Messing with your hormones is one thing, but when you’re so fragile as it is and you haven’t slept for 2 nights straight because of a sick kid, you’re bound to be heading into tear territory for sure.
So, it was inevitable that I had a major breakdown this morning.
There were so many factors that pushed me over the edge today to make me sob in public and in front (literally) of my kid (which ‘the books’ explicitly label as one of the primary parenting “no-no’s”). But the really pathetic thing was I didn’t even get to fully relinquish all of my tears.
I still need to have a really decent cry at some point today.
Hopefully, I’ll get some time to do that later. Sad that mothers have to ‘make time’ to have a ‘good cry’. To do anything for that matter. Anyway, for now, it’s worth me sending a big shout out to all the super-cool, socially aware, caring strangers and friends I bumped into today. So thanks to all the little legends who didn’t treat me like a roving lunatic when they saw me sniveling into soggy tissues with a bewildered toddler strapped to my back as I roamed the supermarket in search of sanity and solace.
If Aiden had just gone quietly into preschool this morning, I reckon everything would’ve been on track. But no, he decided to play me and test me, and give me his usually crap en route to school and at the classroom entrance. You know you’re going to have an epic disaster of a day if everything is unravelling before 8.30am!
Aiden put on a stellar performance, one of his best. He moaned and whined that he “hates school” and “doesn’t want to go”. Not even after a pre-class Babycinno date with me and a decent pep talk about how “big boys do their mommies a big favour and don’t complain when their mommies kiss them goodbye at the drop-off” could placate him. By the time I offloaded him in his classroom and had the teachers pry the poor mite out of my arms I was setting myself up for failure and for being late for Jon Jon’s appointment at the pediatrician for his asthma.
I know from previous experience not to be late for this pediatrician. For his sake, my sake and the full waiting room‘s sake. No excuses. I knew I had a big lecture waiting for me when we rocked up 15 minutes late. I was freaking out. Driving badly and rambling nonsensical words under my breath to myself.
So, by the time I eventually parked and started sprinting for the doctor’s room with Jon Jon strapped to my back in the ErgoBaby I was a sweating madwoman. I was pretty much hyperventilating and sweating so much (clearly over-reacting) that I was reaching my emotional limit.
Then, against my will and out of nowhere, I erupted.
I sobbed and spluttered and smudged my mascara in the mirror of the cramped lift. I cried so much that Jon Jon wasn’t sure if I was laughing or crying – lucky he couldn’t see my reflection in the mirror. Thankfully, a delightful older gentleman turned to me ask if I was OK, as did another lift commuter, a kind-faced woman who asked if I needed help.
I personally have never seen a mother burst into tears before in public so I can’t imagine what it must’ve looked like. Basically, I was the epitome of a woman who had completely lost ‘it’ and can’t keep her Sh*t together in public.
I tried to compose myself but that only made things worse, so by the time the lift arrived at my floor, the old boy in the lift had become my life-long confidante and was on board to come and wage war against the pediatrician if need be. I drew immense strength from the support I received in that short lift ride. It reignited my belief in the social structure of our society and made me realise that we don’t all co-exist in a chasm of selfishness. Rather that there are tiny microcosm of kindness and social awareness and responsibility and that there actually are some people in this world who do care for and look out for their fellow human beings.
Quickly, I jolted myself back into the situation at hand to face the receptionist and the fact that I was 25 minutes late for my appointment. By this stage I was pretty much convulsing with an outpour of tears which took the entire waiting room by shock. My makeup had completely melted into the sweat on my face and was sliding down Jon Jon’s jacket like an oil slick. I was so out of breath that I felt like I was on the verge of a heart attack and was so overcome with exhaustion and emotion that I didn’t even care to think what Jon Jon might be feeling sitting on my back watching the scene unfold.
The receptionist had the sense to usher me off to the side and offered me a glass of water. Brenda, a fellow playgroup mom who I know gave me a much-needed vote of confidence with some reassuring mompower words.
Then after my appointment, when I was aimlessly standing around at the checkout till, my supermarket mum-buddy (who I always bump into at the supermarket, we must be on the same supermarket cycle or something) gave me a hug and exchanged some words of alliance to show that I was not alone that day in the motherhood struggle.
Between 12pm and 3pm things are pretty much a blur today. My very own thoughts have been drowned out by the hullabaloo outside. Pushing me closer and closer to that steep edge. The lunchtime renovations next door which are banging and drilling so loudly that my skull takes a small beating each time the builders hammer. I have a good mind to march over there and either get them to down tools while my sick toddler sleeps or else evacuate the premises and get THEM to settle my exhausted child! In a nutshell, Bob the Builder is the only cool construction work around – for the rest of you builders and renovator, those kinds of noise levels at kids’ lunchtime nap time is not appropriate so SHUT THE HELL UP – please.
It’s 6pm now. We’ve just returned home from a kids charity event/party/cupcake and sugar feeding frenzy.
Thankfully, the kids are mellowing in front of some burnt schnitzel and cartoons. The calm before the bathstorm. I’m still bravely holding the tears while Jon Jon spits mouthfuls of chewed carrot all over the floorboards and Aiden throws tennis balls at my head while I type this. Cant’ they cut me some slack at this time of day. Please.
Now, I don’t even feel like crying anymore.
No, now I’m more numb and exhausted and worn thin.
I wouldn’t know where to find the energy to muster any tears at this end of the day. Probably better that way. Still need to bath and put the boys down for the night, so a crying session would be a sign of weakness, and wound accomplish nothing much except by for creating a snag in our schedule on approach for bedtime.
If I can just pull it together and remind myself that this is all just a little crying game and I’m just having a bad day. An atrocious day which needs to play out.
I can win this.
Play now, cry later.