Some of Those Patience

Here’s an another old story from when Elder was five years old and Younger was two…

Taking the boys to the doctor is never easy, especially when we are left to our own devices in the examining room for an hour. So, a few weeks ago, when the boys played relatively quietly for that hour, allowing me to guide their interests into the toys and books, I found myself impressed with my mothering skills.

However, I quickly lost all pride when we stepped into Wal-Mart.

As I remember it, we were standing in line at the pharmacy while Elder circled me and the cart, pausing occasionally to shove his face at Younger and give the waiting two year old a chance to smack him, both of them squealing in appreciation of the game. Finally, I grabbed Elder, hooked his arms around the end of the cart and told him if he moved even a little, he wasn’t playing Nintendo when we got home.

“Even a little?” he questioned aghast.

“Even a little,” I gritted through grinding teeth.

After a minute or so, Elder told me, “Mom, but I gotta breathe. I’ll just breathe a little. Like this.” He panted in example. “Okay.”

“Yeah, Elder,” I said wearily. “That’s fine. Want ya to breath.”

“All right then.” Another few moments passed in silence then Elder asked, “Mom, are you going to pick up some of those patience while we’re here?”

I wish I could find a box of patience on a grocery store shelf. Sometimes, I really, really wish I could.

Fairy Tales

The place I work is basically a small computer lab where individuals from the community can access high speed internet. During the summer, an overwhelming number of those individuals were young, barely-teenage girls spending five to eight hours on Facebook and in chat rooms.

“So,” Younger asked the other day, having overheard a few of my frustrations over the last several weeks. “Did you have to deal with the giggly girls today?”

“I just need to learn a little patience,” I sighed with a shrug of my shoulders. “After all, I was a giggly girl, too, once upon a time.”

“You? I don’t believe it.” He looked at me sideways, managing a sweep from my head to my toes. “Not you. Nah.”

Apparently, he’s bought the whole adult-mother-of-two package I’ve been selling for seventeen years.

But I’m still pretty sure I was a giggly girl…once upon a time, in a land far, far away…

Perspective

A month or so ago, I bought a bag of chocolate chips, just in case I or, more likely, Elder had a sudden whim to bake some cookies. Then the other day, when I opened my refrigerator door, I found the bag on the shelf, opened and half-eaten.

Apparently, Elder had a whim, but it didn’t require any baking.

Then last week I opened the refrigerator door to find the bag completely empty and discarded carelessly on the shelf rather than in the trash can positioned only two steps away.

“Well,” Elder drawled in response to my small burst of frustration, “at least I didn’t eat the whole bag in a day or two. It took me about three weeks to eat them all.”

Apparently, it’s all in the perspective.

His is from the one who got to eat the whole bag of chocolate chips.

Mine is from the one who had to take out the trash.

Maybe we all would do better with our own stash of indulgence.

State of Denial

On Saturday, the boys left with their grandpa and grandma for a trip to Yellowstone. I received a few texts. A phone call, now and then.

Then, in the middle of the week, I heard my husband talking in the other room, first with Elder then Younger, which confused me because I hadn’t heard his phone ring. So, when he returned to the living room, I lifted an eyebrow at him.

“Well,” he said, “they might call you. But I can call them.”

And this man claims he’ll be just fine when those two disappear to college.

The state of denial is a mighty fine place to live.

Until you have to leave it.

In Your Own Words

My boys have been fairly boring this week, so I thought I would share an old story from back when Elder was four years old and Younger just one. Hope you enjoy…

Believe it or not, children really do listen to everything you say.

Elder often attempts to deflect attention from him by pointing his finger at Younger, to which I always respond, “You worry about yourself. I’ll worry about him.”

Now, I have had to say this so often that I previously believed that perfectly acceptable English somehow transformed into complete gibberish upon entering the ear canal of my four year old. However, Elder must have a special compartment in his brain that automatically converts complete gibberish back into perfectly acceptable English when it is to his benefit.

Sunday, when we were preparing for Sunday School, I had to repeatedly instruct Elder to change his clothes. About the third time that I walked through the living room and found him still in his nightshirt, he realized — I think because I was stalking towards him rather menacingly — that my patience had drawn to a sudden end.

Snatching his shirt with one hand, he shook a finger in my direction and told me, “You worry about yourself. I’ll worry about me.”