All is not lost.

How can a mere misplaced item spark such rage?

This morning, I could not find:

  • My boots. The ones I wear all the time. Eventually found them in the front closet with the rest of our shoes. I’m pretty sure Cody put them away just to mess with me.
  • Stella’s right shoe. It was nowhere near the left one. Later discovered in a far, dark corner of the living room between our hutch and the wall. Of course.
  • The ERGO carrier. Turns out it was in the same place as always.Where it belongs. In the kitchen by the back door. Hadn’t used it in a couple weeks, and it hadn’t moved in that time.
  • My mind. Still looking.

Minor inconvenience? To most. For me, it resulted in clenched-fist fury! I could not see straight, which only made the hunt more difficult. I was so angry, because we’d already been awake for two and a half hours without doing anything semi-productive or quasi-enjoyable (productivity is  not how I measure a morning, trust me) aside from picking at breakfast. Where do those hours go? I remember reading Stella a few stories, which slowed down my post-breakfast clean-up efforts. Then I sort of just hung out with her on the couch in the office for a while, helping her do somersaults–she recently figured out how to climb up on the furniture and treats couches as gyms. At some point, I wet my hair and dried it about halfway so I didn’t look quite so nuts and disheveled. We brushed out teeth together. I rinsed off my face, which is close enough to washing it–I’m out of cleanser and moisturizer and resorted to using olive oil last night. From the permanent pile of clothes on top of my dresser, I unearthed yesterday’s jeans and deemed them clean enough to wear. I cobbled together an outfit for Stella that passed my minimum cuteness standards. I packed a makeshift diaper bag with the bare essentials. And that’s precisely when steam began pouring out of my ears as I tried to pinpoint the location of our footwear and ergonomically superior baby backpack. Of course, as I searched high and low for these items (ie looked in the same potential hiding spots over and over again expecting them to suddenly appear), Stella grabbed books, brought them to me, tugged on my pant leg, and cried. The entire time.

At one point during the morning’s madness, I actually stopped and listened to what I was saying to myself. I’m pretty sure I called myself an idiot about a dozen times, not to mention a frighteningly disorganized failure and lazy mom whose shoe-losing ways are no doubt eroding Stella’s potential and endangering her even foot development. And to make matters worse, I’m pretty sure that the stack of thank-you cards on the bookshelf, with names written on them but no addresses, looked at me and nodded in total agreement with these negative thoughts. Not only is my mental dialogue insane and uncool, it’s melodramatic.

I have phases where I get so down on myself so fast. Examples abound, but Facebook comes to mind. I want to quit Facebook, but can’t. I’ve noticed that the oh-so-sunny and wonderful virtual representations others create of themselves using pictures of their gorgeous new homes and perfectly happy children and new cars and other symbols of “success” lead me to feel crappy.  Don’t get me wrong, if we owned a lovely home, I’d be showing it off for sure, because due to the hard work and pride naturally involved. But status updates like, “Feeling so grateful for my life. Everything is wonderful!” kind of make me want to vomit, especially when posted every other day. I hope that these are genuine expressions by well-intentioned people, but come on! No, Facebook is not all bad. I do enjoy some fun banter with Facebook friends which helps me feel less isolated, but sometimes, I log off feeling “less than.” It sucks. I’m reminded of a brilliant quote along the lines of, “Don’t compare your inside to someone’s outside.” I try to keep that in mind, but it doesn’t help. I’m holding myself up to some high standards, and I’m not sure they’re even possible to meet.

Well, after a couple of emails to my husband, who has nothing better to do at work than help me find things that are right in front of me, I found all the “missing” stuff. Almost three hours after waking up, Stella and I headed downtown on a birthday mission for Cody. He turns 38 today. Happy Birthday, sweets! (I’ll report on the birthday festivities once they are complete, this weekend.) While he and Stella attend Waterbabies, I’ll be cooking a German feast for him, with ingredients sourced from Pike Place Market, to be followed by his favorite dessert in the world: Dahlia’s coconut cream pie. We won’t eat until just after 8:30, when Stella goes to bed. You know, so as to spend more than five minutes with a meal.

Our morning completely turned around once we were out and about. Funny how that happens. Stella clearly loves Pike Place Market, and being downtown with all the people, sights and sounds, and I love that about her. We had a fabulous time. The ladies at the bakery were fittingly sweet. We snacked on Dahlia’s sour cream vanilla bean coffee cake and sampled organic plum and pear. We stopped to listen to a piano man, and Stella particularly enjoyed (judging from all her bouncing) the old timey tunes by The Tallboys. One of the gospel singers that are stationed near the original Starbucks cheerfully called Stella “a bottle o’ joy” and pretty much made my day with his enthusiasm. Stella took a stroll down the less-busy Post Alley, where she tried on some boots and an old woman in a tall leopard-print hat stopped to chat with her. We watched and waited as someone spent about $500 on ingredients for an Oktoberfest dinner at Bavarian Meats Delicatessen. I was inspired but all I had left on my list was swiss cheese for spaetzle. On our way out of the Market, I grabbed some plums and pluots and Stella and I shared a smoothie in which every single ingredient was grown at a local farm. They use their own cider as a base and Stella and I agreed that it really worked.

Then I saw it:  the parking ticket. We were ten minutes late. But to my surprise, fire did not shoot out of my eyes. I simply didn’t care. We lingered at the car, continuing to enjoy our smoothie. It dawned on me in that moment to appreciate how content Stella had been throughout our long-ish adventure. It was worth an extra $25.

This calls for a new Facebook status: “Wow, what a fabulous morning. Life is good and I’m truly blessed!” Gag me with the truth.

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About amberhj

Mom, writer, worrier. And a stubborn idealist nonetheless.
This entry was posted in Frustration Station, Lessons in parenting, motherhood, Outings, toddler and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to All is not lost.

  1. Cody says:

    Great post sweetie! It had me literally LOLing (sorry about the obnoxious internet acronym…)..thanks for the birthday german feast! it was scrumdiddlyupmtious!

  2. Auntie Corinne says:

    hahaha, I totally agree about the facebook posts…love you!

  3. Jessica says:

    I’m so glad to see somebody else hates “lol”. I knew there was a reason I picked you guys out of the bunch.

    A – you are so not less than – if you didn’t post funny stuff what the hell would I read on facebook? One of my friends is so predictable – his posts will always be about:

    1) working out
    2) work
    3) coffee

    Frankly, I finally had to hide him . . .
    I miss your posting!!!! So come back – come back – because I can’t quit. I have a problem. Addicts need company baby! Feed my habit.

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