Some days I think the little monkey is trying to kill me. Not like kill me, kill me, like with a knife, but mind-fuck me until I just give up. I’ve tried not to rant and rave lately because I’m doing a pretty job of being cool, calm and collected, but today I was not any of those.  And the feeling has lasted.  Maybe it’s the remnants of the supermoon, maybe it’s the fact that the visitor is approaching, maybe I’m just tired.

I’ve had the talk with her a million times. It’s a fast morning, please don’t dawdle. I’ve explained on the weekend, we can have slow mornings, ones that aren’t rushed, but during the week when Mommy has to go to work, and I have to drop her off at camp or school before that, she has to get her cute little tushie moving. Most mornings my usual 3500 reminders to accomplish the next task of the day actually work. My holding off television until the last 5 minutes we are in the house works well as the reward for getting it together on time. I’ve even managed to squeeze in the extra 10 minutes of slathering on “sunscream” before she goes out, so she won’t be a lobsterina.  The only thing I can’t control is toilet time.  She’s potty trained and she goes right after breakfast pretty much like clockwork, but much like her mother, she likes to “read” while she goes.  If she got up at 6:15 AM and sat on the throne and “read” her Highlights for twenty minutes I wouldn’t give a crap (pun soooo intended), but when it’s 7:33 as she’s dropping trou and I check back 5 minutes later and she’s still “teaching herself to read” – I know I’m in trouble. I give her the lecture about how if she dawdles, I’m late dropping her off, and if that happens, then I’m late leaving for work, then as a result I’m late to work, and that Mommy can’t BE late to work because Mommy needs to keep her job to pay the bills so we have a roof over our heads.  Still nothing.  I run around like a lunatic making sure everything is by the door.  I’ve prepped everything the night before and have saved as many minutes as I can with my own routine and hers, I’m ready to go with the exception of sucking down the last sips of my caffeine – and still I wait.  Finally…she’s out.

By some miracle, the cream is slathered, the bags of preschool camp accoutrements are loaded into the car and I drop her off in a timely manner after much pouting, mewing, and whining…and then – the 101. To those of you not familiar with this stretch of highway in the San Fernando Valley, go say a prayer that’s the case… right. fricking. now.Today it could have curled anyone into the fetal position, during both rush hours. It’s 8 miles from her school, and should take 12 minutes to get to my job. This morning it took me 30. It took the same going to pick her up.  I know some of you are saying, “Well, I drive 2 hours one way to work.” Good for you.  I have no desire to ever spend that much time in my car unless it’s getting me to a place 120 miles from my house. I’ve done the long commute and while it did help me get out of crushing debt, it also gifted me with heart palpitations and high blood pressure at 27.  Never again, thanks.

Somehow the morning chastising has had some effect – when I pick her up after sitting in craptastic traffic for the second 30 minutes in my life I won’t get back, she’s pretty angelic. She listens, she cleans up her dinner without asking, even earns a few kindness jewels while singing “Everything is AWESOME!”  She doesn’t throw a fit when I say she can’t play in the bath because there’s no time, and when we sit down afterwards so I can comb and braid her hair like I do every night she’s here, she gifts me with a naked hug.  I try to take a picture because looking at us in the mirror is just as sweet as it is comical – she’s got her arms wrapped around my neck as she did when she was a toddler, but her head and torso seem nearly as long as mine now, and her legs hang over my lap. She asks to take a few more pictures, and I happily oblige.

Hamming it up

When she’s dressed she hugs me again, but this time leans back and says, “Hold me like when I was a baby!” So I do.  She asks for me to rock her, but she’s too heavy, and I’m feeling too heavy in that moment.

And the feeling has lasted.  Maybe it’s the remnants of the supermoon, maybe it’s the fact that the visitor is approaching, maybe I’m just tired. Or maybe I’m just the Mom of a 4.5 year old.