October 24, 2008

The cure

Things that make me feel better:

Cleaning the house. This used to never be true. In fact, since I'm being all honest and whatnot, I confess that much of my life I've leaned towards slovenly: a sit-on-the-couch-and-let-it-fester person. Now, I clean. I clean to set things right, to prove I can do more than sit, to control a small part of my environment when maybe every other part is tired or throwing toys or screaming at me because the cup is the wrong color. When I am numb and staring out the window as if maybe the window might suddenly fill with bright, shiny electric displays of magic inspiration, I do toilets and vacuum.

Coffee. It is warm and tasty and psychically energizing. Coffee makes me pretend that I have energy, just because I drank it. Then I pretend that since I've had this hot infusion of energy I should probably clean the house. See above.

Other people's children. Here's a big one, but not for the reason you may think. I adore other people's children because they fill the world view of my children. More simply, when other people's children are around, my children are too busy with them to haunt and taunt and generally attempt to crucify me by sheer force of will. I love other people's children, I am not picky, I do not discriminate. If I go to the park and there are children there, any children at all, I say to mine, "Look! Your friends are here! Your very best and favorite friends!".

My husband and I don't mean the obvious cliches from the Hallmark collection. After being home for a few moments, maybe an hour or so, I can see his frustration bloom. For every time he flinches at the escalating screaming, a warm glow takes root in my heart. He feels it, too. I am not alone, I am not over-reacting, my tension is not all crazy out of proportion to the circumstances. I am not delusional and spiralling again into madness. They really can be lemon juice poured out on 100 paper cuts all over my skin.

It's been a long week on top of a long month and possibly mitigated by a very extended year. On the bright side, Anna will be four in a couple weeks! This milestone will, I am sure, cure her of all her woes and trip the cord of peacefulness and balance within her. At least, that's what I hear.

From the voices in my head.


Lea said...

So very well said! I remind myself on days when I feel overwhelmed and out of patience that this is nothing because someday I will have two crying children clutching at my legs (this doesn't make me feel better - just makes me want to jump out a window!). Oh boy. Bless your heart and hang in there!

grandmem said...

if you can't control everything, you can at least control something - that's where the housecleaning comes in. and it's a much more practical frustration release than mine; I tend to play a computer game that I know I can win so that I can feel in control. If your house gets too clean, feel free to vent your frustrations on mine.