I would have been really offended.

Last October my little guy turned 4 and I turned 40.

Over the past few months I cannot help but notice that the two of us have much more in common besides the number four.  Things like irrationality, mood swings, and tearful fits come to the front of my mind.

For instance, when people do not immediately comply with his wishes he throws back his head and howls like an animal.

I get that. I really, really get that.

I howl, too. Say we've invited someone to come for dinner, so I ask my children to clear the table of school debris and set the plates and silverware out. I see that the table is set, and feel happy and proud.  I pull out a chair for the guest to sit in only to see that it is occupied by all of the school stuff.  That  is enough to send me howling like a wolf.  A rabid, half-starved wolf.

Sometimes, when he just can't take it anymore, my little man sits down in the floor and cries til he cannot cry anymore.

I do that. I really, really do that.

Not all the time, mind you. This age I'm at though, it makes me examine my feelings.  Maybe it's my hormones, I don't know. Sometimes, like once a month or so, it just really gets to me that the walls aren't painted the color I would like, or that someone forgot to run the dishwasher before bed, or that I can't figure out how to set the clock on the stove, or that someone found my chocolate stash. The big stuff, you know? All I know is that sometimes life feels completely overwhelming and I have got to cry about it.  Or punch someone in the face. Crying seems like the healthier choice.

My four year old wants to wear pajamas all day long. If I tell him he cannot go outside unless he is wearing clothes, he smartly puts them on over his pajamas.

I also want to wear pajamas all day,  every day. I smartly call mine 'yoga pants' and no one seems to know any different.  Put on husband's t-shirt, take of bra, you've got pajamas. Put bra on, cute work out shirt, people think you've worked out. Put a cardigan on over the whole ensemble and you've got 'chic mama' written all over your flour-covered butt.

My guy has some serious mood swings. One morning he told me I was the 'worst mother in town' (ha, I thought, you don't even know!). I took it like a champ while implementing the latest trend in discipline in our home - taking away beloved Legos.  Later that afternoon, after making a stellar peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cut into triangles, served with a side of baby carrots and a cold cup of milk, I was bestowed the honor of "The Most Beautiful Mother in the World". The kid said it with his chocolate brown eyeballs peering up at me beneath dark lashes, and I could have wept.

"I'm not the worst mother in town?"  I asked, reminding him of his earlier appraisal.

"No!" he exclaimed in a shocked voice, "That was not me this day that said that."

Sadly, that also sounds familiar.

There have been moments much like that in my recent  life, when my cool seems to have left the building.

I am reminded of a recent morning, when I was due to be somewhere, and could not find a bra.  A bra for goodness sake!  I ranted. I raved. I climbed into the dryer. I tore through the pile of clean laundry atop the laundry table ('It's not a laundry table!' I shouted, 'It's a folding table! For folding laundry!')  I lined the four children and one husband up in the hallway and interrogated them individually. They each claimed innocence. Someone offered to make me a new bra. Someone else offered to go ask a neighbor for one. Can you feel their desperation?

Suddenly, I recalled reading an article about the evils of underwire. It scared me, so I threw out all of my bras.  It was 10 p.m., and I didn't need a bra then.  Foresight is not my specialty.

One brave soul had been digging in my underwear drawer and found a bra reserved for special occasions because of it's pink color and distinct discomfort inducing encasement (everyone knows that uncomfortable lingerie is reserved for special occasions). That was the winner - we just cut the underwire out and hoped for the best.

Before I left the house I kissed and hugged everyone and told them how much I loved them.  My four year old asked, "You're not mad anymore?"  I shook my head no.

"You're not moving to Siberia?"

"That wasn't me who said that this day,"  I told him.  He shook his head solemnly.

My four year old totally gets me.

1 comment:

  1. We all go through those feelings (I also blame the hormones...) of feeling like a four year old don't we? Nice you have one to share your feelings : ) Hope today is a good day for you...